Correct way to change gears on manual car

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DavidAgar 17 Mar 2009
My partner believes that when changing gear the clutch pedal should be depressed to the floor. I understand that to do so increases wear and that it is better to depress the pedal only as far as is needed to change gear. Which way is correct?


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BrendaBell 16 Oct 2019

Hard to get car in reverse in the morning


When I start my car in the morning, it is hard to get reverse - don't remember it happened when first got car. Is it something I got in the habit of?

[Migrated from previous topic 10790 dated 21 Nov 2009]

gices 16 Oct 2019


The correct way to change gears on a manual car is to depress the clutch fully (that is until the clutch goes right down on the floor) and then putting the gear that you want. In some cars, you need to press the gear down to get it in reverse, otherwise it won't reverse. For standard cars, it's just a matter of selecting the reverse gear. Check your car manual to be sure of how to apply the reverse gear properly. If you're doing the right thing, then maybe you should contact your local mechanic to see if there's anything wrong with your geabox, it might be jammed.

[Migrated from previous post 707 dated 23 Dec 2009]

gices 18 Mar 2009

Your partner is right - you should depress the clutch fully when you are changing gears, that is, make the clutch pedal go right down to the floor. Innappropriate use of the clutch is what makes it wear fast and have a shorter lifetime. For example, if you stop at traffic lights and get into the 1st gear while keeping your clutch down for a long time, then this could cause it to wear quickly. What you should really do is put it into neutral when you know you are going to be at the traffic signals for a while rather than keeping your gears engaged.

Some people also tend to leave their foot on the clutch after moving off and driving. This is called coasting and is dangerous as you have less control of the car. Always use the clutch for the shortest period of time needed.