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How to drive an automatic car

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How to drive an automatic car is very simple with these few ideas and pointers

When compared to the difficulty of learning how to drive on a manual transmission, automatic vehicles offer a certain ease of use for first time drivers.  Operating a clutch and shifting gears with the manual transmission can be a strain for some new drivers.  What does your left foot do with and when?  Can you shift into first gear when you have rush hour traffic honking behind you or can you pull forward on a hill without rolling backwards into the parked car behind you? 

With an automatic transmission, the clutch is no longer there.  It's just the brake, gas pedal, and a more streamlined version of shifting.  Step-by-step instructions for how to drive an automatic car will follow, but, in order not to need a car repair right off the bat, please make sure to take things slowly.

The Gas, Brake, and Shifter -- The Basics

Fortunately, most vehicles today are equipped with automatic transmissions.  The days of stalling in front of twenty other cars beeping madly at you at that green light are over (hopefully).  For starters, when you step into your vehicle, the pedals for your right foot will consist of the brake and gas.  The brake will be larger and to the left.  The gas pedal will be to its right, and will be slightly smaller. 

In terms of the shifter, it will slightly differ, depending upon your make and model of car.  For the most part, there will be a P for park, which is situated at the top.  Below, will be an R, which stands for reverse.  N will be for neutral and D will stand for drive.  There may also be some numbers to go along with different variations of the D (such as D1, D2, etc.) and these are there for a change to different gears. 

For now, the most important of these "letters" is the D and R -- drive and reverse.  Focus on that because that's what you use most (if not all) of the time while driving.

How to Drive an Automatic Car

First, prepare for obtain a "learner permit" or the required preliminary licensing for your state. You may have to pass a written test and eye exam. Using driving simulators can help you practice basic skills and learn safe driving habits even when you can't get on the road, so consider adding one of those to your learning-to-drive process. . 

Try and find a place like an empty parking lot or barren stretch of road in order to learn how to drive an automatic car.  This way, you won't start in rush hour traffic or on the freeway, which wouldn't be good.  Start simple, slow, and safe.  Always have an adult licensed driver with you in the passenger seat while you're learning.  Make sure to understand how to turn on the wipers, headlights, proper seat belt procedure, signaling, and be sure your vehicle is ready and able to make the trip, with enough gas in the tank, working breaks, and tire pressure up to the specs your car maker has dictated in the manual.

Depress the brake and make sure the vehicle is in park.  Turn your key in the ignition and with your right foot still depressing the brake, move the shifter down to D, or drive.  Be sure to press the button on the shifter in order to move it into either R or D.  If you needed to back out of a garage or parking space, you would shift into R, or reverse. 

Take your foot off the brake and the car, in drive, will begin to move forward, even though you haven't applied any pressure to the gas pedal.  Press on the gas -- slowly -- and you will have your first driving experience.  To slow or stop, move your right foot from the gas over onto the brake pedal and apply pressure by pushing down toward the floor. 

Resources:  Automatic Cars Vs. Manual Cars

Lovetoknow cars: Learning to Drive an Automatic Car

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