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What's it like driving an automatic? Watch

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    (Original post by loz957)
    1. You can coast, you put the transmission in Neutral

    2. Changing gears may become second nature but in city driving its just plain annoying and tiresome.

    3. A good auto box shifts so much smoother than any manual car can.
    You're mighty defensive...

    1. Not in the automatic I've driven, you can only change gear when you've got your foot on the break.

    2. That's a matter of opinion

    3. I'm not a car person, I don't know if a Nissian Qashqai is "good" in your opinion, but from my experience of driving a manual Toyota Aygo vs the Automatic Nissian Qashqai, I can change gears manually much smother.
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    (Original post by Rump Steak)
    I'm sorry that first post seemed written in a harsh way. You obviously know what you're talking about. But hear me out-
    say with the overdrive gear - the reason you lift off is because you don't want to go any faster, right? The fact the car shifts up is just a consequence, you don't actually lift off because you want to change gear.
    And when you're accelerating, all you need to do is plant your foot on the floor- the car will worry about downshifting for you-
    This is what I'm trying to say, am I not right? Admittedly, I've only drive an auto twice - but from what I remember, you don't need to think about gears at all (except in snow and steep hills) - the car will pick the suitable gear for you.
    It's just throttle down to go faster, throttle up to go slower, no?
    A common misconception for sure, but no, it's not as black and white as you're making out. - lift off to slow up, sure no argument here, but "press harder to go faster" is only a half truth.

    Lets take my disco as an example as it's got a ZF box which found it's way into quite a lot of things.
    If you're going along at 55mph with the box in 3rd gear and the throttle about 50% of the way down (i.e steady acceleration) and you chose to lift off, the simple fact you are traveling over 52mph the overdrive will kick in. Now, to maintain speed you'd obviously need to depress the throttle a little bit - that much is obvious. However, if you want to accellerate a little you naturally press the throttle a little more and providing you don't press the pedal too quickly or too far then the box will remain in top gear.
    If you press the pedal slowly to about 3/4 of it's travel or quickly to about 1/2 of it's travel then the box will shift down into third.

    The reason the speed of the throttle pedal movement matters is that there is a vacuum line for the autobox connected to the inlet manifold. If you think about it, when you press the throttle to the floor there is a sudden drop of vacuum in the inlet - the gearbox can sense this. Think about it in the same way you'd think about a vac advance unit on a distributor as it's the same basic principal.

    So, logically you could assume that you could allow the car to change up and then press the pedal sloooowly to the floor so no vacuum change could be sensed and then have full throttle in top gear, right? Actually, no...
    There's also a mechanical linkage that goes down to the box. Sometimes this is refered to as the "TV cable" which allows the box to sense the position of the throttle.

    The net effect is that so long as you don't press the throttle pedal too far or too far too quickly then you are actually able to allow the car to change into a higher gear by lifting off and THEN continue to accelerate in this new gear and actually accelerate (depending on how fast you were accelerating in the previous gear) just as quickly.


    When you drive automatics frequently as I do, you eventually learn the change points and come to work out when you can manipulate the gearbox to change gear when you want it to without needing to use the shifter.
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    (Original post by JC.)
    A common misconception for sure, but no, it's not as black and white as you're making out. - lift off to slow up, sure no argument here, but "press harder to go faster" is only a half truth.

    Lets take my disco as an example as it's got a ZF box which found it's way into quite a lot of things.
    If you're going along at 55mph with the box in 3rd gear and the throttle about 50% of the way down (i.e steady acceleration) and you chose to lift off, the simple fact you are traveling over 52mph the overdrive will kick in. Now, to maintain speed you'd obviously need to depress the throttle a little bit - that much is obvious. However, if you want to accellerate a little you naturally press the throttle a little more and providing you don't press the pedal too quickly or too far then the box will remain in top gear.
    If you press the pedal slowly to about 3/4 of it's travel or quickly to about 1/2 of it's travel then the box will shift down into third.

    The reason the speed of the throttle pedal movement matters is that there is a vacuum line for the autobox connected to the inlet manifold. If you think about it, when you press the throttle to the floor there is a sudden drop of vacuum in the inlet - the gearbox can sense this. Think about it in the same way you'd think about a vac advance unit on a distributor as it's the same basic principal.

    So, logically you could assume that you could allow the car to change up and then press the pedal sloooowly to the floor so no vacuum change could be sensed and then have full throttle in top gear, right? Actually, no...
    There's also a mechanical linkage that goes down to the box. Sometimes this is refered to as the "TV cable" which allows the box to sense the position of the throttle.

    The net effect is that so long as you don't press the throttle pedal too far or too far too quickly then you are actually able to allow the car to change into a higher gear by lifting off and THEN continue to accelerate in this new gear and actually accelerate (depending on how fast you were accelerating in the previous gear) just as quickly.


    When you drive automatics frequently as I do, you eventually learn the change points and come to work out when you can manipulate the gearbox to change gear when you want it to without needing to use the shifter.
    It's interesting seeing exactly how autos work I can't believe on another thread though you said you "weren't mechanical" (or something like that :eek:)
    So I agree, you can use the throttle to dictate which gear you want.

    But my question is, do you really need to do this? Do you really need to dictate which gear you're in? For instance, when you're doing 55mph in overdrive and want to speed up. Why would you actively choose to stay in overdrive, rather than allowing the engine to downshift to 3rd?
    The only thing I can think of is fuel economy...
    But let's say someone didn't care about fuel economy - they wouldn't need to worry about which gear they're in at all would they?
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    (Original post by Rump Steak)
    It's interesting seeing exactly how autos work I can't believe on another thread though you said you "weren't mechanical" (or something like that :eek:)
    So I agree, you can use the throttle to dictate which gear you want.

    But my question is, do you really need to do this? Do you really need to dictate which gear you're in? For instance, when you're doing 55mph in overdrive and want to speed up. Why would you actively choose to stay in overdrive, rather than allowing the engine to downshift to 3rd?
    The only thing I can think of is fuel economy...
    But let's say someone didn't care about fuel economy - they wouldn't need to worry about which gear they're in at all would they?
    Well forget it's an auto for the mo...
    In a manual car, do you cruise along @ 40mph in 3rd gear or 4th? Sometimes you want it to change gear more than anything to shut the engine up a bit never mind fuel consumption, which would also be a valid reason, yes.
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    I drive an semi-automatic (my mum's car). Lifting off the accelerator does make the gear change much quicker. The gear changes are usually fine, but they aren't always smooth. For instance, there is a T junction near mine where I always turn left and go downhill. It takes forever for the car to go from second to third, no matter how much or how little you put your foot down.

    I don't think it makes that massive a difference driving an automatic or manual. Yes, there are some differences, but there is a lot more to driving than the gear changes.
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    I've only driven an automatic once; my brother's car. I found it very strange using only one foot, I was constantly lifting my left foot to where the clutch should be, then remembering I didn't need to.

    I didn't particularly enjoy it although I was only driving it for about 10-15 minutes, I'm going to stick with manual.
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    I'm learning in a automatic. I love it
 
 
 
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