Personally, I come from the school of thought that the fun in driving a car is pressing down the clutch, shifting gears, knowing when to shift gears and steering the car. Hell, with a manual transmission car, you feel more in control of the car.
As opposed to automatic transmission cars, that sometimes feels like playing a video game; press the forward arrow to accelerate, back arrow to brake/reverse, press the left and right button to steer left and right respectively.
However, I must admit. Driving an automatic vehicle is less strenuous especially if you are going for a long distance drive. It is also the easiest vehicle to master how to drive, given you don’t have to know what is happening in the gear box.
That being said, I’ve come across a YouTuber with an excellent advice to those of you driving around in automatic transmission vehicles. The following are the five Don’ts when driving an automatic transmission vehicle:
Never go from Drive to Reverse without first stopping and vice versa: When driving an automatic vehicle, you should never change direction without first stopping the vehicles. That is to say, if you are driving forward, you should first stop the vehicle then switch to reverse and vice versa. Otherwise, you will be using the vehicle’s transmission system to brake the vehicle, instead of letting the brakes do their job and in the long run, you will be degrading the transmission system faster.
Never coast downhill while in Neutral: You might think you are smart by coasting downhill in neutral assuming you are saving on fuel, but most modern automatic transmissions systems automatically cut fuel to engines by themselves. Your intervention to save fuel will not save anything the car cannot do on its own. However, coasting downhill in neutral not only takes away some control from you but also it is illegal in some countries and even some states in America.
When at the Stop Light, do not put your vehicle in Neutral: Again people do this thinking they are saving on fuel, well the amount you save is insignificant, but you cause a tremendous amount to wear on the transmission system.
Don’t shift into Park before first stopping: Some cars will not allow you to do this, but if your does. You should never do it as it can damage or even break the locking pin used to keep the transmission from running.
The problem with automatic transmission vehicles is that it makes people less inclined to know how the gear mechanisms works inside the gear box. Without that knowledge and with few levers and buttons to push, it is easy for drivers to cause havoc to the transmission system unknowingly.
Check out the video below by Jason Fenske from EngineeringExplained YouTube channel. The video will not only show you what you should not do on an automatic transmission vehicle but also, it will show you exactly how the engine parts are affected in diagrams.