Driving an automatic car can be convenient and straightforward, especially for those who are not comfortable with manual transmissions. However, even with automatic cars, there are certain actions and habits that should be avoided to ensure safety, prolong vehicle lifespan, and maintain a smooth driving experience. In this article which is in accordance to mechanicbase, we will delve into what you should not do while driving an automatic car, highlighting common mistakes and providing insights on how to avoid them.
Resting Your Foot on the Brake Pedal:
One crucial habit to avoid while driving an automatic car is resting your foot on the brake pedal unnecessarily. This action, known as “riding the brakes,” can result in a phenomenon called brake drag. It leads to increased wear on brake pads, reduced fuel efficiency, and, most importantly, slower reaction times during emergencies. Instead, practice keeping your foot off the brake pedal when it is not needed, allowing the vehicle to coast freely.
Shifting the Gear Lever Incorrectly:
In an automatic car, the gear lever is responsible for selecting the appropriate transmission mode. One common mistake is shifting the gear lever while the vehicle is still in motion. Abrupt gear changes can strain the transmission system and cause unnecessary wear and tear. Always ensure that your vehicle is at a complete stop before shifting between Park (P), Reverse (R), Neutral (N), or Drive (D). This precaution will help preserve the transmission and maintain smooth operation.
Neglecting the Parking Brake:
The parking brake, also known as the handbrake, is not exclusive to manual transmission vehicles. It is equally important to engage the parking brake in an automatic car, especially when parking on inclines or in situations where the vehicle needs to be secured. Neglecting to engage the parking brake can put excessive strain on the transmission’s parking pawl, leading to potential transmission damage over time. Develop a habit of always engaging the parking brake, regardless of the transmission type.
Inconsistent or Aggressive Acceleration:
While automatic transmissions are designed to shift gears smoothly, improper acceleration techniques can affect the overall performance of the vehicle. Avoid aggressive acceleration, such as slamming the gas pedal or abruptly releasing it. These actions can strain the transmission, cause excessive wear on components, and compromise fuel efficiency. Instead, practice gradual and smooth acceleration, allowing the transmission to shift gears seamlessly, providing a more comfortable and efficient driving experience.
Ignoring Regular Maintenance:
Just like any other vehicle, automatic cars require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Neglecting maintenance tasks such as fluid checks, filter replacements, and overall inspections can lead to various issues, including transmission problems. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and consult a professional mechanic to address any concerns promptly. Regular maintenance will help detect potential issues early on and prevent costly repairs in the future.
Using Neutral While Coasting or Stopping:
Some drivers believe that shifting to Neutral (N) while coasting or stopping saves fuel. However, this is a common misconception. When you shift to Neutral, the engine is disengaged from the transmission, leading to reduced control over the vehicle and potentially compromising safety. Additionally, modern automatic cars are designed to cut off fuel supply when coasting in gear, maximizing fuel efficiency. Therefore, it is best to keep the car in Drive (D) when coasting or coming to a stop.
Driving an automatic car offers convenience and ease of operation, but it still requires responsible and attentive driving habits. By avoiding actions such as resting your foot on the brake pedal, shifting the gear lever incorrectly, neglecting the parking brake, inconsistent or aggressive acceleration, ignoring regular maintenance, and using Neutral while coasting or stopping, you can ensure a safe and smooth journey. Develop good driving habits, follow manufacturer recommendations, and prioritize regular maintenance to keep your automatic car in optimal condition. By driving responsibly and avoiding these common mistakes, you will enjoy a reliable and enjoyable driving experience while promoting safety for yourself and others on the road.