O automatic transmission, increasingly present in new cars in Brazil, offers comfort and practicality. However, many drivers, especially those accustomed to manual cars, make mistakes when using these vehicles, which can end up costing them dearly. Here are some tips to avoid these common mistakes.
1. Neutral at red lights: only in manual cars
In manual cars, it is common to put the vehicle in neutral at traffic lights to avoid wearing out the clutch. However, in automatic cars, the correct option is to keep it in “D” (Drive) and hold the brake. This keeps the hydraulic system pressurized and parts lubricated.
2. Changing to ‘P’ or ‘R’ on the move: a big no!
It is a common mistake to shift into reverse (“R”) or park (“P”) while the car is still moving. This act can seriously damage the vehicle’s transmission system. Older models are more susceptible to this damage, while newer models usually have electronic systems to prevent these errors.
3. ‘Holding’ the car on the hill: not necessary
Just like in manuals, avoiding holding the car on a hill using the accelerator is important in automatics. This practice heats the transmission oil and increases fuel consumption. The ideal is to always keep your foot on the brake.
4. Automatic transmission maintenance
Many think that automatic transmissions don’t need maintenance, but that’s not true. It is vital to check your transmission fluid and change it as recommended in your car manual. Ignoring this can lead to serious and expensive repair problems.
5. Avoid making the car start ‘in jerk’
If your car’s battery dies, don’t try to get it to start ‘in stride’. This can stress important vehicle components. The best thing is to recharge the battery or make a ‘pacifier’.
In addition to these points, it is important to remember that the automatic transmission has its peculiarities. Checking the oil level, observing the color of the fluid during inspections and paying attention to signs such as jerking or ‘skating’ when changing gears is essential to keeping your vehicle in good condition.