If you drive a car with a manual transmission, just try to recollect where does your left hand mostly rest? The gear lever mostly we'd say and that's not just restricted to us Indians but it's a global thing.
“What's the big deal about resting a hand on the gear lever?”, some of you might be saying by now and you have a point. After all, what harm could resting a hand on the gear lever without exerting excessive force do? Reality is, a lot of harm and a worn-out gearbox if you've been practicing the habit long enough. So what really happens inside the gearbox and what leads to premature wear and tear? Express Drives explains.
A typical transmission has the gear lever on a shifter rail and the gears are moving while you're driving. Shift forks inside the transmission are always looking out for the next opportunity to shift from one gear to another. Now when you rest your hand on the gear lever, the force pushes down the shifter rail and in turn force the shift fork to put pressure on the synchronizers. This pressure on the synchronizers will result in the synchronizers to come in contact with the gears. This contact in case of pressure being applied through the gear lever can occur without the synchronizers getting engaged.
Hence, the synchroniser and gear in such as scenario will continue to rub against each other, leading to premature wear on the gear teeth. Over a period of time, this can cause the gears to lose friction and eventually start slipping, which in the real world could result in the gearbox jumping out of gears and at some point not engaging at all.
Besides the wear thing, there's also a safety concern with resting your hand on the gear lever. Ideally, one should rest both their hands on the steering wheel in order to handle an emergency or make a split- second decision. The ideal position for both hands on the steering wheel is a 3pm and 9pm position.
Some people make minor adjustments to this placement and it's fine if that suits them but there's no way you can have the same level of control on a car through one hand opposed to two hands on the steering wheel.
So next time you're resting your hand on the gear lever, just remember you might be shortening its life.