Slap Shifter: What is a slap stick shifter in a car?

When you need to quick gear shifting of your vehicle on the racing track, the manual shifter works better. However, it requires the assistance of a clutch. In that situation, the slap shifter appears like the most ideal gear shifter.

It's neither a standard/ manual shifter nor an automatic. However, it's used in sporty cars to ensure quick automatic transmissions. Simply, take the gear shift in position and slap the lever to upgrade or downgrade the gear.

Where an automatic shifter provides you a reliable gear shifting but steadily, a slap shifter does the work more quickly and convincingly.

is a slap stick shifter in a car

What is a slap stick shifter?

A slap stick shifter is a special kind of shifter that appears as a combination of an automatic and manual shifter. Two reasons are there behind calling it a special combined gear shifter.

  • You can manually switch the gears similar to a manual or standard shifter.
  • The process of gear shifting is an automatic transmission process.

The driver of the vehicle neither has to drive with automatic gear shifting nor with manual using the clutch here. Quick and reliable gear shifting makes the shifter a perfect one on racing tracks.

However, if you are someone, who is more looking for a relaxed driving experience, you better try out the automatic gear shifting process.

How does a slap shifter work?

In simple words, a slapstick shifter works by slapping the shifter up or down to change the gears. One push or slap upwards means one gear went up.

In same the same manner, if you push or slap the shifter downwards, one gear will come down. The quick upshift and downshift provide extra control to the driver of the vehicle.

However, it's still a riddle for a newbie to solve how this special kind of shifter works. Well, you better go through the following steps to have a clear idea.

Make sure you are on the right track to apply quick gear changing.

  • Get to the slap shifter mode.
  • Push or slap the lever forward.
  • It will upgrade one gear on the vehicle.
  • Push or slap the lever backward.
  • It will downgrade one gear on the vehicle.
  • It’s never necessary to take the car in neutral mode to apply this gear shifting.
  • However, gear positioning is important before doing so.

Thus, you don’t have to wait for the automatic sensor’s signal to upgrade or downgrade the car’s gear here. And this shifting can quicken the gear shifting process.

Is a slap shifter used for automatic transmissions?

Yes, a slap shifter is used for automatic transmissions. However, what you need to know is that it's never a complete automatic gear shifting mechanism; rather a special kind of automatic transmission.

It requires the driver to slap the gear shifting lever to take the gear up or down automatically. On the other hand, the automatic process changes the gear through automatic sensors.

Slap shifter gear transmission

Automatic gear transmission

Slap or push to upgrade the gear

The sensor automatically upgrades the gear

Slap or push to upgrade the gear

Sensor detection automatically downgrades the gear.

The quick gear shifting process

A slow gear shifting process

Requires the gear shifting lever

Doesn’t require the gear shifting lever

Perfect on the racing tracks

Perfect for moderate driving

Gear shifting relies on the driver’s need

Gear shifting relies on the sensor detection

Even though you aren’t a moderate driver, you may not love the sensor detecting the automatic gear shifting process. It can let you change the gear transmission to this special kind of shifter for quick gear shifting.

Manual slap shifter

As slap shifting is not entirely an automatic process, and it requires the use of a gear shifting lever, it appears like a manual process. However, a manual gear transmission requires the use of a clutch.

Moreover, it requires more work to be done on the manual shifter in order to change the gears. On the other hand, even though the gear shifting lever is required here, the slap shifter doesn't need a clutch to change gears.

In addition, it takes less time to upgrade or downgrade the gears through a quicker process too.

Slap shifter vs. manual shifter

Now that things have become a bit complicated between slap shifter and manual shifter, you better go know the differences at a quick glance.

Slap shifter

Manual shifter

Changes gear automatically+ manually

Changes gear manually only  

Requires the assistance of gear changing lever

Requires the assistance of gear changing lever and clutch

Mostly used in racing cars

Normal cars have this shifter

Taking the gear to neutral mode isn’t necessary

Taking the gear to neutral mode is necessary

Cars with slap shifter

Whenever you can't wait for the sensors to detect whether you upgrade or downgrade the gear, go for manual shifters. But wait for a second, a manual shifter requires a lot more work to change the gears.

Therefore, the best solution you have for quick and relentless, automatic gear changing is through slap shifters. However, in which situations the car needs a slap shifter for gear transmissions?

  • If you are driving on a racing track.
  • If the vehicle is sportier than normal vehicles.
  • The sensors detecting gear changing is boring.
  • Less work for gear changing than a manual transmission.
  • The reliable process to quick gear change.
  • Better control over the car.
  • Combination of automatic and manual processes.

Although it’s a quicker process to change the gears on your car, it still requires relatively more work than the automatic process to change gears.

Benefits of slap shifter

Whether you have an automatic transmission or a manual one for gear changing on your car, you may not be satisfied. There are two reasons behind it.

  • Automatic transmission is a slow gear-changing process as it depends on automatic sensor detection.
  • Manual transmission requires more work you need both the lever and clutch to change the gears.

To relieve the users from these problems, slap shifters have appeared as a perfect solution. Here are the reasons why you should rather move to this special kind of shifter.

  • It's a combination of an automatic and manual transmission.
  • Doesn't rely on sensor detection.
  • The clutch isn’t used for gear changing.
  • Quickly upgrades and downgrades the gear.
  • No need to go to the neutral mode for gear changing.
  • Better control over the sportier cars.

Is slap shifting bad for your car?

Well, you may be thinking that slap shifting is the most perfect choice for your car in any condition. However, you may not be right if you are a moderate driver, who loves driving to relax.

Before you change the car’s transmission to slap shifting, you should rather know why this shifting is sometimes bad for your car.

  • It’s more for racing or sportier cars.
  • Relaxed or moderate driving doesn’t suit slap shifting.
  • It requires more work than automatic transmission.

Automatic transmission needs you to do nothing except wait for it to detect the right situation to change the gear automatically. On the contrary, the driver needs to position the gear and slap the lever to upgrade or downgrade the gear.

Last Updated on June 17, 2022 by sajjad

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