what is the m on my gear shift


What is the M on my Gear Shift?

Most cars today are fitted with manual transmission as well as semi-automatic and automatic transmissions. All three of these types of gear shifts have an M (in some cases it is an S or D) that stands for a “manual” or “manual mode”.

What is Manual Mode?

Manual mode allows motorists to switch between gears without the aid of an automatic transmission. This is essential for drivers who want to maintain better control over the speed and performance of their vehicle. When the M is selected, the car will begin to shift gears automatically, as directed by the driver.

Benefits of Manual Mode

Manual mode offers the following benefits:

  • Improved Fuel Economy: Using manual mode can improve the fuel economy of your car by adjusting the engine RPMs as the driver shifts gears.
  • Better Control: Manual mode offers the driver more control over the acceleration and overall driving performance.
  • Quicker Response: Manual mode is usually quicker to respond than an automatic system, and does not require as much time to shift gears.
  • More Fun: Some people find manual mode more enjoyable as it gives them a greater sense of control and involvement in their driving experience.

Disadvantages of Manual Mode

Manual mode has some drawbacks as well.

  • More Difficult: Manual mode requires more skill and effort to operate as the driver has to manually shift between gears.
  • Less Convenient: Manual mode is not as practical or convenient as an automatic system as it requires more effort and time to change gears.
  • Increased Risk for Errors: Manual mode can increase the risk of operating errors as the driver may misjudge when to shift gears.


The M on the gear shift of a car is an indication that the vehicle is equipped with a manual transmission system. Manual mode offers the driver improved control and fuel economy over an automatic system, but it requires more skill to operate and increases the risk of errors.