You must be familiar with vehicles with manual and automatic transmission gears but till today some still debate about the best between manual and automatic transmission gear due to the maintenance cost and other problems that might arise when carelessly used.
The automatic transmission makes life easier and convenient compared to manual but it often comes with a price to pay when you don’t use it carefully, now the real question is how to maintain vehicles with automatic transmission gear selections.
Automatic Transmission Signs and its meanings
Before we proceed on how to maintain automatic transmission vehicles you need to know few important things about the signs you might likely see and in most of the Automatic transmission cars, we have something like
P = Park
D = Drive
N = Neutral
R = Reverse
L = Low Gear.
1 = First Gear, 2 = Second Gear and 3 = Third Gear etc.
P, in every automatic transmission vehicles simply means Parking which tries to engage the parking pawl to prevent the transmission helping the vehicle to stay still and avoid moving.
In other words, the transmission may possibly not be able to pump fluid while in park or neutral mode and as well prevents the transmission from heating up the fluid.
D, as listed above, represents Drive which allows any car with automatic transmission to do the selection of gears at any given time within certain parameters while you as the driver controls the wheels.
The movement of your car while in a Drive mode is determined by the attention given to the throttle through your leg, once the throttle is pushed down word it indicates that the road is free and ready to increase speed while adjusting the throttle upwards indicate a need to slow down.
N which represent Neutral puts your car in a neutral mode which disconnects the engine from wheels using transmission and N mode can be the best option when you need to push your car or have it towed.
R, Sign represent Reverse which instructs the vehicle to go backward and in some modern cars the reverse mode gear is accompanied with a reverse camera that helps the driver to see the backend from the dashboard while moving backward.
L also means Low Gear which tells the transmission that you are not ready for speed but slow movement
In some vehicles, you will see the gear signs in a numerical way like 1, 2, 3 but you don’t need to worry, 1 stand for first gear, 2 stands for second gear and 3 stands for third etc.
Best way to maintain Automatic Transmission Vehicles
We are now back to business and am sure you have understood the automatic transmission signs and its means, the next is to guide you on how to maintain them and avoid some preventable damages caused by ignorance.
Select the right gear at the right time
To be a good driver you must learn how to select the right gear at the right time or you might end up adding unnecessary stress and heating to the transmission.
Some drivers believe that shifting their gear to a ‘Park’ mode when the car is moving helps them save some fuel but that’s not true and in fact when you put your car in P mode its activates some locking mechanism that prevents the gears from rotating, thereby stopping the vehicle from moving and when you suddenly switch the gear to P mode it will definitely harm the park mechanism.
Avoid using Neutral mode while driving downhill
Since the vehicle can move downhill even without turning on the engine you might think its Ok to put your car in Neutral mode to as well save some fuel or whatever the reason might be but you are not helping the transmission by doing so.
First you need to understand that gear selection is made by clutches and bands with material linings which create friction and when you change the gears while the vehicle is on the move then the clutches and bands may find it difficult handling much load, therefore the frictional material, as well as the transmission, will be in danger.
Always change the transmission fluid when due
One of the important tasks you have as a car owner or a driver is to regularly check certain things and replaced them accordingly with the right parts and materials, one of the important things to check is the transmission fluid which helps the performance of the vehicle and as well keeps its gear healthy condition.
There are 2 major types of transmission fluid known as CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) and ATF (Automatic transmission fluid) which you must know the one that matches with your vehicle because using wrong fluid can be disastrous to the transmission system.
Hope you enjoyed this tips, feel free to ask any question for more clarifications if you missed out on anything and will be happy to help you more.