How to Transition From Manual to Automatic Transmission?


Cars with automatic transmission are quite popular and they are all the rage right now. Automatic transmission makes it easier for us to drive. For new drivers, it is generally more difficult to learn how to do gear changes and clutch controls. For less skilled drivers, automatic transmission allows them to focus on the road ahead and they are not distracted easily. However, people who habitually use manual transmission, it takes some adjustment to use automatic transmission. First of all, automatic transmission cars have only two pedals, the accelerator and brake pedals. The troublesome clutch pedal is no longer there. Due to the different in concept, automatic transmission shift gears on its own and the system does it for you.

Therefore, these people need to unlearn some of the habits. As an example, they can rest the left foot and both pedals can be operated by on the right foot. For these people, it may be necessary to take off their shoes, so they can easily change pedals more easily. One good way to learn using automatic transmission is to tuck the left foot under the right foot, so the former won’t get in the way. Also, it is important for you to learn the motion of putting cars into different gears. Automatic transmission has four different settings, D for driving, N for neutral, R for reverse and P for park. Some vans or cars may have additional gears for going downhill or for ploughing through thick snow. If the car is towed or pushed, the gear should be set to neutral.

When you start the car, make sure that the gear is already at P or park. Press the brake pedal with the right foot and turn on the ignition. Depending on which direction you want to move the car, you can choose D or R. When you are ready to move the car, you should always look around check the blind spots. If you are sure that it’s safe to move the car, you can release the handbrake. Lift the right foot off the brake pedal, so your car can reverse or move forward. Slightly press the accelerator pedal and slowly increase the speed. Many automatic transmission cars are equipped with cruise control to increase comfort during long distance trip. If you are on a highway with light traffic, you can press the cruise control button. However, you need to stay alert and be ready to disengage cruise control at anytime.

There is some quirkiness of automatic transmission cars that you should know. One thing that you should know is engine creep, which means that automatic cars will tend to creep forward when you start the engine. So, it is always a good practice to put your foot on the brake pedals. When the car is driving downhill, it will switch to high gears which may cause you to gain too much speed easily. Put the gear to N or neutral until the road is level again.