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Driving With Hand On The Shift Lever??? #4655793
02/04/18 11:25 AM
02/04/18 11:25 AM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 5,159
Glendale, Arizona
billt460 Offline OP
billt460  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 5,159
Glendale, Arizona
I've seen articles all over the Internet, and on You Tube telling everyone how, "driving with your hand on an auto trans shift lever", is very bad to do. Can anyone accurately explain why? Or is this yet another Internet B.S. story, that for whatever reason got legs on it's own, and has no truth? Thanks in advance.

Re: Driving With Hand On The Shift Lever??? [Re: billt460] #4655795
02/04/18 11:27 AM
02/04/18 11:27 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 975
midwest
JamesBond Offline
JamesBond  Offline
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 975
midwest
Hands on the wheel. Watch videos of pro drivers.

Re: Driving With Hand On The Shift Lever??? [Re: billt460] #4655804
02/04/18 11:30 AM
02/04/18 11:30 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,499
...
PimTac Offline
PimTac  Offline
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,499
...
Always two hands on the wheel. If something happens and you need to steer quickly the lost time moving your hand from the shifter to the wheel will make a huge difference in the outcome.


Cannot see signatures any longer so it doesn’t matter.
Re: Driving With Hand On The Shift Lever??? [Re: billt460] #4655806
02/04/18 11:32 AM
02/04/18 11:32 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 12,761
NH
supton Offline
supton  Offline
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 12,761
NH
On manual transmissions, yes, as it places forces onto gears/syncros/whatever, which can cause wear. By resting you hand there, you might be pushing it slightly out of the place it wants to sit at; thus preloading something or moving it slightly, and thus causing some undue wear. Automatic, I have a hard time believing that it's moving anything such that extra wear occurs (different means of changing gears). So in an automatic I wouldn't think twice about it. Even though on manuals I do on occasion (it's not like it'll wear out in ten miles doing this).

In my truck I love resting my wrist on the gear lever, it puts my finger in the right spot to work the radio. The shift lever is also all the way down when I do this, so it's not possible for anything to occur. Heck in my Camry it's not a bad spot either.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 170k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 144k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 195k, his
Re: Driving With Hand On The Shift Lever??? [Re: billt460] #4655807
02/04/18 11:33 AM
02/04/18 11:33 AM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 1,527
St. Charles County, Missouri
csandste Offline
csandste  Offline
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 1,527
St. Charles County, Missouri
When I took driver's ed, 58 years ago, they told us to keep both hands on the wheel.


2017 Kia Soul Plus-- VWB 5-30, 54,000 miles.
Re: Driving With Hand On The Shift Lever??? [Re: supton] #4655809
02/04/18 11:38 AM
02/04/18 11:38 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 30,973
NY
demarpaint Offline
demarpaint  Offline
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 30,973
NY
Originally Posted By: supton
On manual transmissions, yes, as it places forces onto gears/syncros/whatever, which can cause wear. By resting you hand there, you might be pushing it slightly out of the place it wants to sit at; thus preloading something or moving it slightly, and thus causing some undue wear. Automatic, I have a hard time believing that it's moving anything such that extra wear occurs (different means of changing gears). So in an automatic I wouldn't think twice about it. Even though on manuals I do on occasion (it's not like it'll wear out in ten miles doing this).


That's what I was taught, along with keeping both hands on the wheel. Looking at a cut away view of an M/T I could easily see why it is best not to rest my hand on the shifter.

Last edited by demarpaint; 02/04/18 11:42 AM.

God Bless Our Troops

Re: Driving With Hand On The Shift Lever??? [Re: billt460] #4655815
02/04/18 11:43 AM
02/04/18 11:43 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,031
The Midwest
skyactiv Offline
skyactiv  Offline
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,031
The Midwest
How many of you guys regularly drive a stick? And how many have a wife that drives one? This is a non issue for most drivers.


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Me: 13' VW GTI 3 door 6 speed manual
Wanted: 2019 Ford Ranger
Re: Driving With Hand On The Shift Lever??? [Re: skyactiv] #4655824
02/04/18 11:52 AM
02/04/18 11:52 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 12,761
NH
supton Offline
supton  Offline
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 12,761
NH
Originally Posted By: skyactiv
How many of you guys regularly drive a stick? And how many have a wife that drives one? This is a non issue for most drivers.


Wasn't sure how to ask this question. I *used* to drive stick all the time, wife still does. I'm very comfortable using my left hand to do all the steering. Heck, it's not that hard--I mean, I haven't had a car without power steering for a couple decades.

And even then... I only needed two hands to steer when parking.

Most cars, a quarter turn on the wheel is going to be a hard swerve at speed. Two hands may be best but IMO that is like saying you should only drive after a full nights rest, and never spend more than 30 minutes behind the wheel 'cuz you might be tired, etc.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 170k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 144k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 195k, his
Re: Driving With Hand On The Shift Lever??? [Re: billt460] #4655825
02/04/18 11:52 AM
02/04/18 11:52 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,499
...
PimTac Offline
PimTac  Offline
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,499
...
Maybe with modern manual transmissions it’s not a factor but if I’m driving a stick I move my hand from wheel to shifter and back. The only time is when constant shifting is needed like a winding mountain pass but even then the shifter is not that far away.

It’s a bad habit, just like having the other foot resting on the brake pedal.


Cannot see signatures any longer so it doesn’t matter.
Re: Driving With Hand On The Shift Lever??? [Re: supton] #4655831
02/04/18 11:55 AM
02/04/18 11:55 AM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 5,159
Glendale, Arizona
billt460 Offline OP
billt460  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 5,159
Glendale, Arizona
Originally Posted By: supton
On manual transmissions, yes, as it places forces onto gears/syncros/whatever, which can cause wear. By resting you hand there, you might be pushing it slightly out of the place it wants to sit at; thus preloading something or moving it slightly, and thus causing some undue wear. Automatic, I have a hard time believing that it's moving anything such that extra wear occurs (different means of changing gears). So in an automatic I wouldn't think twice about it. Even though on manuals I do on occasion (it's not like it'll wear out in ten miles doing this).

In my truck I love resting my wrist on the gear lever, it puts my finger in the right spot to work the radio. The shift lever is also all the way down when I do this, so it's not possible for anything to occur. Heck in my Camry it's not a bad spot either.


Thanks. That's the answer I was looking for. One that explained this from strictly a mechanical standpoint. Not get a lesson in drivers ed.

Re: Driving With Hand On The Shift Lever??? [Re: billt460] #4655832
02/04/18 11:57 AM
02/04/18 11:57 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,475
NJ
Leo99 Offline
Leo99  Offline
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,475
NJ
Is anyone going to answer the OP's question?

Does having your hand on the auto tranny shifter knob cause any damage to the tranny?


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles (RIP)
2004 Corolla 125,000 miles
2004 Rav4 370,000 miles
2015 Camry 70,000 miles
Re: Driving With Hand On The Shift Lever??? [Re: supton] #4655833
02/04/18 11:58 AM
02/04/18 11:58 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,499
...
PimTac Offline
PimTac  Offline
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,499
...
Originally Posted By: supton
Originally Posted By: skyactiv
How many of you guys regularly drive a stick? And how many have a wife that drives one? This is a non issue for most drivers.


Wasn't sure how to ask this question. I *used* to drive stick all the time, wife still does. I'm very comfortable using my left hand to do all the steering. Heck, it's not that hard--I mean, I haven't had a car without power steering for a couple decades.

And even then... I only needed two hands to steer when parking.

Most cars, a quarter turn on the wheel is going to be a hard swerve at speed. Two hands may be best but IMO that is like saying you should only drive after a full nights rest, and never spend more than 30 minutes behind the wheel 'cuz you might be tired, etc.



I understand the point you are making. It’s the what if situation that pops up when you least expect it. My fathers teaching and drivers ed both emphasized safety in the what if something happens. In my 45 plus years of driving, I have experienced a number of these emergency situations. A child runs out in front of you, in my case the kid was on a bicycle. Avoid a head-on crash at all costs. In my two cases I was fortunate to have room to the right, and in one case of avoiding hitting a person who skipped on ice in front of me and fell, the swerve to the left avoided hitting him.

All these times I had both hands on the wheel. I hate to think what the outcome would have been otherwise.


Cannot see signatures any longer so it doesn’t matter.
Re: Driving With Hand On The Shift Lever??? [Re: Leo99] #4655837
02/04/18 12:00 PM
02/04/18 12:00 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,499
...
PimTac Offline
PimTac  Offline
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,499
...
Originally Posted By: Leo99
Is anyone going to answer the OP's question?

Does having your hand on the auto tranny shifter knob cause any damage to the tranny?




I think it has been answered. I believe older transmissions may have had issues from that type of driving. I don’t know about the newer ones but there was the bigger issue of only one hand on the wheel.


Cannot see signatures any longer so it doesn’t matter.
Re: Driving With Hand On The Shift Lever??? [Re: billt460] #4655847
02/04/18 12:05 PM
02/04/18 12:05 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,283
WI
HoosierJeeper Offline
HoosierJeeper  Offline
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,283
WI
An auto shifter nowadays is just an electronic switch. Like on my LR3 you could throw it in park at 70 MPH and nothing will happen I think.


15 Jeep KL Limited V6: Formula Shell 5W20
07 LR3 SE V8: Maxlife 5W30
05 Jeep KJ Limited: PHM 5W30
96 Jeep XJ Country: STP HM 5W30 (winter)
Re: Driving With Hand On The Shift Lever??? [Re: billt460] #4655859
02/04/18 12:16 PM
02/04/18 12:16 PM
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 718
Canada
i_hate_autofraud Offline
i_hate_autofraud  Offline
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 718
Canada

I'm tempted from time to time to rest my hand on the shifter.

BUT, shift linkages and switches can be less robust then the tranny, any damage can keep a car stuck in park, etc.

Hit a bump and you could shift accidentally, weight of your hand and arm on the shifter and linkage is why I won't
do it often.

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