Why is it so hard to select first gear

thexav

Pro Tuner
Staff member
Points
357
Car
2002 Clio 172
Every car I've ever driven I've noticed it's really hard to select first gear when the car is rolling along.

Why is this? I know cars are often fitted with a mechanism to prevent you selecting reverse when the car is rolling forward but do they do something similar on first gear?

Surely if you are moving in slow traffic you may need to select first gear whilst the car is moving.

Do all cars have this glitch?
 

Lunchmoney

The Torque Meister
Points
462
From
Poole, UK
Car
'98 JDM Impreza STI
Third gives me an issue in my Scooby, but that's a thing with my car. Never had a thing as you describe for first gear.
Sorry, that wasn't very helpful was it :rofl:
 

obi_waynne

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
Points
887
From
Deal, Kent UK
Car
A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
There is no syncromesh on first gear. If you blip the throttle and match the engine speed to the transmission speed in first you'll get a smooth gear change.

Proper drivers always rev match, going back to the days cars didn't have a syncromesh to match the gearbox speed to match drivetrain, engine speed and road speed.

I sometimes wonder if modern drivers would cope with a car that had an old non syncro gearbox with dog tooth gears.

I guess manufacturers assume first is just for pulling away and save money and weight here, but I'm interested if there is a real reason for the lack of a syncromesh on first gear.
 

thexav

Pro Tuner
Staff member
Points
357
Car
2002 Clio 172
Appreciate the replies chaps, It si fine when I rev match, so I need to start using this habit again.
 

Richard1

Torque Junkie
Points
192
From
Tarija, Bolivia
Car
Renault Dauphine
I have two cars without a synchronized first gear, so it requires a full stop or double-clutch (that I learned to drive with, some 60 years ago.

But if it is more modern (for most cars, late 60's) you have probably worn out the first gear synchronizer by using GL-5 oil in the transmission. In that case you will need to pretend it does not have synchronizers until you fix it and start using the correct oil.
 
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