Irrespective of the type of car you drive, be it manual or automatic, you’ll surely agree with me that the braking system is pretty much essential for safe driving. The ability to stop or slow down your car in a split second is enough to avoid unnecessary accidents while driving your vehicle – this can be achieved when your braking system is perfectly working.
When learning how to drive, two things are essential; you need to know how to change gears properly and understand when to press the brake. This way, you’ll be able to gain better control over your car and drive safely.
In manual cars, it’s important to press the brake to be able to change gears easily. But this isn’t necessary if what you’re driving is an automatic car. Modern automatic vehicles are pretty much smooth with gear shifting. Even if you accelerate hard, you don’t need to press the brake to change gear.
How do you change gears in an automatic car? Do you have to press the brake to change gears in an automatic vehicle? Do you have to hold the brake at a red light? Read on, to find out everything you need to know about the questions above.
How Do You Change Gears In Automatic Cars?
Owning an automatic transmission car comes with a lot of advantages. Many people choose to buy automatic vehicles because they are much easier to drive. The fact that the vehicle can shift gears on its own is another reason why most people prefer automatic cars.
Since your automatic transmission car can shift gears on its own, I’m sure you’ll be wondering the essence of this section, which says “how do you change gears in an automatic car?”
The automatic transmission in your vehicle is, no doubt, computer-controlled. It’s designed to keep your car’s engine running at an optimum RPM. The transmission works by automatically shifting your gear to a higher one whenever the RPM goes above the top limit. That’s not all; it also shifts gear to a lower one any time the RPM decreases beyond the low low limit – this move makes the engine run faster while still using the same power.
There’s no denying that automatic cars can shift gears on their own. However, you need to understand that there are a few cases where you’ll want to shift to low gears manually for safety and efficiency. This is where you need to use the indicators, such as 1 and 2, on your shift lever.
Let me pause there and talk about the processes of manually changing gears in automatic vehicles.
Here’s How To Shift Gears In Automatic Cars
You need to keep in mind that most driving is performed by setting the gear shift to “D”.
- If that’s what you’re currently driving in ” D” and are considering shifting into low gear, the first thing you need to do is take your feet off the gas pedal. This move will help you slow your car to about 20-25 mph. At this point, your RPM should be between 3,000 and 4,000.
- Next, move back to a steady speed and then switch the gear to “2”.
- Now that you’re driving on two, you need to continue slowing down till you reach about 15 mph. At this point, you can now downshift to “1”.
Now, you’ve been able to manually shift your gear from “D” to “1”. The next thing you need is to understand how to shift out of low gear to the drive mode “D”. To do that, all you need is to follow the simple and direct steps below:
- Since you’re already driving your car in “1”, the first thing you need is to continue accelerating until your RPM reaches about 3,000.
- At this point, you can proceed and shift gear from “1” to “2”. However, when shifting gear, ensure you maintain a steady speed.
- Continue driving in “2” and watch the RPM increase. At exactly 3,000 RPM, switch the gear from “2” to “D”.
Do You Have To Press The Brake To Change Gears In Automatic Vehicles?
As earlier mentioned, automatic transmission vehicles are very smooth with gear shifting. For you to enhance this smoothness when trying to change gears, all you need is to ease off the throttle gently.
Here’s the thing; for you to shift gears in your automatic transmission vehicle, you do not need the brake pedal or the throttle. All you need is to take your feet off the gas pedal to slow down the car and then switch the gear to a low gear. It’s that simple; just follow the simple steps listed in the previous section of this post.
Do You Have To Hold The Brake At A Red Light?
How you control your vehicle at a red light depends, to a large extent, on the type of vehicle you’re driving. For instance, if your vehicle has an automatic transmission, it’s not ideal to hold the brake for a couple of reasons.
Holding the brake at a red light is not ideal because it could cause additional wear and tear on your transmission, causing you to use more fuel than normal.
Another reason why holding the brake in this situation is not a good idea is because of human error. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that mistakes happen. What if you accidentally got distracted, releasing the brake while still at the red light?
That said, the best you can do – at red lights – is to engage your handbrake and put your vehicle in neutral.