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Christopher Greaves

Start in 2nd, Shift to 5th

If you drive an automatic you will, of course, move the lever to “Drive” and start forwards.

What I say for manual drivers will include a significant discovery for you too!

In a 5-speed manual car, such as my little Hyundai Excel, the lowest gear is very low. Even with the Excel’s little engine it was possible to burn rubber using 1st gear.

So I began to use 2nd gear to start driving, unless I was facing a very steep uphill slope.

I found too that 2nd gear, with gentle acceleration, would take me to a velocity at which I could shift into 5th, bypassing both 3rd and 4th gears.

What Does this Mean?

Well, for one thing it means that you will have less wear-and-tear on the gearbox and on the clutch system.

More about that in “ Brakes and Clutch last longer ”.

Visualize the driver waiting to make a left-hand turn, facing oncoming traffic at the stop lights.

Changing through all the gears means that one hand will be OFF the steering wheel, and attention will be diverted, during the most critical part of your trip!

You are turning left across lanes of oncoming traffic, and you have pedestrians crossing your intended line of path. (Don’t tell me you haven’t been caught unawares by a pedestrian because you’ve been so focused on gaps in the oncoming traffic!).

Most drivers pass through two gear changes before that have cleared the intersection and straightened up.

Starting in 2nd gear means that you can keep both hands on the wheel and your attention is focused on where you are going. You’ll not need to change gears (straight into 5th) until long after you have cleared the intersection.


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Toronto, Friday, August 14, 2015 12:54 PM

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