When to change gear in a manual/stick shift car. Changing gears tips. Learning to drive.

When to change gear in a manual/stick shift car. Changing gears tips. Learning to drive.

Hello I’m Chris. On one of our previous videos,
we had a look at how to position your hand correctly on the gear stick using the palming
method. In this video I will show what to do with your feet and when to change gears
in a manual car. But why do we need to change gears at all? Well, as you speed up, you’ll
have to change up gears to match your speed. Although 1st gear is powerful, it’s also the
slowest. 1st gear is used to get you going, slow crawling situations and steep hills.
When to change gears can vary from car to car, whether you’re on a flat road, uphill
or downhill and how much weight is in your car. Let’s start on a flat road. In this car
1st gear will take you up to about 10mph before the engine starts to get a bit too loud and
you’d have to change up to 2nd. The engine sound is important. When it’s sounding like
it’s starting to work too hard, or it’s starting to get noisy then change up gears. 2nd gear
will take you up to about 20mph before the engine starts to get noisy again and then
change up to 3rd. At 30mph we can then change up to 4th gear. 4th gear is not powerful,
but it can go a lot faster than 1st. Also, the higher the gear that you’re in, the better
for fuel economy. But how do you actually change up gears? What do you do with your
feet? You’d first have to build up speed and momentum with the gas pedal, hear the engine
sound get louder, which then tells us to change up. You’d have to come off gas, clutch down,
change up to 2nd, clutch up gently and then back on the gas. Make sure that you don’t
look at the gears when you’re driving as that could be dangerous. Also, don’t force the
gear. If you feel any resistance then you’re probably trying to change to the wrong gear.
Once you’ve changed gears then keep both hands back on the steering wheel. Let’s have a look
at when to change down to a lower gear. You’ll have to change down gears if you’ve slowed
down and there’s not enough power to drive at that slower speed. I’m about to turn left.
I’m slowing down to about 15mph and now 2nd gear will be best at this speed. I’d be driving
too fast if I was to turn in 3rd. Let’s see what happens if you do turn left in 3rd gear.
The engine doesn’t like it, it shakes the car, it feels uncomfortable, feels out of
control. 2nd at that speed works perfectly. Be prepared to change down to 1st gear for
a left turn if the road you’re turning in to is very narrow or if goes up a steep hill.
Always make sure that you’ve slowed down before changing down gears. I can see a mini-roundabout
coming up, so I will slow down and then change down to an appropriate gear which would be
2nd for this speed. I’m making sure that I come off the clutch before the roundabout
so that I don’t coast. Coasting is driving with the clutch still down which could make
you free wheel and lose a bit of control. What happens if I don’t slow down before changing
down? Then you’ll get a very jerky motion in the car like this… What happens if you
pull away in any other gear but 1st? Unless you’re going downhill there’s a good chance
that you’re going to stall the engine. Block gear changing is when you skip gears. For
example, you can change from 3rd gear to 1st. As long as you’ve slowed down to an almost
stop. There’s no need to change down through the gears when stopping. Block gear changing
is better for your gear box and your clutch and it’s less work. Block gear changing down
is a lot more common than block gear changing up. I’m in 4th gear and I’m going to be stopping
on the left. I won’t have to change down through the gears. Because I’m stopping I can leave
it in 4th gear and get the clutch down just before it shakes and judders. Low gears are
normally best if you’re going uphill. Build up speed and momentum before changing up gears
on an uphill. If not then the car will struggle. If you are going uphill and it starts to struggle
then change back down gears. Let’s see what happens if you don’t build up enough speed
when going uphill. So, I’m changing up gears too early here and the car is starting to
struggle a little bit. It’s a bit sluggish. Now I will change up to 3rd gear. Now the
car is very unhappy. Really struggling, so I’m going to change back down to 2nd. Still
not enough power, so I’ll go back to 1st, sounds a lot better, build up a bit of speed
and then change back up gears. I could use 5th gear in this car at 40mph plus. I’m turning
onto a dual carriageway which has a 50mph speed limit. I’m on the slip road which is
normally used for acceleration and to match the speed of the drivers on the dual carriageway.
But the driver in front is preventing me from doing this. I’m increasing speed slowly, I’m
in 3rd gear at the moment. Get up to 4th. Checking my mirrors and blind spot, signalling
right to join the dual carriageway. Still slowly increasing speed, the driver in front
is still accelerating slowly, get more speed out of 4th, then get up to 5th and overtake
because it’s safe. Planning ahead I can see traffic building up. Slowing down, leaving
the gear as late as I can. Changing down to 3rd gear now as that matches the speed that
I’m going at. So I’ve gone from 5th to 3rd. Increasing speed, watching the traffic lights
as they could change at any moment. Now I’m up to 4th gear. The traffic is starting to
clear now, building up speed, watching this white car cutting in front. Now I’m up to
5th gear. Speed limit on this dual carriageway is 50mph. I’m going to leave the dual carriageway
now. Still in 5th gear. I’m going to avoid changing down through the gears. Leaving the
gear change as late as possible. Still in 5th gear. Slowing down, clutch is down, straight
to 1st gear as I’m stopping. Well that’s the end of the video. Really appreciate you watching.
If this video has been useful then please subscribe to our channel for our latest videos
and hopefully see you soon. Thanks again!

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. This video was filmed in the UK. Rules and laws may vary in your country.

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  2. Mr Rogers of driving. Much better than ya dad yelling at you.
    I don't speak from experience, since… Well…
    I enjoyed this video

  3. Thank you so much my uncle taught me how to drive stick and this was the best reminder video no videos I’ve seen go into the importants of what speed you need and hill and down hill lessons

  4. did you shift to 1 when the car was still moving, doesnt that strain the gear wouldnt just keeping it in 2 with cluth down been more easy and you can pull away faster at the junction ?

  5. all those complaining about the road he is driving looking dangerous…i am here thinking wow those roads look go i could drive without headache…where i am from every road is a maze..there is danger everywhere..no footpath, jaywalkers, wrong side drivers,pot holes, cramped roads, overtaking without warning etc etc…every drive feels like going to a mission.

  6. The only problem I have is changing into the wrong gear 😂
    Example, I'd like to change to third but I am in first

  7. So 1st gear is to get to 10mph, 2nd gear to get up to 20mph, 3rd gear to get up to 30mph, 4th gear to get up to 40mph.
    Pretty simple this car is.

  8. I keep my engine at 2000 rpm. Never get above 3rd in town 30 mph zones. Speedo needle hovers between 30 mph and 35 mph i.e. 33 mph. I block change 4th gear to 2nd only. Motorway speeds rarely exceed 55 mph in 5th gear. When I drive I try to make it feel like the car is gliding effortlessly. Premium unleaded is always used and tyre pressures checked. This sound boring, but it takes a lot of effort to keep this up. Smooth calm defensive driving, anticipation, and giving way keeps my blood pressure where it should be and my passengers comfortable. If I'm cut up it's c'est le vie! Go and have an accident with somebody else!

  9. i remembered my friend's story about his driving experiencce. him and his father went to a place on another town and he's the one driving, he doesn't know when to change gears that time so he didn't leave 3rd gear. few hours later and they finally reached their destination. 25km on 3rd gear, he said the engine is very hot that they needed to rest quite a while just to cool the engine down

  10. I teach my students to shift when the shift light comes on. If you are in a big hurry, you can wind it out a bit more. I don't think I have ever revved my 6 speed car past 4,000 RPM. Why waste gas and reck your vehicle?

  11. It's all about being patient and staying calm. And once you master it, it's the most satisfying thing when driving!

  12. Thank you so much you !! 😀
    I am working on my driving licences this days, practicing driving every day, and you answered a lot of my questions that i coudn't try in the test car that i use XD
    + your voice is really calm and cool 😀
    that was very helpful.

  13. In my car it doesn't feel right unless I switch at 3k to 3.5k rpm am I doing it wrong or what? Or does it just vary by car. Even if I shift around that it shifts into 2k rpm and it doesn't feel right when it's like that.

  14. Wow automatic transmissions have definitely helped with the ease of driving, but at least I know how and why you change gears on a manual transmissions. Thanks

  15. i often find the best way to change gears is when you get to the redline. it gives a smooth change an you know the engine is ready for a new gear. town driving at 30/40 mph 2nd gear is suitable at 5-6000 revs because i know if i see a pedestrian i can speed up quickly so they cant walk infront of me. its also good because of the power you get at high revs with your turbo in action meaning you can get to speed on the motorways an do your top speed as fast as possible, its good to drive as fast as possible because then youre not holding traffic up which is a fault on your driving test.

  16. I always change when I reach 6000 RPM, it means and then I can see Engine cannot go farther so it means it is time to change gear

  17. Why do UK roads look complicated? Im not like talking bad about it. It just looked like some parts that an incoming car is in the center haha.

  18. Wooo this guy needs to narrate more things. And get paid big money to do it.
    Also digging that you used Miles Per Hour even though your obviously not in the US here.

  19. So to clarify. Make sure ur in 1st from 0-10, 2nd from 10-20, 3rd from 20-30, 4th from 30-40 and 5th for anything over.
    Foot off the gas and on the clutch when changing, then back onto the gas. And don't look at the gear stick.

  20. Thank you ❤I've learnt more in a few videos from World Driving UK than I ever have from the countless driving lessons I've taken 😪

  21. You drive weird holding the steering wheel 😂😂 Use your right hand in the wheel and leave your left on your transmission thingy. I FORGOT the name, wtf.

    Edit: Gear stick.

  22. Really good that ''Incorrect Gear'' use is shown…the horrid juddering that happens. 👍
    I remember asking my Instructor ''what IS that??''…I learned in a very hilly City. {do we ever really stop leaning, though??}

  23. Just finised my driving lesson. Im not actually worried about paying fees for driving test. Im worried about changing gears while keeping my steering straight. Hope I'll practice more on shifting gears while controlling the steering for my upcoming test.

  24. With changing gear down as ur speed comes down how long do I have to change it and can this be classed as a fail if I dont come down soon enough sometimes il come down a gear but I'm not slow enough for that gear and sometimes il be in fith and slow my speed down but then il change my gear like when iv slowed down too much 😓

  25. Want to learn standard. Nervous but your videos make it seem not so scary. I just feel like I won't be very good with all the hand-eye coordination hah

  26. Why am I watching it 😂😂😂 passed way over a year ago 😂
    Only one thing was annoying in this video.. joining the dual! Teach learners to not be scared of acceleration goddamnit 😂
    They don't have to floor it to 6K RPM but at least make same progress in acceleration. See too many people joining motorways at 40MPH making 10 people change lanes, or eventually they will stop at end of slip road because they drive too slow, and then traffics happen!

  27. Roads so narrow and on top of that cars parked on the left with incoming traffic from the right. That's a nightmare for people beginning to learn driving.

  28. My driving instructor told me you can usually get away with setting off in 2nd gear as long as you don’t come to a complete stop, will I be ok doing this in my driving test?

  29. Thanks…at least am learning some tips… I've subscribed. Just a question: What do I do with the accelerator when changing gear?

  30. Started driving,now I understand a little bit why should I change gears..am watching for second time now..Thanks for ur help

  31. Nice video, but I disagree when it comes to downshifting. You are defeating the purpose of having a manual transmission if you downshift from 5th to 1st. Its the lazy mans way of doing things, and you’ll be doing brake jobs much more frequently. Use the transmission, that’s what its there for.

  32. In all my driving experience for over a year, changing down gears is the most challenging thing in my opinion. There is no rule for it, it's all about experience. Unless, you have a car with a gear indicator which actually tells you when to change the gear up or down.

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