How to Avoid Grinding Gears on a Manual Transmission


Manual transmission automobiles, also known as standard transmissions or simply stick shifts, are notorious for being exhilarating to drive and more performance driven than automatic transmission vehicles. Many manual transmissions are more gas efficient as well. Yet, they can also be a source of great embarrassment. If driven improperly, they may stall, die, or the most common offense--gears will grind during shifting potentially causing damage to the transmission. However, as long as a driver employs these techniques while driving a manual transmission, they should be in for a smooth ride.

Things You'll Need

  • Manual Transmission Vehicle
  • Push the clutch all the way down to the floor. It is vital that you push the clutch all the way in before attempting to shift.

  • Shift the transmission into the appropriate gear. This should be done in one smooth and consistent motion.

  • Slowly release your foot from the clutch pedal.

  • As you release the clutch, start to slowly push the accelerating pedal (gas pedal). Be sure you push the gas pedal as evenly and consistently as you release the clutch. You want to maintain the same pace of pushing the accelerator as you are using to release the clutch. The name of the game here is balance.

  • Practice using this technique correctly, and you will have achiev a smooth shift with no jerking, grinding, or stalling.

Tips & Warnings

  • Familiarize yourself with the location of the gears on your stick shift and the resistance of your clutch before you begin to drive.

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