If you drive a manual, congratulations! You are a rare bred. According to the LA Times, only 3% of the cars on the road in the U.S are stick shift. Aside from being an excellent theft deterrent, driving stick can be very satisfying. The feeling of truly controlling the car is fun on the open roads, and at the very least will keep you awake in stop and go traffic.
In this video, Engineering Explained explores the possibility of skipping gears and not shifting in order. In the video, we learn that skipping a gear or two can be advantageous in certain situations. In fact, some cars do this on purpose right from the factory to save fuel. The 6th Generation Camaro has a feature called “skip shift.” When you are in 1st and accelerating very lightly, the shifter will actually force you into 4th gear instead of 2nd to save gas. This feature has been around for a long time and was even on the 4th generation F-body cars.
Another time it would benefit you to skip a gear is when downshifting. When cruising down the highway in 6th you may need to quickly pass someone where shifting directly into 3rd would make the most sense. In this example rev matching is advised to bring the engine speed closer to the speed of the wheels which would make for a smoother clutch engagement therefore reducing wear.
Jason goes over upshifting and downshifting out of order, and also shows us how much longer it takes to fully release the clutch if starting in 2nd gear. Ultimately, he explains that if done properly, skipping gears doesn’t have a severe affect on clutch life if proper techniques are practiced.
If you drive stick and want to learn how to skip a gear, don’t skip this video.