Can You Skip Gears In a Manual?
Driving a manual transmission vehicle can be a rewarding experience. It also presents unique challenges, one of which is deciding when and how to properly shift gears. But can you skip gears when shifting? Some driving sources say yes, others say no. Let’s look at all the considerations to help you answer this question.
What Does Skipping Gears Mean?
When it comes to driving a manual, many learn the traditional method of shifting where each gear is selected one after another in sequence. To “skip gears” means to shift from a lower gear directly to a higher one, such as going from second to fourth gear, as an example. Moving from one gear to another can also be referred to as “jumping” gears.
When deciding if it is OK to jump gears, there are several important considerations to keep in mind.
- Vehicle Type: Not every manual vehicle will allow you to jump gears. If you own a newer manual transmission, the manufacturer may have designed it with features that do not allow it to skip gears. However, if you have an older manual vehicle, feel free to check your owner’s manual to see if skipping gears is allowed.
- Vehicle RPMs: You should never skip gears when the engine RPMs are too high. The higher the RPMs, the faster the car is moving and the harder you have to place the clutch pedal. To reduce strain on the transmission, only skip gears at lower RPMs.
- Condition of the Vehicle: Skipping gears should only be done if your vehicle is in good condition. Any existing transmission issues could be further compounded by skipping gears. Obviously, regular maintenance and repairs should be kept up to ensure the best ongoing performance of your vehicle and transmission.
If your vehicle (especially an older model) allows it, and you are sitting at low RPMs, then skipping gears can be an acceptable method of shifting. It can get you up to speed quickly and save you some time. But if you are driving a newer manual transmission, it is safest to assume you will be unable to skip gears and the traditional shifting technique should be followed.