Understanding Automatics – The Gear Shift Symbols

Understanding Automatics – The Gear Shift Symbols

For all of you who have just bought yourselves a brand new automatic, we’re here to tell you what those numbers on the shifter mean! It can be confusing at first when trying to figure out what gear your car is in, but with this guide, it will be a breeze.

Each number on the auto gear shifter corresponds to a certain gear; by memorizing them, you’ll never have to guess again. So, buckle up, and let’s get started!

Have Questions? Call Us

Introducing PRNDL:

To understand an automatic shifter, learn the initials PRNDL, often pronounced as PRINDLE. This stands for Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive, and Low. Each position on an automatic shifter corresponds to one of these choices. Here’s what they mean:

Park: This is the position in which your car should be when you’re not driving it or if you need to stop on a steep hill. The parking pawl is engaged, which locks the transmission so it can’t move.

Reverse: self-explanatory – this is the position you put the shifter in when you want to back up.

Neutral: Again, pretty straightforward – this is the position your car should be in when you’re not driving it and don’t need it to be in Park.

Drive: This is the position you put the shifter in when you want to drive forward.

Low: Some cars have extra gear beyond Drive that can be used for lower speeds and more power. It’s typically engaged by putting the shifter into a slot below Drive.

What are D1, D2, and D3?

The gear of an automated vehicle is chosen based on your rate of acceleration and speed. The engine will start to get cold as the switch is made, which will help heat it more rapidly.

Use of D1:

D1, regarded as a low gear, is the most powerful transmission for any auto vehicle. Drive across challenging terrain, including dirt, steep slopes, and more, with this gear. 

This is because, on such difficult terrain, it will provide the engine with the highest amount of breakage. D1 shouldn’t be utilized at high speeds because doing so might harm the engine’s gear system or even the whole thing.

Use of D2:

It is the following gear in reflex cars and functions similarly to the one we just stated. It is used to roll over challenging surfaces like mud, sand, and steep slopes.

The gear provides a quick motor boost while driving in certain circumstances, except that it is not as strong as the D1.

Use of D3 or OverDrive:

Not all automatic cars have D3; therefore, you switch to overdrive (OD), which causes the tires to spin faster than the engine. This specific Drive is better than D1 and D2. It accelerates your automobile, especially if you wish to pass another vehicle. It will significantly increase your engine power to about 5500 RPM.

Now that you know what those numbers on the shifter mean, get out there and enjoy your new car! Just remember to drive safely.

Buy your next automatic car from Auffenberg KIA of Cape Girardeau, serving Jackson, MO. We are pleased to be your go-to place for all automotive needs. We provide a large range of new and used cars at our dealership and a cutting-edge servicing department.

Visit our local dealership today to find your next automatic car, truck, or SUV!