How bad is it to accidently shift from 4th to 3rd?

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steve28h
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Re: How bad is it to accidently shift from 4th to 3rd?

Postby steve28h » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:13 pm

ClutchDisc wrote:Yea going into 2nd while getting on the freeway was enough to make me very careful to find the right gear after that... I'm sure we all did something like that when we were first learning.

Good for you for driving the stick and sticking with it! What kind of car is it?


Its a 95 civic. Got it as my first car so i can get to school.

tankinbeans wrote:Welcome to the board!

As long as the car isn't in any more pieces than it was when you set off, I don't think you have anything to worry about. 5k RPM is well within the operating range for most vehicles and if you were only there for a few seconds it's not really going to kill anything. I've done it and have overpowered my rev-limiter before going up to about 7250. All I did was get out of that gear and move on.

I don't think there's a magic amount of time for operating in the red-zone, which I'm sure you didn't if you said 5k, but I'd guess a few seconds here and there isn't the end of the world. Going for miles on the other hand...


Yea i most definitely didn't redline because my car doesn't reach redline until like 7200 rpms and as soon as it shot up to 5k i immediately shifted back into 4th and proceeded to go into 5th.

Thanks to everyone for helping me with information on this topic and welcoming me to the boards.

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Re: How bad is it to accidently shift from 4th to 3rd?

Postby steve28h » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:19 pm

theholycow wrote:To avoid mis-shifting search this site for threads about grip or hand position. If you change your grip depending on which gear you want, you can be almost assured that you won't get the wrong gear.


I will definitely search this site for information about grip/hand position as well as other things that i need to practice right now such as downshifting. Thanks.

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Re: How bad is it to accidently shift from 4th to 3rd?

Postby ClutchDisc » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:22 pm

steve28h wrote:Thanks to everyone for helping me with information on this topic and welcoming me to the boards.

No problem! I hope you enjoy it here. I look forward to more of your posts. The car sounds really nice. Any pics?

Yea i most definitely didn't redline because my car doesn't reach redline until like 7200 rpms and as soon as it shot up to 5k i immediately shifted back into 4th and proceeded to go into 5th.

Oh you're fine then for sure. Keep driving it and having fun with it, you'll get to where it will all be so easy that it will just be muscle memory.

I learned on, and have only driven a manual without a tach, so I have no idea where mine went! :)
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Re: How bad is it to accidently shift from 4th to 3rd?

Postby InlinePaul » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:27 pm

steve28h wrote:I will definitely search this site for information about grip/hand position as well as other things that i need to practice right now such as downshifting. Thanks.


This, my present shift knob, gives me the best grip I have ever had in a manual transmission vehicle I highly recommend it:
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theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...

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Re: How bad is it to accidently shift from 4th to 3rd?

Postby Squint » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:36 pm

InlinePaul wrote:This, my present shift knob, gives me the best grip I have ever had in a manual transmission vehicle I highly recommend it:
Image

GASP! Better than a three-on-the-tree???
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Re: How bad is it to accidently shift from 4th to 3rd?

Postby InlinePaul » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:34 pm

Squint wrote:GASP! Better than a three-on-the-tree???

The angular motion of a column shifter being totally different than that of a floor shifter makes comparison impossible. It has been 29 years since I drove a 3-on-the-tree, but I do recall that it was easier to shift and steer with the same hand and I could shift it with my left hand a lot easier. It is, to put it simply, a different world.
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Re: How bad is it to accidently shift from 4th to 3rd?

Postby theholycow » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:40 pm

:lol: InlinePaul, you probably already know this but I was talking about hand position, not knob material.

With a shifter like you'd find in a Ranger or S10 the different grip/hand position for each gear doesn't work, but in a small FWD car with a cable-operated shifter sticking out of a console between the seats it works perfectly. For example, for 3rd gear you use open palm, heel of hand on rear of shift knob, pushing forward without influencing sideways travel. 4th is open palm, fingers together in a flat plane, on the front of the knob. 5th and 6th, turn your fist upside-down like you're dumping out a bottle of soda. 1st and 2nd, pistol grip. Other people have better descriptions, hence why I suggest finding an appropriate thread...
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Re: How bad is it to accidently shift from 4th to 3rd?

Postby Squint » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:51 pm

theholycow wrote::lol: InlinePaul, you probably already know this but I was talking about hand position, not knob material.

With a shifter like you'd find in a Ranger or S10 the different grip/hand position for each gear doesn't work, but in a small FWD car with a cable-operated shifter sticking out of a console between the seats it works perfectly. For example, for 3rd gear you use open palm, heel of hand on rear of shift knob, pushing forward without influencing sideways travel. 4th is open palm, fingers together in a flat plane, on the front of the knob. 5th and 6th, turn your fist upside-down like you're dumping out a bottle of soda. 1st and 2nd, pistol grip. Other people have better descriptions, hence why I suggest finding an appropriate thread...

It's a good thing I didn't have anyone staring at me in my cubicle. They would have seem me making random hand motions to mimic your descriptions. :lol:
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Re: How bad is it to accidently shift from 4th to 3rd?

Postby tankinbeans » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:14 pm

the big milky one wrote: :lol: InlinePaul, you probably already know this but I was talking about hand position, not knob material.

With a shifter like you'd find in a Ranger or S10 the different grip/hand position for each gear doesn't work, but in a small FWD car with a cable-operated shifter sticking out of a console between the seats it works perfectly. For example, for 3rd gear you use open palm, heel of hand on rear of shift knob, pushing forward without influencing sideways travel. 4th is open palm, fingers together in a flat plane, on the front of the knob. 5th and 6th, turn your fist upside-down like you're dumping out a bottle of soda. 1st and 2nd, pistol grip. Other people have better descriptions, hence why I suggest finding an appropriate thread...



Like this one...?

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=13445&start=15
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Re: How bad is it to accidently shift from 4th to 3rd?

Postby Rope-Pusher » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:06 pm

InlinePaul wrote:
tankinbeans wrote:. It revved like a banshee and the red alternator warning light came on. All that happened was I threw the alternator belt off the pulley. :lol:

You RUNED it!
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Re: How bad is it to accidently shift from 4th to 3rd?

Postby Shadow » Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:40 am

ClutchDisc wrote:Wow, way to make the new guy think he just ruined his car! Sure, it's not good for the car, but it's not going to really cause any harm either.


LOL...What? Where did I say that the guy ruined his car? And more importantly, where did the guy even ask if he just ruined his car? Give the guy some credit, as I'm sure he's not an idiot. If he ruined his car, I'm quite sure he would know it.

Did you actually read his question? He asked how bad it was to do that and what could happen. And that's exactly the information I provided for him. It's potentially damaging to the clutch and to the engine. Does that mean you'll ruin the car if you do it? LOL, of course not. Does it mean you can damage the clutch and/or the engine if you do it? Absolutely. No doubt about it.

On a related note: Years ago, I was the passenger in a Mustang driven by a good friend of mine. We were merging onto the highway and my friend decided it would be fun to really take off like a rocket as he entered the highway. While at wide open throttle near redline, he went to shift from 3rd to 4th, but accidentally put the car into 2nd gear instead. What followed was not pretty. First, the engine overrevved big time (and those V8 Mustangs have a relatively low redline anyway) and then the car fishtailed and then went into a spin because of the drag on the rear tires at the speed we were traveling. We ended up stuck in a ditch. The car had minor damage to the body. The car also had a bit more severe damage to the engine. Several valves were bent due to the overrev. The clutch was glazed. He eventually fix it all, but the damage done to the car was costly and 100% caused by downshifting when he meant to upshift.

Moral of the story? Don't blow sunshine up someone's butt when they ask what's the worse thing that can happen if they downshift when they meant to upshift. Is my example severe? Sure, but it is a good example of just how bad things can go wrong in such a scenario.
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Re: How bad is it to accidently shift from 4th to 3rd?

Postby tankinbeans » Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:42 pm

Let's agree that it's not a habit to get into, unless you know exactly what RPM you'll land at and know it won't redline, and it's best avoided. Going 4 to 3 by mistake at 30mph is different than going 4 to 3 at 50mph. There's more room for error when you're going slowly. Let's also agree when it does happen and no ill-effects are immediately forthcoming that nothing bad likely happened.

There is a chance for damage if an error occurs, but there is also a chance that it didn't damage anything. It's best not to press your luck and get better at finding the right gear at the right time.
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Re: How bad is it to accidently shift from 4th to 3rd?

Postby Shadow » Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:49 pm

tankinbeans wrote:Let's agree that it's not a habit to get into, unless you know exactly what RPM you'll land at and know it won't redline, and it's best avoided. Going 4 to 3 by mistake at 30mph is different than going 4 to 3 at 50mph. There's more room for error when you're going slowly. Let's also agree when it does happen and no ill-effects are immediately forthcoming that nothing bad likely happened.

There is a chance for damage if an error occurs, but there is also a chance that it didn't damage anything. It's best not to press your luck and get better at finding the right gear at the right time.


Exactly. And even more importantly--I gave him a tip that anyone can use in a situation where you downshift when you meant to upshift. To repeat my tip and expand on it a bit--you should be able to feel the "extra" resistance in the clutch when you accidentally downshift and begin to re-engage the clutch. When you feel it, the best thing to do is to push the clutch pedal back down to the floor and ensure that you're in the intended gear before letting the clutch pedal up again. Of course this is more difficult if you're accelerating rapidly and consequently shifting quickly. But it should still be noticeable and should still give you opportunity to correct your misshift before you actually complete it.
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Re: How bad is it to accidently shift from 4th to 3rd?

Postby Bluestreak » Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:41 am

So I recently bought a 2012 wrx hatchback and I'm a young man and understand that I shouldn't race it around but my buddy raced me on the freeway and I accidently downshifted from 3rd to 2nd and it revved really high in the redzone it starts redzoning at 6500 and redlined at 8000 and I probably hit 7200ish and its got 70000 miles on it with no problems but I'm really not trying to mess up the car I just bought. I'm pretty comfortable driving a manual just don't have a ton of time on one but I'm just curious if it's too horrible that it happened, it's happened twice since I've got it for about 3 days due to inexperience and know now to be more careful just curious what your guys opinion is thanks!

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Re: How bad is it to accidently shift from 4th to 3rd?

Postby Rope-Pusher » Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:52 am

Image

It didn't catastrophically disintegrate as the mis-shift was occuring? Then don't lose any sleep over it.

That wasn't enough rpm to damage the flywheel, transmission or the clutch, which should be designed to somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.5 x the engine redline speed. Engine valve-train or connecting rods are typically the weakest links in the chain.
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