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Understanding When to Use Low Gear

Hand on Gear Shift



Whether you have a brand new car or a car you have owned for many years, you will want to learn about driving in low gear, especially as the winter months approach. Don Franklin Auto has the details on switching to low gear, low gear vs. high gear, and much more, so do not hesitate to contact uswith any questions.

What is Low Gear in a Car?

Low gear, also known as first gear, is a mode on both manual transmissions and automatic vehicles, which restricts the amount of fuel injected into the engine. This mode helps to boost torque while decreasing engine speeds. Many drivers avoid using the low gear lever because they don’t know about the benefits or when it is a good idea to use low gear. However, there are several situations where you may want to downshift to a lower gear.

When to Use Low Gear

While modern cars with automatic transmissions will shift gears automatically as you press down and ease off the gas pedal, we have listed the times where shifting to a low gear manually can help with your daily commutes.

  1. Towing: If you drive a vehicle with an automatic transmission, low gear can help when you are towing heavy cargo. When you tow items like a trailer or boat you’ll benefit from extra added engine power. For added peace of mind when hauling bulky items, remember to use low gear. Before you do, remember to consult your owner’s manual to see about speed limitations while using your low gear.
  2. Steep Inclines: if you have to drive up a steep hill, low gear provides more torque to make the climb. It also makes the task less stressful for your engine.
  3. Long Declines: Shifting to low gear while driving downhill helps maintain a slow and steady speed. You won’t burn up your transmission, and you don’t need to ride your brakes for extended distances. Doing so can lead to brake failure down the road, so using low gear can help prevent that damage.

If you plan to do a lot of off-road driving, or you plan to navigate a winding mountain highway, it is a good idea to use low gear.

Contact Don Franklin Auto Today!

We would be glad to answer any additional questions about when to use low gear. Don Franklin Auto is also here for the times when your car requires a routine oil change or something more extensive. Give us a call or set up an appointment at your convenience.

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