Why do the designs of gear shifters differ among cars?


Posted by: Jane Osuagwu

Share this post:

Latest news articles

Have you noticed automatic cars comes with different types of gear shifters? Some are straight while others go for zig-zag designs. Here are the reasons!

The latest automobiles are now more likely to be built with automatic transmission and say no to manual. And if you've noticed, some of these cars come with a straight automatic transmission while the zigzag shape is used in other models. Now you may be wondering the reason for this. Well, think no further as Naijauto.com will be sharing with you on this article why automatic cars have two types of gear shifters.

The automobile industry is fast embracing automatic transmission. However, making the decision to settle for either a linear gear shifter or a zigzag gear shifter will always arise. As a car enthusiast, before you make your selection between these two types of gear shifters, here is why they are used by different vehicles.

Reasons why automakers produce different types of gear shifters

1. Control and safety

The linear (straight) and zigzag (sometimes referred to as gated) gear shifters performs the same function in a car. The gearshift ensures the car is kept in gear and under control. Let’s imagine a scenario where you are driving under the rain, and then you wanted to shift the gear but you shifted the gear on the wrong level. This risky situation can only happen when you are using the linear gearshift.

With the zigzag gearshift pattern, it won't happen as the curves in the zigzag gear shifter will stop you from putting the wrong gear. The curves always give an accurate estimate of where the gear stick is when the driver is shifting the gear. This gives you better control over the vehicle.

When it comes to safety, the linear gearshift is mostly preferred. The easy movement of the gear stick, together with the security lock key holds back the vehicle so it doesn't end up in a dangerous position when at high speeds.


Drivers who prefer control over the car would suite the zigzag gear shifter better

With the zigzag gearshift, it’s not the same case. The shifter has no locking system. The zigzag gearshift is designed in a way that assures the safety of the driver in every situation. Drivers also get to know they are using the right gear for their car.

The automatic transmission is known to provide drivers with better driving experience.

2. The cost factor

The linear or straight shifter has a button which looks like a device installed on the gear lever. It locks out reverse. And it's certain that the device installed is a piece of valuable equipment that’s pricey. Generally, two types of buyers exist. Those who want a better performance that's inexpensive and those who are ready to pay for the price as long as they'll be getting a better feature.

The linear gear shifter cars show that it will cost more when compared to the zigzag gear shifter cars. With this information, a car buyer can get to know the type of car that will be fit and proper for long terms.

>>> Are you interested in car operation? Read What is a car brain box & functions of ECU and PCM


The linear shifter provides easy movements but costs more

Which type of gear shifter is better?

If you want a car that has a smooth gearshift, then you should go for the linear gearshift. It’s the best fit. But when it comes to having better control over your car, the zigzag gearshifter is the ideal fit. In all, making the decision to settle for a particular gear design will be determined by the individual's preference and requirements.

Naijauto.com believes that choosing your desired gear shifter is sure to make you get the best out of the automatic transmission.

Video: Learn how a shifter works

We believe this article has made you understand why some vehicles use different types of gear shifters and the upsides as well as downsides of using an linear (straight) or zigzag gear shifter.

>>> Do check out other related posts on our tips and advice section as well as update latest car news!

Jane Osuagwu

Jane Osuagwu

Car prices

Jane Osuagwu is an automotive writer at Naijauto.com. She's a car enthusiast who loves creating educative and informative topics on cars, ranging from maintenance tips to updates on the latest trend in the auto industry in concise and friendly writing. 

Jane is also a blogger and loves reading, inspiring people and getting involved in personal development projects.

See more