3 Essential Things to Know About Your Car’s Gear Shifter

The gear shifter allows the vehicle to be put into different gears on a manual transmission. In an automatic transmission, the gear shifter is known as a gear selector. The gear shifter is normally located between the two front seats of the vehicle on a manual transmission. The gear knob is the top of the gear shifter, and includes a shift pattern that guides the gear selection. The shift pattern indicates which way the gear shifter should be moved when selecting a certain gear.

Signs of Problems With Your Gear Shifter

If your vehicle hesitates or does not go into gear, this indicates a problem. This can happen in both automatic and manual transmissions. If you notice this problem in your vehicle, it may be time to get the clutch inspected or have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic. While shifting gears, if you hear a grinding or feel shaking, this can indicate a problem with the gears. If the car will not go into gear, this could be an issue with the clutch or shift cables. A mechanic can replace the shift selector cable so you can drive safely again. Sometimes a gear will slip, meaning it goes in and out of a certain gear. This is a huge safety risk and should be looked at by a professional right away.

Types of Gears and Gearboxes

A manual gearbox is the type of transmission that allows the driver to select the gear by the gear shifter. You must push the clutch pedal, which disengages the gearbox from the engine, move the gear shifter into the correct gear, and the clutch can be released. An automatic gearbox does not need the driver to manually shift gears, instead the gear selection is done by the on-board computer. The automatic gearboxes are connected to the engine by a torque converter, so they do not have a clutch.

Custom Shift Knobs

If you want to add uniqueness to your vehicle, consider getting a custom shift knob. They come in various styles such as billiard balls, butterfly knobs, and other themed knobs.

The gear shifter is an important part of your vehicle. It is located in the front part of the vehicle, normally in front of the center console. If you notice issues when shifting gears, it is important to take your vehicle to a mechanic right away as this can be a safety issue. The professionals at YourMechanic can answer any questions you may have.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How to Drive Manual
The The transmission allows a vehicle to switch smoothly between gears. In an automatic transmission, the vehicle computer switches gears for you. In a vehicle with a manual transmission (https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/how-a-manual-transmission-works), you must first let your foot off the gas, depress...
How to Replace a Clutch Master Cylinder
The clutch master cylinder supplies fluid and pressure for the clutch system to operate. Common signs of failure include leaks or loss of pressure.
How to Replace a Transmission Speed Sensor
Transmission speed sensors accurately calculate a car's road speed. If this sensor is faulty, a Check Engine Light will indicate the driver.

Related questions

Car shifting high when foot on gas pedal
Transmission sensors are usually just to measure vehicle speed and sometimes rpm. I would think that a hydraulic or mechanical  transmission issue would be a more likely cause considering the symptoms. I would first start by checking the transmission fluid...
The rear main seal leaking off a '99 F-150 4.6
The actual fix of taking the seal in and out once you are there is easy, but the problem is that you've got to move the transmission off to get to it. So, if you are willing to do that,...
Shift to 'P' range display on dash.
Hi there. The transmission position sensor may be damaged or has a short inside the sensor. Check the harness to the sensor and make sure that it's hooked up properly and has no moisture in it. If the harness is...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com