My husband forgets to shift



My husband has driven all kinds of cars on 3rd world roads, so he hates me to discuss his problem: 5-6 he got used to an automatic, and then we bought him a new car with standard transmission. He will drive on the highway in 3rd or 4th, getting the RPMs up to 4500 or higher, and can’t seem to ‘feel’ the transmission being upset. I’m asking if he’s damaging the transmission and wasting gas.


He’s not damaging the transmission at all. It’s doing what it’as designed to do, multiplying torque. It doesn’t care what gear it’s in.

He is WASTING gas by the gallon, and may be harming the engine in the long runs as it is going round and round MANY more times per mile than it needs to. I’ve ridden with two other guys who refuse to put their vehicles in 5th. One wondered why his Saturn engine was shot after only 77K miles. Duh, as far as it knows, the engine has gone over 130K miles. The other still drives his junker, but works on it constantly.


“I’m asking if he’s damaging the transmission and wasting gas.”

He is damaging the engine, rather than the transmission, and he is definitely wasting gas. Unless you can convince him (perhaps with a good hard dope slap on the back of his head every time he does this) to shift at appropriate RPMs, this engine will have an early demise. And, after he destroys this one, be sure to get him a car with automatic transmission next time.


He’s beating the engine to death unnecessarily and consuming much more of that 3 dollar a gallon gas than he should be.

He LIKES listening to a screaming engine? 0


On further analysis–Is it possible that he really, really dislikes this car (because of the stick shift or possibly for other reasons), and is actually trying to destroy it? You know–sort of a passive–aggressive type of behavior in regard to a car that he doesn’t like.

This is just a shot in the dark, but perhaps his behavior isn’t inadvertant, accidental forgetfulness, but rather, intentional acts designed to rid him of this car. Give this some thought!


You haven’t told is the make of the car. Is it a car that is a quiet running car that would make it hard to realize that one is running in a lower gear? Does your husband have a hearing loss? Is he preoccupied with other things when he is driving?

My guess is that for your husband the car is merely a means to get from one place to another and is probably thinking about something else as he drives. He may have grown up, as I did, driving cars with only 3 forward speeds. Once he takes off from a dead stop, he reverts back to shifting only twice as he learned in his earlier years.


get a new husband that knows how to shift gears


Get a shift light and hook up a buzzer which is set to buzz at 3000 rpm. Set it loud. Rocketman


I think our husbands must be related. :slight_smile: My husband did the same thing. Once he drove 75 miles on the freeway in third gear. He had no feel for the car, even when I clearly heard the car screaming swear words at him. He just didn’t enjoy driving period. Now that all cars have airbags we can only get an automatic, because I am so short I’d have to sit way too close to the steering wheel.


Can we fix your husband? It’s doubtful.


While we all agree that your husband’s habits waste gas and shorten the life of the engine, I learned a long time ago that a happy marriage is far more important than spouses complaining over an issue like this.


Good for you, Joe! There are too many divorces; too many couples fighting and usually over things less serious than the fighting. A new motor costs so much less than a divorce. I told my eldest daughter let her husband alone unless there is a direct threat of injury to family members. Don’t rag him for doing something that might be a mistake. It was about cars and driving. He tended not to ask for directions and would get lost. I told her sit back and enjoy the scenery. He will figure out his mistake by himself, very thoroughly, and nagging will just anger him. Not worth it.


The nagging and arguing may be put off now, but may reappear when the car suffers a prematurely worn out engine.
If hubby says “Yep, it’s all my fault” in a docile manner without taking his shortcomings out on anyone else there won’t be a problem. :slight_smile:

Depending on the type of car, just how fast is he going in 4th gear at 4500 RPM or higher?
I’ve never hit that high in my Lincoln Mark, but I would think by guesstimates that 4500 RPM would be nearing the 130ish mark on the speedo.
3500 RPM in my daughter’s 4-banger Mitsubishi puts it up around 70-75 MPH already.