How to use an automatic transmission in a car

More and more motorists are looking towards “mechanics” with contempt. Of course, the need to constantly pull the gearshift lever and periodically squeeze the clutch can tire you over time. Therefore, the number of drivers switching to cars with automatic transmission is growing from year to year. However, it also has its own driving characteristics, now we will tell you how to use an automatic transmission in a car.

Operating modes of the automatic transmission

By analogy with the “mechanics”, the automatic transmission can also have several switch positions for operation in specific conditions. Remembering their location is much easier, since they are all on the same straight line and you will not have to wander around the selector knob in search of the desired mode. So, most often there are four of these positions:

  • Parking (P)
  • Reverse (R)
  • Neutral position (N)
  • Driving forward (D)

The car is moved to the “Park” position when the engine is switched off or stopped for a long time. This mode keeps the machine in a static position, even without using the brake. The engine is also started from this position to prevent unintentional movement of the vehicle when the ignition key is turned. Many modern models warn the driver to apply the brake pedal at the same time when starting the engine.

For reversing, it is necessary to select the R gearbox operating mode. It is best to do this when the vehicle comes to a complete stop in order to avoid possible breakdowns in the transmission system.

Car manufacturers recommend using “neutral” when the engine is warming up, especially in the cold season. In this mode, the automatic transmission and the engine are completely isolated from each other and your car is in a static state.

When all preparations are completed and the engine is warmed up to the desired temperature, you can start driving. For this, there is a mode of operation D, in which the car starts moving forward by default, so it is best to first press the brake pedal and release it slowly for a smooth acceleration.

In addition to the standard selector modes, the letters L and S can also be found on the automatic gearbox (sometimes there are variants of the designation D1-D3). When shifting into them, the car will move in the lowest gear possible. This is necessary when driving on a steep slope so that the engine brakes the car by itself.

On models produced within the last 10 years, in addition to the modes indicated above, other designations may be found, for example, E to ensure reduced fuel consumption, and the letter S sometimes indicates the inclusion of a sports mode to increase acceleration dynamics...

How to start the car on the automatic

To start the car with the automatic transmission, you must first of all make sure that the selector is in the “Park” position, otherwise the engine will simply will not start. Then depress the brake pedal and turn the ignition key or press the engine start button.

How to drive away on the machine

After the engine has started, the brake pedal can be temporarily released and wait a few minutes until it warms up. Then, to start moving, you must again press the brake pedal and move the box to the D or R position (forward or backward movement), smoothly move your foot to the gas pedal. Then the automatic transmission will start working, in the process of movement it will automatically change gears.

How to change gears on the automatic

Switching between different operating modes of the automatic transmission should be done when the car is completely stopped. Otherwise, it can lead to costly repairs due to mechanical deformation of the automatic transmission gears.

Another “life hack” that motorists often commit to is the transfer of the box to the neutral position, even during small stops. While this approach provides fuel savings to some, in reality, it increases the load on the transmission and reduces the resource of the gearbox.

How to brake with the engine on an automatic machine

Another useful function familiar to drivers from “mechanics” and developed in an automatic transmission is engine braking. This feature can come in handy when driving on a steep slope or on a slippery road, when using the normal brake can cause a skid.

For engine braking, simply release the accelerator pedal and the vehicle will gradually decelerate. You can also force downshift if your model has this feature.

See also : GearboxDSG : what it is and how it works.

What can not be done on the automatic transmission

The automatic transmission offers the driver an increased level of comfort, nevertheless, one has to make some compromise in terms of functionality. Most automatic transmission models are poorly suited for off-road driving, constant slippage introduces the automation into a stupor and causes overheating and system breakdowns. Even a small country road after rain can cause problems for the owners of the machine.

Another sacrifice that owners of an automatic gearbox will have to make is the use of a trailer. Unfortunately, transporting it, especially with a heavy load, is a direct route to an early bulkhead of the box.

With proper operation and timely diagnostics, the machine today is capable of serving up to 200,000 kilometers. To do this, you just need to follow a number of simple rules and your car will not require repair for a long time.

See also : How the variator differs from the automaton