Exception in rendering!

Message: window is not defined

ReferenceError: window is not defined
    at new c (/tmp/execjs20161209-60852-1pxtpijs:136:3912)
    at m.mountComponent (/tmp/execjs20161209-60852-1pxtpijs:47:15602)
    at /tmp/execjs20161209-60852-1pxtpijs:49:31860
    at a.r.perform (/tmp/execjs20161209-60852-1pxtpijs:47:12503)
    at Object.a [as renderToString] (/tmp/execjs20161209-60852-1pxtpijs:49:31821)
    at r (/tmp/execjs20161209-60852-1pxtpijs:50:21164)
    at Object.S.ReactOnRails.serverRenderReactComponent (/tmp/execjs20161209-60852-1pxtpijs:32:6073)
    at eval (eval at <anonymous> (/tmp/execjs20161209-60852-1pxtpijs:173:8), <anonymous>:10:23)
    at eval (eval at <anonymous> (/tmp/execjs20161209-60852-1pxtpijs:173:8), <anonymous>:17:3)
    at /tmp/execjs20161209-60852-1pxtpijs:173:8

How to Drive Uphill

car driving uphill

Driving on a flat surface does not put excess stress on your vehicle’s engine, but, traveling up steep inclines can lead to an overworked engine. However, there are a few techniques you can follow to lessen the stress on your engine and climb inclines smoothly while maintaining relatively low Revolutions Per Minute (RPMs).

Whether your vehicle has a manual or automatic transmission, it is best that you keep the following driving tips and methods in mind when trying to tackle inclines and hills.

Method 1 of 3: Drive an automatic transmission vehicle on a hill

In comparison to vehicles with a manual transmission, vehicles that contain an automatic transmission have an easier time of tackling hills. The transmission in an automatic vehicle naturally switches to a lower gear with lower RPMs once you reach a certain low speed. Additionally, you can take certain measures to make driving up hills easier on your car's engine and transmission.

automatic gear shifter

Step 1: Use the right drive gears. While going uphill, use the D1, D2, or D3 gears to maintain higher RPMs and give your vehicle more climbing power and speed.

  • Note: Most automatic vehicles have at least a D1 and D2 gear, while some models also have a D3 gear.

different lower gears and their functions

Method 2 of 3: Drive a manual transmission vehicle on a hill

Driving a vehicle with a manual transmission up an incline is a little different from driving a car with an automatic transmission up an incline. Unlike an automatic transmission, you can shift a manual transmission into a lower gear for higher RPMs, if needed.

Step 1: Gather speed as you approach the incline. Try to have enough forward momentum to get part way, or even all the way, up the hill before downshifting into a lower gear to maintain that power.

Ideally, you should approach the incline in fourth or fifth gear, while accelerating the car at about 80 percent power.

  • Warning: Use caution when climbing a hill and ensure that you do not gather too much speed. Keep in mind any sharp turns in the road and reduce the amount of acceleration you give the vehicle as you approach. This is especially important if you are unfamiliar with the road you are driving.

Step 2: Downshift if necessary. If you notice that your engine is struggling to stay at its current speed, shift into a lower gear.

This should increase the RPMs as the engine cycles through the lower gear, adding power to your momentum.

On really steep hills, you might need to downshift through consecutively lower gears until you find one where the vehicle maintains the necessary momentum to crest the hill.

Step 3: Upshift to save on gas. If you notice your car gaining momentum on its uphill climb, shift to a higher gear for better fuel economy.

You may need to do this on hills that flatten out before climbing again.

Step 4: Downshift in tight turns. You can also downshift if you come upon any sharp turns while climbing an incline.

This allows you to maintain power and momentum as you make your way through the turn.

Method 3 of 3: Start and stop a manual transmission vehicle on a hill

Climbing an incline usually does not present a problem unless you have to stop at some point in your ascent.While driving uphill in a vehicle with a manual transmission, it takes some skill to start and stop your car on an incline.

You can use some different options when stopping or starting on an incline, including using the handbrake, the heel-toe method or by switching from holding down the clutch to accelerating once the clutch grabs hold.

methods of starting after stopping on a hill

Step 1: Starting on a hill. When you are parked on a hill and need to get going again, follow these steps to start your vehicle and continue driving.

With the handbrake on, press in the clutch pedal and shift into first gear. Give the vehicle some gas until it is at 1500 RPMs and let off the clutch pedal slightly until it begins to go into gear.

Check to make sure the way is clear, using a signal if necessary, and slowly release the handbrake, while giving the vehicle more gas and letting off of the clutch pedal completely.

Keep in mind that the amount of gas you need to give the car depends in large part on the incline of the hill, with steeper inclines generally requiring you to give the vehicle more gas.

  • Note: Make sure to set the handbrake in your vehicle when parking on a hill.

top down view of the vehicle parked on an incline

  • Tip: Turn your front wheel away from the curb when parked pointing uphill and turned toward the curb if facing downhill. In this way, the car should roll get stopped by the curb if your handbrake disengages.

Knowing how to negotiate hills in your vehicle can keep you safe and also prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle's engine and transmission. If you have problems with your vehicle's transmission or clutch, you can ask one of the certified mechanics at YourMechanic to fix your vehicle for you.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.

ASK A QUESTION

More related articles

Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...


Related questions

Q: What viscosity oil should I use?

If you have the 1.8-liter engine, then you should use SAE 0W-20 oil. If that is not available, you can use SAE 5W-20, but you should not use this viscosity level in consecutive oil replacements. If you have the 2.4-litre...

Q: How do I increase the cruise control speed?

Once the cruise control is set, you can increase the speed in two different ways: 1. Press and hold the Resume+ button. The car will accelerate while you hold the button, and you can release the button when you reach...

Q: What is the recommended tire press pressure?

The ideal tire pressure for your car is located on the tire and loading information label. This label is placed next to the driver’s door latch, and can be viewed when the driver’s door is open.