Leaving hand on shift knob

A few months ago, Tom and Ray mentioned that it was harmful to the car to rest one’s hand on the gear shift knob. I don’t understand why that is detrimental to the engine or transmission.

If you rest your hand on the gear shift knob you can unknowingly be putting force on the shift fork which causes wear on the synchro assembly for that gear.


Agree with Tester. Same concept as when folks rest their foot on the brake or clutch petal. When resting you can still put some pressue on the petal (or in this case the shifter).

On the brake petal it results in the brake lights going on and the pads gently rubbing on the calipers. If it is the clutch petal it takes some of the pressure off the pressure plate which can make the clutch slip.

In all cases it can cause premature wear in the parts involved.

At the time, Tom and Ray were talking about a car with a manual transmission. I don’t think this is such a big deal with an automatic with a floor shifter.

True, not a problem with an automatic.

Unless you are driving in Formula One competition, why would it even be necessary to keep one’s hand on the shift lever while driving? Delusions of grandeur, perhaps?

A bigger concern is that one hand on the shifter means only one hand on the steering wheel. That’s unsafe if anything unexpected happens.

Some vehicles don’t have a comfortable place to rest one hand or the other.

How about the steering wheel?