Shifting Without Clutch – How Does It Work In A Manual Car?

Do you drive a stick shift? Even if you don’t, you must know what a vital role the clutch plays in the operation of a manual transmission. Its function is to help with changing the gears by connecting and disconnecting the transmission from the engine. Have you ever thought of shifting without clutch? Is clutchless shifting even a feasible idea?

Can You Do Manual Transmission Shifting Without Clutch?

The clutch can fail sometimes when you are driving although it is a rare occurrence. In that case, pressing the clutch pedal won’t engage it. Nonetheless, you can still do the shifting without using the clutch but not in the traditional way.

It is also possible to continue driving as long as you don’t stop the car. However, shifting without clutch is a risky business unless you are highly skilled. You should do it in emergencies only or for a brief time.

shift gear without clutch
You can upshift and downshift without the clutch. (Photo Source: greatrace)

How To Shift Without Clutch?

You can upshift and downshift in the event of a clutch failure.

To upshift, you have to accelerate the car to the point of the next gear change. Release the gas pedal and pull the shifter out of gear at the same time. Waiting too long for shifting may require you to rev the engine again. Keep a moderate pressure on the shifter while the RMP is dropping. The shifter will change the gear when the RPM matches the speed of the transmission. Once it is done, speed up by pressing the accelerator.

To downshift, take your foot pressure off of the accelerator in a slow manner so that the vehicle’s speed drop at a slow rate. Move the shifter out of gear when the RPM drops to 1,200-1,500. You may need to press the gas pedal for a second to do this.

Now, you need to match the RPM to what it would be at the lower gear in the same speed. Use moderate pressure to push the shifter against the next lowest gear. Let the RPM drop so that the speed of the transmission and engine matches in your desired gear. When it happens, the shifter will slip into place. Then, you can maintain this sped by using the throttle or perform another downshifting.

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Is Shifting Without Clutch Bad For The Car?

Not quite if you are experienced and know how to do it properly. But, you will have to learn it first and the learning process is likely to cause slight damage to the transmission. When you are learning to shift without clutch, you will grind the gears a couple of times. The clutch eases the transmission between gears. When you can’t use it, both upshifting and downshifting are not going to be a smooth action.

shifting without clutch
Clutchless shifting can damage the transmission. (Photo Source: auto123)

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A transmission can have two types of gears. Helical gears are the most common while racing and other performance-driven cars have spur gears. Many people think that spur gears are not suitable for shifting without clutch but it’s just a myth. Doing clutchless shifting in a transmission with these gears is known as bang shifting.

You can drive a manual car without the clutch only when it is already in motion. It won’t work once you stop the engine.