Before we begin the ‘how to block gear change’ tutorial, you should have an understanding of:
- The cockpit drill (So that you can reach all controls comfortably).
- What neutral gear is in a car (and how to find it).
- Palming method for gear changing. (The technique we use to find the correct gear).
- How to change up gear (So you have an understanding of where all the gears up when changing up).
- How to change down gear (So you have an understanding of where all the gears up when changing down).
How to Block Gear Change
In this tutorial we’re going to explain how to block gear change (also called selective gear changing. See sequential gear changing explained) using the palming method. If you’re not sure what block gear changing is and why it’s used, please see what is block gear changing. The examples we use below are some of the most common block gear changes made by drivers.
Before practicing block gear changing, it’s important that you practice sequential up and down gear changing (changing gears in order) so that you have a good understanding of where each gear is and how to locate it. Until you become more experienced and proficient at gear changes, it’s important to use the palming method, particularly on block gear changing at this helps to ensure you select the correct gear.
Practice block gear changing firstly in a stationary car, with the engine switched off. Just ensure the vehicle is secured with the parking brake and that you keep the clutch pressed down.
Block Changing Down Gear 4th to 1st
Block gear changing from 4th directly into 1st gear is often used when driving in town. You’ll be driving at around 30 mph, in 4th gear, then slow the vehicle down using the foot brake and into 1st just before you stop.
1. Use the palm of your hand to push the gear lever forward, out of 4th gear and into neutral.
2. Rotate your palm to face away from you and push the gear lever all the way to the left until it stops, then push forwards into 1st gear.
Block Changing Down Gear 5th to 2nd
Block gear changing from 5th into 2nd gear is often used when you’re driving on a main road at 40 mph or more and slow down using the foot brake, into 2nd gear to then take a left or right turn into a minor road.
1. With the palm of your hand facing you, pull the gear lever backwards into neutral.
2. Rotate your palm to face away from you and push the gear lever all the way to the left until it stops, then pull backwards into 2nd gear.
Different Combinations of Gear Block Changing
There are of course various other forms of block gear changing; changing down from 4th to 2nd gear, from 5th to 3rd etc. There’s also the far less frequently used block changing up gear such as from 3rd to 5th gear for example.
To ensure you select the correct gear when block changing, it’s important to use the palming method and to change gear in 3 stages:
- Coming out of the current gear
- Into neutral
- Then into the intended gear