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Understand Automatic Gears in Auto Transmission Vehicles

An automatic transmission is a type of a vehicle transmission that automatically changes gear ratios as you drive your vehicle and accelerate. There are many advantages of automatic transmission as it frees the driver from having to shift gears manually.

The automatic transmission comes with several gear modes, which allow the driver to select the appropriate mode as required by the driving condition. The different automatic transmission gears are described below.

Different Automatic Gears

P (Park). This mode locks the movement of the vehicle in any direction. P is the only mode in which cars can be started, other than N (Neutral). The P mode is used when you have to stop and park the car for long time. i.e at your house, office, shopping center parking, etc. In most cars, you

won't be able to pull out the car key from the ignition, unless you put the car in the P mode. A car should come to a complete stop before setting this transmission mode., to prevent damage to the gearbox. In many cars, the foot brake must be applied before taking the gear out of the P mode.

N (Neutral): It is same as P (Park) mode, except that the movement of the vehicle is not restricted. You should use this mode if you are driving in a stop-and-go situation when you do not want to take the extra effort of continuously applying foot brakes when the car should not be moving. This mode can also be used if the car has to be towed. In N mode you can switch the car engine on and off.

R (Reverse): This mode allows the vehicle to be driven backwards. To select reverse, the driver must depress the gear level, press the foot brake or the shift lick button (varies n different vehicles).

D (Drive): In the D mode, you engage the gear, allowing the vehicle to move forward through its range of available gears. How many gear ratios are in the gearbox i.e 4, 5 or 6 or more, vary in different car models.

3 (Third): This mode is not available in all models.  When selected, the transmission is limited to the first three gears only. This mode is also recommended when driving downhill.

2 (Second): This mode limits to first 2 gears of the transmission only. It is useful when you want more acceleration, or driving on snow or ice, as well as when going downhill or climbing uphill with heavy load in the car.

1 or L (First or Low): Both 1 and L are used in different cars. This mode puts the car in 1st gear and locks in it. This mode is used if you're going uphill with very heavy load in the car. You can also use this if you are going downhill and wants to increase the braking effect.

Other Non-Common Gear Modes

The following modes are rare, and found in very specific model of vehicles:

S (Sport): The Sports mode operate same as the 'D' mode. The only different in driving the car in this mode is that the gear shifts up much faster, maximizing all the engine power, during acceleration. In this mode, the vehicle also down shifts the gear much faster compared to the D mode, giving the maximum effects of engine braking.

B (Brake): When this mode is selected, the car applies engine braking, used when going steep downhill. This also reduces the driver's needs to apply hard foot brake. This mode doesn't down-shift the gear but uses engine power to reduce pulling, required while driving downhill.

M, -/+ : This option allows the user to manually shift down or up the gear anytime during the driving, by overriding the current automatic gear selection. This mode may be useful when going uphill in a fully loaded car, and the and you suddenly feel need to down-shift the gear to suddenly accelerate the car more. The + option allows you to shift the gear up and - sign allows you to shift the gear down.

W (Winter): In a very few car models, W mode has been provided. When engaged, the car's second gear is selected instead of the first gear, when start moving. This mode is used when driving on snow or ice, to reduce likelihood of wheel spinning on ice or snow.

D2 to D5: These automatic transmission gears use only the first two, first three, first four and first five gears only.

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Buy cheap automatic transmission fluid online here

Tags: Auto Transmission Gears, Automatic Gear Modes

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Proven Facts to Improve Car's Fuel Economy

Fuel is one of most expensive elements of the operational cost of running an automotive vehicle, other expenses being repair and maintenance expenditures. While not much can be done to reduce the repair and maintenance expenditure, a lot can be done to minimize the fuel cost, utilizing the vehicle under a prescribed distance and road conditions. Due to the tremendous increase in fuel costs, drivers are now more concerned to reduce this expenditure. Important steps to be carried out in this regard are mentioned below, which are not at all difficult to achieve, and can be undertaken with a slight change in driving habits.

Change Driving Habits

Switch Off: If stopped on a traffic signal, or waiting for a friend, or a train is passing, it is advisable to switch off the vehicle. Even switching off for a small time, can be useful, as it may occur several times a day, due to various reasons.

Most Economical Speed: Each vehicle is designed to be most fuel efficient, at a certain speed, which can be called as the most efficient and economical speed. Owners may not be aware of this fact, and may be of the opinion that moving fast will always be economical, which is not true beyond a particular speed. Similarly, moving slow in low gear, will be expensive.

No Frequent Brakes: Often the driver is aware, that his vehicle needs to be slowed down after travelling a particular distance. Thus, he should slow down the vehicle by removing foot from the accelerator, from a distance, and brakes should only be used when absolutely essential. Each application of braking action, wastes some expensive fuel.

Warming of Engine: Engine should not be warmed for an excessive long period, as warming for approximately 30 seconds may be adequate. Additional warming will be achieved as the vehicle moves. 

Windows Closed: Windows should be closed, as open windows cause unnecessary aerodynamic drag, due to which extra fuel is burnt. Fuel consumption may be increased up to 10-15 percent on highways, when windows are open.

Tire Pressures: Tire pressures should be strictly in accordance with the recommended pressures mentioned in the owner's manual, since unequal or more/less air pressure will cause extra drag or friction, and affect the fuel economy.

Air Filter Clean/Change: Dirty air filter can cause extra 10-15 percent of fuel consumption, which should be cleaned/changed as recommended by the manufacturer.

Less Weight: Weight in the vehicle may be passengers or load, should be minimized, as each extra weight has to be paid in the cost of fuel.

Use of Proper Gas: Proper octane rating of the gas should be used, mentioned in the owner's manual, which may be Regular, Premium, etc.

Combine Trips: All the work required during a day, including office, school, market etc can be combined wherever possible, which will reduce the fuel consumption.

Walk: It may not be always necessary to use a car, and alternatives such as walking, bicycle, or sharing with a friend, may be explored.

These were tips on how to improve car's fuel economy. If you will follow the above tips, you will be saving a lot of money every month on fuel.

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7 Great Advantages of Automatic Transmission

There are many advantages of automatic transmission cars, such as:

1. You do not have to worry about putting the gear in "Neutral" before starting the car.

2. You can drive the car without needing to use clutch.

3. You do not need to change the gears because gears change automatically.

4. It is much easier to drive your car in stop-and-go traffic with automatic gears.

5. First time learners find it very easy to learn and drive a car that has automatic gear than ones with a manual gear system.

6. Since automatic transmission system is responsible for sensing when to shift gears and shifting between gears, it can do so much more accurately and more quickly than any driver.

7. Automatic transmissions are safer to drive than manual ones.  When both of your hands are free to drive and handle the car, it is certain that it is safer to drive a care with automatic gear system.

These are the advantages of driving an automatic gear car. What car do you drive - manual or automatic? Please comment below sharing your experience with automatic or manual gear system.

There are many different gear modes in an automatic transmission vehicle.

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Tags: Advantages of Automatic Transmission, Automatic Transmission Advantages,  manual vs automatic pros and cons

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Top 7 Worst Driving Habits to Avoid

Many people like to drive in most casual way as possible. These are the driving habits that effect the health of your car badly. The top worst driving habits to avoid are mentioned below:

1. Sudden Acceleration

Though it may thrill, it puts heavy load on the car's mechanical components and it burns a lot of fuel, too. Sudden acceleration increases speed of the car quickly and may also need you to suddenly slow down the car soon after reaching a high speed, which may be achieved with sudden or harsh breaking; this is also not very healthy for car's breaking system.

2. Moving Before the Engine is Warm Enough

Waiting for 30-60 seconds after starting the car is a good idea. It allows the engine oil to circulate fully throughout the engine and also warm up. Moving the car immediately after starting the engine should be avoided as it is harmful for the engine. 

3. Sudden Shift from Reverse to Drive

Many of us have done it and it may sound like efficient driving. It may be saving a few seconds of your time, too, but suddenly shifting gear from Reverse to Drive can damage your car's gear system. Hence it is highly recommended to let the car to come to a complete stop before shifting from Reverse to Drive or Drive to Reverse.

4. Keeping the Fuel Tank Low

You may ask 'how can it really matter whether the fuel tank is low or full?' It does actual matter for some cars. In fuel tanks for some cars, two fuel pumps are fitted - one at the tank surface and one higher than that. Both the pumps are running together at all the times. If you keep the tank low in fuel, the upper fuel pump will not be pulling in fuel and thus may get dry enough and damage. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep at least half of your fuel tank filled with the fuel all the times.

5. Not Using the Parking Break

It is highly recommended to always use the parking break when you park your car. Putting the gear in 'Park' mode does stop the car from moving but it puts a lot of pressure on a little piece of metal in the transmission system, which may wear out quickly or even break. So, always use your vehicles's parking break when you park your car.

6. Carrying Too Much Weight

When the car is heavily loaded, a lot of stress is put on the car's suspension system brakes as well as the engine. Make sure to load your car with weight that will not pull down the car too much.

7. Continuous Use of Breaks

People often use continuous breaking while going downhill. This generates too much heat in the car's breaking system, and cause risk of wear or break-pad breaking. The alternative and better solution is to shift into a lower gear

These were the top 7 bad driving habits that you should avoid. Hope you found these useful.

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