Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????
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Thread: Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

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    Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

    Was listening to a podcast of a a recent Cartalk show. A woman called in and was having with the synch on the manual transmission of her vehicle.

    To make a long story short, Click and Clack said it bad for the synch of a MT to keep your hand on the gear shift knob .... having done that for years .... that seems the natural place for the right hand ..... is it bad to do that?
    Jerry
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    Re: Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

    Quote Originally Posted by jeakmc View Post
    Was listening to a podcast of a a recent Cartalk show. A woman called in and was having with the synch on the manual transmission of her vehicle.

    To make a long story short, Click and Clack said it bad for the synch of a MT to keep your hand on the gear shift knob .... having done that for years .... that seems the natural place for the right hand ..... is it bad to do that?
    I was told on another thread that you shouldn't do that, but there was no explanation as to why not. I would like to know myself, as I've got the same habit.
    RMR/PCA DE Instructor
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    Re: Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

    Yes, it is bad for your transmission. It does wear the synchronizers. I seldom agree with Click & Clack's philosophy, but they got this one right.
    Last edited by blueone; 10-02-2010 at 09:26 PM.

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    Re: Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

    Quote Originally Posted by beleary View Post
    I was told on another thread that you shouldn't do that, but there was no explanation as to why not. I would like to know myself, as I've got the same habit.
    If you apply any lateral pressure to the shifter it engages the synchronizer. Your hands belong on the wheel, except when shifting.

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    Re: Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

    I've also heard the same and spoke with what I consider a fairly knowlegeable transmission repair shop owner about it. He said he's also heard this and considered it an old wives tale. He has never been able to find an explanation of just what is being damaged or how and has never seen any damage which was obviously the result of this driving style. And in fact he confessed to doing the same regularly.

    So unless there is some expert available to refute what my "expert" has reported, I see no reason to worry about it and have on occassion found myself doing the same with no ill affect to date, over several cars.

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    Re: Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

    The damage myth might be true on older cars, particularly ones with direct mechanical rod connections between the shifter and the tranny.

    Modern Porsches (and most modern cars) are cable shifters and there's no way it's true.

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    The 'natural' place for your hand to rest is on the wheel. You'll realize this if you ever have a high speed blow out.
    Porsche Cayman DE1:http://youtu.be/KnEMv1Q5JKg

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    Re: Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

    Hand on shifter synchro-mesh issue? Not for cable linkage MT's; although you may wear the ball pivot holder (I believe it's made of a black hard Nylon material), if you keep moving the shifter from side to side.
    Bigger issue: folks who habitually keep the clutch depressed while sitting at a stop light. Have heard it loosens/weakens the return spring and can cause premature wear of the throwout bearings.

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    Re: Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

    The basic theory is that when you move the shifter it engages the syncs, and causes some wear. On some cars, like my last, the owners manual had a written warning against leaving your hand on the shifter. I guess it depends on the linkage.

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    Re: Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

    Quote Originally Posted by g-money View Post
    The 'natural' place for your hand to rest is on the wheel. You'll realize this if you ever have a high speed blow out.
    And btw... yes, a driver should keep BOTH hands on the wheel as much as possible, so in that light, the question is moot.

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    Re: Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

    It also depends on how much pressure one puts on the shifter. I tend to leave it there when I know that I will be going up or down the gears (ie in anticipation) but when I know I will remain in gear for a while it goes back to the wheel where it belongs. Many times when I anticipate having to change gear my hand rests there but it really is not resting or putting much pressure as its mainly just touching without really leaving my arm weight on it....this is completely different that putting your arm weight on the shifter. So assuming this issue is true then the amount of weight or resting on it needs to be taken into account.
    09 Cayman S- Meteor Gray Metalic & Black Interior- Carrera Sport 19 wheels, Alcantara GT3 Steering Wheel, Alcantara Gear Lever & Handbrake, Rear Center Console in Aluminum Look, Alcantara Storage Lid with Logo, Side Strips with Model Designation, Spoiler Lips in Aluminum look, Bi-Xenon Dynamic Cornering lights, Bose Premium System, Heated Sport Seats, Sport Chrono, Colored Crest Wheel Caps.

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    Re: Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

    Quote Originally Posted by Pssk=1.0 View Post
    Hand on shifter synchro-mesh issue? Not for cable linkage MT's; although you may wear the ball pivot holder (I believe it's made of a black hard Nylon material), if you keep moving the shifter from side to side.
    Bigger issue: folks who habitually keep the clutch depressed while sitting at a stop light. Have heard it loosens/weakens the return spring and can cause premature wear of the throwout bearings.
    Keeping the clutch pedal depressed does indeed increase wear of the throwout bearing (and there is only one).

    For all of you that believe cable-actuated shifters are not susceptible to the synchro wear problem, what's your theory about why that's the case?

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    Re: Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

    Quote Originally Posted by Budman View Post
    I've also heard the same and spoke with what I consider a fairly knowlegeable transmission repair shop owner about it. He said he's also heard this and considered it an old wives tale. He has never been able to find an explanation of just what is being damaged or how and has never seen any damage which was obviously the result of this driving style. And in fact he confessed to doing the same regularly.

    So unless there is some expert available to refute what my "expert" has reported, I see no reason to worry about it and have on occassion found myself doing the same with no ill affect to date, over several cars.
    its an old wives tale. it will do no harm

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    Re: Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

    Quote Originally Posted by g-money View Post
    The 'natural' place for your hand to rest is on the wheel. You'll realize this if you ever have a high speed blow out.
    +1

    Both hands belong on the wheel and given the RPM range of our cars, that shouldn't be tough to do

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    Re: Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

    Well, there's another really good reason to not rest your hand on the gearshift - you should keep both hands on the steering wheel whenever possible. You have much better control of the wheel with both hands on it if you need to make a sudden emergency manuever. This opinion is based on 38 years of accident free driving. I do drive fast but safely and defensively.

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    Re: Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

    Totally agree with the general consensus: both hands on the wheel!

    I've completed a couple of driving courses, and that's one of the first things that's stressed. Move your hand from the steering wheel to change gear, and then straight back to the steering wheel.

    Graeme

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    Re: Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

    Generally just a bad habit. Hands on the wheel.
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    Re: Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

    I think the topic had to do with whether or not damage is done to the transmission by resting ones hand on the gear shift knob while driving, not wether its a safety issue or not. The question is damage or not. We can beat the safety issue to death with all kinds of bad driving habits but I would hope that would go to a separate thread and not this one. Transmission damage or not, that is the question and if so, then how???

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    Re: Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

    Quote Originally Posted by g-money View Post
    The 'natural' place for your hand to rest is on the wheel. You'll realize this if you ever have a high speed blow out.
    +1

    Being attentive and alert, with both hands on the wheel, can save your life. Blow outs are just one situation where you need immediate and complete control of the car.

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    Re: Hand On Gear Shift Knob ????

    If you attend one of the driving schools, the instructor will smack your hand if you keep it on the gear shift knob!

    Both hands on the wheel. After a shift - hand goes back to the wheel. It's really as simple as that.

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