Few years back, manual cars were the default choice for everyone. However, nowadays most of the drivers prefer automatic cars. Although, automatic cars are supposed to be easier to drive, if you are not fully prepared then it is difficult to manoeuvre too.
When you will learn driving in any driving school you will begin with manual cars. However, in few schools, exposure to automatic cars is also given on special request.
If you are familiar with driving manual car, then you know the pain of using your clutches and gearboxes. However, while driving automatic car, you will be looking at different label sets.
Automatic gearbox labels:
Following are the indication labels in your car:
- P – Park: this gear is only used while parking and not while you are moving forward.
- R – Reverse: same as reverse gear of manual cars.
- N – Neutral: like manual cars, this gear will be used when you are stationary.
- D – Drive: only when you like to drive your automatic car, you will use this gear stick.
While driving, your car will choose the gears automatically as per the speed you are driving. While driving at a higher speed, the automatic transmission can push to higher gear, and lower gear if you are driving at a lower speed.
How to drive your automatic car
- Get behind your wheel
When you are behind the wheel then the only thing that you will use is the brake and accelerator. You need not use left foot any more, but only right foot. Initially, it may be a little awkward hence you need more practice.
- On the move
During parking your handbrake will remain engaged. You need to press firmly down on your brake pedal for starting the engine. Once it starts moving you need to press accelerator to raise the speed. Use brake pedal for slowing down.
Few quirks that you must know
- The creep method
By slowly moving your foot off your brake pedal you will disengage the handbrake, then car will start moving forwards which is called “creeping”.
Once you like to move properly, you need to gently press the foot down on your accelerator pedal only.
- Heavy braking
In automatic car, you need to apply brake more heavily to slow down your car. While heading towards corner, bend or any eventual stop, simply taking foot off from accelerator will not reduce the speed quickly.
Instead, of that you must apply brake firmly.
- Hill starts
In case, you are parked on hill, then you have to switch to D and take foot off from brake and steadily press your accelerator pedal. Once your car starts moving, disengage the handbrake.
While driving downhill, be very careful in automatic car. Because of angle, naturally gravity will push you at pretty high speed and automatic transmission will switch to higher gear.
So, you have to take off your foot from accelerator and put it on brake pedal in progressive manner. This will slow down your vehicle.
You have to press foot down on accelerator pedal until you reach your speed to overtake. After that, slowly ease the accelerator and the car will be back to normal speed.