My employer had an argument with me as he didn't like the fact I was starting from a stop in 4th gear. He said it is better to shift into 1st gear when starting from a stop. While I said it is better to start in 4th gear, giving it lots of gas and engaging the starting motor, and allowing the clutch to slip, only raising it once you are within the gear's speed range. I argued that this was better for the car in the long run as you don't always have to shift gears, saving stress and wear on both your clutch and syncros. It also makes driving a manual in stop-start/heavy traffic alot easier.

Who's method is right in terms of overall car health?

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    You won’t be driving my car any day soon. But your employer stands a chance. – Solar Mike Nov 3 '18 at 6:40
  • We would need to understand what kind of vehicle this is. I sincerely doubt that starting in 4th gear is prudent in any situation. Is this an Eaton 13 speed RoadRanger, or a Volkswagon Cabrio?? Stay employed! – SteveRacer Nov 3 '18 at 7:25
  • We had a driver who would start in first, rev to redline+, then smack it straight into 4th and labour the engine like crazy... Funny, he didn't stay long... – Solar Mike Nov 3 '18 at 7:51
  • Starting in 4th can be perfectly sensible if you have a 32-speed gearbox (like some trucks and farm machinery) - but not in a car. – alephzero Nov 3 '18 at 9:17

Starting from a higher gear than 1st is really bad for your transmission. It puts a lot of stress on your clutch. Only time you should start from higher gear than 1st is if you are stuck in snow or mud. Then you can start from 2nd or max 3rd.

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    Or if you are starting going downhill, in which case just let the car roll to speed up till you release the clutch in 2nd or 3rd. This is only safe if you know you won't need the engine braking effect of 1st gear, of course. – alephzero Nov 3 '18 at 9:19
  • @alephzero you can do this but it's overall dangerous to coast in neutral you can't speed up fast if there is something that is moving towards you and will hit you. – AsenM Nov 3 '18 at 10:31
  • I'm only talking about coasting for a few yards till the speed gets to say 5mph. The argument about "you need to be able to accelerate out of the way of a head-on collision" doesn't make much sense - first you need some empty road space to accelerate into, and second, what happens when the guy coming towards you chooses the same bit of empty road to swerve into as you? (Answer, so far as your insurance company is concerned, YOU were driving on the wrong side of the road when the accident happened, not the other guy!) – alephzero Nov 3 '18 at 12:16
  • … but traffic conditions and driver behaviour might be different in the UK and Bulgaria, of course. – alephzero Nov 3 '18 at 12:20

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