Technological advancement has blessed this generation with automatic transmission engines, which have extensively revolutionized everything motor. The controls are more straightforward and easy to navigate, so you only need basic driving skills to avoid mistakes when driving an automatic transmission car and you are good to go.
That is why many beginners or new drivers who get confused by the manual car clutch system are eager to drive an automatic car. But — not so fast. With the ease of driving an auto car comes a new set of bad habits you need to avoid. If you are a car owner, you would want to extend your car’s life by practicing as many good habits as you can.
While it is easy to drive automatic transmission cars, it is more expensive to repair them than their manual counterparts. Hence apply the proven good habits and a generous dose of common sense.
Below are the seven habits to avoid if you want to prevent frequent mistakes when driving an automatic transmission car:
1. Neutral Position When Sliding Down a Slope
An average New York driver would tell you that he saves much gas when he puts his car in a neutral position when sliding downhill or down a slope. The car is partly on its own; this is when some undisciplined driver might want to check new notifications on his Smartphone.
First, it is dangerous to put your car in a neutral position while sliding downhill. The fact that you are not in full control means that should a potential hazard show up, you cannot save the situation fast enough. You cannot speed up your car when it is in a neutral position; you can only slow it, so you won’t save an emergency that requires you to accelerate.
Secondly, the neutral position harms your car transmission because a neutral position blocks oil supply, which in turn slows the smooth transmission process due to lack of proper lubrication.
The wear and tear that follows would damage your car. The repair cost is worth more than the fuel you aim to save.
2. Engaging the Neutral Gear While Waiting for the Green Light
This is yet another habit meant to save fuel. It is a downright misconception when it comes to automatic cars. But even if it helps save energy, what is saved is nothing compared to the damage being to the car.
Keeping your car in neutral gear while you are stuck in the traffic only wears out its transmission. The damage happens when you keep switching into and out of the neutral gear.
Instead, you should keep the engine on (Drive-mode), with a foot on the break as you wait for the green light. Again, you are not in full control of the car when you engage the neutral gear, so you may not be able to maneuver fast enough if need be.
3. Shifting to Parking Mode While the Car is Moves
The parking mode is not for stopping your car; it is meant to prevent your vehicle from rolling away after you have parked. Fortunately, some auto cars won’t let you use parking mode to stop them.
Shifting to parking mode with the car still moving can break the locking pin that prevents your car from moving once you have parked. The locking pin keeps the transmission from running but only after the car has stopped.
With the car still on the move and the locking pin attempting to stop the wheels, the locking pin can break.
So next time you finally sight a parking lot in the congested New York City, do not dash to it while shifting to parking mode.
4. Revving Your Car
This goes to those who just bought a brand new auto car and are so excited about it. Each time they take the seat and are about to hit the road, they rev the car engine in neutral then shift to drive.
This puts too much strain on the car, wearing out the transmission bands. Soon, the automatic gearbox is broken. Replacing it is costly, mind you. Instead of revving your engine, simply put the gearbox in drive mode, then drive away — no need to complicate simple things.
5. Starving the Fuel Tank
An auto car relies much on fluid pressure to operate correctly. The fuel also lubricates and cools the car’s engine. If you always keep your fuel tank low, your car parts will wear out much faster.
Thus, it is best to keep your fuel tank at least ¼ full most of the time if you drive an automatic transmission car.
6. Shifting From Drive To Reverse Before The Car Stops
Firstly, this is dangerous; you endanger the lives of other road users and even yours. Whether you are in a hurry or just excited, stop and consider what your carelessness may lead to.
Secondly, shifting gears as you drive means you use transmission instead of brakes to stop your car. You turn it into a habit, the transmission band of your automatic vehicle soon wears out. Replacing the transmission band is no easy task, so it is understandably costly and time-consuming. Therefore it is best you always stop the car completely before changing the gear.
7. Letting Water into the Transmission
Did you know that as little as a drop of water can make you replace the transmission system? It would help if you were very careful with any forms of liquids.
To wrap it up, we urge you to completely stop these habits, whether you have been practicing them out of ignorance or with full knowledge of their repercussions. An automatic transmission car is expensive, so common sense alone dictates that it should be well taken care of.
We have to point out that as a driver, you may not be an expert in car mechanisms. In fact, no average driver is. That is why some of these bad habits may have taken you aback.
There is still much to learn. Keep a tab on Pierre Paul Driving School for more surprises.