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If you’re an avid driving enthusiast, stick enthusiast, or type of driver who feels the connection to the motor, you’d better not read any further. As you might have guessed by the title of the story by now, we’ve handpicked this story for the masses who can’t wait to buy and drive an automatic car. People who prefer comfort and convenience over thrill and excitement will be in for a treat today as we showcase how to master an automatic without the hassle.

Even though automatic cars don’t need you to shift gears, most of them still have a stick, while others have a rotary drive mode selector. Most often, automatic cars, which are very easy to drive, come with the following selections on the gear lever or rotary gear knob:

  • Parking (P) – You must put your automatic car in this mode whenever you leave your vehicle in a parking lot or even in your garage. Although Park Mode locks your car’s transmission, be sure to apply the handbrake as well to prevent your car from rolling.
  • Reverse (R) Reverse mode does nothing fancy but engages reverse so you can reverse your automatic car.
  • Neutral (N) – Selecting neutral gear will simply disengage the gearbox from the engine. You can use this mode in traffic or in places where you need to stop for a while without turning off the engine. If your car is on a slope and it is not equipped with the hill-hold assist function, the handbrake can be used with (N) mode to prevent it from rolling.
  • Drive – This mode will connect the gearbox to the motor and the gears will keep changing depending on the speed of your car.
  • 2 – Put the car in 2nd gear.
  • 1 – Engage 1st gear.

How to drive an automatic car

Some of the automatic transmissions also have the “1” and “2” gear options. This helps you select and keep your car in lower gears if and when it is needed. This is especially useful when driving in heavy traffic, going down a steep hill, maneuvering, driving on icy roads and in other situations where a lower gear is required. Additionally, some automatic cars also feature paddle shifters that make shifting to any gear a snap.

Types of automatic transmissions

Simply put, all automatic cars come without a clutch and do not require a gear shift. However, not all automatic cars are the same as they have different types of gearboxes. Let’s make them known one after the other:

Traditional automatic gearbox

The most commonly used automatic transmission, a conventional or traditional automatic gearbox is also known as an automatic torque converter. In this configuration, the engine and gearbox work together with an ECU (engine control unit) and a hydraulic coupler or torque converter is assigned to shifting instead of a clutch.

How to drive an automatic car

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)

Unlike a manual gearbox or even other automatic gearboxes, a continuously variable transmission (CVT) uses a belt or pulley system instead of conventional steel gears. CVTs come with a single gear ratio or multiple ratios which are selected based on engine speed. CVTs are generally more fuel efficient than other automatic transmissions.

Automated manual gearbox

An automated manual gearbox is simply a manual gearbox with a set of sensors, actuators, processors, and tires assigned to effect gear changes. In the automotive industry, these gearboxes are also called semi-automatic transmissions.

Dual-clutch automatic transmission

A dual-clutch automatic transmission operates similarly to a conventional automatic transmission. However, as the name suggests, a dual-clutch automatic transmission uses two clutches instead of a torque converter. While the first clutch takes care of odd gears like 1,3,5 and others, the second clutch, on the other hand, is assigned to even gears like 2,4,6, etc. Since there are different clutches for reciprocating gears, a dual clutch automatic gearbox can make seamless and incredibly fast gear changes.

How to drive an automatic car

The “Ramp” mode

Some of the automatic cars these days are equipped with a “Ramp” mode, which allows the car to keep moving at a slow pace. This mode is specially designed for slow traffic and bumper-to-bumper situations. To prevent your automatic car from moving forward, simply step on the brake pedal or engage the handbrake.

The use of the foot

In the case of a manual transmission, you will use your left foot to control the clutch and your right foot to control the brake and accelerator pedals. Also, in an automatic transmission, you will use your right foot only to control both the brake and accelerator pedals, but your left foot will remain at rest while driving.

How to drive an automatic car

Advantages of the automatic car

Convenience – Since there is no clutch and the gears are also changed automatically, the automatic transmission is quite easy to operate. People who are learning to drive will find driving an automatic car much easier than a manual one.

Fuel consumption – While the myths suggest that automatics use more fuel, the reality is quite different. Modern automatic transmissions have up to 8 to 10 speeds and allow the engine to spend as much time as possible in its ideal rev range. As a result, cars with automatic transmission can actually be more fuel efficient. Manual gearboxes, on the other hand, come with 5 to 6 speeds and the engine is designed to run at higher revs for a much longer period.

Disadvantages of the automatic car

Repair & maintenance – Long story short, automatic transmissions are generally more expensive to maintain and repair. Even a simple gearbox oil change will cost more in the case of an automatic gearbox. In addition, automatic transmissions do not require frequent maintenance like a manual transmission does.

Flight – Because cars with automatic transmissions are more expensive than those with a manual lever, the risks of theft are increased. So if you are also an automatic car owner, make sure you park in a safe and secure place.

Security – Reports suggest that since automatic cars require less attention and engagement, it becomes easier for the driver to get distracted and, as a result, can lead to unwanted crashes. New drivers can commit to using their phones or talking with passengers too much while driving an automatic transmission.

How to master an automatic car?

Well the answer is simple, practice as much as you can. Start slowly and let your mind and muscles understand how an automatic car behaves. Suddenly braking, turning around, and parking an automatic car can be a bit tricky to begin with. So, keep practicing until you are right.

Read also : Tips for protecting your car’s paint

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