Money Shifting: Everything You Need To Know

Not all drivers are impeccable in their skills behind the wheel. Each of us is bound to commit errors while driving on roads or tracks. These errors are usually minor blunders that offer valuable lessons for self-improvement as drivers. Nevertheless, there exist mistakes with more serious implications. The notorious money shift falls into this category, capable of wreaking havoc on your engine and transmission system. This article aims to explore what a money shifting is and the repercussions associated with it, along with offering practical guidance on avoiding such mishaps.

What actually is a ‘Money Shifting?

The occurrence of a money shift arises when a driver has the intention of upshifting while maintaining full throttle but erroneously opts for a lower gear instead. Termed as such due to its potential for causing costly harm to both the engine and transmission systems, the mere mention of money and shift together is sufficient to evoke discomfort in even the most experienced drivers.

Being fallible beings, we all inevitably commit errors at times; however, certain mistakes carry substantial consequences. Inadvertently downshifting during maximum acceleration can result in unfavorable outcomes for your vehicle’s condition, your personal pride, and your financial resources.

What could happen when you money shift?

How severe is the impact of money shifting? Well, it varies. When you unintentionally downshift at the redline, there are several potential outcomes that can range from mere inconvenience to a full-blown financial disaster. Here are the most likely results:

You’ll lose control of the vehicle

If you mistakenly shift gears after accelerating to the maximum, your vehicle’s rear end may swing out. This occurs when the car decelerates too abruptly, causing the tires to lose traction with the road. When you make a money shift, the car will rapidly slow down due to engine braking.

This is done to rectify the faulty gear change. In the best case scenario, this will result in unpredictable handling, while in the worst case scenario, it may lead to a complete spin-out.

Bear in mind that this entire sequence will transpire in a blink of an eye, underscoring the utmost importance of rapid reflexes and expertise. Prior to hitting the track, ensure unwavering confidence in your familiarity with the vehicle and how it operates!

Remember, racing on a track requires not only speed but also precision and control. So take the time to build your confidence, hone your skills, and always prioritize safety while pushing yourself to achieve better performance on the track.

Engine damage

Money shifting, or the act of shifting gears improperly, can indeed lead to serious issues for an engine. When an engine is revved over its redline for an extended period, it can cause irreversible damage such as valve float. Valve float occurs when the valves in the engine don’t close properly due to excessive RPMs, leading to a loss of power and potential engine failure.

In your Mazda MX-5 NB, reaching the redline in third gear at around 92mph may seem tempting for some adrenaline junkies. However, it’s important to remember that redlining should be avoided unless you’re on a racetrack or in a controlled environment. Continuous over-revving can put unnecessary stress on the engine components and increase the risk of costly repairs or even engine replacement. It’s always better to stay within the recommended RPM range and take care of your vehicle’s longevity.

Transmission damage

Accidentally shifting gears downwards can impose excessive stress on both your clutch and transmission components. Elements like gear synchronizers and the actual clutch itself are susceptible to incorrect functioning as a result. Your clutch and transmission are specifically engineered to function optimally at normal speeds with the assistance of an engine rev limiter.

Should your clutch operate beyond its designated red line speed, it could potentially fail or even fracture into pieces. The shattered fragments of a broken clutch disc have the potential to be propelled through your transmission housing, leading to severe injury or extensive damage. Do not be deceived – even if you do not fully engage the clutch during an ill-timed shift, simply selecting a gear will still cause the unnecessary acceleration of the spinning motion of your clutch disc. Refrain from engaging in such actions!

Absolutely nothing

In the event that you are fortunate enough to promptly rectify a monetary miscalculation, you may be able to prevent any harm or impairment to your vehicle’s handling. The durability of engines and transmissions is commendable. Although your car is not intended for surpassing the redline, it is not necessarily catastrophic if it does occur.

In fact, your engine may even possess an excessive level of robustness, allowing for some flexibility in terms of high RPMs. Should you find yourself falling victim to a monetary miscalculation, it is imperative that you pull over at the earliest opportunity to inspect for any potential damage. Pay close attention for any unpleasant sounds, knocks, or noises emanating from the engine or transmission.

If everything appears to be in order, you have likely survived the dreaded monetary miscalculation. Your financial resources will express their gratitude. Endeavor not to repeat this mishap! Read Should You Replace All Four Tires?

How to avoid money shifting?

Fortunately, money shifting is an uncommon event. Typically, if you attempt to shift into a lower gear after hitting the rev limiter, most transmissions will provide some resistance. In other words, most shifters should indicate if you are about to make an error. Nevertheless, the likelihood of experiencing a money shift can increase due to worn bushings, malfunctioning synchros, and deteriorated transmission mounts. Here are several valuable tips that can help prevent accidental downshifts:

When it comes to gear changes, it’s important to take your time and not rush. Shifting gears smoothly requires a gentle touch and a gradual transition. Avoid forcefully shoving the gears into place; instead, guide the shifter to its next destination with a light touch. Practicing proper shifting technique involves not gripping the shifter too hard, as this can cause unnecessary strain on the transmission.

If you notice any noticeable issues with your transmission, it’s crucial to address them promptly. Ignoring problems can lead to further damage and potentially costly repairs down the line. Regular maintenance and servicing can help keep your transmission in good condition.

Moreover, don’t stress too much about money shifting. While it is rare, accidents can happen. The key is to have fun while driving and enjoy the experience. With practice and attention to proper technique, you’ll become more confident in your gear changes over time. Read Let’s Talk About ‘Chelsea Tractors’


That’s a wrap! I’ve been through the unpleasant experience of a money shift once or twice, but luckily, my blunders didn’t result in any major consequences. Admittedly, my ego took a blow, but I acquired some valuable lessons on what mistakes to avoid while out on the racetrack. Even if your engine is practically indestructible and your driving prowess is unmatched, it’s never wise to develop the habit of excessively revving up your vehicle. It could even pose a risk of injury if you’re not careful enough. Have you ever had an encounter with the infamous money shift? Feel free to share how it unfolded for you below! Check out Where Are MG Cars Made?

Hey there, Ryan here, the guy behind Casual Car Info. I have to admit, I wasn't always a car enthusiast. Cars never really caught my attention initially. It's only been in the last four years that I've developed a genuine interest in the automotive industry. My journey began when I bought a used Vauxhall Astra, which turned out to be plagued with issues. Determined to understand what was wrong with the car, I immersed myself in all kinds of car-related content.

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