When I am doing about 30-20mph, and am about to stop at a junction, where I know I will have to stop, I shift my car into first gear

However, sometimes when I do this, it makes a quick gear grinding noise when I shift. It lasts for about 1/2 a second.

What is this? Am I destroying my gearbox by doing this?

EDIT: I keep the clutch down until I am stopped! I don't shift into 1st at 30!

I'm not asking why my engine is exploding! ;)

  • 2
    Never downshift to 1st. 2nd is the lowest you should go.
    – rana
    Sep 9, 2015 at 17:09

1 Answer 1


When you are down shifting you are using the engine as a brake, however if you are down-shifting at very high RPM and your engine is revving, over time the synchronizer can be damaged, or it is already damaged.

Thus, to prevent further damage just use only your brake, if you can.

Note: when I was taking my C category driving lessons, they told us that in the most cases when the vehicle is empty and/or on horizontal plane, we should always use the second gear to start motion. First gear is only kept for full load and inclined plane.

Addition after the question edit:

In that case you probably need clutch adjustment or change of clutch disk.

  • 1
    Sorry, I meant I kept the clutch down. I don't shift into 1st from 30!
    – George
    Sep 9, 2015 at 17:13

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