Learn how to change gear in a manual car using the palming method

Learning how to change gears is the most important thing that needs to be learned correctly else you will not be able to change the gears properly. Which might result in you losing control of your car or even result installing. Many people learn how to change gears but they sometimes confuse themselves and put the car in the wrong gear. Here we will look into the easiest way to change gears called the palming method. 


The very first step that you need to do is memorize the diagram on top of the gear lever because you won’t be able to look down at the gear whenever you need to change the gear. So you should memorize the gear diagram so you no longer have to look down to change the gears. Once you are done with it then you need to practice changing gears while looking out of the front windscreen and never forget to press down the clutch while changing gears.

You can even try practicing on a car with the engine off.


When the car is in neutral gear, the engine is separated from the wheels. So you will only be able to move the direction of wheels by using the steering wheel.

People put their car in neutral gear when they want the car to be moved by some outside force rather than its internal mechanical systems. This kind of situation arises when:

  • Your car needs to get towed
  • You want to push it physically out of snow or mud piles.
  • When your petrol is finished and you want to take it to the nearest petrol pump.

Other than this you should always try to start your car in neutral to ensure that the car doesn’t jump forward.

Selecting 1st gear

Keep in mind that the gear lever is spring-loaded and it gets back to the central neutral position. Use the palm of your hand in such a way that it is facing away from you towards the gear lever and your thumb is pointing downwards. Now move your palm to the left and then forward to 1st gear.

Changing to 2nd gear from 1st

Changing gear from 1st to 2nd gear is very simple. All you need to do is keep the hand in the same position as it was earlier. Now hold the gear lever and move it left and then backward towards 2nd gear.

Note: Moving the gear lever with your thumb pointing downwards prevents the gear from going into a neutral position and if you don’t move your gear level slightly towards the left while changing gear then you might end up accidentally in 4th gear.

Changing to 3rd gear from 2nd

Changing gear from 2nd into 3rd is a two-step process. Now your palm will be facing towards you and your thumb facing upwards. This position of hand allows the gear level to spring back to its neutral position. After that, you need to move the gear lever forward towards 3rd gear, and you are done.

Changing from 3rd gear to 4th

This one is almost the same as changing gear from 1st gear to 2nd gear. While changing from 3rd to 4th gear your hand should be in the same position as it was previously. Then move the gear lever straight backward towards 4th gear without moving it towards right or left.

Changing from 4th gear to 5th

Keep your hand in the same position as previously then move the gear lever forwards to a neutral position. Then move it slightly towards right and forward to 5th gear.

Reverse gear

The position of reverse gear depends on the model of your car. In some vehicles, you might need to push down or lift-up to select reverse gear. Which is represented by ‘R’ in the diagram at the top of the gear lever.


Changing gears is not a hard and fast rule all it needs is a little practice in which you get yourself familiar with how to change gears upwards and downwards. So you can change the gear of your car according to your need.

You can also change the gears downward from 5th to 1st gear by following the same steps above but in a backward direction.


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