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How to change gear – Part 4

By September 2, 2016January 1st, 2017ADI's, Advanced, Learner Drivers

Changing up a gear.

Also common – the jerky lurching up change, especially when in the lower gears, moving off first to second, second to third. Often less noticeable in diesels.

Reg Local said it best here “A lot of drivers will press the clutch and completely release the accelerator pedal whilst they change gear. They will then release the clutch prior to re-applying the accelerator. This technique will usually result in the car jerking forward when the clutch is released because the engine speed doesn’t match the road speed for that gear. This jerk is more pronounced in lower gears than it is in higher gears.

I’m not going to cover all the steps given in Driving the Essential Skills, as the main points were covered in part 3 of this series however it starts

“Place your left hand on the gear lever”

“Press the clutch pedal right down at the same time as you ease off the accelerator pedal, Don’t take your foot off the accelerator

Again the part in bold is key to a smooth change and the official advice given by the DVSA , so why are so many learners taught to lift completely off the accelerator when changing up?

So how to do it correctly?

1. At the peak of the acceleration, ease off the accelerator fractionally just enough to maintain the speed – but without slowing the vehicle down .

2. Depress the clutch and select the next gear, remembering to pause in neutral.

3. Now either accelerate to a higher speed and gear or maintain your current speed.


So what is the overall benefit of all this?

Acceleration sense and therefore increased fuel economy.

If you not changing into the appropriate power band then the vehicle is less responsive to the accelerator meaning you going to have to break more or accelerate harder wasting fuel.

Vehicle Servicing costs – Less wear and tear on the components of the vehicle such as tyres, brakes, engine and clutch

Safety – Keeps the vehicle stable without rocking backwards and forwards all the time due to weight transference.


Bonus Part 5 – Seqential Gear Changing