Gear Shifter Positions On Your Car

March 16, 2009

Our Tip of the week concerns gear shifter position with an automatic transmission. Via e-mail we've been asked a couple questions about this. First question was: "in city driving with an automatic transmission should I defeat the overdrive and run it in drive or leave it in overdrive?" Well, by leaving it in overdrive you realize all the fuel saving benefits of an overdrive transmission. In other words the transmission will quickly shift up at the earliest point into overdrive, thereby reducing the RPM and maximizing fuel economy. The downside to this, however, is that the vehicle speed picks up very rapidly and you also don't get the deceleration you're looking for when you lift off the throttle. So by defeating the overdrive and running it in drive, you'll find the vehicle much more controllable. You'll be able to hold to the road speeds posted more easily and when you lift off of the gas the vehicle will want to slow down. The second question was: "should we shift an automatic transmission into neutral at a long traffic light?" Well, the idea there would be to cool the transmission down. In term of driving, the last thing you want to do is not have a vehicle that is ready to go at an intersection. In that case I'd suggest that you don't shift it into neutral at a light. Leave it in gear so that you are ready to react for safety's sake.

That's your Tip of The Week.

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