How to Downshift in a Manual Transmission Vehicle

Updated on January 17, 2019


This guide assumes that you already know how to upshift a manual transmission. At this point you should be familiar with the different gears and shifting between them. The technique of downshift can be very usefully for speeding up and smoothly going through corners. There are three ways to downshift, and all of them will be discussed in this guide.

Single-Clutch Downshift

This is the most common way to downshift your manual transmission car.

  1. Check the speed you are going at and your current rpms.
  2. Push the clutch in, and at the same time shift to the lower gear. Don't shift into the wrong gear!
  3. With the clutch still in, give the gas a little blip to rev-match the engine speed to the transmission speed of the car. The blip should be between 0.5 to 1 rpm more than your current rpm to rev-match. Make sure you don't give too little of a blip or else the shift will be uneven. It is better to give a blip that is bigger than smaller.
  4. Slowly release the clutch and continue to add gas. Sometime, you don't even have to add gas. You can just slowly release the clutch instead; however, only do this if your rpms are high enough though.

That is how you do a single-clutch downshift. It is okay if you don't get it at first. Practice makes perfect!

Double-Clutch Downshift

The double-clutch downshift is very similar to that of the single-clutch except that the double clutch requires you to clutch in twice. Why do you need to double clutch? Well, if you have an old car that doesn't have any synchronizers, double clutching is necessary. In this process, you would put the car in neutral and blip, and then shift to the lower gear. For most cars, double clutching will not be necessary, but it is good to understand the difference and how to perform this downshift.

  1. Check the speed you are going at and your current rpms.
  2. Push the clutch in, and at the same time shift into neutral. You can release the clutch, and at this point, you would want to rev-match by giving the gas a little blip to match the engine speed to the transmission speed of the car.
  3. You will now clutch in again, then shift into the lower gear. You will want to do this step very quickly before the rpms go down. If the rpms go down, the shift will be jerky.
  4. Slowly release the clutch and continue to add gas.

Heel-Toe Downshift

This type of downshift is mostly used for turning a corner smoothly by maintaining speed. This is one of the most advanced types of downshifting so don't get frustrated if you don't get it your first time. Practice heel-toe in an empty parking lot before trying it on the roads. It will be difficult at first getting the feel for the technique. The "heel-toe" part of the downshift comes when you put your toes of your right foot on the brakes and turn the heel of your foot in the gas to blip the throttle to rev-match. Other than that, the same procedures hold as if you are performing the single clutch downshift. The heel-toe downshift isn't necessary in daily driving. It is mostly used in race driving such as circuit racing around corners.

Another method of doing the heel-toe is to push the brakes with the toes of your foot, and use the side of your foot to blip the throttle. This method only works if your brake and gas pedals are close together. However, this method does seem easier to perform than rotating your whole foot to reach the gas. An image of this is shown below.

  1. Check the speed you are going at and your current rpms. You need to predict at what speed to want to enter and exit the turn so you can downshift to the correct gear.
  2. Begin to brake as you enter the turn.
  3. As you start to turn, clutch in and blip the throttle with the heel-toe technique. At the same time, shift into the lower gears. Practice this in a secluded area because it will take a while to get used to the heel-toe downshift.
  4. Slowly release the clutch and continue to add gas.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)