Can I shift without using the clutch?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Dec 01, 1992

Dear Tom and Ray:

I own a car with a manual transmission. My brother (who, by the way, loves reading your column) claims that it is okay to shift gears in my car without pushing in the clutch. It seems to me that this would damage the car in some way. I would appreciate your comments on this. Thanks!
David's Sister

RAY: If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that you should NEVER listen your brother when it comes to cars.

TOM: I agree whole heartedly.

RAY: Your brother may love reading our column, Sis, but he obviously doesn't read it regularly. We've talked about this issue before. The answer is no, it's not okay to shift without using the clutch.

TOM: Shifting without the clutch is like catching a baseball in your teeth. If you're lucky, and you get everything just right, the best you can hope for is to avoid doing serious damage. But if your timing is off just a little bit,'d better like Gerber strained peas.

RAY: And that's exactly what can happen if you make a bad shift without the clutch. You can break teeth in your transmission.

TOM: And transmission rebuilds run into money. So unless your brother is willing to sign over his allowance to you for the next fifteen or twenty years, I'd keep using the clutch, and keep him away from your car.

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