A lot of people, especially young new car owners, would prefer driving an automatic not only because it’s more widely known and used nowadays but also because it’s almost effortless to drive which means you get a smooth ride. However, just because it’s easier to drive an automatic doesn't mean you won’t get problems with it if you don’t drive it properly. So to make sure that that doesn't happen, here are the things that you definitely shouldn’t do while driving an automatic.
Engaging P Before Coming Into A Full Stop
When your gear stick is engaged to P (Park) what happens is that, it stops the transmission from rotating which prevent your car from moving forward and backward. Do that while the car is in motion and you risk damaging the locking pin that locks up the automatic transmission. This is why it’s never a good idea to engage P when you’re still moving. The same thing when you’re at a stop light, you still shouldn’t engage P. This is because you’ll have to go through R (reverse) and N (Neutral) before you can shift the lever to D (Drive) when the light turns green which takes a lot of effort for the vehicle to do. Aside from that, when shifting from P to D, sometimes people accidentally engage to either R or N which could be a problem when you’re on a bumper to bumper traffic situation.
Going ‘Neutral’ At Stop Lights
You've probably heard the unwritten rule of not putting your car on D at a stop light in order to avoid wearing out the transmission. While that may make sense, sometimes putting the vehicle in N at a stop light can be a problem too. How so? Well, people tend to forget things, even actions that they just did like going Neutral at a stop light. As a result, they end up revving the engine to no avail when the light turns green which waste fuel when doing so. This is why you may want to keep the gear in D, even at stop lights, unless you’re really going to a full stop.
Changing Gears While The Vehicle Is Moving
Some drivers who are parking their vehicle tend to change gears even while the vehicle is still in motion. Switching gears while the vehicle is moving is a habit that you should break because this can damage the vehicle’s transmission. If you want to shift from D to R or vice versa, you should wait for the vehicle to stop moving before doing so.
Coasting In Neutral
Putting your gear stick in N limits your control over the car. So while coasting in neutral to save gas is a good thing, you should prioritize having full control of your ride while moving which only happens of your gear is in D because this allows you to react faster and safer. Besides, most modern automatic cars nowadays are designed to be fuel efficient even if the gear is in D, so there’s really no point in compromising full control over your car while driving.
Launching Your Car
In a nutshell, ‘launching’ is accelerating a vehicle from standstill, similar to drag racing. This works by revving your engine while the gear is in N and dropping it into D to launch the vehicle forward. While this may amuse your friends, launching an automatic car is not a good thing because this will wear out the bands in your transmission. You may look cool for the time being doing that, but you may end up with pricey car repairs in the long run. It’s not worth it dude.
Majority of cars today are automatic. So if you’re looking for a specific car, it’ll be easier to find if you prefer it over manual. Also, shifting or using the clutch pedal will be the least of your problems. Considering that shifting isn’t an issue with automatic transmission car, you can rest assured that you’ll have a smooth ride. However, with a complex system, a lot could go south on you which of course means maintenance will follow. If you don’t mind not having the “hands-on” precision drivers usually get with manual, then this might work for you. And just like everything else in life, innovation comes with a price. Be prepared to shell out more cash if you prefer automatic transmission cars. So, you’d really want to avoid these mistakes to avoid unnecessary repairs and expenses in the future.