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|How To Downshift a Manual Transmission
in a Stick Shift Car
Shift up at around 3000 rpm.
Shift down at around 2000 rpm.
Assuming you are driving a car with a synchromesh transmission,
and not a big-rig truck, then the downshift sequence goes like this:
- Up off the gas
- Clutch held down to the floor
- Shift lever (stick) to the next lower gear
- Ease off the clutch while feeding gas at the engagement point.
PS: Most modern cars have synchromesh transmissions.
PS: If you need to drive a big-rig; "GO TO A DRIVING SCHOOL."
Sooner or later you will have to turn a corner.
Don't panic. Don't try to downshift while you are in the turn.
You want to downshift immediately before the turn.
If you come into the turn unexpectedly and too fast, it is perfectly
alright to apply the brake with the right foot (while downshifting with
the left foot working the clutch). It's OK to brake while downshifting
if you need to slow the car.
Should I shift down into 1st gear when bringing the car to a stop?
Answer: "Never,Never,Never." Never shift down into 1st gear.
You might break the teeth off the gear.
Must I downshift when slowing the car to a stop?
Answer: You can, but you don't have to! When I'm doing 35mph
and I see a red light (a long city block ahead), and
I want to save tons of gas, I just clutch and throw
neutral. Then I release the clutch, take my foot
off the gas and coast to the light. If the light
turns green before I get there, I just clutch and
throw 2nd or 3ed gear, feed gas, and take off.
(saves gas, brakes and the clutch)
(Road Conditions Permitting)
Downshifting causes the "RPM" of your engine to increase very
suddenly. If you are already reving your engine at high rpm,
the sudden jump in "revolutions per minute" puts a significant strain
on your engine and your transmission.
Whenever possible, try to downshift at low revs; around 2000 rpm.
Downshifting Rule of Thumb:
Be Kind to Your Engine
Disclaimer: This website is intended for mature adults, over the age of 18, who have passed
their state driving test, and who possess a valid driver’s license in the state in which they
reside. And, who are currently driving an automatic automobile successfully in traffic. If you do
not meet these requirements this website is not for you, please disregard anything you see on
this website. Automobiles are inherently dangerous, and have been known to kill and maim.
You are responsible for the successful and safe conclusion of this endeavor and any actions you
might take as a result there of. If something sounds unreasonable to you, don't do it!
Brakes are designed to slow the car
down and to stop the car.
Downshifting functions to put the car
in the correct gear at the proper time;
and to provide additional stopping
power/acceleration when needed.
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