Table of Contents
- Introduction to gear shifting letters and numbers
- Conclusion to gear shifting options and their meanings
Introduction to gear shifting letters and numbers
When it comes to operating a vehicle, understanding the various components and systems is crucial for safe and efficient driving. One important aspect is the automatic gear shift, which controls power transmission from the engine to the wheels.
While you might be thinking how hard it can be to drive a car that is literally called an automatic, there are things that can make your driving experience better( and safer.) In this article, we will discuss the meanings of the letters and numbers found on the gear shift lever and how they relate to the vehicle’s operation.
Types of Automatic Transmissions
There are two main types of automatic transmissions: traditional and continuously variable (CVT). Traditional automatic transmissions use a set of gears to control the power transfer, while CVT transmissions use a belt and pulley system. Each type of transmission will have a different set of letters and numbers on the gear shift lever.
Traditional Automatic Transmissions
Traditional automatic transmissions typically have the following letters and numbers on the gear shift lever: P, R, N, D, and L.
- P stands for “park.” The vehicle is locked in and cannot move when the lever is in this position.
- R stands for “reverse.” This position allows the vehicle to move in reverse.
- N stands for “neutral.” In this position, the transmission is not engaged, and the vehicle will not move.
- D stands for “drive.” This is the position used for forward motion.
- L stands for “low.” This position is typically used for towing or other situations where more power is needed.
Here is a great video that explains shifting gears in your automatic car, as some people like to watch videos to better understand the nuances of changing gears. I thought it was automatic?!
Continuously Variable Transmissions
CVT transmissions do not use gears and do not have traditional gear positions. Instead, they will have numbers on the gear shift lever, typically ranging from “1” to “6” or higher. These numbers correspond to the level of power transfer, with “1” being the lowest and “6” or higher being the highest.
Conclusion to gear shifting options and their meanings
Understanding the letters and numbers on the gear shift lever is crucial for safe and efficient driving. Whether you have a traditional automatic transmission or a CVT, it is important to know the meanings of the positions and how they relate to the operation of your vehicle.
And, if you want extra fun you can check out the Toyotas, which have even ANOTHER option with the B gear. So if you think that is a curveball, you can find out all you need to know in our full article about that one.