Q: How do you work the automatic transmission?

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How do you work the automatic transmission?

While an automatic transmission is simpler to operate than a manual transmission is, there are several things that you’ll need to know to ensure that you’re able to drive safely. Here’s a quick rundown of what each gear does:

  • Park: Put the car in park to prevent the vehicle from moving. Make sure engage the parking brake first. Never shift into park without coming to a complete stop first.

  • Reverse: This lets you back the car. Never shift into or out of reverse without coming to a complete stop.

  • Drive with Overdrive: This is your primary drive gear and should be used for normal driving. You’ll have six gears available in this mode.

  • Drive with Grade Assist: Pressing the button on the side of the gearshift handle changes your drive gear. It removes overdrive, limits you to only five gears, and activates the grade assist system. Use this for driving in areas with steep grades.

  • Low: This is the lowest gear on the transmission and provides the most engine braking. Use this gear for severe grades and to limit your use of the brakes (which might overheat with continued use).


To change from Drive with Grade Assist back to Drive with Overdrive, just press the button on the gearshift handle again.

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