There are many drivers out there that prefer the simplicity of driving an automatic. Simply hop in, turn the key and you’re on your way. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an experienced driver, there is no disputing that an automatic is easier to drive. This argument is relevant for both short and long driving trips. And when you’re stuck in the Dubai traffic, it can become especially annoying having to constantly change gears. However, driving an automatic does present existing challenges that drivers have to take into consideration. Just because a car is ‘easier’ to drive, does not simply mean that it is free of any potential hazards. Here are some tips for automatic drivers to make driving safer.
Avoid Cruising Downhill in Neutral
You might think that by cruising downhill in neutral you’re conserving fuel and thus, being kinder to your car. You’d be wrong! That’s because the engine is still idling and you’re expending as much fuel as if you were idling on a straight stretch of road. By putting your car in neutral, you’re also less likely to respond as quickly to any sudden incidents up ahead.
Failing to Stop When Changing Directions
Driving an automatic can sometimes feel like such a breeze that you neglect to completely stop before changing directions. This is pertinent when you’re changing from drive to reverse (or reverse to drive). It also applies when you’re making a significant turn, such as on a 90-degree angle. Let your vehicle come to a complete stop before changing directions. That way you’ll be less likely to damage your car or worse, roll off the road.
Changing to Neutral when Stopped
So, you’ve pulled up to a set of traffic lights and the light is red. Or, you’re at a stop sign and you’ve got a bit of a wait before you go. Many drivers wrongly believe that putting the car into neutral will be better on the car’s transmission. Putting the car into neutral does NOT put less stress on your engine. It could even damage your transmission and lead to significant engine wear and tear.
Putting Your Car in Park When You Haven’t Stopped
It’s vital that you never put your car into park before you have come to a complete stop. Many people will pull into “park” and whilst the car is still moving. This can cause extreme wear on your transmission system. When you do this, there is a significant risk that the locking pin that is housed in the transmission will essentially break.
What is launching you ask? Something we’re all guilty of from time to time. Launching refers to accelerating with rapid speed from a stationary position; whilst your car is in neutral. Whilst this might be commonplace on a racetrack, it has no place on our roads. If you continuously ‘launch’ your car, the outcome will likely be damage to major parts of your transmission and engine.