Can You Float Gears in a Car? 4-Step Guide To Float Shifting Your Car

Want to learn how to shift gears without using the clutch pedal? This post is a must-read for everyone wanting to get started with double clutching and achieve clutchless shifting in cars and semi trucks.

Floating gears mean shifting gears without using the clutch pedal.

It is a technique that most professional truck drivers use to increase the clutch’s life span and give their footrest for some time.

You have to match the engine rpm and the road speed manually for a specific gear. Remember, if you do it badly, it can cause the gears to grind rather than mesh smoothly.

So, can you float gears in a car? Yes, you can change car gears without engaging the clutch pedal in cars, just like in trucks.

In this article, I will discuss which cars are more amenable to floating gears, how to float shift cars, and what precautions you need to take.

Can You Float Gears in a Car

Why is Float Shifting Easier in a Truck or Semi?

You can shift the gears in a truck with or without an original clutch pedal. Most people think float shifting is equivalent to double clutching.

But in reality, there are differences between the two techniques.

Float shifting means the truck driver has to use the clutch pedal one or two times to travel thousands of miles.

But double clutch involves the use of a clutch pedal.

During shifting gears, you must press the clutch pedal and bring the shifter back to normal before releasing the pedal.

You have to push the clutch pedal again before moving to the second gear.

It is popular in unsynchronized transmission vehicles.

However, using a double clutch can put pressure clutch plate and result in wear and tear sooner.

Truck drivers believe that float shifting will help increase the clutch’s life span.

Float Shifting a Truck or Semi

You can easily do float shifting in heavy-duty trucks or semi-trucks because there are no synchronizers.

The synchronizers will allow shifting gears only with a larger rpm range.

Float shifting is quite challenging for new truck drivers.

So, you have to practice before using the technique on a busy road. You can practice in an empty street to avoid accidents.

Your second step should be to accelerate the truck to the ideal rpm.

You must accelerate the engine to the optimum rpm and make the shifting easier.

You have to press the throttle to increase the engine’s rpm and then apply slight pressure on the gear stick.

Using too much pressure can damage your gearbox. Your subsequent work is to release the gas pedal so that gears can be shifted easily.

The rpm needle will go down, allowing the truck driver to shift gears quickly.

Remember, the gears on heavy-duty trucks are usually 300 rpm apart from each other.

Whenever the engine runs at 1400 rpm, and you want to go any higher gear, the engine must drop to 1100 rpm before you shift gears.

If you’re going to downshift, you must increase the engine rpm by 300 before the gear shift.

Can You Float Shift In A Car?

Yes, you can float shift in a pickup or heavy-duty car. You need to follow the below step for float shifting in the car.

1. Watch Your Surrounding

Your first task is to see the surrounding near you, mainly when you are new to float shift.

You can try in a lonely area or where no people are in the street to avoid accidents.

2. Practice Upshift And Then Move To Downshift

You have first to learn float shift during upshift or changing higher gears.

Increase the engine speed till it reaches an optimum rpm.

3. Apply the Correct pressure

Now apply the correct pressure and press it towards the next gear.

Don’t be too hard in this process, as it can damage the transmission components.

#4. Release The Gas Pedal

Now release the gas pedal slowly, and you will observe that the engine rpm is decreased. Now put the lever back in neutral.

Can It Be Bad For The Car?

Yes, it can be bad for your vehicle.

If you look into a standard transmission gearbox for a car, you will find two shafts in it.

The first is the main shaft, and the second is the lay shaft.

Gears are present on both shafts, and you will find synchronizers between the gears on the main shaft.

These synchronizers have dog teeth which help in locking the gear.

When you manually try to match the engine with the transmission speed, you may not achieve it, which can cause wear and tear on the dog teeth.

Consequently, it can wear out the teeth of the main gear.

Your whole transmission system can get affected badly, and the vehicle engine will not run smoothly.

Most drivers are unaware of this while using shift gears and have to pay hefty bills when they take their vehicle to the service center.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it better to use the clutch or float gears

Most road truckers believe using a floating shift is better for shifting gears than using the clutch.
The floating shift or clutchless shifting helps increase the durability of the clutch box.
But the gears may grind if you don’t use the floating shift properly. It is because of differences in vehicle and engine speed.

2. Do you let off the gas when floating gears?

Yes, you have to let off the gas pedal while floating gears. You need first to accelerate the car till the vehicle attains the ideal rpm.
Apply slight pressure on the stick so that it will not be challenging for you to accelerate.
Now release the gas pedal slowly. It will reduce the engine rpm o that you can make the shifting easier.

3. Is floating gears easy?

No float shifting gears is not easy. You need to manually match the truck speed with the engine speed, which is a bit challenging.
Therefore you need to use a floating shift on a busy road once you practice on a lonely street.

4. What does it mean to granny shift?

Granny shift is used in manual transmission for upshifting and downshifting gears.
You have to press the clutch pedal, change gears and depress the clutch pedal.

5. Is double clutching only for downshifting?

The double clutching technique is used by drivers who do not have good synchronous gearboxes and want to match the transmission speed with the engine speed.
You can use it mainly in manual cars and not cars equipped with automatic transmissions because there will be no clutch pedal for depressing.
The double clutch can be used both for upshifting as well as downshifting. Here you need to clutch two times to change gears.
First, you need to press the clutch pedal; it will take the vehicle out of the gear. You have it release it and then press it again while slotting the lever into the next gear.

6. Does skipping gears damage your car?

You need to skip gears while upshifting and downshifting.
But try to do it carefully; otherwise, there will be huge damage to the transmission system.
Remember that extra wear and tear can happen if you jump between large ratios.
You must manually match the engine speed with the correct gear, which is challenging.

Wrap Up

We have discussed above the basics of floating shift and how you can use it in trucks and cars.

Most car drivers find it difficult to use floating gears because matching the vehicle’s rpm is not an easy task.

Don’t get disheartened if you try for the first time and cannot match the engine speed with the correct gear.

It requires much practice before floating shifts on highways.

Thank you for reading this article.

Photo of author

Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

Leave a Comment