Renting and driving a car in Uganda is one of the major and growing modes of adventure in exploring these beautiful lands but the question here is, Have you driven an Automatic car before, A common mode of car hired in Uganda for self drive safaris? Oh if you haven’t, Here is From Start to end tips on how to drive an automatic car. It is easy if you have driven a manual car before and of course if your holding an international drivers license.
Driving an automatic car? Well, you will be happy to know that hiring and driving a car in Uganda on self drive with an automatic transmission is easier than the one that uses a manual gearbox. However, it does not mean you can learn to drive automatic without any practice. It’s mandatory to learn how to drive either in a school or under a private instructor. However, learning the basics beforehand will help you big time on your self drive car rental in Uganda.
How to Drive an Automatic Car: The Functions of the Gears
Ever wondered what the letters and numbers on an automatic gearbox mean? It’s crucial to know their role and functions so as to ease with driving test.
In the automotive world, these letters are known as PRNDL (pronounced as ‘prindle’). What they stand for are:
P (Parking): to park the car.
It locks the transmission shaft and does not let the car to move anywhere. The only thing that can rotate in that condition is the non-driving wheels. Although, it will completely lock down a four-wheel drive.
R (Reverse): for reverse driving
Shifting to this gear allows you to drive the vehicle backward. To do that, stop the car completely and choose the R gear after pressing the shift-lock button. There’s no need to do anything while moving from R to N or D, but shifting to the R again will require the use of the shift button.
N (Neutral): no gear
It means the vehicle is using no gear. In this state, the transmission will have no connection to the driven wheels and the car will move using the momentum only. You should use it only for pushing or towing the car unlike many that use it on slopes while driving thinking they are saving fuel). This is very Wrong
D (Drive): to start and move
Understanding the functions of this gear is the most important when you are planning on hiring and driving an automatic car in Uganda. Putting the car in this gear means driving normally. But, the transmission uses some other variations including D1, D2, and D3 to adjust to the speed at which you are driving the vehicle. The D1 means the very first gear and you can gradually move up to the higher ones. Using the highest gear could be fuel-efficient when you are driving long distance on the highway. Otherwise, these gear ratios are suitable for unusual conditions only such as getting the car out of the ice or mud.
When you set the gear at D1, it means that the transmission gets locked in that position and won’t change on its own. Setting the gear at D2 means locking it in the second gear. In some models, the gear automatically shifts from the 1st to 2nd when it reaches a particular speed limit, such as 30mph, to protect the engine from damage.
L (Low): to set a gear at low
Hiring and driving an automatic car changes the gears automatically with the increase and decrease of the speed. Manually shifting to the low gear will decrease the speed but not the torque. As a result, your car gets more towing and staying power.
Some More Gears and Their Functions
Depending on the make and model, your automatic vehicle can feature some other gears too. Let’s have a look:
S (Sport) mode
It’s almost similar to the D mode but with maximum output levels. It enhances the engine performance when you are speeding up. The downshifting will also be much quicker in this position, boosting the braking effects.
OD (Overdrive) mode
It’s the highest gear and turning it on will allow the transmission to go through all the gears including the overdrive. Turning it off will limit the transmission to move between other available modes. It’s helpful for towing, climbing hills, and overtaking.
B (Brake) mode
Some models among our fleet of vehicles at Auto Rental Uganda come with this gear that helps to decrease the speed of a car. It’s also useful in maintaining a certain speed when you are going downhill.