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Shifting into first gear bad?

Today i have gotten into the habbit of downshifting to gear one, basically i would slow down in neutral then the light would go green then i would just shift to 1st gear cause i would be going about 10 km but there was a little resistence but i put it in gear 1 anyways gently. Not sure if i heard grinding i had music pretty loud. And didnt feel anything in the shifter. Is it bad to downshift into 1st? Would i of caused damage

Also did it a lot in traffic and she goes into 1st fine just wondering cause with the resistance i added a tiny bit of force

If there was grinding, you would feel it on the shift lever. That force is the force needed to get the splines on the dog clutch that locks first gear on the shaft to line up with the splined collar that fits over it.

When you put the transmission in any particular gear, a splined collar similar to this picture gets forced over a mating splined shaft in order to lock the two together so that gear drives the shaft instead of freewheeling on the shaft. The synchronizing clutch uses friction to make these two things match rpm so you don’t get grinding, but it doesn’t necessarily index the two so they will mate. That’s why the ends of the teeth are rounded or pointed, that way forcing them together causes a cam action to line them up. That force you feel is the force needed to slip the synchronizing clutch in order to give that collar that fraction of a turn in order to line up.

Troll Alert !

Probably not, but if you’re moving, why not just shift into 2nd?

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I do that sometimes, never had a problem in many years of driving. Usually in that situation I’ll shift into 2nd rather than 1st b/c I’m still going fast enough, but sometimes I shift to 1st if I’m moving slow enough. Not something to be concerned about. For ease of shifting, match the intended gear to the vehicle speed, then the parts will mesh more smoothly.


For those who may not recall the OP’s previous posts regarding his travails related to driving a manual shift car, he has been asking questions about how to shift it for almost three months.

When he first started asking these questions, I suggested that he enlist the help of a friend or relative who is experienced with the operation of a manual shift, and I still believe that he needs to have somebody sitting next to him–perhaps for as little as 30 minutes–in order to learn how and when to shift his transmission.

The longer that he delays in doing something practical like that, the greater the probability that he will damage the clutch and/or the transmission.

At the time this OP joined and started asking these questions there was another screen name with the same profile that was asking the same questions written the same way. That is why I think Troll.

My car does it too, especially when it’s cold and the oil in the transmission hasn’t warmed up yet. Often, if it’s really hard to put into first, letting the clutch out and pushing it back in will re-index the splined shift collar and with luck, it will be in a position to allow easy engagement.
Sometimes shifting into second gear and then shifting into first will do the same thing.

If he’s sincerely just asking questions or just trying to start a thread on this subject, it doesn’t matter.
Obnoxious trolls are those who post questions only so they can insult and argue with those that answer.

But…if he is still asking questions–via cyberspace–about how to operate a manual transmission for three months, don’t you think that my suggestion of enlisting the help of a friend, relative or co-worker who is experienced with a manual shift would be a good idea?

By now, he may have done some serious damage to the trans and/or the clutch, but even if he has managed to escape damage so far, every day that he delays with getting direct one-to-one help from someone who can ride with him is one more day of potential damage.

It’s OK if your speed is low, like around 2-3 MPH. There is an uphill hairpin turn in my city where I have to shift quickly into 1st gear, and I double-clutch it to make it easier, but that takes a bit of skill.

To me, a real troll is someone like a Japanese sport bike fanboy who constantly logs into a Harley Davidson forum in order to insult Harley Davidson motorcycles and the people who ride them, or vice versa.

Six MPH is a little too slow for second gear in my car, about 700 RPMs. I usually use first gear if I have to slow to that speed.

I developed the habit of shifting to second gear then to first when stopped in my British non-synchronized first gear cars. I do the same when moving slowly with synchronized first gear and it usually reduces the effort.