Neil Brown Driving lessons in West Lothian
Neil Brown Driving lessons in West Lothian

Changing Gear

After moving off, gently increase your speed, using the accelerator (gas pedal). Normally, you would move the car off, in first gear. As the speed gets closer to 10 mph, the engine noise will gradually increase, this is because the engine is working harder.  Changing to second gear, will make it easier for the engine to keep moving the car, as the speed gets closer to 20mph, the engine noise will gradually increase, as the engine works harder. Changing to third gear, will make it easier for the engine to keep moving the car. Third gear, is used until our speed increases to 30mph, then change to fourth gear, fourth gear is used until our speed increases to 40mph, then we would change to fifth gear.

To change gear, release the pressure on the accelerator(gas pedal). Push the clutch down to the floor, this will allow us to change from one gear to another. Once the new gear has been selected, ease the clutch gradually back up, pausing near the bite point. Gently press the accelerator (gas pedal), while easing off the clutch.

Below is a typical layout of the gears, this layout might not be the same in different makes or models of car.  It is a good idea, to familiarise yourself with the layout, before starting the engine.

When the gear is in neutral, it means that no gear is selected. You should check that your car is in neutral before starting the engine. Using the picture below, when the gear is in neutral, the gear stick will sit in the centre position. The gear stick is spring loaded and should naturally spring back to this position.

To check that the gear is in neutral, we can move the gear stick from left to right and back again, there should be a noticeable movement.

To change the gear, to first gear, the gear stick should be pushed from neutral, to the left and then forward, as in the picture below. First gear, would normally be used to move off.

To change from first to second gear, keep the gear stick pushed over to the left and pull backwards, into second gear. Change from first gear to second gear as the speed gets closer to 10mph.

To move the gear stick from second to third gear, move the gear stick forward, the gear stick will pull over to neutral, then move the gear forward to third gear. Change from second gear to third gear, as the speed gets closer to 20mph.

To move the gear stick from third to fourth gear, move the gear stick straight back through neutral, then straight back again, into fourth gear. Change from third gear to fourth gear, as the speed gets closer to 30mph.

To move the gear stick from fourth to fifth gear, move the gear stick forward to neutral, push the gear stick to the right, then forward to select fifth gear. Change from fourth gear to fifth gear, as the speed gets closer to 40mph.

To select reverse gear, move the gear stick to neutral, then push the gear stick to the right, then pull back to reverse. When using reverse gear, keep the speed very slow and look all around the car for anyone approaching.

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Areas covered

  • Livingston
  • Broxburn
  • Pumpherston
  • Dechmont
  • Bathgate
  • Uphall
  • Boghall