How to Use an Automatic Gear Shifter

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Traditionally, cars come standard with two types of transmissions: manual and automatic. In recent years, some car manufacturers began to offer a "semi-automatic" option for those who would like the feel of a manual transmission, but also the driving ease of an automatic. Get the most out of your automatic gear shifter by using this option to its full potential.

Things You'll Need

  • Driver's license
  • Car with semi-automatic transmission
  • Sit in the driver's seat of the car, and put the key in the ignition. Be sure that the car is in either "park," or "neutral," and start it by turning the ignition key.

  • On most semi-automatic cars, push the brake pedal, and move the shifter to the "D/M" (drive/manual) position just below neutral. If the car simply has a drive gear and a manual gear, shift into the manual position.

  • To begin driving, simply take your foot off the brake pedal, and press down on the accelerator. The car will automatically begin moving forward in first gear.

  • When the car reaches the top of the gear range, near the red-line on the tachometer, push forward lightly on the shifter. The car will then shift into second gear. It is not necessary to remove your foot from the accelerator to shift, but doing so may result in a faster transition from first to second.

  • Continue shifting through the gears until the car is at a comfortable speed.

  • When slowing down, push the brake lever, and wait for the engine to spin into the low gear range, usually around 1500 to 2000 rpm. To shift down, pull back lightly on the shifter, and the car will shift into the next lowest gear.

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