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How to Drive on Uphill Roads in an Automatic Car

You probably remember the day when you first drove through Kennon Road or Marcos Highway to reach Baguio. It’s a day to remember because driving on uphill roads are probably one of the most challenging things to do–especially for new drivers.

Driving uphill involves several things that you need to be familiar of. It has essential driving techniques, which is similar to driving downhill, to allow you to safely drive through such roads. As such, here are some tips on how to drive on uphill roads in an automatic car.

Shift to Low Gear

Cars with automatic transmission are designed to naturally or automatically shift gears for you. However, this might not be always the case when you need to drive through an uphill road. Why? This is because you need to have enough pulling or engine power to safely climb an inclined road. What you need to do is shift to a low gear, which is either the D1, D2, or D3 that’s found on your car’s gear lever. Of note, some automatic cars have it labeled as L, 2, and 3.

What is L, 2, and 3? As said earlier, L, 2, and 3, are the low gears that’s found on automatic cars. L stands for first gear, while 2 stands for second, and 3 for third. This means that when you put the gear stick to L, your car’s engine will only use the first gear and it will not automatically shift–no matter how hard you press the gas pedal.

Same concept applies to 2 and 3–if you place the gear stick in 2 the engine will only use up to the second gear. On the other hand, the engine will automatically shift only until the third gear if you place the gear stick in 3. When you need to tackle steep uphill roads, it is ideal to place it in L so that your car’s engine will have enough power to drive through the inclined road. You can adjust the gear to 2 and 3 depending on the situation. If your car has enough power and could easily take on the uphill road, you can shift it to 2 and then to 3. In this way, your car will be more fuel efficient and its engine will have less stress. The thing you need to remember is that you should use low gears (L, 2, and 3) when driving through uphill roads as it gives your car’s engine more power.

Use the Paddle Shifters

Chances are your vehicle has a paddle shifters if you own a modern automatic car. Use the paddle shifters to manually adjust your gear when you’re going uphill. Same concept applies here, use low gears to efficiently and safely tackle steep inclined roads. Driving on uphill roads could be tricky and sometimes challenging. Knowing and practicing the proper technique will enable you to safely climb steep inclined roads. Always remember to use low gears—even you’re driving an automatic car—when driving uphill.

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1 Comment

  1. Mel
    May 19, 2019 at 9:12 am — Reply

    Hello Carmudi,

    Good day, just read your article, and it reminds me of one of my driving experience in a uphill roads, just wondering what advise you can give me if my A/T only has D and S with paddle shift. the last time is I switched to S and paddle shift to 1 and 2. ia that the correct gear? or it may cause damage to my engine? Thank you very munch

    Regards
    Mel

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