Lesson 10, Topic 1
In Progress

Changing Gear

Changing gear:

When changing gear, you will need to co-ordinate your hands and feet. You must depress the clutch fully and move the gear lever gently but positively from one gear to another in an unhurried manner.

Changing up the gears:

1. Place left hand on the gear lever.

2. At the same time press ease off the gas and depress the clutch to the floor.

3. Select required gear.

4. Come off the clutch smoothly whilst at the same time pressing back down on the gas smoothly as required.

5. Return left hand back to the steering wheel.

Changing down the gears:

Speed before gears is the rule that should be followed when changing down the gears. In other words, you should change your speed with the brake or by simply coming off the gas and then match the appropriate gear to it. This means having used the brake to slow the car from 40mph to 15mph, you change the gear from fourth to second missing third gear altogether. This is known as block gear changing.

Changing down when braking:

1. Place left hand on the gear lever.

2. At the same time press the clutch pedal fully down, stay on the brake.

3. Select required gear.

4. Come off the clutch smoothly whilst at the same time continuing to brake or go back on the gas smoothly if required.

5. Return left hand back to the steering wheel.

Knowing When to Change Gear:

Knowing when to change gear is very important and will become easier with experience. You will need to listen to the engine. When the engine is running at too high revs and making a high-pitched noise then it is working too hard to maintain your current speed and you will require a higher gear.

The gear you require is linked to the speed you are going. Each gear has a range of speed and each gear range overlap into another. As a general rule the ranges of speed for each gear are as follows.

1st gear 0 > 10 mph

2nd gear 5 > 5 mph

3rd gear 15 > 50mph

4th gear 35 > 70mph

5th gear 50 > 70mph

6th gear 50 > 70mph

Reverse 0 > 5mph

Driving in too low a gear will increase engine wear and waste fuel.

Driving in too high a gear will result in loss of power and cause the car to judder.

Anticipating When to Change Gear:

You can anticipate that certain situations and junctions will require certain gears to give you the best control. A change of gear may be required well before:

1. Junctions

2. Hills/gradients

3. Parked cars

4. Developing hazards

5. Before overtaking

Remember that you are matching the gears to the speed of the car. Be careful to change your speed first before changing gear.

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