Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationOther - Cars & Transportation · 4 weeks ago

Trouble shifting down gears?

I'm a relatively new driver (learnt in a manual, own a manual) and I'm having trouble shifting down from second to first gear. The car acts as though I'm breaking and then lurches forward a bit.

It seems to happen no matter how slowly I let the clutch up, and I've tried trying to match the revs accelerating a little as I let the clutch up and that doesnt help.

Can any experienced drivers give me some advice please? I'm afraid some tailgater will smash into me someday :(


But my car recommends I shift into first when I get to around 10mph?? And if I don't you can feel it chugging

Update 2:

The main time I need to go down into first is when I'm in a busy car park, which is often. My car recommends changing down when I get to about 10mph

17 Answers

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    I rarely if ever go back into 1st.  It is a "starting off gear from 0mph up to about 15mph.  If you are rolling along, 2nd gear will do you fine and at most if it gets slower you depress the clutch to slip it some, so the engine remains running.

    .  It is lurching because you got your foot on the gas pedal(or not on it).

    First gear is very sensitive to acceleration/de-acceleration...and you feel it as your head bounces back and forward.

    If you can't shift down(many of the older transmissions would not let you shift into 1st if you were rolling)...then you stop moving. Shift into 1st and start off again...and leave it in 1st.

    You will get the hang of it EVENTUALLY.

    If it chugs, it is because you are trying to accelerate, which you can NOT do, you basically idle around(unless the parking lot is hilly, then you are underpowered to go uphill at such a slow speed(2nd is happier 15-30mph range)

    When the car shudders and stalls, then you know you were going TOO SLOW IN THAT GEAR so the engine died.   Clutch it in and start the engine and shift into 1st and you are off again.

  • Neil
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    There are very few situations where you need to shift from second to first while moving. I can think of one junction where I might need to do so, depending on the car, where a very tight left-turn (more than 90°) leads to a steep incline. In most situations you don't need to engage 1st gear until you are stopped.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Your car may not have syncromesh on first gear. You should not need to downchange into 1st unless you are stopped

  • fuzzy
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    First gear is for starting off & is rarely needed once you're moving. In fact most older cars (pre 1960) didn't have synchro on first gear at all; a few didn't even have it on second ( 4 speed gearbox in some Rovers; in these second was your usual take off gear with first only used on steep hills.)

    If you feel you REALLY need to shift into first on the move find a slight downslope (with no traffic at all). Take off in first gear, at about 10 mph listen carefully to the engine note, depress the clutch & holding it in use the throttle to get engine note back to the same. Holding the throttle still ease the clutch out. If the car jumps or the note changes you've got it wrong. Keep practicing until you have this perfect THEN try slipping the gearbox out of gear & back in again. If you've got the revs right it will just slip in.

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  • David
    Lv 5
    4 weeks ago

    Really very little reason to do a down shift to first except at a stop.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Don't downshift to 1st gear until the vehicle is at a dead stop or under 5 mph. Down shifting to 1st gear going faster then that is a sure way to wear out the 1st gears syncronizer rings in the gear.

    Source(s): Mitsubishi Master Tech
    • Cap'n. America
      Lv 4
      4 weeks agoReport

      Aren't any synchros in most cars for 1st Or Reverse; as you shift when Stopped. The '54 Chevy had No synchros At All.

  • JetDoc
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Don't shift down to first gear unless you are at a complete stop!

  • Ron
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    First gear is for starting only. There's no reason ever to shift into first when slowing down

  • CB
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    There isn't really a good reason to downshift to first AND let the clutch out. By the time you are going slowly enough you are almost stopped anyway. Why put the strain on the drive line when brake pads are SOOO much less expensive to replace.

    Shift to first, keep clutch in and stop then you are ready to go when clear.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Just keep going and don’t stop if you hit a speed bump that wasn’t a speed bump.

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