For anyone just learning how to drive from zero, then be sure that it is a manual Car where there is an accelerator, Clutch, and a break, while the automatic cars have no clutch. It is only those that have driven for the past 10 or 20 years that are actually taught how to drive automatic cars. In so doing, you have possibly practiced driving the manual car with 5 or 6 gears before finally facing the bigger challenge of getting used to a new clutchless system. Are you thinking of trying an automatic car and wondering how to go about it? Here’s are some tips to help you drive an automatic car for the first-time;
Relax and be at ease in the Car
It is not unusual to be anxious when planning to drive an automatic car for the first time, but remember being anxious always reflects on your driving. While you might not collide with other cars or bump into people on the road, there is a possibility of getting dents on the car. It is therefore important to exercise patience, and be relaxed while you hold the steering but before you start driving, first make sure that you are very comfortable and relaxed in the Car.
You should be seated upright on the seat and the footing should also be comfortable, with your hands relaxed as well as the seat belt properly tightened prior to starting off your road trip. It shouldn’t seem as if you are driving a special/different car because almost the same formalities are in the automatic car as in the manual car.
Always make a complete stop before switching Gears
Prior to switching from one gear to the other, ensure that the Car is properly stopped first. This means you have to first stop before going from the park to drive, park to reverse and many others. If you miss this detail, then you risk damaging your transmission.
You should be knowledgeable with the manual Car
We don’t know whether you are aware of this or not, but there is a small difference between manual and automatic cars, with the latter adjusting to higher gears automatically. For this reason, having basic driving skills are fundamental for adjusting the speed, switching the car between left and right, which is similar to the manual cars. It is for this reason that we always advise drivers to first be conversant with manual cars before driving automatic cars.
Light the throttle pressure first
When you switch the gear to drive, don’t simply use force to stop the gas pedal and also, avoid using maximum power into the car because you increase chances of damaging your car’s stationary parts.
Avoid driving in neutral
Many drivers believe that keeping the gear in neutral saves money, which is actually not true. Instead, you will be damaging your brakes and avert quick acceleration of the car, which is a serious hazard.
Make use of Park, Drive and Neutral Gears
The fact that you are a first-time driver of an automatic car, you will definitely need to get acquainted with the three gears- Park, Drive and Neutral first. Your wheels will remain in the same position and not turn when you use the Park gear hence getting a better grip on the steering. It is important to start your car with the park gear in the automatic car and the same when you are done driving or about to stop the Car.
When driving the car, slowly change to the Drive gear and this helps you to keep going on a clear road. If you are in a traffic-jammed area, make use of the neutral gear which will relieve into the traffic transitions hence getting a break from abrupt brakes which are harmful to your car tires.
Make use of hand brakes when parking
Avoid putting the gear into Park while parking your car, hence you will need to pull up on the hand brakes afterwards. You will notice that some cars might have foot brakes or switch to launch the Parking brake. This will nip in the bud the rear wheel from being able to move, hence the car will not roll away.
Other important tips for driving automatic cars for beginners is wearing good and comfortable shoes, not resting your foot on the brake pedal, and not using cruise control among others.