Is It Okay To Skip Gears In A Manual Transmission?


Hello, everyone and welcome! In this video we’re going to be answering the question: Is it ok to skip gears in a manual transmission? So by skip gears for example going from first gear to third gear or for example going from fifth gear down to second gear. Now this is a question I’ve seen pop up in the comments section so it’s something I thought I would address and you know we’re going to start with talking about up shifting then we’ll talk about down shifting and then finally get into starting from a stop. Now manual transmissions by design allow you to choose any gear any time, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should but by design they allow you to unlike sequential transmissions which force you to go 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 in order to shift gears. Now for up shifting there’s really no problem if for example you’re let’s say you’re down in second gear and then you want to shift down to fourth gear the only thing you’re going to want to do is wait a little bit longer once you press the clutch in for those reps to drop because since you’re going into a taller gear you’re going to be at a lower RPM. If you release that clutch quickly what’s going to happen is the car is going to lurch so we can kind of show that as an example you’re in second you go to fourth quickly you can see there’s kind of a lurch there so that’s the engine and then the wheels trying to match speeds and so you get that lurch It’s going to cause a little bit of clutch wear and you know it could upset the balance of the car honestly, it’s not as big of a deal on up shifts as it is with downshifts and it’s certainly something you can do in fact Chevy with the Camaro SS if you’re in first gear, and you’re on low throttle and this is kind of an annoying thing that they do but they do it nonetheless, and it kind of proves a point in the SS if you’re in first gear low throttle you get up to a certain speed and you want to shift down into second it’ll actually force you into fourth gear to save fuel and it’s some you know emissions and fuel economy thing that they’ve done in order to get a better fuel economy rating perhaps, but regardless it’s fine to do now that same car you can of course if you’re flooring it it’ll let you go into second gear. It doesn’t force you into fourth every time but it proves you know, it’s totally fine to shift from first to fourth you just want to wait a little bit long or for the revs to drop. So what about downshifting? Let’s say you’re on the highway you’re traveling in sixth gear and you want to pass the car in front of you so you want to drop it down to fourth or perhaps third gear without going to the gears in between, totally fine to do the thing is you just want to make sure to rev match so you want to give it a little bit of throttle when you’re going down to that gear, bring it up to the RPM that that gear is going to be in and that way you don’t upset the balance of the car, and you know you have a nice smooth transition so for example going from second here Wait a bit for it down into the RPMs let it out in fourth and then from fourth give it some throttle put it down in the second gear so you’re skipping third there no issues doesn’t upset the car as long as you match the revs there. Do that one more time, second down to fourth let it drop for a good while this BMW has some rev hang so you have to wait quite a bit when you’re up shifting and then for that downshift give it throttle and down into second gear now if you don’t properly rev match what can happen is you’ll upset the balance of the car you can even lock up the rear wheels. So let’s say you’re driving on the track, you’re in a high-speed corner you’re in fifth gear and then you’re coming down to a low speed corner that maybe needs second gear if you go directly in that second gear and release the clutch without rev matching you may even lock up the wheels and I’ve even done that myself before, just kind of an amateur move you want to rev match that so that you don’t have set the balance of the car you don’t lock up those driven wheels whether that’s the rear or the front, and start to slide so you can easily upset the balance of the car if you’re driving really hard and you don’t rev match that downshift if you decide you know you’re going to skip gears and you’re also going to have additional clutch wear because what you’re doing is telling the engine to match that high speed that the clutch is spinning when you’re in a low gear, the clutch is of course geared to the transmission to the wheel so it’s spinning at a high speed the engines at a low speed you want to bring that engine speed up match the two and then you don’t have that imbalance and you won’t have that clutch where because the two speeds are matched when connect. Now our final scenario: Is it okay to skip a gear from a standstill? So if the car is stopped you’re not moving can you start and say second gear third gear, something like that now some automatics will actually choose to start in second gear in snow mode so in modes where it knows you have low traction it may start you off in second gear to reduce wheel spin. In a manual transmission honestly, it should be done with control in first gear it may be easier to prevent slip it’s not the end of the world though if you do want to start it in second gear it just means you’re going to have a bit more clutch wear because your engine in order to release the clutch fully to fully engage that clutch you have to have the car at a higher vehicle speed than if you were in first gear so in first gear for example starting off and I can fully release that looks to be about you know maybe 5 or 6 miles per hour now if we try that starting in second gear I can’t fully release the clutch until about maybe eight or nine miles per hour there and so you’re getting into a higher speed that means you’re going to have a bit more clutch wear in order to do it it’s okay if you’re in a super slippery scenario, and you can’t prevent yourself from spinning those tires, but really in a manual transmission you’re going to want to just be able to control it more in first gear, that’s a better bet, okay, if you have to do it, and you really shouldn’t be trying to start in a gear higher than second gear there’s really no reason to do that, and you’re just going to have excessive clutch wear. So thank you guys for watching if you have any questions, or comments feel free to leave them below, i’ll include some links in the video description. I’ve got a bunch of different videos about rev-matching heel-and-toe downshifting double clutching that kind of thing if you’re interested.

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