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How to drive an automatic car uphill


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#1 Just_One_Question

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 06:29 AM

Is it possible to drive a car with an automatic transmission box on a very steep slope?

When I am climbing a really steep slope, I shift to a lower gear on my manual transmission car, so that it could be near-revving, pull much more and not stall. If, however, you are using an automatic transmission car, wouldn't such a feat be impossible, since it would automatically shift to a higher gear when you are at high RPM and thus leave you with not enough power to climb up? Or at best, the automatic transmission would be constantly 'stressed out' and switching between a lower, high RPM, gear and a higher, low RPM, gear - ultimately providing a pretty choppy ride?

I'm sorry if this is a silly question, I don't understand how automatic cars work.
:)

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#2 Platypus

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 06:46 AM

If you used inappropriate throttle, the auto box may attempt to change up, and could hunt between gears. But there is normally the choice of deliberately selecting use of a low gear if you wish:

 

automatic-gear-selector.jpg


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#3 Just_One_Question

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 06:57 AM

Hmm, that's interesting. I did not know that there were other options besides P (BTW, does it mean 'Park'?), R (Not sure if it means either 'Reverse' or 'Ride' or something else?) and N (For 'Neutral'?). So, an automatic gear box has the option of controlling it manually for extreme situations as the one I presented. Thank you for answering me!:) Also, what do the 1 and 2 settings do? 2 - low gear; 1 - super-low gear (kinda like when the slope is so big, that you have to hold the clutch halfway pushed when driving in 1st gear on manual transmission cars)? Finally, what is the setting between 2 and N?

Edited by Just_One_Question, 29 April 2017 - 06:58 AM.


#4 Havachat

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 07:39 AM

Cars are Cars , not 4 Wheels Drives so going up a very steep hill and riding the clutch , will eventually burn it out or start slipping.

Auto`s can have these days 1- 6 gears but most prior were 4 Speed 1st 2nd 3rd 4th { Older Again had an OverDrive }.

If you going up a hill in a Auto and just hold it Flat , it will drop down a Gear { Kick Back } when necessary or under more load.

Going up any steep hill is about Technique and Skills either in a auto or manual car / 4WD and engine size.

 

Between 2nd and Neutral = Drive { D } or Top Gear.

Yet on some 4 Speed Autos , 3rd and 4th can be { D } with 1st and 2nd as Lower Options Manually.

 

Still Preferred  my 2 Speed Powerglide , behind 350 Chev , HT Monaro.



#5 Just_One_Question

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 07:50 AM

Damn, I acually think now automatic cars are more complex to operate with than manual ones, lol.:lmao: With manual cars it's just - you have 1-5 (sometimes 6) gears that you go through as speed increases and everytime you change a gear, you first have to disconnect the engine from the gear box by pressing on the clutch. You also have neutral and reverse. That's it!

#6 Platypus

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 08:07 AM

Automatic transmissions are simple to use, in normal driving 99.9% of the time you leave it in D (Drive) and control your progress purely with the throttle. Neutral and Reverse function the same as a manual.

 

You can drive in similar fashion to a manual if you wish, some give a specific mode to do so (e.g. Tiptronic).

 

Normally you would only use the options for Low ratio (L) or a choice of gear (1, 2...) in specific situations such as low speed manoeuvering, or driving on ice or soft surfaces where you might bog.

 

The S would be expected to be Sport mode, which will change the shift points making the transmission more responsive.


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#7 QQQQ

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 08:08 AM

How about tiptronic, have you ever heard of that? (combined auto and manual) I have it on my Volkswagen Jetta but rarely use it. Now sport mode is something I use, I would probably put it in sport mode going up a steep incline.

 

https://www.quora.com/Whats-the-difference-between-Tiptronic-and-automatic-transmissions



#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 08:36 AM

Modern automatics are basically computer controlled and shift depending on speed and engine revs. On a steep hill it's just a matter of giving it enough gas to go up the hill. It's a lot easier driving an automatic up a steep hill vs a manual, especially when you have to start and stop. Once to go to an automatic you will never want to go back.



#9 ranchhand_

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 10:49 AM

I grew up in central Idaho on a cattle ranch, in the middle of the Bitterroot mountain sub-chain  of the Rockies. Jeeps and 4-wheel vehicles with high clearance were mandatory unless you wanted to get stuck in winter on a 30° incline with a 100 ft. drop-off on one side of the "road". Then automatic trannies came into existence and we laughed at all the burned-out automatic transmission clutches city-dwellers were experiencing.

Not any more. Two years ago I took a rented Chevy car up the jeep "road" to Pilot Peak, 8,100 ft. at the top. This was actually an access road for the forest service, so you get the picture. The car performed fine, except for the occasional stop to roll a rock out of the way that would have taken out the oil pan. :lmao:

The only time you really need to move the shifter into a lower gear is when you are descending a steep grade on a highway, and since the car is picking up speed rapidly you don't want to constantly be riding the brake pedal. Then shift it down and the gear acts as a speed brake.

Auto transmissions have come of age, and I love them. Wouldn't trade for diamonds (well, unless there were a lot of them).


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#10 Just_One_Question

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 10:59 AM

Tahnk you all for your replies. Ironically, I think I like my manual transmission car more now, despite the fact that I was looking for replies in this topic to confirm my suspicion that automatic is far easier.:lmao: I actually thought you had only 3 options on an automatic gear box - drive, neutral and reverse. But now that you've educated me about the low-gear settings, overdrive, tiptronic and so on, it all seems like a rather expensive gimmick to me. With that said, I don't, of course, condemn anyone who prefers automatic over manual gear box or vice versa.:)

It's a lot easier driving an automatic up a steep hill vs a manual, especially when you have to start and stop. Once to go to an automatic you will never want to go back.

Wait, isn't it the opposite, lol? I mean that in the sense that with automatic vehicles, as far as I know, when you start from a steep slope, the car goes slightly backwards first, which if you are not careful, could make a road accident with the car behind you. You can prevent this from happening by using the manual brake before going (I am not sure if it's called like this in English), building up RPM by pressing the gas and then releasing the manual brake and going directly uphill without your car going slightly backwards first. Whereas, with manual cars you don't need to ever touch the manual brake. I honestly don't even know why they put them in the car. When you start uphill with a manual car it's easier - you just simultaneously slowly release the clutch with your left foot until the gear box and the engine 'bite' together, while at the same time slowly pressing in the gas pedal. It's that easy!

But anyways guys, thank you all for your helpful replies! I suppose I'll be sticking with the manual gearbox cars due to their lower costs, since, judging by this topic, I would personally gain no benefit in ease of use by going with an automatic car.
Thank you!:)

#11 QQQQ

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 11:52 AM

When you put the automatic in drive it doesn't backup, actually it's starts going forward, you need to put the brakes on. Of course if you did this on a incline it probably wouldn't move forward on it's own but it wouldn't back up.



#12 JohnC_21

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 05:22 PM

As QQQQ posted a car with an automatic will creep forward with the foot off the brake and the car in drive. On a very steep hill it may roll a little backwards but in that case you can brake torque the transmission by keeping your left foot on the brake while giving it a little gas, not too much, with your right foot, before releasing the brake. But, I find on a hill the car doesn't have a chance to roll backwards between the time you take your foot off the brake pedal and push the accelerator if you are quick enough.



#13 Just_One_Question

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 06:01 PM

Yeah, I remember even back in around ~2007 on the new Top Gear (which is now ironically basically 'the old Top Gear' as compared to 'The Grand Tour') Jeremy Clarkson declared that automatic transmissions have become much more sophisticated as compared to the old, lagging, days and in many cases are not only on par, but even better than manual gear boxes. And since Top Gear is basically the Bible to any car enthusiast, I would say that you are most probably right about such cars not going backwards or stalling on a steep hill climb. I would still not be looking at automatic cars, given their higher price tags, but most probably in the future I would make the switch from manual to automatic. Thanks again!:)

#14 britechguy

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 06:25 PM

I have never, ever, shifted down into the lower gears in a car with an automatic transmission to climb any grade, and I grew up in an area where there were plenty of steep ones, even if they were short.   An automatic transmission, and even the old ones, are quite capable of finding the correct gear to use to climb based upon the driver not constantly widely varying the throttle.

 

The use of a lower gear for engine braking when going down a very steep grade is common, as is the use of a lower gear selection when trying to climb an ice slicked road so that you don't get a sudden shift into a higher gear causing the wheels to spin when you don't want that (for obvious reasons).  If you get stuck in a situation where rocking the car out of a rut is required (or at least can be reasonably tried) then using the lowest gear is common also because you don't want "sudden slip and spin" if one of the wheels loses its grip.

 

For the vast majority of driving situations with an automatic transmission, and I do mean vast majority, it's, "Put the gear selector into D[rive] and don't think about it again until you need to put it in P[ark] when you arrive at your destination."   That's essentially the whole point of automatic transmissions in the first place.

 

If you are on a steep incline (and there are a few of those where I live) it is entirely possible to roll backward a tiny bit if you dawdle about moving your foot from the brake to the accelerator when the time comes to proceed.  The amount and "ease of roll" is much less than that of a standard shift car before the clutch is engaged.  The one thing I despised about driving a standard was trying to start on a steep incline from a stop with someone behind me.  You can't really do "brake, clutch, and accelerator" all at the same time with only two feet and then you get into having to use the emergency brake as your "stop roll" and need to disengage that very quickly as the clutch engages.  I had two incidents when I was a young driver where I rolled back into someone who was too close, but probably would have if they'd been a bit further back, too, as it was on a steep incline and the car moved backward very quickly since I was not good about getting into first gear without stalling when in this particular scenario and coordinating two feet, right, and left hand all on different controls needing to be tweaked virtually simultaneously was not my strong point.  There's a reason that I've never purchased a standard shift car even though I've actually taught my sister how to drive hers when she bought her first car (and why she chose a standard shift, having grown up with automatics, I'll never know). 


Edited by britechguy, 29 April 2017 - 06:32 PM.

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#15 Just_One_Question

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 06:37 PM

For the vast majority of driving situations with an automatic transmission, and I do mean vast majority, it's, "Put the gear selector into D[rive] and don't think about it again until you need to put it in P[ark] when you arrive at your destination."   That's essentially the whole point of automatic transmissions in the first place.

Yeah, that's exactly the thought I had when I posted this topic, but people here in their kind replies let me in on the existence of all these other settings and overdrive on an automatic gear box, which really spinned my mind. To further my irrational fear, I didn't know what 'overdrive' was until today, and for the past 15 or so years it's been one of those English words I've been kinda scared off, because the only association I have with it was the horror movie 'Maximum Overdrive', which I watched like 5 times on TV when I was 9, not being able to fall asleep afterwards, lol.:lmao:
Also, of course, thank you and everybody for the answers to my inquiries.:)

Edited by Just_One_Question, 29 April 2017 - 06:38 PM.





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