Switching to driving an automatic

When you switch to an automatic car it could be for a wide range of reasons. Of course number one on that list could be that you are simply given an automatic car or you are driving in a country such as the United States where all cars tend to have an automatic transmission.

Whatever the reason, it will take a little bit of getting used to not automatically reaching over for the gears all the time as you would ordinarily and as becomes almost instinctive habit in a geared car.

You should familiarise yourself with the controls on the selector lever, and which option is for and when to select it. You must of course remember to move into 'P' when you park the car and exit it and it is particularly essential that you have the hand brake on with an automatic, even more so than with a manual drive car.

You will probably notice that the accelerator is a little more sensitive in an automatic than in a manual, and may also find that when you ease off the gas a higher gear could be selected, so one technique to slow down before you approach a bend or a junction, and as you turn into the bend to gently accelerate.

When it comes to braking, the braking effect from the transmission is usually more subtle (e.g. less) than with a manual car where the engine braking may be more pronounced. Overall, clearly the biggest benefit of an automatic is that it saes having to switch gear all the time and particularly for those who spend their lives in queues on the way to work and back it can save the constant switching of gears and use of the clutch; for those who have some physical disability too an automatica can be an atractive option or even necessary.

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