I am a beginner driver and am still struggling with shifting gears. I drive a Hyundai I20. The issue that I am facing is that when I shift from 1st to 2nd, usually while going up a slope, the shift is not at all smooth and due to improper revs the engine sometimes shuts off with jolts.

Will this adversely affect the engine/transmission. If so, how?

  • It's this a manual clutch?
    – Cullub
    Jul 8, 2016 at 16:17
  • Yes. It is a manual stick shift. Jul 8, 2016 at 16:19
  • 2
    And welcome to the site, by the way!
    – Cullub
    Jul 8, 2016 at 16:19
  • Okay. But if one could explain how it affects the engine/transmission, I would be grateful, is it more about the working of the engine and transmission? Jul 8, 2016 at 16:23
  • No. My question is whether the sudden engine switching off due to incorrect revs while the car is just taking up speed will affect the engine and or transmission. If so how. Jul 8, 2016 at 16:31

3 Answers 3


Driving a manual transmission is almost somewhat of an art form. You need to fine tune your ability to combine your clutch pedal and engine at the same time. Every car is different as well. I hate driving Hyundai stick shifts because they have pretty sensitive clutches, so it makes it very hard to drive smoothly. I stall my Tiburon here and there, but I've learned over the years that every car is different. You'll have to find the sweet spot with yours and also get better at clutching and throttle control. It takes time. It took me about a half-year to figure out how to drive one without stalling it all the time. Now I can literally get in any manual car with no issues. You'll get it eventually don't worry!

As far as damaging the engine. Yes you can. You're putting odd types of stresses that weren't engineered to handle that type of jerking motion. I wouldn't consider it horrible stress though, if you drive it like that for years you'll probably mess it up, but if you learn you should be fine. As far as the transmission goes, it's the same idea as your engine getting messed up.

The real concern, is your clutch.

How a clutch works - Youtube

Riding the clutch is a term used to describe not fully engaging the clutch when accelerating. A lot of people have a tendency to "Ride" it by only engaging half way or not enough. After you watch that video, you'll understand why this is bad. You're essentially allowing it to spin just enough to move the vehicle. However when the two surface are not planted firmly and rubbing occurs for extended periods of time, it will wear and burn the friction disc and flywheel. Thus cause shaking and a slipping clutch. You'll end up replacing them every year. I've had a few customers that just don't understand how to drive one and usually come back for new clutches every couple of years.

Also, don't worry about hill starts and stops. They are tricky in a manual. There are several techniques, such as holding the E-brake and riding the clutch just enough to get a smooth start. I would recommend giving it a good amount of gas and slowly engaging the clutch until you feel it fully grab. Again, this takes lots of practice.

as far as 1st to 2nd. It's always a little rough on my vehicles. The ratios of gearing are usually very different. I find it to be that way in a lot of cars. 6 speed transmissions seem to be a little more forgiving, but 5 and 4 speed transmissions are finicky. I hope i helped you a little bit!

Good luck!


Short answer, yes it's a little harder on it.

It's not much to worry about, and you'll learn the technique to resolve the issue fairly quickly, but the slamming and lurching that you're getting from too low RPM is harder on certain parts. Partly on the motor mounts, and some on the trans. If you're RPMs are down low enough to stall, the you won't be outputting that much power, and your clutch will eat most of the stress being put into the trans, especially if you're slow enough with the clutch to keep it from lurching - that's more clutch wear. The lurching (from my understanding) is partly cause by the springs in the clutch being compressed and decompressing violently. So this is also adding harsh(er) stresses to the springs.

Basically, it does affect some parts adversely, but to be fair, so does performing a proper shift.

Just stay in first a little longer when running on the uphill. ;)


Your only problem is too low revs. Just push it first gear to about 15 mph when you go up the hill and then switch to second. You'll be fine, just needs practicing. Don't be scared of high revs, it will not blow. The engine is well designed and it has a lot of sensors and limiters. If you don't have a tachometer I'd say your 1.4L engine will stay healthy if before switching gears you rev it up to:

  • 1st to 15-20mph
  • 2nd to 25-30mph
  • 3rd to 40mph
  • 4th to 50mph This is absolutely normal for a high load or slope.

I sometimes rev my 1.2L at 1st gear to 30mph, 2nd to 50mph and 3rd to 70mph.

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