Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

A Beginner's Guide to Using Automatic Transmission Safely and Correctly

Although it looks easy, driving an automatic transmission car needs particular attention, especially for beginners. Therefore, read more tips on using automatic transmission through this guide.

The automatic transmission offers you the comfort and ease of driving. However, many car owners or novice drivers are hesitant or even scared when trying to drive an automatic car. Though driving a vehicle with automatic transmission is indeed easier. Although that does not mean you can carelessly drive it.

Useful Guide and Tips on Using Automatic Transmission for Beginners

Car-automatic-transmission
Car automatic transmission

Transmission without the clutch pedal has a more complicated work system than a manual transmission. Also, many modes and codes such as P, R, N, D, 1,2,3, or O / D must be understood by the driver based on road conditions. So to make it easier for you to be more familiar with automatic transmissions, NiceCar.xyz will give tips on using automatic transmission safely and correctly for beginners.

1. Understand the code in automatic transmission

automatic-transmission-mode-in-car


For a first step, try to recognize a series of codes in the transmission column, i.e., P, R, N, D, 1,2,3 or O / D and the explanation as below:

  • P (Park)


Use this mode when you want to park and leave the car. It is not recommended to use P mode when the vehicle stops when traffic is stuck or when you stop at a red light even for a long time.

  • R (Reverse)


Use this mode when you want to maneuver backward. You should step on the brake pedal first before moving to R mode to be safer and prevent the car from 'jumping' backward.

  • N (Neutral)


Transmission in free condition and connected to the engine and you can use this mode when waiting for a red light or stop for a long time. Also, use N mode when parking but you don't get out of the car, or the engine stays on

  • D (Drive)


D mode, meaning the car is ready to drive or go forward. It is highly advisable stepping on the brake pedal first before switching to D mode to be safer and prevent the car from 'jumping' forward.

  • Mode 1,2,3 or D1, D2, D3


Number codes 1,2,3 or D1, D2, D3 indicate the automatic transmission is running with the gear ratio as in gears 1, 2, or 3 on a manual transmission. You may use it when driving on the road uphill so that the car has more optimal acceleration or while on the road downhill to get the engine brake.

  • L (Low)


In L mode, automatic transmission runs with the lowest gear ratio or similar to 1st gear on a manual transmission. You can use the L mode when you are getting ready to accelerate or down a sharp descent so that the car maneuver remains under control with the help of engine brakes.

  • O / D (Overdrive)


In some automatic transmissions, you will find O / D or Overdrive modes. That is, automatic transmission runs with the highest gear ratio or similar to gear 5 or 6 on a manual transmission. You can use O / D or OD Mode when you drive at a constant speed like on a highway.

Thus the fuel consumption is more effective because the vehicle is running with lower engine speed. But when you need to overtake or are accelerating on the uphill road, you can turn off the O / D mode so that the response of the required power distribution is more optimal.

2. Avoid rough shift gears and do the acceleration smoothly as possible


When you want to operate an automatic transmission, avoid gearshift or mode in a rough or in a hurry. Make sure the car is idle when you want to switch modes or gears so that the transmission components are more durable and avoid damage. Get used to stepping on the brake pedal first before making a gearshift so that the car doesn't accelerate suddenly and cause an accident. If you need to accelerate, you can start by releasing the brake pedal slowly and start stepping on the gas gently and gradually.

3. Use N mode when the car is stopped for a long time on the road


You can use manual mode in automatic transmission when accelerating to overtake. If you don't have a manual mode, you can use mode three or D3 for optimal acceleration.

Do the same thing when accelerating on the road uphill so that the channeling of power is spontaneous. Or when you are downhill to get engine brakes and help braking performance. But, don't forget to turn off overdrive mode first.

You can use N mode and handbrake while waiting for a long time. Like in bad traffic or when stopped at a traffic light. N mode and handbrake are safer because it will prevent unwanted things. Besides, being always in position D and holding it by continuing to step on the brakes will reduce the life of the brake components. As a result, the risk of brake failure will increase.

4. Use manual mode when you want to overtake and when the car is uphill or downhill


You can use manual mode in automatic transmission when accelerating to overtake. If you don't have a manual mode, you can use mode three or D3 for optimal acceleration.

Do the same thing when accelerating on the road uphill so that the channeling of power is spontaneous. Or when you are downhill to get engine brakes and help braking work. But, don't forget to turn off overdrive mode first.

That's the tips for using automatic transmission safely from NiceCar.xyz. If you are not familiar, you can start by practicing in a safe place first. Don't forget to always obey traffic rules and drive responsibly to avoid road accidents.