What is Automatic Transmission?

More helpful hints and tips for after you have passed your Driving Test in Newcastle.

The first thing you notice when getting into a car with automatic transmission is that there are only two pedals – it has no clutch. Hence the term ‘automatic’ – the car changes gear automatically without your direct intervention.

The term automatic simply refers to the gears and should not be confused with other features the car might have, such as traction control, electronic stability control, cruise control and so on – these features are also available in manual cars.

Most automatic transmission has something called a ‘torque converter’. This is complicated thing that you don’t need to know about unless you are thinking about becoming a vehicle technician – it transmits engine power to the gearbox and on to the driving wheels.

Most automatics still have gears, typically 3 or 4; some modern cars have different settings, operated by engine management wizardry. These settings allow you to choose different driving modes depending on the traffic conditions and your mood (for example, you might have a ‘sport’ setting).

Whatever automatic system the car is fitted with, all the driver has to do is stay awake, steer, brake and accelerate.

One foot or two?

Generally it’s best to use your right foot (only) when driving an automatic in normal conditions. The reasoning behind this is that it is unlikely that you will to need to brake and accelerate at the same time. Using one foot will encourage early planning through earlier release of the accelerator. This makes your passengers more comfortable – and safer.

In some automatics you might need two feet for slow speed manoeuvres; the accelerator to coax the car to move and the brake to check that movement quickly and effectively in a confined space. If you have never driven an auto before, practice two-foot low speed manoeuvring in a clear area, for example, a quiet car park, before trying to reverse into your garage, contact Experience Driving for more information or visit driving lessons newcastle upon tyne.

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