Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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

Car 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

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...

Related questions

Q: Not shifting out of first

The problem may be a speed sensor, a transmission internal shift solenoid, or harness issue. Only a scan and diagnosis will show the cause. If you need help with this, a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic can come...

Q: Scraping noise shifting gears

Hello there, thank you for asking about your 2013 BMW 135i. The symptoms you are describing can be caused by both transmission and clutch pedal issues. If the synchronizer rings inside of the transmission wear out, it can cause the...

Q: Car not shifting out of first

There is a common problem with shift solenoids on these cars going bad. You should get a code on the computer if that is the case. I would recommend having the transmission flushed by a certified mechanic. They have a...