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Do You Find It Hard To Down-Shift To 1st Gear? Here’s Why That Happens

Gear shifting is a means to speed up or slow down the car when in motion. In manual transmissions, you would have to depress the clutch pedal prior to gear shifting. While you may be all expert at gear shifting, have you ever found it hard to down-shift to 1st gear ? Are you all perplexed as to why does that happen? If yes, then read on, to get all the answers you have been looking for.

Why Is It Hard To Down-Shift To 1st Gear? The Technical Perspective

When you start off a car, it is always easy to indulge into the 1st gear. The scenario changes though when you need to downshift from a higher gear to the 1st one. Why is it so? Let’s have a look.

1. The Un-Synchronized First Gear

The manual transmissions have two versions to it. First is the synchronized and the other is the unsynchronized. You would be wondering what a “synchronizer” means? It signifies a mechanism that aids in balancing out the speed to the next gear that you are about to engage in. This mechanism ensures that the transition from one gear to the other is smooth and natural.

For your surprise, the first gear is not synchronised. As the 1st gear is generally in use only when you need to start off from a dead spot, it is unsynchronized. It is unlikely that you would prefer shifting to the first gear without coming to a halt. That is why the first gear is not designed to be synchronised. This summarises the reason why it is hard to down-shift to 1st gear.

Finding hard to down-shift to 1st gear
Technical perspective to why it is hard to down-shift to 1st gear

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2. The Double-Clutching Process

The process that is undertaken for downshifting from a heavier to the 1st gear is longer than usual. There is an intermediate stop that you would have to make before shifting to the 1st gear thus, the process called double-clutching. Such a shifting usually comes into play when driving up a hill, on curves, or on slippery roads. You require depressing the clutch pedal and need to shift into the neutral gear as a start-off.

Release the clutch pedal as soon as the neutral gear is reached upon. Depress the clutch pedal all over again, shift from neutral to the 1st gear and then yet again, release the clutch pedal. Voila! You would shift onto the 1st gear without having to make a stop. Read driving tips for more information on gears and gearshifts.

Why The Longer Way?

People love to move in speed! Why would anyone want to stay in the first gear when heavier ones promise the swiftness one desires? On the contrary, if one desires to downshift to 1st gear for one reason or the other, doing it the right way is necessary.

In case, you do not follow the mentioned procedure; you are likely to damage the transmissions of your vehicle. This happens when the engine’s speed would not match up to the 1st gear’s momentum.

What happens when hard to down-shift to 1st gear happens
Why it is so hard to down-shift to 1st gear

Watch the video below to know how to change gear smoothly (down) in a manual car:

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Wrapping Up

Gear changing is an art that one should excel at when smooth speed transitions are in question. One may find it hard to down-shift to 1st gear in manual transmissions, but we hope the information helped clear your doubts. The next time, you wish to maneuver through a path with the lighter gear, remember to do it smoothly. After all, practice makes a man perfect!

1 Comment
  1. […] my car is an automatic but most documented issues on the internet that I found pertained to manual transmission engines. Here’s a good article to read about that. It explains about synchronization and engine […]

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