How to change gears in a manual car

How to change up gears in a manual car with free videos to help you.

Changing up gears in a car isn’t too difficult and most times you’ll pick this up quite easily. There can be issues though, especially when changing from second to third gear.

Every car is different and how easy it is to change gear can be affected by the cars age, how it’s been driven and it’s design.

Watch the video below for a detailed run through of how to change up the gears in a car when driving.

Video showing how to change up gears in a manual car

How to change up gears in a manual car

To change up gears you need to use each of your feet at a different time.

This can be tricky for learners because up until this point you have been practising using both of your feet together to move off.

Here are some step you must follow to change up gears.

Make sure your revs are high enough

A very common fault that new drivers make is to try and change gears too soon.

If you have ever wanted to change gears because of the noise the engine is making then you’re not alone!

It’s good to wait until you hear the engine working but don’t be in a rush to change gear as soon as it starts getting loud. At first it’s much better to wait and change at higher revs: when the engine is loud and working hard.

This is because it takes new drivers a while to physically make the change. You’re not used to the movement so it can take a while to build up your dexterity and coordination.

It’s very common for learner drivers to go for the handbrake when first attempting gear changes!

Lift off the gas first

You must make sure you right foot is off the gas pedal before you change gear.

Changing gear while revving the gas will often result in a bang because you’re putting too much power through the transmission.

Don’t worry about the technical side of it: just don’t have your gas pressed for a smoother gear change.

Very often learners will keep their foot on the gas pedal without knowing it.

Even if you think your foot is off the gas pedal, be sure to lift it well away because even the lightest touch on the pedal will still make the car bang during a gear change.

Press the clutch fully down

You must push the clutch pedal all the way to the floor when changing gear.

If you don’t press the clutch all the way down then you can damage the gears by grinding them together.

When your clutch is down the gears come well away from each other allowing them to slot into place.

Don’t grind your gears or it will result in a very expensive repair often easily costing over £1000.

Select the gear

Choosing the right gear isn’t always as easy as you may think. It can take time and practise to know which gear to go into and how to find it.

With practise and time you’ll soon get the hang of it.

The main thing to remember is that if what you’re doing isn’t working then try something else. That’s a great tip for your whole life!

Move your hand in a different way or grip the stick in a different way and you’ll soon get the hand of it.

Lift the clutch slowly

All you need to do now is to slowly lift the clutch.

If you’re in gear 1 or 2 you’ll need to do it in the same way as when you move off, almost. You can do it slightly quicker but gears 1 and 2 are made differently in most cars to the other gears.

In gear 3 and above you can often lift the clutch as quickly as you want. It all depends on your vehicle.

Now you know how to change up gears in a manual car

See my other pages on how to drive a car for more help or visit the 1stDrive YouTube channel for more driving lesson videos.