The shift knob may seem like a plain auto part, but shifting between gears definitely becomes more difficult without it. Usually made from aluminum, a shift knob serves as the shifter's handle. Whether your vehicle uses a manual or an automatic transmission or is equipped with short or long shifter, the shifter's knob should be just at the right size for comfortable gripping. Ideally, the knob's surface should be covered with non-slip material. With these features, the shift knob makes it easier for you to switch between gears. And not only do shift knobs today provide you with an excellent "shift feel". There are also aftermarket knobs that come with attractive designs design and styles. Carparts offers a wide selection of shift knobs that definitely deliver both form and function. And we can give you these shift knobs at much cheaper prices!
• Provides you with a smooth, strong shift feel
• Available in various designs, shapes, and colors
• Commonly made from aluminum for durability
Installing a New Shift Knob in Four Easy Steps
More often than not, the stock shift knob that comes with a vehicle looks too generic, dull, or just plain boring. And for that reason, you may want to install a new shift knob-one that boasts of a sleeker and more stylish design. This is a good idea if you want a more personalized interior, whether you're going for a sportier look, a retro appearance, or whatever you have in mind. In this guide, we'll tell you how to install a new shift knob.
Required Skill Level: Novice
Needed Tools and Materials:
- Allen wrench/screwdriver/pliers (depends on the type of shift knob that you have)
Park your vehicle on a level surface. After that, chock the wheels, shift the car into neutral, and activate the parking brake.
Out With the Old
Naturally, you'll have to take out the old shifter knob first. The process to remove it varies as shift knobs are constructed differently from model to model. There are knobs that can be simply pulled off (some can be easily pulled, while some require a bit of muscle) from the shift lever. There are variants that require an Allen wrench or just a basic screwdriver to be unscrewed. Others utilize clips, which can be removed with pliers. Whatever the case may be, just be sure to have the appropriate tool on hand.
Placing the Adapter
Shift knob kits come with a set of adapters (for various vehicles) that allow the knob to fit better into the shift lever. Choose the adapter that's appropriate for your ride then slide it into the shifter knob.
In With the New
Once the adapter is in place, proceed to securing the new shift knob onto the lever (make sure that the knob is facing the right direction if it has any design or labeling). Tighten the knob onto the lever properly; after all, you wouldn't want it to come off while you're driving. Just like removing the old shift knob, use the appropriate tool (you may refer to the instructions that came with the shift knob kit) in order to secure it in place. You may use the old screws or clips (if necessary) if they're still in good condition.
Shift Knob: Two Things to Remember When Buying One
If you own a manual transmission car, then you know the importance of the shift knob. Without it, you won't be able to shift gears, and you will be stuck in just one gear. But aside from its control functions, shift knobs also have aesthetic purposes. In fact, car customization enthusiasts replace their shift knobs to spruce up the interior of their vehicles. So if you want to replace your old knob for better gear shifting and a more stylish interior, here are two things that you should remember when buying a replacement knob.
Know the material
Over the years, the technology used in manufacturing car parts has been continuously developing. As a result, parts sold in the market nowadays are made from different materials, and shift knobs are no exception to this. Here's a list of the common materials used by manufacturers in making gear knobs.
- Aluminum: This material is commonly used in making shift knobs and other car parts because of its abundance. Knobs made of aluminum are inexpensive and durable. However, they tend to heat up especially during hot days.
- Phenolic resin: Also called phenol formaldehyde resin, this material is used to make cue ball-like and retro-looking shift knobs. Though phenolic resin knobs are known for their superior durability, their prices tend to be on the steep side.
- Delrin: Because of its low friction and high dimensional stability, delrin or polyoxymethylene is typically used in making race car shift knobs. If you want smooth gear shifting, then delrin is the one for you. However, this type of knob is not recommended for those who have sweaty palms because they tend to be slippery when damp.
Buy from a trusted brand
It's true. Buying car parts is extremely difficult especially if you don't know which brand you should choose. Nowadays, there are various car parts manufacturers, and all of them boast high-quality and affordable products. If it's your first time to buy a replacement shift knob, how will you distinguish the best brand?
- Check reviews: If you will browse the Internet, you will come across brand reviews written by experts and customers. You can read these reviews before purchasing a product, so you'll gain insight on the strengths and weaknesses of different brands.
- Warranty: A good brand not only offers promos or discounts-they must offer warranty plans, too. It's because warranty plans guarantee that products are free from defects when you buy them. If there are no defects, there will be no premature repairs. Thus, you'll be able to save money in the long run.
Shift to a New Knob: How to Replace an Old Shift Knob
Just like what doctors say, prevention is better than cure. So if your car's shift knob is already old and worn out, it should be replaced immediately to avoid gear-shifting problems. Fortunately, installing a new knob is quick, easy, and can be done at home. This guide will teach you how you can do it in the safety of your own garage.
What you'll need:
- New shift knob
- Small slotted screwdriver
- Allen wrench
Step 1: Park on level ground. Then, engage the parking brake and shift into neutral gear.
Step 2: Move the shift boot that covers the stick shift out of the way by sliding it down the shift knob. The boot can be leather or plastic.
Step 3: Detach your car's old knob. Depending on your car's make and model, you can do this by removing the screws that hold knob in place, turning it counter-clockwise until it's loose, or by pulling it straight up.
Step 4: Attach the new shift knob. If you bought a new knob that has an adapter kit, choose the adapter that fits your car's stick. Slide the adapter in place. Once it's secured, place the knob, and don't forget to check if the labels are facing the correct direction.
Step 5: Using your Allen wrench, tighten the screws that connect the knob to the shift. Doing so will prevent the shift knob from coming off while changing gears.
Step 6: Cover the stick, and protect it from dust by putting the shift boot back in place. Slide it back up, and make sure that it's covering the stick completely.
Step 7: Test drive your car for a few miles to make sure that the knob won't come off. If it does, repeat all the procedures, and make sure that all screws are tight and right.