How to Use Automatic Car Gears

How to Use Automatic Car Gears

Automatic car gears have become more and more popular in recent years as they save drivers time and money. In this article, we will teach you how to use automatic car gears so that you can get the most out of them!

How to Use Automatic Car Gears

What are Automatic Car Gears?

Automatic car gears are a type of transmission that allow a vehicle to move forward or backward without the need for a human operator. The gears work by spinning around a shaft, and when the driver wants to go in a different direction, they simply shift their weight to the desired wheel.

There are several benefits to using automatic car gears. For one, they can be more fuel efficient since they don’t require as much effort from the driver. Additionally, they can save time since there is no need to shift between gears. Plus, they’re simple and easy to use, which is great for people who are new to driving or who have limited dexterity.

How Automatic Car Gears Work

Automatic car gears work by using the torque of the engine to turn a shaft that connects the wheels to the transmission. The gearbox transmits this motion to the drive shaft, which then sends it to the wheels.

The gears in an automatic car are usually set to match the speed of the vehicle’s engine. When you start your car, the gears are already set to match the speed of the engine, so there is no need to manually change gears.

If your car has multiple gear ratios, you will often see a “power shift” indicator on your dashboard. This indicator tells you which gear you are in, and how fast you are currently going.

Guide on Starting and Stopping an Automatic Car:

Starting an Automatic Car:

  • Place your right foot on the left pedal (brake) and push down.
  • Twist the key or press the start button to start the car.
  • While keeping your foot on the brake, move the shifter to ‘D’ (drive) if you want to move forward or ‘R’ (reverse) if you want to go backward.
  • Release the brake pedal, and the car will start to move slowly (called ‘creep’).
  • To gain speed, press your right foot gently on the accelerator pedal.
  • Once the car starts moving, the gearbox will automatically choose the best gear for the situation, making it effortless for you.

Stopping an Automatic Car:

  • As you reduce your speed, the automatic transmission will shift down gears for you.
  • When you have finished your journey, press down on the brake pedal until the car stops.
  • Keep your foot on the brake and shift the gear lever to ‘P’ (park) while stationary.
  • Apply the handbrake (lever or button next to the gear selector).
  • Turn off the ignition.

Conventional Automatic Gearboxes

Conventional automatic gearboxes use a torque converter instead of a clutch and are considered to be more refined than other automatic gearboxes. However, they consume more fuel than manual gearboxes. Luxury vehicles like the Range Rover and Volvo XC90 use conventional Automatic Transmissions that can feature up to nine gears.

Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT)

Continuously variable transmissions (CVT) are a popular choice in hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius. They use a belt instead of cogs, providing a single gear ratio. They are more efficient, reliable, and provide a smoother driving experience as there is no need to skip between gears. However, their acceleration is slower than other automatic gearboxes, and the engine sound can become loud and strained if pushed to make rapid progress.

Dual-Clutch Automatics

Dual-clutch automatic gearboxes are similar to conventional automatic gearboxes but use two clutches that are operated automatically, replacing the torque converter. Alternating gears are lined up, allowing for quick gear changes. These gearboxes are popular in VW Group cars like the Volkswagen Golf, which features the DSG gearbox, and in Porsches, which use the PDK.

Automated Manual Gearboxes

Automated manual gearboxes are not as popular as they used to be but are still found in cheaper vehicles like the Skoda Citigo. These gearboxes work like a regular manual gearbox but automatically select gears and use a computer to operate the clutch instead of a pedal. However, they can be slightly jerky, as there is a small pause while the system works through gears, similar to a manual gearbox.

What is the Difference between Automatic Cars and Manual Cars?

How to Use Automatic Car Gears

When driving an automatic car, you are freed from the need to manually change gears. However, transitioning from a manual to an automatic car may require some adjustment. Practicing with an experienced automatic driver can help you get the hang of it quickly.

It’s important to note that your left leg is no longer necessary, as there is no clutch pedal. With just the accelerator and brake pedals, your right leg is all you need. You may instinctively reach for the gear stick while driving, but remember that it’s unnecessary unless you’re reversing or coming to a stop.

Are Automatic Cars Easier to Drive?

Operating an automatic car is simpler and safer than operating a manual car. Without the need to change gears, you can focus more on the road, which is particularly helpful in challenging driving conditions such as heavy traffic. Additionally, with an automatic car, you can set off steadily without having to constantly adjust your gear for varying speeds and frequent stops. Stalling is no longer a concern.

Many choose to learn to drive an automatic car because it’s easier. However, this restricts the driver to only being able to drive automatic cars, whereas learning to drive a manual car allows you to drive both types of cars.

You can also see How to Make Car Tyre Shine at Home.

Are Automatics Better to Drive?

Whether an automatic car is better to drive is subjective and dependent on the driver’s personal preferences. Your relationship with the gear stick plays a significant role in your preference for automatic or manual cars. If you struggle with clutch control or find yourself reaching for the gear stick too often or too late, an automatic car may be better suited to you. However, if you enjoy driving for its imperfections and prefer the control that manual cars provide, you’ll likely remain a manual driver.

Are Automatic Cars More Reliable?

Because automatic cars require less work from the driver, there are more parts in the vehicle that take over those tasks. This makes automatic cars more complex and expensive to repair. However, because there is less stress on the parts, they are less likely to become worn out over time. Nevertheless, when repairs are necessary, they tend to be more costly than those for manual cars.

Are Automatic Cars More Cost-Efficient?

As stated, automatic cars have more intricate components that take over tasks that would typically be performed by the driver in a manual car. These components require more energy to operate, which translates to higher fuel consumption to accomplish the same task. When comparing similar cars, the manual transmission usually proves to be more cost-efficient over the long term than the automatic transmission. However, with advancing technology, the gap between the two is narrowing, and automatic vehicles are becoming increasingly popular.

In the UK, hybrid and electric cars are only available with automatic transmission, and as the country moves towards a zero-emissions future for all new vehicles by 2030, manual transmission cars may soon be phased out.

How to Use Automatic Car Gears

Automatic Vehicles at Paull’s

At Paull’s, we offer a variety of automatic vehicles for rent, including electric cars, hybrids, and automatic vans. If you are considering switching to an automatic car, please give us a call, and we can discuss the available options with you. We are equipped to deliver and collect the vehicle and are ready to provide technical assistance to answer any queries you may have.

Before you Start

Park: This gear should only be engaged when the vehicle is stationary and you intend to exit the car. By selecting ‘P’, the transmission is locked, preventing any unwanted movement of the vehicle (however, it is still necessary to apply the handbrake when parked).

Reverse: As the name suggests, this gear allows the vehicle to be driven backwards and should be engaged when reversing.

Neutral: This gear disengages the transmission from the engine, similar to putting a manual transmission in neutral. It is not recommended to engage ‘N’ when the vehicle is in motion as it can cause coasting, but it can be selected (along with the handbrake) when stationary for a short period of time.

Drive: By selecting ‘D’, the transmission will automatically shift gears and enable the vehicle to move forward.

What are the Advantages of Automatic Gearboxes?

Automatic gearboxes offer various advantages over manual gearboxes. They are easier to use as they do not require the driver to use a clutch pedal or manually shift gears, which can be especially beneficial in heavy traffic or when driving for extended periods. This can lead to less driver fatigue and improved overall comfort.

Automatic gearboxes can also provide a smoother driving experience as they shift gears more seamlessly than manual gearboxes. Additionally, some automatic gearboxes offer better fuel economy than manual gearboxes, as they can optimize gear changes for maximum efficiency.

Furthermore, certain types of automatic gearboxes, such as continuously variable transmissions (CVT) and dual-clutch automatics, can provide improved acceleration and performance, as they can shift gears faster and more efficiently than a driver could with a manual gearbox.

Conclusion

Driving in a city can be challenging, especially when you’re trying to avoid traffic. If you’re ever stuck in gridlock and need to find an escape route, using your car’s automatic gears might be the best option. Automatic gears are usually activated by a switch on the instrument panel, so it’s easy to learn how to use them if you need to. Just remember that they’ll only work if your car has them and that they’ll slow down your driving speed slightly.

FAQs Automatic Car Gears:


What is an automatic gearbox?

An automatic gearbox is a transmission that changes gears automatically without requiring the driver to use a clutch pedal or manually shift gears.

What types of automatic gearboxes are available?

There are several types of automatic gearboxes available, including conventional automatic gearboxes, continuously variable transmissions (CVT), dual-clutch automatics, and automated manual gearboxes.

Are automatic gearboxes easier to use than manual gearboxes?

Yes, automatic gearboxes are generally easier to use than manual gearboxes as they do not require the driver to use a clutch pedal or manually shift gears, making them more comfortable to drive in heavy traffic or on long journeys.

Do automatic gearboxes provide a smoother driving experience?

Yes, automatic gearboxes can provide a smoother driving experience as they shift gears more seamlessly than manual gearboxes.

Do automatic gearboxes offer better fuel economy than manual gearboxes?

Some automatic gearboxes offer better fuel economy than manual gearboxes, as they can optimize gear changes for maximum efficiency.

Can automatic gearboxes improve a car’s acceleration and performance?

Yes, certain types of automatic gearboxes, such as CVT and dual-clutch automatics, can provide improved acceleration and performance, as they can shift gears faster and more efficiently than a driver could with a manual gearbox.

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