How to change down gears in car

Changing down gears driving in a manual car is harder than you might think.

Let’s have a look at some of the main reasons people struggle with changing down gears and you’ll soon understand where you have been going wrong.

Why you find changing down gears in a manual car so hard

I know from having taught over 1,000 people to drive that the most reason people have trouble changing down the gears is that they try and change the gear before slowing down.

You need to slow the car down first and then change the gear, not the other way around.

Think of it like when you change up a gear. Would you move off in first gear and then select 4th next because you want to drive at 40mph?

No, so stop choosing second when you’re still going at a speed for 3rd!

It’s different in every cat but in mine if you get the speedo to read 10mph then you can lift the clutch as quickly as you want and you won’t jump at all.

How to change down gears at higher speeds

You can change down gears at a higher speed without jumping.

Just do what you normally do when you move off. Hold your foot steady when the clutch pedal reaches the biting point and that will stop the jump.

You may find that you need to hold your foot still for a little longer than when moving off. In my car you need to hold still for around 5 seconds depending on the speed and the gear.

This isn’t as good a method as just slowing down first but at times it can help.

Check out my YouTube channel for more videos or go back to the index on how to drive a car for more help.