Hopefully I will see an answer!

With today’s cars (in my case a small

4 cyl. FORD pickup) just how bad is it

if you lug the engine? With the five speed

first is a little TOO low, second TOO high

to start off in, in most cases.

Lugging is bad. Starting in first is the better of the two choices you listed.

Lugging an engine can result in broken piston rings. Not a good idea.


With practice you will be able to handle it starting with first. I would not make a habit of starting in second as it will wear the clutch and may cause other damage.

Use first. It’s easier on the clutch too. It’s bad to lug a four cylinder, a six cylinder, an eight cylinder, a ten cylinder, a twelve…