After a slight downfall, the automotive industry in India is slowly getting back on its feet. And with time, the car sales are climbing back. That said, with the rising traffic on the road, the number of people going for a car with an automatic transmission is also on the rise. Well, people are inclined towards comfort nowadays. And when in stop and go traffic, all they want is to get rid of the clutch.
So, if you are planning to buy your first car with an automatic transmission, we have 8 things you should know before you sit behind the steering and engage D.
Brake With Right Foot
This is for the people who drive a car with a manual transmission. After driving a car with a manual transmission, our motor memory saves our left foot to use the clutch. Now, when driving an automatic car we’d suggest you brake with the right foot. Why not left foot?
Well, to actuate clutch and brake peddle, both require different forces where brake requires less force. So, if we press the brake with the left foot, we tend to put the same pressure as the clutch. Verdict? The car will abruptly stop putting you and other people on road in danger.
Plan The Manoeuvres
The automatic transmission in a car surely is convenient, but this convenience has a little drawback. Meaning, you’ll have to plan the manoeuvres, like overtaking. Why? To begin with, an automatic transmission is a little slow to react when compared to a car with a manual transmission.
In manual everything falls in our hands and we control the timing and the gears we engage. But talking about automatic, it is a little laggy as it depends on the amount of throttle input. As we press the throttle pedal, it takes a little while to respond to the input. Hence, the manoeuvres should be planned in advance.
Train Your Brain
A pro tip for those who are shifting from a car with manual transmission to a car with an automatic gearbox. So, if you should press the brake with the left foot, what should you do with your left foot then? The best thing is to rest it on the dead peddle. But human senses do not let the left foot rest. In emergency situations, our brain at times stifles the left foot as we have to press the clutch when slowing the vehicle down. This at times results in pressing the brake pedal with the right foot. And you know its consequence.
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Memorise the gear lever
Having an automatic car also requires muscle memory for the gear lever. It’ll be a little difficult and risky when repeatedly seeing the gear lever while driving. So, we recommend to memories the positioning of the gear lever in a car with automatic transmission. Also, you should know what everything stands for.
- D- Drive: To drive the car straight.
- N-Neutral: This is similar to the neutral in a manual car. The gears are not engaged.
- P- Park: It is just like neutral but the gears are locked so that the car cannot move.
- R-Reverse: To drive the car in reverse.
Get familiar with the creep function
Automatic cars usually come with a creep function and a person driving for the first time should be aware of the same. Well, this is a super useful function when driving in bumper to bumper traffic and also when parking the car in tight spaces. Essentially in the creep function, the car tends to move forward slowly without throttle input. This means when you engage Drive, and let off the brake peddle the car will slowly start moving. So, controlling the car with the brake is the only resort.
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Adjust your driving style
Be it a car with an automatic transmission or a car with a stick shift, in both cases, you have to adjust the driving style. Talking about automatic transmission here, one should know when to engage which gear. Like in some cars, the automatic transmission comes with an overdrive. Well, pressing the overdrive button can aid in sudden overtakes. Next, when driving in hills an L selection will surely make the driving a little easier and less stressful for the transmission.
There is a myth going around that engine braking increases fuel consumption. But let me tell you, it is the other way round. When stopping a car engine braking can not only slow the car down but also reduce fuel consumption. And yes engine braking can be done on both the transmission.
But in automatic, the car does it for you, so we insist you let the car slow down via engine braking. All you have to do is anticipate a possible situation where you have to slow the car down slowly, like a traffic light. Now, when you’ll leave the accelerator peddle the car will automatically go in engine braking mode. Fun fact, this also increases the life of the braking system of a car.
And these were the 7 things you should keep in mind when driving a car with automatic transmission for the first time. Let us know in the comment section, whether it is automatic or a manual gearbox you prefer.