A shifter is a device used in vehicles,in order to change the gears, in the transmission. This seemingly simple device is used in both automatic and manual transmission vehicles. Shifters are only usable on certain transmissions, with the proper clearance available, in the vehicle. For example a manual transmission truck would not be able to use the same shifter as a manual transmission sports car. The shifter would be too short and the linkage would not align properly. In an automatic vehicle upgrading to a different shifter is a bit easier but will become a process if a column shift is trying to be replaced with a floor shifter.
There are different styles of shifters available to accomplish different needs. In a sports car it is common to change the original shifter with a short throw shifter. What this does is decrease the amount of travel the shifter must move to engage the next gear. The advantage to this is that the driver is able to change gears more quickly which can make a big difference when racing.
In an automatic transmission upgrading the shifter is mostly done for competition purposes. Some of the shifters for automatic transmissions have a locking mechanism that prevents the driver from shifting into too high of a gear while other offer an electronic switch to apply nitrous oxide or a transmission brake among other things.
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