Throwback Thursday: Should You Rest Your Hand On The Shift Lever?

The week is almost over, and once again, Thursday has landed on our doorsteps. I don’t know about you, but my weekend plans are already made. If your away-from-work plans includes putting more than few miles on your manually shifted hot rod, there’s something you might want to consider before you pull out of the garage. No, we are not talking about the obvious things like checking the fluids and tire pressure. We’re talking about how you drive your car, and more specifically, your hand placement while you drive. it will all make sense, as once again, we celebrate another editorial look-back, and jump into the way back machine to open the Power Automedia vault that houses our vast collection of articles and revisit another great informational piece.

In this Throwback Thursday, we’re taking a small jump back to June 2015. That’s when we teamed up with the folks at Silver Sport Transmissions to put together the article: Should You Rest Your Hand On The Shift Lever? Silver Sport Says “No”

manual transmission

Prematurely rounded synchronizer teeth can occur from the pressure applied to them by resting your hand on the shifter while you drive.

Those of us with manually shifted cars do it all the time. We’re driving along, and it’s just comfortable to rest your hand on the shifter. But, according to Silver Sport Transmissions’ (SST) Misty McComas, resting your hand on your shifter could be bad for your transmission. You might think that this simple hand placement being cause for concern is a little far-fetched, but when the original article explains the reason why, it actually makes sense.

While you’re driving your car, the gears in the transmission are spinning. As those cogs spin, the transmission’s shift forks are waiting to move the gears from one to the next. If you are resting your hand on the shifter, the small amount of pressure you place on the shifter can cause the synchronizers to come in contact with the gear and slowly wear on the teeth.

The synchronizers don’t need to be engaged in order for them to come in contact with the gears, and resting your hand on the gearshift can cause the shift fork to apply just a little pressure to the synchronizers. For this reason, Silver Sport Transmissions suggests that you do not rest your hand on the shifter, and only grab the shifter when you’re ready to change gears.

The shifter fork pads inside your gear box also have a lot with the situation, and you can find out more about that in the original article. The information from Silver Sport Transmissions is good to know, and if you have a manual transmission in your hoot rod, I recommend that you check out Should You Rest Your Hand On The Shift Lever? Silver Sport Says “No”, to find out more, before you find out you did something wrong.

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About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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