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.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as 3 Essential Things to Know About Your Car’s Gear Shifter and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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