Drive automatic : forward& disadvantages of the automatic transmission

Cars with automatic transmission are becoming increasingly popular. in 2018, one in two new cars was already an automatic vehicle. The highly efficient automatic gearshift is lightning-fast and will probably be the only way in the future to meet the stringent CO2 specifications. Electric and hybrid cars already rely exclusively on automatic technology. Read here how the automatic transmission differs from the classic manual car, what you should look out for when driving with an automatic and what advantages and disadvantages the various automatic transmissions bring with them.

Differences between manual and automatic transmissions

A glance into the footwell already shows the clear difference between automatic and manual transmissions. Instead of the usual three pedals, you will only find the following on the automatic car two pedals forward, right for the gas and left for the brake. The next view leads to the center console. This is where the automatic car is a selector lever instead of a gearshift lever for the different gear levels:

  • P: park
  • D: drive (forward)
  • R: backwards
  • N: neutral (idle)

automatic or manual? Take the test: which car suits me?

Some automatic cars also have other options:

  • S: sporty
  • M: manual

In manual mode, you can use the selector lever to change gears. Some automatic cars are also equipped with paddle shifters on the steering wheel equipped. With plus and minus you can change gears yourself if you wish.

Driving an automatic car the right way: step-by-step instructions

If you are sitting in an automatic car for the first time, you will quickly be overwhelmed. Where to put the left foot? And how to move the selector lever to the right gear stage? First of all: put your left foot on the support and leave it there! Otherwise, an accidental clutch disengagement could result in an unintended emergency braking maneuver, which could quickly lead to a rear-end collision.

two pedals in automatic car

In an automatic car, instead of a third pedal, you will find a support for the left foot

To start the car, the selector lever to "P and your right foot on brake stand. The lever can only be operated when you are standing on the brake. How to avoid accidental shifting from forward to reverse gear while driving. now press in the button on the lever to move it. Select gear "D" or "R" – depending on whether you want to drive forwards or backwards. As soon as you take your foot off the brake, the car rolls off. You can imagine this as if you were in a stick shift car and you let the clutch out without accelerating. In the meantime, however, many automatic cars offer the "auto-hold function" – if you activate it, you can take your foot off the brake without the car moving from the spot. this is especially comfortable during long periods at traffic lights.

Tip: by the way, you can also use longer traffic light phases to relax your neck and shoulder muscles. For long car journeys and the wrong sitting posture it comes quickly to tensions in the back. read here how to sit properly in the car to save your back.

You don’t have to worry about shifting gears anymore, because your car will do it for you. At the end of your journey, return the selector lever to "P". only in the park position can you pull the ignition key from the lock. Remember:

  1. Initial position of the selector lever to "P"
  2. Press brake with right foot (left foot remains on support)
  3. Move lever to "D" or "R
  4. Release the brake and roll off
  5. accelerate
  6. At the end of the drive, move the lever to "P"

Tip: if you feel unsafe with an automatic car, you may want to take a driving safety course. Together with the trainer, you will practice how to maintain control of your vehicle in various situations.

Advantages and disadvantages of the automatic transmission

Driving an automatic is convenient and saves fuel – but why do so many drivers still use stick shift cars?? We have summarized the advantages and disadvantages of automatic cars for you.

Advantages of automatic transmission

If you get stuck in a traffic jam, you’ll be glad you have an automatic transmission. Especially in stop& go traffic it is annoying to have to shift gears manually all the time. These are the advantages of automatic transmissions at a glance:

  • Comfortable
  • Fuel-efficient
  • Faster shifting
  • No wear and tear due to incorrect clutch engagement
  • modern automatic transmissions protect the engine by automatically regulating the engine speed
  • Easy uphill driving
  • Use of a wide range of driver assistance systems

Tip: here you will find an overview of important driver assistance systems.

Drive an automatic without shifting gears

If you drive with an automatic transmission, you don’t have to shift gears

Disadvantages automatic transmission

the most common disadvantage of an automatic transmission is the less individual driving. Other disadvantages of the automatic car are:

  • Often only available at extra cost
  • Expensive repairs in case of damage
  • Difficulty starting in ice and snow
  • No control over the gears

Automatic driving license

Did you know? You can drive your driving license exclusively for automatic cars make. However, driving a manual or semi-automatic car is then not allowed. The automatic driver’s license runs the same way as the normal driver’s license.

hint: all important information on the normal driver’s license can be found in our driver’s license guidebook.

Although driving hours with automatic cars are somewhat more expensive, they require significantly fewer practice hours, since neither the clutch nor the gearshift have to be learned. The bottom line is that you will save a lot of money. If you still want to drive a manual car, you have to register again at the driving school, take driving lessons and pass another driving test.

Comparison of automatic transmissions

Not all automatics are the same. We introduce you to the automated manual transmission, the torque converter automatic, the double-clutch transmission and the continuously variable CVT transmission.

Automated manual transmission

With the automated manual transmission the structure of a conventional manual transmission, with the difference that everything is automated. Thanks to the similar design it is quite inexpensive to buy. Nevertheless, the automated manual transmission has become rather rare. Slow gear changes and a noticeable interruption of traction make driving a car less attractive than with modern automatic transmissions.

torque converter automatic / torque converter

The torque converter automatic, also known as the torque converter, scores points with a very high shifting comfort without noticeable traction interruption. For this purpose, the use of the torque converter automatic is virtually wear-free and is particularly worthwhile with the towing a trailer.

tip: the fuel consumption is a bit higher with the torque converter automatic – how you can still save fuel money and cheap fuel, show you these 7 fuel apps.

However, the torque converter not for high revving engines suitable. Also, the higher fuel consumption than with alternative automatic transmissions. Due to the quite large design the torque converter automatic is also only found from the middle class upwards.

Dual clutch transmission (DKG)

The dual-clutch transmission, or DKG for short, has been Introduced by VW in 2003 as a direct shift gearbox (DSG) and is now known by many other names, like z.B. S-tronic (audi), power shift (mercedes-benz), or DCT (KIA). The DKG is particularly suitable for sports cars, because the dual-clutch transmission tolerates higher revs as the torque converter automatic.

revs and speed car

You don’t have to worry about the revs for the optimal shifting torque with the automatic car anymore

Dynamic and fast gear changes without any noticeable interruption of tractive power make automatic driving with DKG particularly attractive. In addition, the dual-clutch transmission convinces with better acceleration and a lower consumption than the torque converter. The disadvantage, however, lies with the sometimes jerky start-ups as well as the sequential shifting of gears. shift jumps are therefore not possible with the double-clutch transmission.

Continuously variable CVT transmission

"CVT" stands for continuously variable transmission. With the CVT automatic transmission, there are no fixed gears. Instead, a continuous transmission takes place. This makes the continuously variable CVT transmission particularly efficient efficient in the rev ranges, which in turn makes for a very economical consumption provides.

However, the acoustic behavior often discouraging, because the engine noise does not adapt to the speed of the vehicle as usual and the engine howls when accelerating.

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