In certain countries having an automatic transmission for your car is the most popular option. For instance, in the U.S.A and Thailand there are far more vehicles on the road with automatic transmissions than manual.
However, if you are a novice automatic transmission driver, there are scenarios that can damage its operation and there are things you can do that will help the automatic transmission to perform better.
When Parked do not Leave Lever in D Position
When stopped in traffic for a lengthy period or parked, take the transmission out of the Drive position and move it to either Neutral or Park and then make sure the handbrake is engaged. If you continue to leave it in the Drive position when the vehicle is not moving, it will add general wear and tear to the transmission in particular, the O Ring, as this will shorten its life. By doing this to the vehicle, it will also prevent accidental release and possible accidents.
Auto Position or Manual?
Automatic gearboxes have an M position, which stands for manual mode. But there is no clutch to shift gears and therefore it does not respond in the same way as a manual transmission.
Be careful not to assume that the high-speed cycle means that you can shift gears down when travelling at high speeds as it does not. In fact, it is not related to speed at all and treating it as such can lead to damage.
Only Use 1 or L when Absolutely Necessary
The use of position 1 or L on the automatic transmission is designed when more torque is required. Situations like a ramp or mud might call for this. Never use either position when driving for a long period of time.
The General Driving with an Automatic Transmission
If you have never driven a car with an automatic transmission before then take care at first not to treat it as a manual vehicle. For instance, to chip down or change to a lower gear for immediate power may not give you the reaction you would normally expect with a manual transmission.
Some vehicles respond quicker than others so get to know your car first before you try new techniques, or you may cause an accident.
Auto Boxes Need Regular Maintenance
Just like any other part of a car, automatic transmissions need regular maintenance. Change the gear oil on a regular basis according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. If you do not, small pieces of metal can accumulate in the housing and cause damage.
If you need to repair or swap an automatic transmission, then this can prove very expensive and by not ensuring it is properly maintained you might be in conflict with the manufacturer’s warranty.
Driving a car with an automatic transmission can be a great deal of fun as long as you look after it and learn exactly how to drive it correctly.