I’m sure you’ll agree with me that owning a vehicle today is no longer just for luxury. Many people buy a car because it’s important for them to move freely and become independent. Before going ahead to drive a car, it’s important to understand certain terms, such as 1st gear, 2nd gear, and so on.
1st gear is known as the most powerful gear in vehicles. It has the least speed and is mostly used when starting from a stopped state. As for the 2nd gear, it’s needed to increase the speed after starting with the 1st gear.
With the 2nd gear, the power transmitted to the tires won’t be as strong as that of the 1st gear. While you can drive in 2nd gear, you need to understand that “every time” is not the best time to do that. Instead, the best time is when you find yourself driving on steep hills at a speed higher than that of low gear.
When driving, what exactly can you use 2nd gear to do? Is it bad to drive a car in 2nd gear? How fast can you drive your vehicle in 2nd gear? As you read through the rest of this article, you’ll find answers to the frequently asked questions above.
What is 2nd Gear Used For?
Before answering this question, it’s important to first understand what transmission is all about and what it includes.
“Transmission” is an important term in automobiles. It comes in two different forms, automatic and manual transmissions.
In a manual transmission, there is a clutch pedal and gear shift. However, that’s not the case for automatic transmission cars. With an automatic transmission, it means everything is automatic and there’s nothing like gear shift and clutch.
Furthermore, when it comes to driving, transmission is essential to change the speed ratio between your vehicle’s wheels and the engine. As earlier mentioned, the automatic transmission doesn’t have any gear shift and a clutch. However, it’s worth knowing that it uses a set of gears – it’s called a “compound planetary gear set.”
The automatic transmission’s compound planetary gearset, according to How Stuff works, behaves more like two planetary gear sets are combined. However, when you look at it, you’ll notice that it looks more like a single planetary gear set. It packs two sun gears and two sets of planets.
The compound planetary gearset also has one main ring gear, which represents the output of the transmission. Furthermore, it also has four other sets of gears, which it uses to spin the tires. A variety of combinations can help to achieve different gear ratios, including a reverse gear and four other forward gears (1st gear, 2nd gear, 3rd gear, and overdrive).
For the sake of this post, we’ll only place our focus on the 2nd gear; so, what exactly is it and what is it used for?
A 2nd gear is one of the four forward gears for automatic transmission. As earlier mentioned, both 1st and 2nd gears are used to transmit strong power to the tires. Both first and second gears are almost the same. One difference, however, between them is that the 1st gear transmits a stronger power to the tires than the 2nd gear.
Speaking of what the second gear is used for; I’ll start by saying you can use it for a couple of different functions. For instance, if you find yourself on a slippery road, you can always use the 2nd gear.
One of the functions of 2nd gear is to enable you to achieve a lower speed when driving, which is much needed for your tires to have a better grip on the slippery road. Furthermore, you can also use the 2nd gear when driving through uphill roads. With it, you’ll be able to provide your vehicle’s engine with more power.
That’s not all; when traveling downhills, you can always use the 2nd gear for engine braking. Normally, when you’re trying to drive and free your car from a muddy road, the first gear is the best choice. However, in a situation where the gear is delivering too much power to the tire and causing wheelspin, the 2nd gear is the best you can rely on to get out of the mess.
Is it Bad to Drive a Car in 2nd Gear?
The simple and direct answer to the question is yes; you can always drive your car in second gear. The only problem, however, is that it’s not advisable to drive your car in 2nd gear in all road situations. One of the few reasons to drive a car in 2nd gear is when the first gear is too short.
According to experts, you can drive a manual transmission car in 2nd gear when heading downhill from a dead stop. Of course, this makes a lot of sense. That’s so because the momentum during this situation will help the car accelerate, making it easy to quickly switch from first gear to second gear.
In automatic transmission cars, you can also start and drive in second gear from a stop when you are in snow mode. This way, you can always achieve a better fuel economy and smoother acceleration. For more explanation regarding this topic, you can watch this video by Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained.
How Fast Can I Drive my Car in 2nd Gear?
As you already know, 2nd gear is a type of gear that can be used to lower your speed for certain road situations. Since that’s the case, the fastest you can drive your car in second gear is still considered a low speed. That said, according to Honda, the maximum recommended speed for driving a car in the 2nd gear is 69 mph or 110 km/h.