Many people assume that driving automatic transmission cars is easy and that there’s not much to it, but this isn’t necessarily true. Automatic transmission cars require some basic knowledge to be driven efficiently, safely, and with minimal wear and tear on the system. However, many motorists take it for granted and do things that may cause long-term damage to their truck.
Here are 9 things to avoid while driving your automatic transmission car:
1. Don’t Drive Down the Slope in Neutral Mode
It’s common for people to shift into neutral while driving down a hill or slope to free-roll and save fuel. This is highly discouraged as it can cause a strain on the transmission and injectors, leading to a breakdown or even an accident due to lack of power. Driving with a neutral gear downslope cuts the supply of oil to the transmission, preventing lubrication and as a result leading to wear and tear of engine parts over time.
2. Avoid Launching Your Truck
Launching your truck from a standstill is when you quickly press the accelerator to full throttle and release the brakes simultaneously. This puts an immense amount of stress on the transmission as it goes from a complete stop to maximum speed in one swoop. It’s better to start your car off slowly and then accelerate gradually, thereby avoiding premature wear and tear on the transmission.
3. Don’t Rev Up the Engine Before Switching Gear
Another common mistake people make is to rev up their engines before changing gears. This not only causes increased fuel consumption but also affects the performance of the transmission in the long run. When you rev up your car the components of the transmission change direction rapidly leading to wear and tear. Eventually, your car will be slipping and jerking when you try to accelerate or change gears due to the damaged components.
4. Avoid Switching To the Parking Mode Before the Car Stops
Before you switch your car into parking mode, it’s important to wait for the car to come to a complete stop. If you are in a hurry and change into “park” even when your car has not stopped yet, this could lead to the transmission locking up. The locking pin eventually breaks and it could be expensive to replace the entire transmission – costing you anywhere between $1800 to $3,400.
5. Avoid Running on Low Fuel
It is always a good idea to check the fuel level in your car before heading out on a long trip. Running your vehicle on low fuel can cause strain on the transmission and it is even worse for those with an automatic transmission. When the fuel level gets too low, parts of the engine start heating up and drying up the transmission fluid. A heating engine without lubrication wears down faster and can be expensive to repair.
6. Don’t Drive at High Speed Without Warming it Up
Many enthusiasts love to race their cars, but it is important to warm up the engine first. This is especially true during winter or cold weather. An automatic transmission car needs a few minutes to warm up before it can be raced or driven at high speeds. Racing the car without warming it up puts excessive strain on the transmission and components in the engine, which can lead to costly damages to the engine.
7. Avoid Switching to Neutral at the Red Light
It can become a bad habit to switch your automatic transmission car into Neutral while stopped at a red light. People do this to save on fuel, but it’s actually not really helping much. You might save a few cents on fuel but this practice contributes to the damage of your driveline over time. You should just apply brakes while in gear – it doesn’t require additional fuel.
8. Don’t Shift Gears When the Car is Rolling
Your auto transmission should always be in gear when accelerating or decelerating. This helps to keep your car balanced and the engine running properly. If you shift gears while the car is rolling, you can cause damage to the transmission and other driveline components. The best practice is to stop completely before shifting into Reverse or any other gear.
9. Never Use Two Feet to Drive an Automatic Transmission Car
It’s important to use one foot when driving an automatic transmission car – the other should remain off of the pedals. Using two feet can cause you to press both the accelerator and brake simultaneously, which can stress out the brake fluid, transmission fluid, and torque converter. If you must drive with two feet, buy a car that is designed to engage the brakes whenever you press the accelerator and brake at once.
Service Your Truck or Buy One With Lakeland Ford
Your truck is a key part of your driving experience and you must service it regularly, especially if you are driving an automatic transmission one. Lakeland Ford is the perfect place to bring your truck for maintenance and repairs. Our experienced technicians can help make sure your vehicle is safe and running efficiently, so you don’t have to worry about any unexpected issues. We also offer a variety of reliable new and used Ford trucks for sale, so you can easily replace your old one with something newer and more reliable. Stop by Lakeland Ford today to get started!