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Old 23rd March 2013, 23:52   #286
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Post Re: Tips on driving an automatic

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
At every downhill, the AT car on overdrive tend to almost free fall, which is not safe considering the sharp turns.
True for low-end AT's with overdrive.

But Civic has 'grade-logic-control' so is smart enough and is safe.

I have done multiple runs on the Ooty-Mettupalayam hills and the Civic-AT does a wonderful job in plain 'D' mode.

However on extreme steep slopes (not on normal roads but kind of off-roading on the hills) going downhill, I found it better to use the paddles to hold the first gear.
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Old 28th March 2013, 06:12   #287
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I'm looking to buy a new car between 8-10.5L. Since it has to be a AT the options I have are all petrol which include Verna, Rapid, ANHC, I20 and Scala.

Which one is the best AT in terms of reliability, drivability and economy?
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Old 17th September 2015, 14:06   #288
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Default Making your Automatic transmission dance to your tune

The most common complaint and comment about an Automatic tranmission car, is that “You have less control over it, there is less involvement, compared to a manual transmission car”. Agreed, you can’t dictate the car to change to any gear that you please when you have an automatic transmission, but from my experience, I can tell you, if you know your know your car well enough, and if you are able to feel what it is doing, you can make even an automatic transmission car do whatever you please (well almost!).

First of all it’s possible due to the fact that most engine management system of today’s cars are intelligent and are based on a feedback system. The car does n’t just do pre-programmed actions irrespective of anything anymore, but on the contrary, listens to the driver input, tries to gauge the intention of the driver and tries to act accordingly, producing wonderful results almost always.

Next is your talent, how much you know your car and can undestand what it’s trying to tell you.

Downshifting in an Automatic car

Apart from the obvious manual change to”L” or “2”, the modern day cars downshift when you floor the throttle (full(open) throttle), provided the current revs of the engine can accomodate a higher rev as a result of a downshift. Imagine, you are cruising along at a rather relaxing speed of 70 km/hr in Overdrive(highest gear), when you need to pass a lorry in front of you, and an intersection is approaching, so it’s a case of now or never. But since you are in Overdrive, obviously you may not have enough acceleration to complete the overtaking manoeuvre before the intersection. No probs! You just floor the throttle, the car immediately shifts down to the previous(lower) gear, u get a jolt of acceleration, the next thing you know is you have passed the lorry at a speed of 90 km/hr. No more waiting for the speed to build up and no more nervous times during a pass

Warning: Do not ease the throttle(i.e., always keep it in full throttle) in the middle of the overtaking manoeuvre or else the car will upshift and lose acceleration and phew! you don’t want that to happen. So keep it floored till you have completed the overtaking.

Upshifting in an Automatic car

Now it’s not as straightforward as the downshift because here you have got to do all the work. The secret lies in judging if the rev (engine speed) is appropriate for an upshift and playing with the throttle. Generally, an automatic car upshifts to a higher gear in the start-middle of the rev band appropriate to the next higher gear. But sometimes we need power. So to prevent an upshift untill all the revs (max revs) at the current gear is utilised and you get maximum acceleration, floor the throttle and don’t ease it until it upshifts. But sometimes at higher speeds, not letting the car upshift will sometimes keep you in a low speed gear when you want speed and not torque. For that, just ease the throttle when you want an upshift. The engine management system(EMS) senses that since you are no longer in full throttle, you don’t the need the acceleration and torque and can upshift. Once it has shifted up, you can get back on the throttle (but not full throttle, else it might downshift again), and drive away. The beauty here is you can upshift almosy whenever you want to (i.e., at whatever rev you want to) by easing the throttle. But there is a limit to it. You can use this easing the throttle to upshift only when you are in the right rev band. If you ease the throttle too early (before the rev band of the next higher gear), the car will not upshift and you will just slow down, and if you don’t ease the throttle at all, it might not shift untill it hits the red line which might be unnecessary sometimes. It’s a delecate balance between speed and torque, and it’s a wonderful feeling when you get it just right.

When the driver sensitive EMS of the car, and your feel for the car work in tandom, you can make it dance to your tunes. It’s sometimes more challenging than a manual car because, there are no explicit levers to do anything, you are just overriding the car by thinking from it’s perspective.
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Old 17th September 2015, 15:23   #289
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Default Re: Making your Automatic transmission dance to your tune

Very true indeed. After four years of driving an Automatic, I have 'almost' learned to use the accelerator to upshift/downshift and avoid using the gear lever. I still have a lot to learn in breaking though, probably because I switch between driving Manual (Alto) and Automatic (A-star) too frequently in a week. I am yet to perfect the slowing down in an automatic, specifically in 1st gear.
PS: My signature says it all - "Whoever says Manual gears provide better control, hasn't learned how to drive an Automatic yet"
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Old 22nd September 2015, 10:45   #290
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Default Re: Tips on driving an automatic

There are indeed some situations where manual gears provide more control. I was recently caught in a small, curved incline with gravel (while moving out of a friend's driveway).
In manual cars, I would have easily come out by using the clutch/accelerator intermittently for simulating "neutral/Accelerator/neutral/Accelerator". (Since it was an up-slope, accelerator input was also needed.)

This is very difficult to do in an automatic because you need to shift your foot between Accelerator and brake quickly in Drive mode. (Or use left foot braking and risk burning the flywheel). Finally I had to take the (automatic) car out in one go, with tires slipping most of the time.
I was lucky not to have landed on the side wall.

Last edited by jinojohnt : 22nd September 2015 at 10:56.
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Old 22nd September 2015, 12:50   #291
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Default Re: Tips on driving an automatic

Quote:
Originally Posted by jinojohnt
My signature says it all - "Whoever says Manual gears provide better control, hasn't learned how to drive an Automatic yet"
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinojohnt
There are indeed some situations where manual gears provide more control. I was recently caught in a small, curved incline with gravel ...........This is very difficult to do in an automatic .........I was lucky not to have landed on the side wall.
I guess between your two posts, you have yourself clarified that it is not as simple as "learning to drive an Automatic".

I drive the AStar_AT quite frequently and while in some situations it is really a boon (city traffic, slopes where the "creep" will just hold it from sliding back unlike MT cars etc),
there are pain points too - almost nil engine braking, gear-shifting, etc. While I would prefer an AT car if parents/wife have to drive it, if it is only for me, it would be only MT.
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Old 1st October 2015, 19:38   #292
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Default Need advice: Driving Audi Q3 Automatic for first time and on the highway

Hi Friends

I booked a self drive Scorpio with one of the rental companies and the other day i got to know that scorpio for some reason is not available. I was offered an Audi Q3 as a replacement to which i agreed. Since i have only driven manual cars like the Swift and the Rapid , i am now a little bit worried and looking for your suggestions to drive the Automatic Diesel on the highway. I would be driving it for the first time(both the car, and the automatic transmission) with no one along to guide.

I have to leave tomorrow morning and come back the same day. My one side drive would be around 250kms which makes it a drive of 500kms in total

Looking for all sorts of guidance like how to start. How to shift drive modes(only if required), what to do and what not to do. Also if you suggest driving it or changing it for some other car.

Mods: I hope i am in the right section. Please help to move this thread in case not.

Thanks in Advance
Rasing
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Old 1st October 2015, 19:55   #293
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Default Re: Need advice: Driving Audi Q3 Automatic for first time and on the highway

Cool brother, which rental is offering Q3 for Scorpio. Anyways nothing to worry, if you can drive Scorpio, Q3 will be child's play for you. Few things to keep in mind for AT.
1. Keep it in P position for parking, start/stop of call, otherwise it won't start and key will not come out.
2. Keep it in D mode for your journey, no need to change it.
3. R for reverse.
4. For changing shift you need to press/hold button in the stick and for first time hit on break paddle too.

Q3 has a bit of turbo lab, so keep that in mind while overtaking etc. Rest all nothing to worry, enjoy your trip.
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Old 1st October 2015, 20:03   #294
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Further to above, since you have driven only manuals till now, consciously rest your left leg. There is a high chance of you pressing the brake with your left leg which is bound to be disastrous because you will press it like you press the clutch 'ghachak'! Don't intend to frighten you but be careful for a while.

Enjoy your drive!

Jayesh
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Old 1st October 2015, 20:05   #295
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Default Re: Need advice: Driving Audi Q3 Automatic for first time and on the highway

Thanks for the prompt reply sam003. Since the offer was unbelievable to me too, i was not able to resist.But at the same time i had all sorts of questions coming to my mind like

Will i be able to drive it and more importantly handle it?
Am i taking a risk?

I am thinking of writing up the rental company name and the overall experience with it after i am over with the trip. Since this is the first time i booked a car for self rental i am yet to experience it.

Thanks again for the quick tip
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Old 1st October 2015, 20:08   #296
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Default Re: Need advice: Driving Audi Q3 Automatic for first time and on the highway

Lucky you. Getting a Q3 in place of a Scorpio.

The key thing you need to keep in mind is that the left leg should not do anything. When driving an AT for the first time, there is a tendency to do left leg braking. There is also the tendency to stamp on the brakes with the left leg assuming that it is the clutch. So consciously make sure that your left leg does not move. After driving for some time, you will get used to it.

If I am not wrong, the Q3 uses a 7 Speed Dual Clutch Transmission with D, S and Manual modes.

Since this is a powerful car, you can leave it in D for your drive. If you feel you need quick acceleration to say-overtake, you can do 2 things.
  • press down hard on the accelerator, a kick-down mode is activated and the car will drop 2-3 gears as needed.
  • Pop the lever into S mode, this will ensure it drops gears and holds on to gears longer-ensuring you are in the peak torque band. You can move from D to S and back as needed on the fly (like you would shift gears in a normal manual car).

Start the car in P mode. You will need to have the brake pressed to shift to D. Typically when you stop, put it back into P mode before switching off and removing key. key will not come out if the lever is in D. If you are idling for a long time (Say at a signal) you can put it into N and engage handbrake.


Hope this helps
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Old 1st October 2015, 20:17   #297
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Default Re: Need advice: Driving Audi Q3 Automatic for first time and on the highway

Thanks Rajeevraj. Can you also let me know how the handbrake works. As i saw some of the reviews. I believe it is a button instead of the usual lever or is it a slot in the gear lever only.
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Old 1st October 2015, 20:40   #298
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Default Re: Need advice: Driving Audi Q3 Automatic for first time and on the highway

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaSing View Post
Hi Friends

I booked a self drive Scorpio with one of the rental companies and the other day i got to know that scorpio for some reason is not available. I was offered an Audi Q3 as a replacement to which i agreed. Since i have only driven manual cars like the Swift and the Rapid , i am now a little bit worried and looking for your suggestions to drive the Automatic Diesel on the highway. I would be driving it for the first time(both the car, and the automatic transmission) with no one along to guide.

I have to leave tomorrow morning and come back the same day. My one side drive would be around 250kms which makes it a drive of 500kms in total

Looking for all sorts of guidance like how to start. How to shift drive modes(only if required), what to do and what not to do. Also if you suggest driving it or changing it for some other car.

Mods: I hope i am in the right section. Please help to move this thread in case not.

Thanks in Advance
Rasing
The biggest issue I had while switching from a manual car to an automatic was my twitchy left-foot. On a straight road and while maintaining a constant speed, I had no issue. The problem seemed to occur more at junctions and at turns, when my left foot would involuntarily go for the clutch pedal as our brains are wired to go down a gear

Fellow Mod Vid6639 gave me an excellent piece of advice that helped me overcome this:

Fold your left leg and stuff your left foot under your right thigh.. Basically, just sit on your left foot!

Another piece of advice I can give is to be very cautious while coming to a stop. Make it a habit to consciously move the gear-lever into 'N' (Neutral position) if at a traffic-signal or in the 'P' (Park) position if you have stopped the car by the side of the road.

Everything else will come naturally.
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Old 1st October 2015, 20:57   #299
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Default Re: Need advice: Driving Audi Q3 Automatic for first time and on the highway

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaSing View Post
Thanks Rajeevraj. Can you also let me know how the handbrake works. As i saw some of the reviews. I believe it is a button instead of the usual lever or is it a slot in the gear lever only.
No personal experience. A quick online read says:

Quote:
The Audi Q3 gets an electromechanical parking brake. There is an Auto function which is tremendously useful in bumper to bumper traffic. Just keep it on Auto mode and the parking brake will automatically engage as you stop, say at a traffic signal. Step onto the gas and it will dis-engage automatically. A very practical feature for congested metro cities.
So guess you do not need to worry about it at all.

You may have already seen it, if not a quick read of the Audi Q3 Official Review (Audi Q3 : Official Review) will be useful. As good as having driven the car.
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Old 1st October 2015, 21:23   #300
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Default Re: Need advice: Driving Audi Q3 Automatic for first time and on the highway

Just enjoy it - you will never want a manual car after this, especially if you are driving in the city
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