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Old 19th April 2011, 16:49   #136
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Default re: Tips on driving an automatic

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Originally Posted by Neilguy View Post
N is for the (rare) times that your car needs to be towed with the ignition switched off. Other times, whenever you want to simulate "putting your car into Neutral and brake as on a MT", shift the vehicle to P (for Park).
Well P is few slots away whilst D is next slot from D so for short times like signals I would prefer N for which am used to also now.

On uphill, there is traffic jam and it's moving slowly like halt and go, I couldn't keep the brake pressed all the time. I put in N and & Handbrake for brief period. what is the recommended method here ?

My view is that on signal stops etc, I should also dis-engage myself from car so Put neutral and relax.On green signal, Engage to D and Engage myself also back to driving.
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Old 19th April 2011, 17:07   #137
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Default re: Tips on driving an automatic

I write the following out of my more than 2 years experience in Altis, BMW 525i and Jaguar XF 3.0D S.

In my opinion, the brake pedal of Auto's also incorporate the clutch. So while waiting in D and pressing the brake, one is riding the clutch and engine is also straining to move the car forward which is being stopped by brakes. I don't see this as a very healthy situation as everything like the brakes, clutch and engine are being strained and to no avail.

Agreed that in Europe also i have seen most of the drivers waiting on signals in D, but I prefer do my own thinking and always shift to N if the wait is likely to be more than 20 seconds. On a flat surface, I don't need to apply the hand brake but on a incline, I either shift to P or apply the hand brake.

On my Altis I have noticed the engine revs fall slightly when I change to N from D, obviously because in N, clutch is disengaged and engine becomes free from additional load. I also save on some clutch and brake wear and minor fuel quantity. The down side is that you can't drive away quickly as Samurai has written, so I shift back to D prior to signal turning green. With practise, one can get it right most of the times.

It is always advisable to drive in hills in S mode only. It gives you more power for climbing, but most importantly it provides you engine braking on slopes. While climbing on hills in S mode, you may burn more fuel but you have better control on the car while coming down which is more important.
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Old 19th April 2011, 17:41   #138
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Default re: Tips on driving an automatic

@akj53, your point about brakes/engine/clutch being strained needlessly when we are in "D with brakes depressed", is good.

BTW, some more googling and I came upon the user-manual for Honda Accura TL which states :
Neutral — Use Neutral if you need to restart a stalled engine, or if it is necessary to stop briefly with the engine idling. Shift to Park position if you need to leave the car for any reason."
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Old 19th April 2011, 17:56   #139
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Default re: Tips on driving an automatic

I follow the shift to N on signal principle.
Why?
Because once you shift to N on the signal you can pull up the hand brake, take your foot off the brake pedal and just relax for a few seconds. Really refreshes you before you begin again.
What to look out for?
Check the timer on the signal if it has one.
I shift into D when there is about 7 seconds left to go green.
This way i don't hold up any traffic behind me, you know how impatient people can get even if you don't move ahead for 2 secs once the light turns green.

If the signal does not have a timer and i am first in line at the signal i keep the box in D to avoid the above mentioned situation.

Drive Safe!
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Old 19th April 2011, 18:02   #140
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Default re: Tips on driving an automatic

Whoa! The amount of posts here in a short span is astounding.

As for the debate, ive mentioned all the reasoning for using N along with my post (No.119). It has all the reasons (and the same reasons) mentioned by others who are pro N. Another good fact is that some members have given the sources of car manuals which corroborates with this. A point i forgot to mention was that it allows you to relax your foot which does not have to be on the brakes all the time (akin to MT as well wherein you use Neutral & handbrake to relax your right leg). This is rightly pointed out by some members above as well.

Coming to my own sources, like i mentioned, ive gained this knowledge by reading different sources on the internet (dont remember the sources unfortunately) but more importantly, by speaking at lenght to technically sound service advisors (namely Skoda & Mercedes) who have told me about it specifically with sound reasoning & in detail (everything that i have written in post 119).

Coming to the other hot point for those pro D are pointing out, im not saying using D is the wrong method. I mentioned that it is wrong usage due to the reasons already mentioned (Mainly car wear & tear & safety hazard). Finally, i mentioned this usage for everyday driving & not spirited driving. Even in MTs, the way you drive everyday & spiritedly requires different ways for operating the car. ATs are no exception, you would prefer keeping it in D to pull away faster but it does not change the fact that wear & tear of different components is increased.

In a nutshell, just like spirited driving causes more wear & tear in a MT, its the same here in an AT. Its not wrong to use D for idling in normal driving, but your car will be better off for using N during normal everyday driving.

Last edited by Xehaust : 19th April 2011 at 18:09.
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Old 19th April 2011, 19:24   #141
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Default re: Tips on driving an automatic

thats cool. IN fact im not making a claim saying N is good D is bad or anything. But in my research before driving an AT car, all the various people I talked to, echoed the sentiment I ve put down on the forum. Hence I have inferred that it is a good practice.

Now, when one has an AT car and one is stuck at a signal for a longish time, then wouldnt it be sensible to put on the Parking brake, shove it in N and pull one's foot off the brake and rest it for that bit of time?
Someone else on the Forum also seems to have echoed this particular sentiment. Again as you say, it is more or less what one is used to doing and following - there's no absolute "Right" way and "Wrong" way really. It boils down to what one is used to doing and what one has learned over the years - by experience and by inference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Well, I am not the one who is saying "My method is good and yours is bad". Besides, I always keep technical discussions very rational without taking offense. This is not a personal issue for me. I am just curious about the source of this knowledge. If it is your own personal observation and deduction, I have no issues with that too. In my experience, the driver's manuals and owner's manuals in US are so exhaustive, it would be very odd if they left out such a recommended method. They even tell us the recommended way to keep our hands on the steering. Although, most of us eventually use what is comfortable to us.

I only want to say this, "waiting in D" at signals is not incorrect. If you have other preferred methods, good for you. Please don't go around claiming N is good, D is bad.

Thanks, now I know the source of the claim. That's all I asked for.


PS: This has started sounding like the egg breaking war between Lilliput and Blefuscu.
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Old 19th April 2011, 21:15   #142
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Default re: Tips on driving an automatic

Quote:
Originally Posted by akj53 View Post
I write the following out of my more than 2 years experience in Altis, BMW 525i and Jaguar XF 3.0D S.

In my opinion, the brake pedal of Auto's also incorporate the clutch. So while waiting in D and pressing the brake, one is riding the clutch and engine is also straining to move the car forward which is being stopped by brakes. I don't see this as a very healthy situation as everything like the brakes, clutch and engine are being strained and to no avail.

Agreed that in Europe also i have seen most of the drivers waiting on signals in D, but I prefer do my own thinking and always shift to N if the wait is likely to be more than 20 seconds. On a flat surface, I don't need to apply the hand brake but on a incline, I either shift to P or apply the hand brake.

On my Altis I have noticed the engine revs fall slightly when I change to N from D, obviously because in N, clutch is disengaged and engine becomes free from additional load. I also save on some clutch and brake wear and minor fuel quantity. The down side is that you can't drive away quickly as Samurai has written, so I shift back to D prior to signal turning green. With practise, one can get it right most of the times.

It is always advisable to drive in hills in S mode only. It gives you more power for climbing, but most importantly it provides you engine braking on slopes. While climbing on hills in S mode, you may burn more fuel but you have better control on the car while coming down which is more important.
Traditional automatics do not have clutch and there is no mechanical wear which happens as in MT. Instead, there is a torque converter which connects the engine to the gearbox. Torque converter uses fluid to transmit power and since it is a flexible coupling it allows both sides (from engine and gear box) to rotate at different speeds.
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Old 19th April 2011, 21:20   #143
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Default re: Tips on driving an automatic

In Honda instructions, They say you can start either in P or N, But in Santro instruction it says Start only in P, and use N to start only in emergency. What could be the reason?
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Old 19th April 2011, 23:18   #144
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Default re: Tips on driving an automatic

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
Now, when one has an AT car and one is stuck at a signal for a longish time, then wouldnt it be sensible to put on the Parking brake, shove it in N and pull one's foot off the brake and rest it for that bit of time?
In long waits, I just slot it to P and switch off. I have mentioned it earlier elsewhere : https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...ml#post2104165

Then I turn it on when few second left for light change.

BTW, here is a professional opinion by auto-transmission experts supporting my method.

Khangs Automatic | Car Servicing | Car Diagnostic | Cars Workshop
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Old 20th April 2011, 06:21   #145
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Default re: Tips on driving an automatic

this is sensible when one is faced with long waits. why un-necessarily burn fuel while sitting and waiting. unless of course it is really unbearably hot or humid or if the air is polluted with smoke and so on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
In long waits, I just slot it to P and switch off. I have mentioned it earlier elsewhere : https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...ml#post2104165

Then I turn it on when few second left for light change.

BTW, here is a professional opinion by auto-transmission experts supporting my method.

Khangs Automatic | Car Servicing | Car Diagnostic | Cars Workshop
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Old 20th April 2011, 10:55   #146
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Default re: Tips on driving an automatic

For me nowadays to stop at the signal and off the car is not an option. Its just too polluted in rush hour traffic. At other times yes when i have my windows down i shift to park and switch the engine off.
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Old 20th April 2011, 11:45   #147
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Default re: Tips on driving an automatic

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In Honda instructions, They say you can start either in P or N, But in Santro instruction it says Start only in P, and use N to start only in emergency. What could be the reason?
Mea Culpa - I often start my Santro in N. The issue is of safety. Starting in P you ensure that the 'Park Pawl' is engaged. In N the gearbox is free and the car can roll. Incidentally, Honda will not let you turn the key until the brake pedal is pressed - more of the same.
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Old 20th April 2011, 12:11   #148
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Default re: Tips on driving an automatic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
BTW, here is a professional opinion by auto-transmission experts supporting my method.
Khangs Automatic | Car Servicing | Car Diagnostic | Cars Workshop
I am not sure how much professional their opinion is because they are suggesting AT fluid change at 20000kms or 6months, while manufacturer recommendation is at much longer intervals. Eg. for the A-Star_AT, it is 1,65,000kms or 11 years. And IIRC it is a similar duration for Honda-AT. Not sure how much it is for Hyundai-ATs.

IMO, if AT cars did not have the AT-creep, staying in P with brake pressed would be OK. But since AT-cars creep in P, it is a waste to negate this movement by applying brakes. Instead being in N while waiting sounds the better option.
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Old 20th April 2011, 16:49   #149
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Default re: Tips on driving an automatic

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I am not sure how much professional their opinion is because they are suggesting AT fluid change at 20000kms or 6months, while manufacturer recommendation is at much longer intervals.
If you read it carefully, they are saying automatic transmission fluid and the filter should be checked and if necessary changed every 20,000km or every six months. Basically, they are not asking you to change it every 20,000kms or 6 months. After many regular checks, you might find a need to change, that is what they are saying. Don't think you should suspect their competence on that account.

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Eg. for the A-Star_AT, it is 1,65,000kms or 11 years. And IIRC it is a similar duration for Honda-AT. Not sure how much it is for Hyundai-ATs.
In case of Hyundai AT it is 40,000kms under harsh usage and 70,000kms for normal usage if I recall correctly.
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Old 21st April 2011, 00:45   #150
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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
Honda will not let you turn the key until the brake pedal is pressed - more of the same.
i start my civic everyday without pressing the brake pedal. The gear selector is in P. I am standing out of the car, and i turn the key to start it. Wait a bit for the engine to warm up while i do.a quick check around the vehicle, put the wiper blades back down indicating the car was washed by the GDW. By now the engine has warmed up a bit and its time to drive off.
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