How to Drive an Automatic Car
Although vehicles with automatic transmissions are becoming more and more popular, some drivers are still not familiar with this type of driving. Driving with an automatic gearbox may not seem so simple: that’s why we thought of suggesting some advice to facilitate your learning.
For a long time, automatic cars were mostly in the minority and were deemed suitable for those who were “afraid to drive”. Unlike the speed at which they had caught on in the United States , driving with automatic transmission was still quite expensive in Europe, in terms of purchase price and fuel consumption.
Over time, however, vehicles with automatic transmissions have become more affordable in prices , thanks to technological advances in recent years.
Here’s how to drive an automatic car .
1. FAMILIARIZE WITH THE PEDALS
Driving a car with an automatic transmission is much easier and more comfortable, because there is no need to change gear.
This means that there is no clutch pedal in a vehicle of this type . This can be unsettling if you have always driven a manual transmission car. In fact, no matter how much you know about engines and cars, when you first drive with an automatic transmission, you will instinctively have the reflex of pressing the clutch with your left foot.
The only problem is that the clutch pedal is not there!
2. THE LEFT FOOT IS UNEMPLOYED
Driving with automatic transmission will have a tragic consequence for your left foot which no longer has a function. In fact, with the automatic gearbox you only have to use your right foot to accelerate and brake.
Although it may seem strange at first, in a short time you will get used to using only one foot to control the pedals. Furthermore, thanks to this system, there will no longer be a need to balance clutch and throttle to change gear.
3. MEANING OF THE LETTERS OF THE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
It must be said that the absence of the clutch does not mean that there is no gear lever. In fact, even cars with automatic transmission have a gear lever, only instead of having gears, the car has four positions .
If you’ve always been used to driving with a manual gearbox, the letters on the shift lever might seem a bit cryptic. Here are their functions:
P (parking) : the gear lever must always be positioned in P before switching off the engine. This function, in fact, serves to lock the wheels and the drive shaft, preventing the parked car from moving.
N (neutral) : this letter is equivalent to the neutral of the manual gearbox.
D (Drive) : you will have to move the lever to D, every time you want to start the vehicle.
R (reverse) : when you want to use reverse, you will have to put the gear lever on the letter R.
4. DRIVE WITH AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
Now that you know the meaning of each letter, driving will be a breeze. After you have positioned yourself at the sprint, have adjusted the seat and the rear view mirror and have fastened the seat belt:
• Before starting the engine check that the gear lever is positioned in P and check that the handbrake is raised.
• Press the brake pedal with your right foot and start the engine.
• Still holding the brake, move the gear lever to the letter D (or R, in case you need to move in reverse).
• Lift the handbrake lever and press the accelerator.
5. HOW TO MAKE A PARKING WITH AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
After analyzing how to drive with automatic transmission, let’s see how to park:
• Once the vehicle is stationary, move to position P while keeping the full brake pressed.
• Stop the engine.
• Apply the handbrake.
If you are driving an automatic car for the first time, perhaps during a rental, a tip is to take a few hours to familiarize yourself with the system .
Be careful, however, not to get too carried away! Although driving with automatic transmission is much easier, try not to lose your reflexes and keep your concentration while driving.
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