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  1. #1
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    Default Driving an automatic. Any general advice?

    I have never driven a car with an automatic gearbox and recently bought a Jeep Wrangler. I must admit that I found it awkward and unfamiliar at first, but I am starting to enjoy it. For the past 25 years I have driven nothing but Defenders, and occasionally the wifes little Mini go cart. I kept the Defender just for in case..................as a plan B, I suppose.

    So, my questions:

    Any general advice for:

    1. Everyday driving in town?
    2. Open road and long distance?
    3. Towing a trailer?
    4. Off road?
    5. Sand?
    6. Use of the Overdrive button?
    7. Any other pearls of wisdom?
    Last edited by DJR; 2021/05/22 at 02:04 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Driving an automatic: Any general advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by DJR View Post
    I have never driven a car with an automatic gearbox and recently bought a Jeep Wrangler. I must admit that I found it awkward and unfamiliar at first, but I am starting to enjoy it. For the past 25 years I have driven nothing but Defenders, and occasionally the wifes little Mini go cart. I kept the Defender just for in case..................as a plan B, I suppose.

    So, my questions:

    Any general advice for:

    1. Everyday driving in town?
    2. Open road and long distance?
    3. Towing a trailer?
    4. Off road?
    5. Sand?
    6. Use of the Overdrive button?
    7. Any other pearls of wisdom?
    In most situations, just put it in D and drive it.

    I don't know the Jeep's gearbox, but in general modern automatic transmission do look after themselves and the engine. E.g. when towing a trailer, the gearbox should be able to select the right gear without causing damage to either itself or the engine.
    One often reads here in the forum towing a trailer should only be done in a direct gear, mostly that's generalized BS when it comes to modern automatics.

    Sand driving and towing in sand can however cause the torque converter to create quite a bit of heat.
    Depending on the situation and how much the vehicle has to work, selecting low range might help preventing the gearbox oil to overheat.
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Driving an automatic: Any general advice?

    What do you guys do when stationery at a robot or roadworks, for minutes or more.
    I have started using neutral, handbrake engaged.
    I can feel the "stress" relieved off the gearbox, the engine idle revs goes up 150rpm, but is less laboured.

    Remember the K53 training we did for our drivers licences?
    The procedure when came to a standstill, either a stopstreet or robot?
    Gearbox in neutral, handbrake engaged, feet off all the pedals?
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    Default Re: Driving an automatic: Any general advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by swakop_toe View Post
    What do you guys do when stationery at a robot or roadworks, for minutes or more.
    I have started using neutral, handbrake engaged.
    I can feel the "stress" relieved off the gearbox, the engine idle revs goes up 150rpm, but is less laboured.

    Remember the K53 training we did for our drivers licences?
    The procedure when came to a standstill, either a stopstreet or robot?
    Gearbox in neutral, handbrake engaged, feet off all the pedals?
    Check your vehicle manual on that one, plenty of auto boxes should remain in drive while stationary so fluid is circulated through the box.

    The other important item one should be cognizant of is what gearbox your car actually has, there are a couple of different styles of auto box that get lumped together but are actually completely different.

    - Old school standard auto transmission with a torque converter.

    - CVT gearbox, some have torque converters some have other types of "clutch"

    - Robotic manual gearbox (DSG, Stronic, among others) are manual often dual clutch transmissions where the computer engages gears and clutch but the end user perceives it as an auto.

    Each of these boxes has their own pros and cons, and do's and don'ts, so do some reading about your vehicle to make sure you know what gearbox is in use.


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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Driving an automatic: Any general advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Commander View Post
    Check your vehicle manual on that one, plenty of auto boxes should remain in drive while stationary so fluid is circulated through the box.

    The other important item one should be cognizant of is what gearbox your car actually has, there are a couple of different styles of auto box that get lumped together but are actually completely different.

    - Old school standard auto transmission with a torque converter.

    - CVT gearbox, some have torque converters some have other types of "clutch"

    - Robotic manual gearbox (DSG, Stronic, among others) are manual often dual clutch transmissions where the computer engages gears and clutch but the end user perceives it as an auto.

    Each of these boxes has their own pros and cons, and do's and don'ts, so do some reading about your vehicle to make sure you know what gearbox is in use.
    I have the J150 4.0V6 VX.
    I cannot find anything specifically stating whether neutral should not be used.
    Interestingly, I did find a section where the manual describes various vehicle uses and when the transmission fluid should be replaced.
    So much for so often Toyota service advisors say the oil is for life.
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  9. #6
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    Default Re: Driving an automaticAny generatl advice

    I bought my first auto recently.

    I just put it in D and forget about it.

    When driving normally or towing, I however need to be mindful not to press too hard on the accelerator pedal to go a bit faster, otherwise it kicks down a gear. But that spot I've learnt a bit now.
    My first trip with the caravan, I kept on pressing too hard, making it kick down gears too often and that lead to massive fuel consumption.

    I've done some sand driving. Normal 4H and D works like a bomb. I haven't had the need for 4L yet.
    My ryding: 'n Ding met 4 rubber sirkels en n enjin wat nou en dan aangedryf word met al 4 sirkels

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  11. #7
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    Default Re: Driving an automatic: Any general advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by swakop_toe View Post
    What do you guys do when stationery at a robot
    ....
    Gearbox in neutral, handbrake engaged, feet off all the pedals?
    Im a light sleeper and tend to have short nights. When at a robot or any standstill even in traffic, I flip the shifter to P. Why? Because if I happen to nod off for a few seconds, the foot may lift off the brake pedal and the car slowly moves ahead. Yeah, age and fatigue

  12. #8
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    Default Re: Driving an automatic: Any general advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by swakop_toe View Post
    What do you guys do when stationery at a robot or roadworks, for minutes or more.
    I have started using neutral, handbrake engaged.
    I can feel the "stress" relieved off the gearbox, the engine idle revs goes up 150rpm, but is less laboured.

    Remember the K53 training we did for our drivers licences?
    The procedure when came to a standstill, either a stopstreet or robot?
    Gearbox in neutral, handbrake engaged, feet off all the pedals?
    Quote Originally Posted by swakop_toe View Post
    I have the J150 4.0V6 VX.
    I cannot find anything specifically stating whether neutral should not be used.
    Interestingly, I did find a section where the manual describes various vehicle uses and when the transmission fluid should be replaced.
    So much for so often Toyota service advisors say the oil is for life.
    Don't worry, you must put in alot of effort to damage that Aisin transmission. The v6 Prado and the FJ have got the same transmission.
    When you stop at a robot and leave it in D, after a short moment you should feel the car pushing less against the brakes. The transmission is still in gear, but somehow slightly reduces torque output while you are on the brake. Therefore don't worry, you can leave it in D.
    Selecting N doesn't do any harm either.

    As for the myth that the transmission oil is "for life", it's BS. Have a look into the owner's manual. In mine the service schedule says that the gearbox oil must be inspected every 40k km and changed when required.
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  14. #9
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    Default Re: Driving an automaticAny generatl advice

    When parking the vehicle, select N, then apply handbrake, foot of the brake, let the car 'stabilise' on the handbrake, then select P.

  15. #10
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    Default Re: Driving an automaticAny generatl advice

    Autos are nice - and you can now use your left foot for the brake pedal since you dont have to worry about a clutch pedal aymore.
    Last edited by WAJ; 2021/05/24 at 09:57 AM.
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  16. #11
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    Default Re: Driving an automaticAny generatl advice

    Quote Originally Posted by veedub View Post
    When parking the vehicle, select N, then apply handbrake, foot of the brake, let the car 'stabilise' on the handbrake, then select P.
    This as well.

    I have seen going straight to P, the car is harder to get out of P into D or R.

    So I have been doing this since I read about it.
    My ryding: 'n Ding met 4 rubber sirkels en n enjin wat nou en dan aangedryf word met al 4 sirkels

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    Default Re: Driving an automaticAny generatl advice

    The biggest killers of auto boxes is hi oil temps, on all are conversions with Autos we put the biggest auto box cooler we can fit on
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    Default Re: Driving an automaticAny generatl advice

    Quote Originally Posted by veedub View Post
    When parking the vehicle, select N, then apply handbrake, foot of the brake, let the car 'stabilise' on the handbrake, then select P.
    Why?

    You have to go through "R" in any case?

    I have come to expect everything to be "complicated" on the forum, but jirre, how to use an auto should be a simple matter.... but give it to this forum and you will need a bloody PHD to lift the clip on the gear leaver...

    It is a simple matter of selecting a gear when wanting to move and selecting park when you park it..

    Simple gents.. really
    Last edited by Hedgehog; 2021/05/24 at 10:07 AM.
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  20. #14
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    Default Re: Driving an automaticAny generatl advice

    The only issues with an auto is if you have a breakdown , you will need to be flat bedded out and if an emergency you can be towed but there is a strict limit as to how far and at what speed , the hand book will have more info.

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  22. #15
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    Default Re: Driving an automaticAny generatl advice

    Quote Originally Posted by veedub View Post
    When parking the vehicle, select N, then apply handbrake, foot of the brake, let the car 'stabilise' on the handbrake, then select P.
    Very important point, otherwise you easily hydrolock your gearbox! Happens more often than one can imagine.
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  24. #16
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    Default Re: Driving an automaticAny generatl advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Hedgehog View Post
    Why?

    You have to go through "R" in any case?

    I have come to expect everything to be "complicated" on the forum, but jirre, how to use an auto should be a simple matter.... but give it to this forum and you will need a bloody PHD to lift the clip on the gear leaver...

    It is a simple matter of selecting a gear when wanting to move and selecting park when you park it..

    Simple gents.. really
    Imagine someone asking how to drive a manual
    There is never a right time to do the wrong thing and never a wrong time to do the right thing!

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  26. #17
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    Default Re: Driving an automaticAny generatl advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Hedgehog View Post
    Why?

    You have to go through "R" in any case?

    I have come to expect everything to be "complicated" on the forum, but jirre, how to use an auto should be a simple matter.... but give it to this forum and you will need a bloody PHD to lift the clip on the gear leaver...

    It is a simple matter of selecting a gear when wanting to move and selecting park when you park it..

    Simple gents.. really
    Mine has D all the way at the bottom.

    Then N one up, R the next and P at the top.

    So from D, I go to N, pull up the hand brake, then go into P.

    From what I have experienced, getting it out of P and back down to D or R is so much easier when doing the above.

    If I go straight to P from D, the next time I want to get our of P, it's as if the weight of the car rests on the P gear and I have to pull harder to get it out of park.
    Last edited by IcePick88; 2021/05/24 at 02:53 PM.
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  28. #18
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    Default Re: Driving an automatic: Any general advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by DJR View Post
    I have never driven a car with an automatic gearbox and recently bought a Jeep Wrangler. I must admit that I found it awkward and unfamiliar at first, but I am starting to enjoy it. For the past 25 years I have driven nothing but Defenders, and occasionally the wifes little Mini go cart. I kept the Defender just for in case..................as a plan B, I suppose.

    So, my questions:

    Any general advice for:

    1. Everyday driving in town?
    2. Open road and long distance?
    3. Towing a trailer?
    4. Off road?
    5. Sand?
    6. Use of the Overdrive button?
    7. Any other pearls of wisdom?
    My 4x4 Ranger is automatic.

    1. Drive it rustig. Otherwise it sucks juice.
    2. Same as above. The gearbox is clever enough to know what to do. Don't force the gears to shift though.
    3. -
    4. Very easy... just petrol and brakes... no clutch to worry about. Ease into the obstacle though.
    5. Same as manual, I feel.
    6. Doesn't have one I think?
    7. Enjoy it!
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  29. #19
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    Default Re: Driving an automaticAny generatl advice

    I keep on hearing about overdrive.

    Is that some extra "gear" for cruising?

    Because I can feel and see at just over 80km/h, my car goes into a "cruise mode". I can see the revs drop quite substantially. Is that overdrive?

    I don't have a button or anything.
    My ryding: 'n Ding met 4 rubber sirkels en n enjin wat nou en dan aangedryf word met al 4 sirkels

  30. #20
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    Default Re: Driving an automaticAny generatl advice

    Quote Originally Posted by IcePick88 View Post
    I keep on hearing about overdrive.

    Is that some extra "gear" for cruising?

    Because I can feel and see at just over 80km/h, my car goes into a "cruise mode". I can see the revs drop quite substantially. Is that overdrive?

    I don't have a button or anything.
    That's your torque converter locking up.

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