How to Drive a Manual Transmission Vehicle Without Using the Clutch

How to Drive a Manual Transmission Vehicle Without Using the Clutch

Knowing how to change gears without a clutch can be very useful in case of sudden need

In most manual transmission vehicles it is possible to shift gears without using the clutch. You can do this by equating the engine revolutions with the rotational speed of the transmission. Note that you can only do this while the vehicle is moving, and that you will need to use the clutch to start from a stationary position.

Driving a car implies that in some circumstances, you know how to perform some practices that are not the norm, but that must be applied only where there is a real need. One such maneuver is to change gear without using the clutch . This is a device with which the revs of the engine are aligned with those of the gearbox; precisely for this reason there is a point where the gearbox and engine revolutions coincide and it is therefore possible to change the gear without lowering the foot on the clutch pedal. It is reiterated that it is not a practice to be followed habitually but only if the conditions are met.

To Climb of Marcia

  • When the car is in motion and it is time to change the current gear, take your foot off the accelerator. This will release the tension in the transmission. Immediately after that, pull the shift lever out of gear.
  • Push (or pull) the shift lever in the direction of the desired gear, applying light pressure ( note : the necessary pressure can vary. Too much pressure and the gear can enter too soon, scratching. Too light pressure and the gear will not engage altogether, scratching.)
  • When the engine revs have dropped to the same rotational speed as the transmission, the gearbox should shift into gear.
  • When the car has resumed driving, you can continue driving normally.

To Climb the Gear

  • When the car is in motion, and the current gear is too low to express power, take your foot off the accelerator and take the shift lever out of gear.
  • Press the throttle lightly once to raise the engine revs to approximately 2000-2500 (depends on the transmission).
  • As the engine revs drop, push (or pull) the shift lever in the direction of the desired gear, applying light pressure.

When the engine revolutions have reached the rotational speed of the transmission, the lever should shift into gear.

  • When the car has resumed driving, you can continue driving normally.

Failure to use the clutch can be justified for example when it is broken or burned. Using this practice especially with modern vehicles can ruin the delicate mechanisms of the synchronizers or the toothing of the gears in the older ones. Another thing that may seem trivial is that changing gear without a clutch can only be done from first gear up: it is not conceivable to imagine starting the vehicle in first gear without using the clutch. There would be a risk of a rocket start or that the car would immediately shut down without starting.

Shifting gears without a clutch requires the vehicle driver to learn to listen to and recognize the meeting point between the various gears , i.e. recognize the noise produced by the engine in different gear changes. This means that there is a moment when the various gears do not push each other, the motor is inert and the gear can be changed. For example, if the second gear is engaged at a speed of 20 km / h at approximately 2000 engine revolutions, it will be possible to change from the first gear without the aid of the clutch if both conditions are present.

The gear change, when it can be done without clutch, must be done quickly to avoid the noise of the grating of the gears. Also, shifting the gear is much easier uphill than downshifting. This is because in the second case it is necessary to bring the engine to a low number of revolutions, shift the gearbox to neutral, give a shot of the accelerator and then switch to the lowest gear. This technique is typical of sports cars or those engaged in rallies and can be performed more easily in motorcycles.


Pay attention to the revs of the engine, and note at what value the gears enter (note that this varies with speed). This will help you shift more efficiently without using the clutch.


Note that not all transmissions are so “smooth” that they can handle shifts without the use of the clutch, and repeated attempts can damage them if you scratch too much. Some heavy-duty transmissions have a tendency to scratch much more easily and it is nearly impossible to shift without using the clutch. Try these tips in light drivetrains such as those in compact or midsize cars.

When downshifting without using the clutch, be sure to let the engine revs drop before applying pressure against the gear. If you apply pressure before doing this, the gear may shift too early and scratch.

You can follow these tips only the vehicle is moving. To start a manual transmission car from a standstill you will need to use the clutch.