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It's claimed sometimes that the first gear must be used only to start moving and you should shift into second as soon as possible because driving in first gear is not good for the gearbox/motor/in general. Is it really so? As far as I know the only difference between gears is gear ratios and driving with one ratio cannot be worse than driving with another (as long as the motor rotation is in its normal working range).

closed as off-topic by Oddthinking Jul 5 '17 at 12:39

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  • "Skeptics Stack Exchange is for challenging unreferenced notable claims, pseudoscience and biased results. This question might not challenge a claim, or the claim identified might not be notable." – Oddthinking
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    It's claimed quite often. Sorry, this needs links to show that it is (indeed) a notable claim. – Jan Doggen Jul 5 '17 at 9:31
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    The gear ratio in first gear is usually so that you get out of optimal motor rotation immediately after getting the car moving, rapidly approaching redline with very little further acceleration. Actually, in truck driving school, I was taught to not use first gear at all unless the truck was heavily loaded and / or doing a gradient start (for exactly the abovementioned reasons). – DevSolar Jul 5 '17 at 9:43
  • @JanDoggen How many links are needed to consider this claim as notable? PS. I changed "often" to "sometimes". – Common Guy Jul 5 '17 at 9:45
  • @CommonGuy: It is inefficient with the potential to inadvertently exceed save RPM range. I don't know (and actually don't believe) there is a danger of damaging the car by driving in first gear within save RPM ranges (as you'd do in a slow-moving traffic jam, for example). The recommendation to shift up is, in my experience, made because driving in first doesn't have any advantages (i.e. "not desirable") – DevSolar Jul 5 '17 at 9:50
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    @CommonGuy: Rule of thumb: One link, if it is widely read. About three if we are unsure. One of the reasons is to make sure we understand what the claim is: is it warning against over-revving? is it warning about the break-in period of new/overhauled engines? is it warning about fuel efficiency? is it warning about emissions (including noise)? is it warning about gearbox (manual or automatic?) Is it warning about some other part? – Oddthinking Jul 5 '17 at 12:41

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