Many people find that learning how to drive a stick, while challenging, is incredibly rewarding for them. They tend to see it as an art and you`ll often see that once you go with a stick, it`s tough to ever go back to an automatic. Manual transmissions also tend to be less complex, leaving less room for issues than what you`ll find with automatic transmissions. Once you`ve fully mastered the manual transmission, you might want to take things up a notch with a short-throw shifter. There are both pros and cons of short shifters to understand before you use one, and the following are some of the big things you should know.
What Is a Short Shifter?
A short shifter is something that reduces the distance your hand has to go to get to the next gear, meaning that you`re spending less time in between those shifts and getting performance improvements.
Some people feel a short shifter is just a chopped version of a stock shifter, but that`s not the case. If you chop your shifter it doesn`t affect the angle it travels through between gears, so it doesn`t actually reduce the throw.
If something is a true short shifter, it`s reducing the angle the shaft moves through when it`s between gears.
Many of the shafts of a short shifter are also designed to look and feel sportier.
Basically, what all this means is that it`s easier and faster to move through the gears and if you`re someone who`s interested in racing that can be a big perk for you.
This aftermarket upgrade is only going to work with manual transmissions.
We`ve touched on some of the benefits of short shifters—a big one is the sporty look they give a vehicle. You`ll see many sports cars are even designed with short shifters to maintain that sense of sportiness.
There`s also the benefit of precision.
Since the design of the shifter is so short, it provides precise gear changes.
In racing, every second is valuable and counts, which is why precision is so especially important.
Precision can also be important if you`re driving in an area with a lot of traffic or big inclines.
Short throw shifters can be customized and upgraded, and it doesn`t require a big effort to do so.
You`ll likely see if you do invest in an aftermarket short throw shifter it gives you a better driving experience in addition to a performance boost.
The addition of a short shifter has been described by some as changing the overall experience that you feel as a driver. It may help you feel more in tune with your vehicle, and it can help you be a better driver.
A short shifter can help you feel more in control, and some people who use them say they don`t have to move their elbow to change gears.
What About the Downsides?
With so many pros, you might be wondering if there are any cons of short shifters.
With this type of gear stick, you`re going to have to put more effort into moving.
A short shifter can also cause your transmission to wear out a bit faster because you`re putting more pressure on certain components. Some people, however, feel it actually extends the longevity of their transmission.
Installing a short shifter is pretty easy, even if you aren`t super experienced at making your own auto upgrades.
You do want to take your time with it, and make sure you do it correctly, however, since it`s a part of your car you`re touching and interacting with every time you`re in it.
As a final note, while short shifters are very popular, they`re not right for every vehicle.
Your vehicle may feel better if you stick with longer throws, so this is something you`ll have to think about on a personal level.
Short shifters also won`t work with automatic vehicles because there`s no gear shifter. There are certain models that work with automatic transmissions, but they would have little if any value.
Overall, short shifters are popular for a reason. They`re affordable—they`re one of the cheapest modifications you can make to your vehicle that`s going to have a significant impact. You`re going to get immediate gratification when you install a short shifter, which some people like, and they`re easy to install and you won`t likely need any professional help.