Correct Gears To Use On Manual Cars

Posted on July 22nd, 2009

“What are the correct gears to use?” This question was posed to this blog recently. In trying to answer this request, I shall assume we are dealing with a 5 gears manual car.



Gear 1 and 2 are considered “low” gears. 3, 4 and 5 would then be classified as “high” gears.

The 1st & 2nd Gear

Gear 1 is called a momentum gear. Its function is to set or move the car into momentum.

Use gear 2 crossing “bonggol” or “humps” or in other words “speed breakers”. For negotiating “L” corners or “90 degree” turns, use the 2nd gear also.

When following behind cars in a “traffic jam” situation, obviously the 2nd gear is also utilized extensively.

The 3rd Gear

With gear 3, the car has now moved into quite a fast momentum. Gear 3 is ideal for taking “round corners” or “slight corners”. One important thing to be reminded of drivers is “Do not step on the clutch when negotiating such corner”. It is dangerous!

It might even get you into a “spin”, making you unable to control the vehicle. You might even land up in a ditch or “longkang” as they say in Bahasa Malaysia.

When overtaking another car, especially along the highway or “lebuhraya”, a driver needs to draw parallel to the car being overtaken, then quickly change to the 3rd gear, accelerate fast and finally in a burst of speed, draw pass the vehicle, eventually signaling left to gradually move left slowly into the inner lane.



When approaching a hill and then going downhill, the 3rd gear has also to be employed. The correct use of this gear will come gradually with practice. As the saying goes: “Practice makes perfect”.

The 3rd gear has also to be used when going up the upper lobby of “parking lots” at certain supermarkets.

The 4th & 5th Cruising Gear

The 4th gear is considered a “cruising” speed gear. With it, the car speeds along the highway effortlessly. Using this gear will save you quite a lot on fuel consumption.

Like the 4th gear, the 5th gear plays nearly the same role as the previous gear. Fuel consumption with this gear is even more dramatic, so say the motor experts. So engage usage of the 5th gear as often as possible. You won’t regret it.

With the completion of the 5th gears usage, the ideal way to use all the gears from gear 1 to 5 is thus near completion. With this detailed explanation on “correct gear usage” it is hoped Driving School Malaysia Blog readers will no longer deem it necessary to request the writer to further explanation on this subject.


8 Comments • Posted in Manual Car

Comments

  1. Fairul

    Thanks for guide. Help a lot for me to take car license..
    Thanks and regards.

  2. Rono Voon

    How to slow down the car when I`m on gear two?

    Is it press the clutch and brake together or press the brake better? I`m confused on this part.

    • Cikgu Yap

      Dear Rono,

      Ideally when in Gear 2, press down clutch until car doesn’t jerk / vibrate.

      Dab or press the brake when you need to control speed of the car.

  3. Mel

    Dear sir, if I’m not sure which gear to use, is it alright to depend solely on the tachometer?
    thanks

    • Cikgu Yap

      If you keep looking at the tachometer, it will distract your driving. Eventually, it becomes dangerous. Ask your driving instructor to provide you the correct manner of changing gears.

  4. Gastone Simubala

    when driving in gear 3 to 5, do press the brake or clutch first when stopping and is it okay to press brake then clutch and put the gear lever into Neutral as you are braking to stop?

    Please help

    • Cikgu Yap

      Both methods applicable. Ideally, step clutch first, followed by brakes.

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