What Happens When You Skip Gear In a Manual Transmission?

What does happen when you skip gear in a manual transmission? Is it alright or causes any harm to the engine? Well, it’s a common practice for people who drive manual vehicles on a daily basis. They skip from second to fourth or fourth to sixth instead of sliding through all the gears. Is it a safe practice? Let’s find out.

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Skip Gear in a Manual Transmission: When It Is Safe

Most of the manual cars these days have five- or six-speed gears. It’s not a problem at all if you start out in the second gear and then directly switch into the fourth gear. You can even go from the fourth to the sixth if you are already driving at a highway speed. In a word, you can skip a gear if the driving condition demands it.

manual transmission
Stay within the rev limit to keep the transmission safe. (photo source: Ford)

It’s all about adjusting to the rev when you skip gear in a manual transmission. If you make the shift from second to fourth, the rev will drop from a high from the low level. In that case, you should wait a bit before letting the clutch out, giving the transmission enough time to adjust to the rev change. On the other hand, you should push the clutch first when moving the gear from fourth to second so that the clutch speed matches to the engine speed.

Skip Gear in a Manual Transmission: When It Is Unsafe

Older vehicles with a limited gear selection are not suitable for this stunt. For example, a three-speed transmission will respond badly if you skip the gear from first to third or vice versa.

In addition, it could be harmful to the engine if you can’t keep up with the changing of the rev level. For example, if you change the gear drastically from fifth to the first while at speed can create an over-rev condition, causing the vales to meet the pistons. It will affect the engine very badly and result in an expensive repair job. The damage won’t be severe in case of a new clutch except for eating the remaining clutch lining.

skip gear in a manual transmission
Don’t skip the gear drastically. (photo source: Pixabay)

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Can I Skip Gear in a Standstill Car?

Yes, you can. It’s possible to skip the first gear when you are moving a car from the halted position. However, you have to struggle slightly more in that case to match engine and the clutch. You can completely release the clutch at the first gear but will have to wait a bit when shifting to the second gear. So, skipping the gear when you are just switching the engine on will not bring any severe side effect. However, it’s not the best thing to practice either because the clutch will wear out faster.

Skipping Gears in a manual transmission, what you need to know!


You might have figured out that it’s safe to skip gear in a manual transmission if you can stay within the rev limit. Give the engine time to match the gear speed and save both the components in the process.