Gear stick
Overview
 
A gear stick is the lever used to change gear
Gear
A gear is a rotating machine part having cut teeth, or cogs, which mesh with another toothed part in order to transmit torque. Two or more gears working in tandem are called a transmission and can produce a mechanical advantage through a gear ratio and thus may be considered a simple machine....

 in a vehicle
Vehicle
A vehicle is a device that is designed or used to transport people or cargo. Most often vehicles are manufactured, such as bicycles, cars, motorcycles, trains, ships, boats, and aircraft....

, such as an automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

, with manual transmission
Manual transmission
A manual transmission, also known as a manual gearbox or standard transmission is a type of transmission used in motor vehicle applications...

 or several common forms of automatic transmission
Automatic transmission
An automatic transmission is one type of motor vehicle transmission that can automatically change gear ratios as the vehicle moves, freeing the driver from having to shift gears manually...

.

The device is used to change gear; in a manual transmission vehicle this will normally be done whilst depressing the clutch
Clutch
A clutch is a mechanical device which provides for the transmission of power from one component to another...

 pedal with the left foot to disengage the engine
Engine
An engine or motor is a machine designed to convert energy into useful mechanical motion. Heat engines, including internal combustion engines and external combustion engines burn a fuel to create heat which is then used to create motion...

 from the drivetrain
Powertrain
In a motor vehicle, the term powertrain or powerplant refers to the group of components that generate power and deliver it to the road surface, water, or air. This includes the engine, transmission, drive shafts, differentials, and the final drive...

 and wheel
Wheel
A wheel is a device that allows heavy objects to be moved easily through rotating on an axle through its center, facilitating movement or transportation while supporting a load, or performing labor in machines. Common examples found in transport applications. A wheel, together with an axle,...

s. Automatic transmission vehicles, robotised manuals, and those with continuously variable transmission
Continuously variable transmission
A continuously variable transmission is a transmission that can change steplessly through an infinite number of effective gear ratios between maximum and minimum values. This contrasts with other mechanical transmissions that offer a fixed number of gear ratios...

 gearboxes, do not require a clutch pedal.
Gear sticks are most commonly found between the front seats of the vehicle, either on the center console
Center console (automobile)
The center console in an automobile refers to the control-bearing surfaces in the center of the front of the vehicle interior...

 (sometimes even quite far up on the dashboard
Dashboard
A dashboard is a control panel placed in front of the driver of an automobile, housing instrumentation and controls for operation of the vehicle....

), the transmission tunnel, or directly on the floor.
Encyclopedia
A gear stick is the lever used to change gear
Gear
A gear is a rotating machine part having cut teeth, or cogs, which mesh with another toothed part in order to transmit torque. Two or more gears working in tandem are called a transmission and can produce a mechanical advantage through a gear ratio and thus may be considered a simple machine....

 in a vehicle
Vehicle
A vehicle is a device that is designed or used to transport people or cargo. Most often vehicles are manufactured, such as bicycles, cars, motorcycles, trains, ships, boats, and aircraft....

, such as an automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

, with manual transmission
Manual transmission
A manual transmission, also known as a manual gearbox or standard transmission is a type of transmission used in motor vehicle applications...

 or several common forms of automatic transmission
Automatic transmission
An automatic transmission is one type of motor vehicle transmission that can automatically change gear ratios as the vehicle moves, freeing the driver from having to shift gears manually...

.

The device is used to change gear; in a manual transmission vehicle this will normally be done whilst depressing the clutch
Clutch
A clutch is a mechanical device which provides for the transmission of power from one component to another...

 pedal with the left foot to disengage the engine
Engine
An engine or motor is a machine designed to convert energy into useful mechanical motion. Heat engines, including internal combustion engines and external combustion engines burn a fuel to create heat which is then used to create motion...

 from the drivetrain
Powertrain
In a motor vehicle, the term powertrain or powerplant refers to the group of components that generate power and deliver it to the road surface, water, or air. This includes the engine, transmission, drive shafts, differentials, and the final drive...

 and wheel
Wheel
A wheel is a device that allows heavy objects to be moved easily through rotating on an axle through its center, facilitating movement or transportation while supporting a load, or performing labor in machines. Common examples found in transport applications. A wheel, together with an axle,...

s. Automatic transmission vehicles, robotised manuals, and those with continuously variable transmission
Continuously variable transmission
A continuously variable transmission is a transmission that can change steplessly through an infinite number of effective gear ratios between maximum and minimum values. This contrasts with other mechanical transmissions that offer a fixed number of gear ratios...

 gearboxes, do not require a clutch pedal.

Alternative positions

Gear sticks are most commonly found between the front seats of the vehicle, either on the center console
Center console (automobile)
The center console in an automobile refers to the control-bearing surfaces in the center of the front of the vehicle interior...

 (sometimes even quite far up on the dashboard
Dashboard
A dashboard is a control panel placed in front of the driver of an automobile, housing instrumentation and controls for operation of the vehicle....

), the transmission tunnel, or directly on the floor. Some vehicles have a column shift where the lever is mounted on the steering column
Steering column
The automotive steering column is a device intended primarily for connecting the steering wheel to the steering mechanism or transferring the driver's input torque from the steering wheel.-Secondary functions:...

—this arrangement was once almost standard practice in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 until relatively recently, which had the added benefit of allowing for a full width bench-type front seat (though some models with bucket seating as an option include it). It has since fallen out of favor, although it can still be found widely on US-market pick-up truck
Pick-Up Truck
"Pick-Up Truck" is a song written and recorded by Belgian acid house musician Praga Khan. It is the third single from Praga's eighth studio album, Soundscraper....

s, vans, and "full-size" US sedans such as the Ford Crown Victoria
Ford Crown Victoria
-1992–1994:Released in March 1991 as an early 1992 model, the Crown Victoria sedan was completely redesigned with a rounder, eight-window roofline . The redesign reduced the coefficient of drag from 0.42 to 0.34; the suspension setup was also heavily revised...

. A dashboard
Dashboard
A dashboard is a control panel placed in front of the driver of an automobile, housing instrumentation and controls for operation of the vehicle....

 mounted shift was common on certain French models such as the Citroen 2CV
Citroën 2CV
The Citroën 2CV |tax horsepower]]”) was an economy car produced by the French automaker Citroën between 1948 and 1990. It was technologically advanced and innovative, but with uncompromisingly utilitarian unconventional looks, and deceptively simple Bauhaus inspired bodywork, that belied the sheer...

 and Renault 4
Renault 4
The Renault 4, also known as the 4L , is a hatchback economy car produced by the French automaker Renault between 1961 and 1992. It was the first front-wheel drive family car produced by Renault....

. The Bentley Mark VI
Bentley Mark VI
The Bentley Mark VI was the first post-war luxury car from Bentley.Announced in May 1946 and produced from 1946 to 1952 it was also both the first car from Rolls-Royce with all-steel coachwork and the first complete car assembled and finished at their factory...

 had its gear lever to the right of the right-hand drive driver's seat, alongside the driver's door, where it was not unknown for British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 cars to also have their handbrake
Hand brake
In cars, the hand brake is a latching brake usually used to keep the car stationary, and in manual transmission vehicles, as an aid to starting the vehicle from stopped when going up an incline - with one foot on the clutch , the other on the accelerator In cars, the hand brake (emergency brake,...

. (Left-hand drive models received a column shift.)

In some modern sports car
Sports car
A sports car is a small, usually two seat, two door automobile designed for high speed driving and maneuverability....

s, the gear lever has been replaced entirely by "paddles", which are a pair of levers, usually operating electrical switches (rather than a mechanical connection to the gearbox), mounted on either side of the steering column, where one increments the gears up, and the other down. Formula 1 cars typically used to hide the gear stick behind the steering wheel within the nose bodywork before the modern practice of mounting the "paddles" on the (removable) steering wheel itself.

The gear knob and switches

The gear knob or shift knob
Shift Knob
A shift knob also known as a gear knob, gear shift knob and stick shift knob is the physical interface between the manual transmission stick shift and the drivers hand. Made of many materials from simple plastics through to platinum it comes in many shapes sizes and weights...

 or gear shift knob or stick shift knob is at the end of the gear stick; it forms the handle of the gear stick. Typically the gear knob includes a diagram of the shift pattern of the gear selection system; i.e. the positions to which the gear stick should be moved when selecting a gear. In some older manual transmission vehicles it may incorporate a switch to engage an overdrive
Overdrive (mechanics)
Overdrive is a term used to describe a mechanism that allows an automobile to cruise at sustained speed with reduced engine RPM, leading to better fuel economy, lower noise and lower wear...

; in some automatic transmission vehicles it may incorporate a switch to engage a special mode such as a sports mode. Both of the above-mentioned switches may also be found on the console or on steering column stalks instead. Manual shifters on the steering column, if having only three forward speeds, are typically called a "three on the tree." The lowest of these gears, if set at a much lower ratio than standard 1st-gear ratio, is often called a "granny gear."

Many automatic transmission vehicles have extra controls on the gear stick, or very close by, which modify the choices made by the transmission system depending on engine and road speed; for example, "sports" or "economy" modes which will broadly speaking allow, respectively, for higher and lower revolutions per gear, before changing up.

Some specialist vehicles have controls for other functions on the gear stick. The Land Rover Freelander
Land Rover Freelander
The Land Rover Freelander is a compact crossover SUV made by Land Rover.The current generation is sold as the LR2 in North America and as the Freelander 2 in Europe...

 introduced a button for that company's Hill Descent Control system
Hill Descent Control system
Four-wheel-drive and All Wheel Drive vehicles such as the Australian made Ford Territory may have a Hill Descent Control system installed, using the ABS braking to control the car's motion downhill, initially developed by Bosch for Land Rover...

 feature, which uses the brakes to simulate the function of a low-ratio gearbox in steep descents.

Secondary gear levers

In some traditional four-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive, 4WD, or 4×4 is a four-wheeled vehicle with a drivetrain that allows all four wheels to receive torque from the engine simultaneously...

 "off-road" vehicles there can be a second gear lever which engages a low-ratio gearbox, used on tough terrain
Terrain
Terrain, or land relief, is the vertical and horizontal dimension of land surface. When relief is described underwater, the term bathymetry is used...

. Further, similar-looking levers may switch between two- and four-wheel drive, or engage differential locks; these are not "gear levers," however.

Shift pattern

The shift pattern refers to the layout of the gears. In a typical manual transmission car, first gear is located to the left, and forwards. In many trucks and some sports cars it is instead in a "dog leg" position, to the left and rearwards. There is usually a spring-loading to return the stick to the central position. Reverse gear is commonly positioned in the best choice of location to avoid accidental engagement.

Manual Transmission

A typical manual transmission vehicle, with (for example) five forward gears, will thus have seven possible positions: the five forwards gears, reverse gear, and a central "neutral" position. Some vehicles have a special button to prevent accidental engagement of reverse. Others require that the lever be lifted, pressed down, or moved with extra force to engage reverse. In transmissions with reverse directly below fifth, there may be a mechanical lock-out preventing selection of reverse other than from neutral, thus preventing a driver used to a six-speed transmission from engaging reverse while trying to select sixth.
Common manual transmission shift patterns
Layout Description
This shift pattern is the most common five-speed shift pattern. This layout is reasonably intuitive because it starts at the upper left and works left to right, top to bottom, with reverse at the end of the sequence and toward the rear of the car.

This shift pattern is another five-speed shift pattern which can be found in Saabs, BMWs, some Audis, Eagle, Volvos, Volkswagens, Škodas, Opels, Hyundais, most Renaults, some diesel Fords, and more.
This shift pattern, sometimes called a Dog leg
Dog leg gearbox
A dog leg gearbox is a manual transmission layout with an up-over-up shift between first and second gear. The layout derives its name from a dog's hind leg, with its sharp angles.-Automobiles:...

 shift pattern is used on many race cars and on older road vehicles with three-speed transmissions. The name derives from the up-and-over path between first and second gears. Its use is common in race cars and sports cars, but is diminishing as six speed and sequential gearboxes are becoming more common. Having first gear across the dog leg is beneficial as first gear is traditionally only used for getting the car moving and hence it allows second and third gears to be aligned fore and aft of each other, which facilitates shifting between the two. As most racing gearboxes are non-synchromesh there is no appreciable delay when upshifting from first through the dog leg into second.

This gear pattern can also be found on some heavy vehicles in which first gear is an extra-low ratio for use in extreme standing-start conditions, and would see little use in normal driving.
This shift pattern is a typical pattern for a six-speed transmission. Six speeds is the maximum usually seen in single range transmissions, however many semi trucks and other large commercial vehicles have manual transmissions with 8, 16 or even 20 speeds, which is made possible due to multi-range gearboxes. In such a case, Reverse is placed outside of the "H," with a canted shift path, to prevent the shift lever from intruding too far into the driver's space (in left-hand drive
Driving on the left or right
The terms right-hand traffic and left-hand traffic refer to regulations requiring all bidirectional traffic to keep either to the right or the left side of the road, respectively. This is so fundamental to traffic flow that it is sometimes referred to as the rule of the road. This basic rule eases...

 cars) when reverse is selected.

Automatic Transmission

Automatic transmissions traditionally have had a straight pattern beginning at the most forward position with "park" (which locks up the transmission), and running through reverse, neutral, drive (all gears available), and then the lower gears (often three or two more positions, each locking out a successive upper gear), with the rear-most position allowing first gear only. More modern automatic transmissions have employed a "J-gate" (pioneered by Jaguar
Jaguar (car)
Jaguar Cars Ltd, known simply as Jaguar , is a British luxury car manufacturer, headquartered in Whitley, Coventry, England. It is part of the Jaguar Land Rover business, a subsidiary of the Indian company Tata Motors....

) where some gears are on the left-hand "arm", some on the right, and there is a sideways movement at the rear of the pattern.

Some modern gearboxes such as the Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p.A. is an Italian manufacturer of cars. Founded as A.L.F.A. on June 24, 1910, in Milan, the company has been involved in car racing since 1911, and has a reputation for building expensive sports cars...

 Sportronic have a traditional automatic shift pattern to the right, with a special position to the left in which movement of the stick forwards and backwards increments the gears up and down respectively. This can be useful in snow or dirt conditions, where it may be necessary to start from second gear.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK