The latest Malaysian government’s announcement has created a “buzz”.
The motor industry is excited. So are the driving school people.
What are they excited about?
The use of “automatic” cars, of course.
Automatic cars are already in use in Malaysia.
But the percentage is rather low.
For your information, the automatic car is branded as “the lazy man’s car”.
This article will not concentrate on the question of “should we or shouldn’t we” introduce the use of automatic vehicles, especially for tests and driving school usage!
Being such a “hot” topic today, it’s only appropriate the subject of “how to use an automatic car” be tackled by the writer.
Basically, an “auto” car is no different from “manual” cars.
Steering is still there.
The foot control / mechanism perhaps , the absence of the “clutch”.
However, the usual 1 – 5 gears and reverse gear “stick” in manual cars are absent.
So how does one go about teaching a person who knows nothing about “auto” cars how to drive it?
I do not drive an “auto” car.
Anyway, attempts will be made the best he can to impart this knowledge to you.
First and foremost, one should understand the automatic gear system.
Understand that it has, like the manual model, gears to be dealt with. N is for “neutral” or free gear. P, well is for “Parking”. R is still “Reverse”.
Well, what about D?
D isn’t for donkey, but “Drive”.
Some automatic cars have D1, D2, D3 and D4.
You need not be confused over them. All you have to remember is “D” means drive. O.K?
Are we ready?
Here goes then.
Unless the car is in N or P, the engine cannot start or “ignite”.
So step one is put the gear in N.
To do this, press a “knob” with your left thumb and move it to N position.
Important that you understand this before we proceed any further.
Unlike manual cars (my own driving tutor used to advise me) a driver should always step on the foot brake.
This prevent the car from “darting” or “shooting” or “launching” forward suddenly.
When in position , next the vehicle is ready to “start” or “ignite”
Having managed to start the car, put the gear into “R” (Reverse) and with your right foot safely on the brakes, to control the car.
Now release the brakes slowly.
You do not have to accelerate at all.
Just by releasing your brakes slowly, the vehicle should move safely and gradually backwards.
That’s how the Reverse is accomplished.
But remember, you have to release the brakes slowly and control it, if and when it’s necessary.
For me, it has been quite a tiresome thing to teach you how to reverse an automatic car in this short article.
About how to move “forward”, it will be left to be explained in another article later.
So, be patient.
Blog in some other time!