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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.

  1. Lingaz Paul says

    Please upload more videos it’s easy to understand when watching a video thanks for the program

  2. brian saoba says

    This is very helpful, I like it so much .Thanks

  3. Tembo M says

    Article has been quite helpful. I really get sick when that happens.

  4. Bafana Dube says

    Very useful information this goes a long way to keep us informed.

  5. Josphat Muraya says

    I have learn alot from you guys..
    Kudos…keep on with your excellent info.

  6. Paul Ndau Lupiya says

    I looked forward to seeing a mention of the role of the Neutral gear in managing the rev tempo as the lazy driver jumps over gears. Is it not recommended to glide via Neutral as one shifts, for instance, from gear 2 to 4 or vice versa in cases of changing down?

  7. Mwendoi mwendoi says

    Good information. I have learnt


    Thanks for the information.

  9. ibrahim says

    When should you engage an overdrive button on an Automatic car. And on a normal speed like between 0-50mph what should be the indication on the dash board, OVERDRIVE OFF or otherwise

  10. ebream says

    i started learning to drive with an automatic car, im failing to cope driving a manual car, but suppose with more practice wiil be easier for me.

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