When Driving, Which Gears Should You Use to Go up and Down a Hill?


Quick Answer

A good rule of thumb for selecting gears for driving uphill is to downshift when you feel the vehicle begin to lose power and to upshift when it begins to sound labored. Choosing gears for navigating hills is best accomplished by listening to the engine, according to StandardShift.com.

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Full Answer

A tachometer is also useful in indicating when to shift up or down. The manuals for most vehicles equipped with tachometers offer recommended shift points.

The Safe Drive Directory urges caution when following other drivers up or down hills, noting that some tend to ride the brakes, which sometimes forces those behind them to make sudden stops. Selecting a lower gear helps slow your vehicle, giving you more control over your speed and improving your chances of avoiding a collision.

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