Automatic gearbox: what do letters mean?

Are you planning to buy an automatic gearbox car? In this article you will find everything you need to know about the meaning of the letters of an automatic gearbox, namely P, R, N and D.

Automatic gearbox: definition

When you want to buy a car, the question arises quickly. You do not want or more drive a manual gearbox car? Do you want to try the automatic gearbox car?

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A vehicle with an automatic gearbox does not operate in the same way as a conventional vehicle with a manual gearbox. The gearbox is a device that operates mechanically and performs the transmission between one gear and another, whatever it is.

In recent years and more precisely since the 2000s, the automatic gearbox has largely become democratized . It is now installed on a large number of vehicles and has multiple advantages.

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The operation of an automatic gearbox

The manual gearbox has long been the classic and conventional system integrated with motor vehicles. An automatic gearbox system, unlike Manual gearboxes, is able to determine on its own which type of speed is most suitable to the pace of the moment. This device can therefore choose which speed transmission is appropriate, depending on the information that the vehicle returns to it.

On an automatic gearbox car, so do not be surprised if the vehicle accelerates on its own as it takes into account the degree of crushing of the accelerator pedal.

Automatic gearbox: an intelligent gear lever

Similarly, if the automatic gearbox perceives that the transmission lever is in a particular position, the vehicle will adapt to the required pace. For this reason, an automatic vehicle does not have a clutch and release pedal . The speed ratio is instantly recognized: gear ratios no longer need to be passed between each other.

Why choose an automatic gearbox?

The main advantage of the automatic gearbox is to allow the driver to fully concentrate on the road . He no longer needs to pay full attention to the driving of the vehicle itself, or how it works.

A certain notion of danger disappears if the driver has a less mental load compared to driving a manual gearbox vehicle.

The driver of an automatic vehicle puts his full attention on two pedals: the accelerator and the brake.

The gear lever of an automatic gearbox

The gear lever of an automatic gearbox is usually marked with four letters: P, R, N and D . But what do these letters mean ?

The letters PRND determine the transmission by the gearbox. They are written on the lever very distinctly. It is by choosing one of these four letters (or speed mode) that you decide which command you want to send to the gearbox and the vehicle.

If you want, this lever is a bit the gear selector , just like a manual gearbox vehicle. Classically, any automatic transmission lever follows the traditional model of the automatic transmission, with the letters P, R, N and D.

P, R N and D: the meaning of the letters

The letter P : the letter P means Park in English, i.e. parking. This speed mode is chosen when the vehicle is stationary and parked. The lever is positioned at the highest when this mode is activated. In a way, mode P serves as a handbrake to the Vehicle: it automatically stops the wheels when you parked the vehicle. When you put the gear lever in position P, you order a system lock: the wheels can no longer move.

The letter R : the letter R means Reverse in English, which means reverse. This mode is exclusively to choose when you want to reverse with your vehicle.

The letter N : the letter N means Neutral (neutral) in English. Neutral is equivalent to the dead point for the vehicle. In everyday traffic in the city, you will usually have to juggle between position D and N when the engine of the vehicle is running. When N mode is activated, the gearbox sends the speed automation message, but without the vehicle’s wheel trained.

The wheels of the vehicle are unlocked, but technically, no action can be performed without changing the gear lever mode, even with the engine running.

The letter D : the letter D means Drive (driving) in English. This automatic gearbox gear lever mode corresponds to the forward gear of the vehicle. The latter moves freely from automatic transmission, since there is no need to take the gear ratios into account anymore.

It is important to take into account that when the gear lever of your automatic vehicle is positioned in mode D, if the brake pedal is not pressed or crashed, the vehicle moves on its own .

In short, all gear changes in your vehicle are done in the form of direct information given with the brake pedal and the gear lever. Only the Letters P and N activate the motor without causing movement . Starting with a speed is very problematic!

Namely : if you fail the car, it will be better to push it by first switching on the N mode, making sure that the engine has been switched off beforehand.

Passing the license on an automatic gearbox vehicle

Today, when you pass the driver’s license, you have the choice between the manual gearbox and the automatic gearbox. Special training is needed in order to take control of the specifics of an automatic gearbox.

Not all models of automatic vehicles are the same and it will not be uncommon to find gearboxes that do not have the same letters P, R, N and D. In this case, the same precise roles are distributed according to the mode on which the lever is located. It will only take you a time to adapt as well as increased vigilance regarding your driving reflexes.

All you have to do is test a vehicle with an auto gearbox: good driving!

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