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Shopping Guide – Shift Knobs

Custom shift knobs are affordable, easy to install, and are available in hundreds of styles and materials. Our shopping guide includes discussions on shift boots, bezels, hand brake levers, plus installation.

The knob at the end of your gearshift lever probably isn't something that most people notice when getting into your car or truck. But for a minimal cost, it can be. We make it easy to change out boring, frayed, or worn shift knobs with new ones that add noticeable style, luxury, and color to your interior. If you can handle one in your ride, we've got custom shift levers you're going to love! We offer a selection of shift knobs designed to fit both manual and automatic transmissions.

Shift Knobs Old And New

In this shopping guide, we'll examine OEM style shift knobs, unique custom knobs, shift knob covers, shifter boots, insert pieces for the top of the knobs, and emergency brake handles. We'll also clarify why and when you might need an adapter kit for certain knobs. But no matter which one you choose, adapter kit or no adapter kit, installation is as easy as unscrewing your old knob and screwing on the new one.

Shift Knobs Variety OE And Custom

What Does Vehicle Specific vs. Universal-Fit Signify?

On each product page, you'll see a fitment designation of "vehicle-specific" or "universal-fit". Most of the custom shift knobs we offer are a universal-fit design - meaning they are not created to fit any particular car or truck the way vehicle-specific ones are.

In most cases, universal-fit knobs can be screwed on to the end of any stick shift rod for a manual transmission. However, an adapter kit (see more on these kits further below) may be needed to help mate up an aftermarket knob with the factory shift rod. In some cases (usually older vehicles), universal-fit knobs can even be affixed to automatic trans shift levers not equipped with an interlock release button.

Vehicle-specific shift knobs are manufactured with the thread pitch and diameter of your make and model's gearshift lever in mind. This type of knob will not need an adapter piece.

Shift Knobs Adapter Pieces

I'd Like To Jazz Up My Shift Knob. What Options Are There?

Custom Shift Knobs Add Individual Style

Whether you prefer leather, bright colors, brushed metal, chrome, or the look of carbon fiber, you'll find a lot to like in our Custom Shift Knobs section. For starters, we've got best values that include full and partial leather wrap (with or without colored stitching), brushed metal, and round 8-ball style knobs. You'll also appreciate our selection of sporty "posh" shift knobs - many of which include leather inserts contrasting with metal or simulated carbon fiber.

Custom Shift Knobs

Custom gearshift knobs can also focus on accentuating the beauty of metal, and many choices feature partial leather inserts. Those who are fanatical about reducing overall weight may find our lightweight aluminum knobs a plus - especially one we have that's a perforated sphere inspired by drilled accelerator and brake pedals typically found on a race car.

And if your idea of change is a burst of bright color at the end of your shift lever, we've got those too.

Metal Custom Gearshift Knobs

Custom Shift Knobs Also Add Humor

If you're a person who's known for having a good sense of humor, we've got some choices that are sure to generate laughs. For example, you'll find universal-fit knobs made to look like a crushed beer can, dynamite stick, grenade, soiled bag of cash, monster faces, figurines, and lots of other humorous iconic items. We've also got a wide selection of round ball configurations with amusing logos, shift patterns, and images.

Humorous Custom Shift Knobs

Weighted Shift Knobs Make Shifting More Enjoyable

In our Custom Shift Knobs section, you'll also find a large number of stainless steel shift knobs. Because steel is denser than other materials typically used for OEM shift knobs, it weighs more. But instead of that weight making shifting harder, steel knobs actually make rowing the stick shift easier and more satisfying.

Stainless Steel Shift Knobs

How? When a weighted shift knob is moved from one gear position to another, the greater mass of the knob creates extra momentum during travel. This momentum pushes the shift lever into the next detent position much easier. Less effort is required by the driver to finagle the shifter into place, and a feeling of lighter, smoother shifting is created. This is a big plus when you're doing any kind of racing or performance driving.

Shift Lever Pushed Into A Detent Position

A weighted shift knob doesn't have to be large or cumbersome to have this effect. To pinpoint an example, we've got stainless steel Billet Shift Knobs which are stylishly shaped and feature a titanium coating. Cool to the touch, they're even cooler-looking in your car.

Short Stainless Steel Billet Shift Knobs With Titanium Coating

For a real sporty feel, we've also got "short shifter kits" that features a drop in shifter rod height and a 30% reduction in throw length between gears.

Custom Shift Knobs With Built-in Pushbuttons

We have custom shift knobs with an integrated pushbutton at the very top. Included with the shifter rod is wiring leading from the button that can be connected to the 12-volt circuit of your choice. So with one easy push, shifter knob buttons can allow you to switch on nitrous boost, retard spark timing, activate custom overdrive gears, control a transmission brake, turn on additional vehicle lights (underneath, interior, etc.), or perform any function your imagination can conjure up.

Custom Shift Knobs With Built-in Pushbuttons

I'm Just Looking For An OEM Style Replacement Knob. What Are My Options?

In our Replacement Shift Knobs section, you’ll find mostly OEM style shift knobs for both manual and automatic transmission vehicles. Manual knobs mirror original equipment black plastic or metal, with 4-speed, 5-speed, or 6-speed stick shift patterns embossed into the knob or printed on a round insert piece.

OE Style Shift Knobs For Manual Transmission Vehicles
OE Style Shift Knobs For Automatic Transmission Vehicles

For automatic transmissions, we've got a number of OEM column shift end pieces that screw into place quickly and easily. And if you've got a classic BMW, Mercedes, or Jaguar model, we've got a selection of shift knobs covered in a selection of real wood grains. These are upgrades shaped to match the original sizes, dimensions, and functions of OEM handles that were not originally made of wood. We don't mind saying these really make a vehicle interior pop while adding luxurious warmth.

Shift Knobs Covered With Real Wood Grains

The Tab With A Printed Design On Top Of My Shift Knob Fell Off And Got Lost. Can I Find Just That Piece?

Maybe your shift knob is in fine shape, but the insert piece at the top that displays a logo or shift pattern has taken a beating. Perhaps it's faded or discolored. Or missing completely. There's no need to replace the whole shift knob, because we have a great selection of shift knob inserts that are correct reproductions of your factory original pieces. Whether your reverse gear is up and to the left or down and to the right, you'll find the configuration of 4-speed, 5-speed, or 6-speed gearbox you need.

Shift Knobs Insert Pieces

These inserts come with a variety of shift pattern designs and fonts that are authentic to vintage American and import vehicles. And if you've got a 4x4 with a separate lever for switching between 2wd, 4wd high, and 4wd low, we've got correct reproductions of those too. Once you've cleaned off any old glue and residue from the top of your shift knob, you can go ahead and apply the new insert piece.

6 Speed Shift Pattern Shift Knob
4x4 Shifter Pattern Design

What About A Slide-On/Slide-Off Protective Cover Piece For My Shift Knob?

Like most interior areas, shift knobs made of leather, vinyl, plastic, or metal can reach sizzling temperatures when a vehicle is parked in direct sunlight for awhile. And there are just some areas that are hard to avoid touching with full hands-on grip. For example, it's impossible to drive without regular hand contact on your steering wheel and gearshift knob.

In our Shift Knob Covers sub-section, you'll find some comfortable and humorous covers designed to surround your gearshift knob, and stay snug there until you choose to remove them. An inner layer of neoprene prevents heat transfer, maintains snug grip, and provides a nice underlying feel to the touch.

Shift Knob Covers

We've also got genuine sheepskin shift knob covers in over a dozen solid color choices. These provide plush, comfortable softness as well as great insulation for both hot and cold temperatures.

Genuine Sheepskin Shift Knob Covers

And if you've got a late-model Subaru equipped with an "SI Drive" knob that allows you to select 3 different engine / transmission management settings for economy, sport, and sport sharp performance, we've got stylish overlay covers designed specifically for this round knob situated on the center console. Stainless steel construction ensures the cover piece won't flex out of shape while you grip it, and a choice of anodized finishes will fit right in with the modern looks of your Subaru interior.

"SI Drive" Knob

The Boot Cover Piece Around My Gearshift Lever Is Worn Out. Can I Replace That?

Yes, you can and should replace this piece known as a "shifter boot". By completely surrounding the base of a manual stick shift lever linkage assembly, a shifter boot does an effective job of preventing debris and foreign objects from dropping down on top of the transmission bell housing. Usually made from vinyl or rubber, shift boots take quite a beating over the years - leaving them prone to scratches, splits, and tears. But most often, the outer surface material of the boot becomes dried out in the sun - peeling and flaking away until you're left with an unsightly mess.

Worn Out Gearshift Lever Boot Cover

Not only can a faded, torn or noticeably aged shift boot ruin the look of the most pristine interior, it can shrink and pull up around the edges - leaving gaps that let in excess heat and noise. Often, this also creates a loose-feeling shift lever that doesn't move as well through the gears.

Aged Shift Boot With Pulled Up Edges

Whether your gear shift lever base is contained within a center console or if you've got a long shift lever that protrudes directly out of the vehicle floor, we've got OEM style replacement shifter boots designed to fit tight, look right, and keep shift lever operation unimpeded. You'll find them in our SHIFT BOOTS sub-section along with other related rubber support pieces for linkages, and bracket pieces for specialty transmission shifters such as Hurst.

OE Style / Custom Shift Boots

What About The Trim Piece Around The Base Of My Gear Selector Assembly?

Have you ever wondered why your gear shifter assembly blends so nicely with the rest of your vehicle's center console? It's because the shifter base is surrounded all around its perimeter by a piece called the shift bezel. This interior trim item accentuates your gear shifter and shift boot so that everything looks integrated and well-finished.

Shift Bezel

Because of their location, shifter bezels are easily stained, scratched, damaged, and sun-faded over time. And depending on interior design, bezels can even become corroded or pitted. So if you're in need of a high-quality replacement shift bezel, CARiD has you covered in our Shift Bezels sub-section. There, we carry a comprehensive selection of premium shift bezels for vehicles old and new.

Scratched Shifter Bezel

In some cases, they have a slot for an automatic transmission lever to move through, along with a clear plastic window to see a PRNDL configuration. In other cases, they are plastic surround pieces of all shapes and sizes. And for some vehicles with manual transmission levers coming directly out of the floor, the bezels are known as "shift retainer rings" because they literally keep the shifter boot bolted down.

Shift Bezel For Automatic Transmission Lever

We also carry other assorted parts in this section. For example, we've got a shifter bezel shield piece designed to address failure points in Toyota Prius factory pieces. It offers better protection so less debris gets through. And if you've got an older German car with a cover band that slides with an automatic transmission gear shift lever as it moves, we've got OEM style bands to replace originals that are easily damaged.

Shifter Bezel Shield Pieces

What About Hand Brake Levers?

When handbrake handles wear internally, the simple act of applying or releasing your emergency brake becomes difficult or impossible. For example, a faulty release button at the end can prevent the handbrake lever from locking into a fixed position after pulling it up. Or, the button may jam when the lever is locked into place - preventing it from being released.

Hand Brake Levers

Replacement Handbrake End Pieces

In our Hand Brakes sub-section, we've got replacement emergency brake handle end pieces. These are actual replacement assemblies that screw onto the end of your handbrake lever, and they come with a new release button, springs, and other related hardware. And when it comes to how they look - the styles are hard to beat. You can choose finishes of matte black, brushed silver aluminum, and colored chrome. We also offer aluminum handle end pieces wrapped in black leather with contrasting colors for the stitching.

Replacement Handbrake End Pieces

Overlay Pieces

Hand brake handles can also become visibly worn to varying degrees based on their construction. If you have a bare metal or plastic handle end that still works but has become unsightly-looking, we've also got attractive overlay cover pieces. As such, these are not actual replacements for the e-brake handle end, but decorative pieces that slide over them. Crafted from lightweight aluminum, these feature stylish designs with brushed finishes and racy accent lines.

Handbrake Overlay Pieces

Will Any Shift Knob Fit Any Vehicle? Or Will I Need An Adapter Piece?

Installing custom shift knobs is easy and can be done in several minutes. However, because many shift knobs are a universal fit, their thread pitch may not match the diameter and thread pattern found on the shaft of the shift rod. To bridge this gap, we’ve got you covered with a variety of components in our Shift Knob Adapters sub-section. These will ensure a snug, solid fit for any shift knob.

The "adapter" piece usually takes the form of a short round tube that has both inner and outer threads. In the typical adapter installation, the outer threads screw into the new shift knob; and the inner threads attach to the vehicle's existing shift rod. Most adapter kits also include a jam nut, or lock nut, which is designed to tighten up against the new shift knob, so that it stays in place.

In addition to standard adapter pieces, we also carry adapter pieces for short-throw shifters and reverse gear lockout.

Standard Shift Knobs Adapter Pieces

Understanding Thread Measurements For Adapter Pieces

To ensure you order the correct adapter piece for your vehicle, it's important to understand the thread measurements used on our product pages. Most of our adapters are vehicle-specific, meaning, the inner threads are an exact match for the threads on the shift rod. If you don't know the thread pitch and diameter of your shift rod, check with your vehicle manufacturer.

On our adapter product pages, we list the measurement for the inner threads first followed by a second measurement denoting the outer threads. For metric setups, you'll see a measurement of M8-1.0 x 20, for example. Here, the "M" signifies metric. The "8" directly after it is the diameter, in millimeters. The "1.0" number refers to the thread pitch (the distance between threads in millimeters). And finally, the last number "20" refers to the length of the adapter piece, in millimeters.

U.S. measurement setups use a different format. Because the measurements are in inches instead of millimeters, there is no "M" in front of the reading. An example of 1/4"-20 X 2" signifies a 1/4-inch diameter, a thread pitch of '20' (number of threads per inch), and a 2-inch overall length.

Adapter Pieces Thread Measurements

Installing Your Shift Knob With An Adapter Piece

Once you unscrew and remove your OEM shift knob, first screw the adapter piece into the new shift knob. Then thread the adapter piece onto the vehicle's shift rod. Use the jam nut (if supplied) to lock everything in place at the desired height on the shifter. Use the correct size wrench to give it a final snug, but don't overtighten it. You're done!

Shift Knobs With Adapter Piece

Summary

Luxurious wood and leather that add luxury. Weighted metal knobs which literally make the act of shifting easier and more satisfying. Creative, cool, custom designs that are both clever and humorous. These are just some of the positives you'll enjoy once you've installed a new shift knob from our selection. And when you consider the low purchase prices of these items, there's no reason to buy just one - get a bunch and swap them out to suit your mood!

Shift knobs also make great gifts at birthday time, holiday time, or anytime. We'd love to hear from you with any product questions, and we're open 7 days a week to help you make the most informed purchase possible!

Shift Knobs Category Variety Of Options
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All manufacturer names, symbols, and descriptions, used in our images and text are used solely for identification purposes only. It is neither inferred nor implied that any item sold by CARiD.com is a product authorized by or in any way connected with any vehicle manufacturers displayed on this page.

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