P, R, N, D, these are all letters on your automatic transmission that you’re probably familiar with. However, you might rarely, if at all, shift into “L” on the gear shift. So what does this letter stand for? And should you use it?
L stands for low gear. When your car is in drive, or D, the automatic transmission will shift through the gears as your speed increases. When your car is in low, or L, the transmission won’t shift. Instead, it remains in a low gear, and less fuel is injected into the engine. This gives you less speed, but what you sacrifice in speed you make up for in engine torque. Basically, using low gear gives the engine more power.
Torque is useful when you’re towing something with your automatic. Towing requires more torque, but if you tow in drive it puts more strain on your engine as the transmission cycles through the gears. Keeping it in low gear lets you keep the torque, which makes towing easier, and reduces the stress on your engine. Another reason you might use low gear is for driving up a hill in order to give your engine the power to get up the hill without over-stressing it. Low gear is also useful for driving in snow or on icy roads, because it reduces your speed and gives you more control over the vehicle.
If you have any questions about our blog, “What Does the “L” on the Gear Shift Stand For??” please contact Auto Stop by calling 410-467-7600 or visit AutoStopLTD.com today! You can also follow Auto Stop on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
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