UNDERSTANDING THE AUTOMATIC GEAR SHIFTER
Choosing a car with automatic transmission as a daily driver in heavy traffic is probably the wise choice to make. It is practical and user friendly since there are no pesky clutch pedal to activate each time you want to go. Just shift, hit the gas pedal and off you go! But, do you ever wonder what the letters and numbers means on the side of the shifter lever?
P, R, N, D is the first markings that stare at you. This is standard in all automatic transmission. Some cars also have 1, 2 or L on it.
These markings are totally different than the standard “H” manual transmission and for majority of Indonesians who learned driving with manual transmission; it can be a bit confusing when dealing with automatic transmission for the first time.
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Stay with us and let us enlighten you.
- P (park) When you park the car, shift to “P” that will lock the transmission gear so it will not roll away, even if you forgot to arm the parking brake. Especially, when parking on a hill.
- R (reverse) Shit to “R” to drive backward or reversing the car. Remember not to press the gas pedal to hard.
- N (neutral) . Shifting to “N” will free up the transmission gears, there is no connection between the engine and wheels. Always remember to press the brake pedal when you shift to “N”.
- D (drive) Shift to “D” when you’re ready to drive out. At this position the gears will go from 1 to 5 (some can even go to 6 or even 8) gears automatically, hence the name, automatic transmission.
- 2 or S (second) This means second gear or slow, it works just like when you shift to second gear in manual transmission. You can use it for engine brake or to help you when entering an incline.
- 1 or L (low) Same as above, this means first gear or low gear, and it has the same function, as an engine brake or incline start assist.
- Some cars have some additional marking, such as “M” that gives the driver the option to switch to manual gear shift. There is “Sport” to make the engine and transmission more responsive and from here the sky is the limit. Make sure you read the manual book of your new car before operating it on the road. Happy driving.