How to change gears using the palming method




How to change gear in a manual/stick shift car using the palming method.

How you change gear in a manual car is important. Changing into the incorrect gear could result in you losing control of your car or stalling. It's very easy to slip into 4th instead of 2nd for example if your changing gear technique is not perfect. The palming method is the most reliable way of not making mistakes when changing gear.

There is not a strict way on how you change gear on your driving test as long as it goes into the correct gear at the right time consistantly.

 

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Video on changing gear using the palming method





Gear stick diagram in a manual car

 

Neutral

Familarise yourself with the diagram on top of the gear stick

You won't have the luxury of looking down at the gear when you're driving, so make sure that you memorise from the diagram on top of the gear stick where the gear are positioned. Once you've memorised the diagram, practice by looking out the front windscreen and try and change through the gears.

Reverse gear can be in a different place depending on the car that you're driving.

If the engine is on, make sure that you press down the clutch when changing gear. To save fuel, practice changing gear with the engine off.

Neutral

The gear lever is spring loaded and it will always spring back to the central neutral position just under 3rd gear and above 4th. Neutral is no gear. When in neutral, the gear can be freely moved left and right. You wouldn't be able to do this if you were in gear.

You should always start the car in neutral to make sure that the car won't jump forward.








Changing to 1st gear

 

Changing to 2nd gear

How to change to 1st gear

Use the palm of your hand so that it's facing away from you on the side of the gear stick and your thumb is pointing down. Your hand position will help push against the spring. Move it left and then forwards to 1st.

 

 

Changing up to 2nd

To change up from 1st to 2nd, keep your hand in the same position with your palm facing away from you and your thumb facing down. This will stop it springing into neutral. Hold the gear stick slightly to the left and move it downwards to 2nd.

If you don't hold the gear stick lightly to the left as you move it down then you could accidentally go into 4th gear.

 




How to change up to 3rd gear in a manual car

 

How to change to 4th gear from 3rd

How to change up to 3rd gear from 2nd

Changing to 3rd from 2nd is a two step process but it can be easy as long as you don't force it.

This time your thumb will be facing upwards and your palm will be facing towards you. This allows it to spring to the central neutral position. Push the gear forwards lightly, letting it spring to the central neutral position and then push forwards again to 3rd. You will feel that the gear stick actually wants to go into 3rd. Make sure that you grip the gear lever lightly and remember not to force it into 3rd.

 

Changing from 3rd gear to 4th

This ones a little easier.

Hand in the same position with your palm facing you and thumb pointing upwards. Move the gear lever straight downwards without moving it left or right.

How to change from 4th gear to 5th

How to change from 4th gear to 5th

Hand in the same position with you thumb pointing upwards and your palm facing you. Push lightly forwards to neutral then to the right and forwards to 5th.




 

How to change down gear

It is recommended that you 'block' gear down. Which means to skip gears and not change down through each gear (5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st). You can block gear change from 4th to 1st for example.

We will now explain how to change down gear. You might have to do this in a situation whereby you need to slow down for a bend or narrow gap and you're in too high of a gear. Always remember to change down to 1st gear when moving off (although you can move off in a higher gear if moving downhill).

Changing gear from 5th to 4th

Changing down from 5th to 4th

Thumb pointing downwards with your palm facing away from you. This will allow it to spring to the central neutral postion. Push downwards lightly, let it spring to neutral and then downwards again to 4th.

changing gears in a manual car from 4th to 3rd

Changing down from 4th to 3rd

Thumb pointing downwards, palm facing away from you. Push forwards in a straight line.

Changing down gears from 3rd to 2nd

Changing down from 3rd gear to 2nd

Thumb pointing down and your palm facing away from you. Push the gear lever downwards to neutral and then to the left and down.

If you don't hold the gear stick to the left then it might go into 4th gear by accident.

Changing to 2nd gear

Changing from 2nd gear to 1st

Thumb pointing down and palm facing away from you again. Hold the gear stick lightly to the left and then forwards to 1st.

If you don't hold it to the left then it might go into 3rd gear.

Reverse gear

The position of reverse gear can vary depending on the make of car. Sometimes you might have to lift up a collar or push down to get it into reverse. Reverse gear is represented by the letter 'R' on top of the gear stick.



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