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Manual transmission

I was wondering, if your car is in 5th gear and your downshifting to 4th, what happens if you accidently put it in reverse?

Usually lots of noise if you get it there, but chances are you will not be able to get it into reverse.  It also could cause damage to various parts.  

I sense there is a good story behind this question.  How about telling us.

Lots of noise, your transmission will never engage into reverse just lots of grinding, if you keep trying or do this often you will find no more teeth left in some essential gears on your transmission.

Most trannys have a device that prevents moving directly from 5 to R. Just try to make that move with the car standing still and you’ll see if yours is like that.

I agree with the previous posts. If you did get it in reverse and let out the clutch, you would be buying a new transmission.

In the late '80s it was a short fad to disconnect the lockout into Reverse on auto transmissions where my brother lived. Then you could kick it to reverse at speed (cruising on the main drag) and show off. It died very quickly when the kids (idiots) learned how expensive new transmissions were.

Show off? What happened when they kick it to reverse at speed?? Actually get reverse wheel spin?

This is off topic but reminded me of something we used to do years ago. Looking back I assume we must have done it simply because we could. I’m refering to changing gears without engaging the clutch. I think it had something to do with matching the engines RPM with … what … the transmissions maybe? Anyway … without recommending it, can this still be done with todays cars or is it something that’s gone forever?

very interested on how to remove the lockout,could you please tell me more?

It is still possible with today’s manual transmissions. There have been several discussions on this.

Aside from a few cases where it may be needed to get out of a jam (like a bad slave cylinder), it’s generally not recommended. No matter how well one can do it, it can only lead to wear-n-tear and problems.

It can with some and can’t with others.

I’ve done it in my 3/4 ton pickups for years. The last Ford I had and the Dodge I now have are about as well synchronized as any I’ve driven and that’s the way I generally drive them. That said, lately trying to save fuel, I try to keep the Dodge below 2000 rpms and you can’t shift it without the clutch unless you run it up to about 2100. 6th gear is also pretty hard to hit clean, so I usually clutch that one.

Before I bought the Dodge, I test drove a Chevy 3/4 ton and smacked both 2nd and 3rd gear. The salesman said that Chevy had had too much trouble with their manual tranny synchronizers and had taken them out so you had to clutch it every time. That’s why I’m driving a Dodge.


I had to do that when the clutch cable broke on my '75 Civic. Luckily someone had taught me about double clutching. It was rough though starting up at stop lights.

I have no idea how as I’ve never done it. My old mustang had a used boneyard 3-speed auto trany in it. I could slide it into reverse while going forward. I didn’t because I liked the car and I knew it would be expensive. It was just one of many things the people who had “worked” on it had cut corners or ignored from sheer ignorance/stupidity.