A Practical Guide| Use of Gears
When it comes to the use of gears, it is important to understand what gears are, how they work, and why we need them. The learner driver would benefit a lot more with a sound understanding of the operation of gears, to best benefit the use of gears. Being able to work the gears properly, requires lots of practice and of course trial and error. It is inevitable that mistakes will be made- but once the learner driver gets acquainted with the gears, the use of gears becomes more apparent. Here is a breakdown of gears and the use of gears.
Use Of Gears| Practical Guide
What are gears, Use of Gears?
The use of gears: Cars have gears to enable the engine to control the speed of the car. If cars didn’t have gears, there wouldn’t be any control in the car’s speed, and this could have devastating consequences. Gears are located in the gearbox of the car. To change gear, to enable the car to go faster, the driver needs to use the clutch. Once a certain speed is reached in asset gear, the engine purrs louder, which signifies the need to change up through the gears.
How do we know when to change gear?
The driver can identify when to change gear via several methods. These can include: The Car’s speed, the noise of the engine, the amount of revs the car is producing.
What is block changing?
Block changing is when the driver skips up through the gears, or down the gears when slowing down. If done correctly, block changing can prove to be more environmentally friendly. However- when first starting out, it is common practice to go up the gears in chronological order- and block change down. Learning the use of gears, takes lots of practice and perseverance.
Why do we block change down?
There is a classic saying in driving- “gears are for going, and breaks are for slowing.” When the driver wants to slow down, the breaks slow the car, and then once the lower speed is satisfactory, the new lower gear is selected. A gear has been used correctly, if it is able to accelerate happily in the new gear. Ie, if the driver is travelling at 40 MPH, and starts to slow down for a roundabout; the driver will break to a safe speed for the roundabout, which is approximately 15 MPH, then they would select 2nd gear to enter the roundabout. The reason that second gear is selected is because that is the gear that world well for the speed of the car. Once 2nd gear has been selected, the car should accelerate happily without feeling sluggish.
Why do we need a lower gear for accelerating up hill?
If the driver is travelling uphill, and notices the car is struggling to climb the hill- it is probably due to being in the wrong gear, it is likely the driver will need to drop down a gear or two, to be able to accelerate up the hill. Remember, gravity is against the car’s movement, and the engine will need a little more power to climb the hill. This is achieved by selecting a lower gear. If the driver has the acceleration pedal to the floor, and the car’s speed isn’t increasing, a drop down of the gear is required.
Can we slow down via the gears?
Yes we can. When the driver breaks, two sets of breaks are activated. The break pads and the engine breaks. The engine breaks, work by the selection of the lower gear, once the gear is engaged, the engine breaks automatically slow the car down. It is not best practice- however, it is a back-up option, incase the breaks fail.
Use of Gears| Gear and Speed Ratios
When it comes to gears and car’s speed ratios, there isn’t a definitive answer. This is due to many factors, which include: size of engine, gradient of road, acceleration of the car. Here is a rough guide to gear and speed ratios. (This is only a basic guide, and some car’s may work better in a higher gear)
- 20 mph = 2nd gear (+5 mph)
- 30 mph = 3rd gear (+5 mph)
- 40 mph = 4th gear (+5 mph)
- 50+ mph = 5th gear
Use Of Gears| How To Change Gear
When it comes to the use of gears, it is very important to be able to change gears with ease and successfully. To be able to do this requires some patience and lots of practice. Here is a guide to how to change gear:
- Identify when to change gear via the rev counter, the engine noise or the speed of the car
- Come off the gas pedal
- Put the clutch down to the floor
- Place your left hand on gear stick (keeping eyes on the road)
- And select the required gear
- Lift the clutch steadily upwards and engage the gear
- Re-apply the pressure on the gas pedal and increase the car’s speed.
- Ensure a firm grip of the steering wheel at all times
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