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When to Use Low Gear

hand on gear shift

What is low gear in a car? Ideal for driving down a steep hill or a slight but long downward angle, low gear is useful for tough driving situations. Learn more about when to use low gear for challenging Minneapolis road conditions with Cornerstone Plymouth. Then, be sure to check out our service tips, like how to change spark plugs!


What is Low Gear in a Car?

“Low gear,” or first gear, is when your car slows the flow of fuel going to the engine, which slows the engine but provides more torque. When to use low gear depends on the driving condition, you’re encountering in %%target_city_2%. Whether you have a manual or automatic transmission in your vehicle will affect how you get your car into low gear:

  • Manual transmission: Before you descend a hill in Minnetonka, manually downshift into a lower gear
  • Automatic transmission: Automatic cars, will automatically downshift into low gear. To create the conditions for your car to downshift, you need to ease off the gas pedal when getting ready to descend. However, your car will not downshift if you’re going too fast. Leave enough time to slow down before the descent. Once you get your speed down, brake to stay in low gear.

Why is Low Gear Important?

When to use low gear can affect the health of your brakes. Driving down a steep incline for an extended period makes your brakes work harder, causing them to possibly overheat. Overheating brakes can cause permanent damage, or worse, brake failure. Keeping your Plymouth car in low gear slows the car down without straining the brakes.

When Else is Low Gear Useful?

  • Steep Ascents: Low gear provides a faster engine response, creating less rollback.
  • Slippery Roads: During inclement weather, low gear adds control over your car’s speed without having to accelerate or brake suddenly, which would cause you to lose traction over slick roadways.

Discover More Automotive Tips from Cornerstone Plymouth

Now that you know when to use low gear contact us at Cornerstone Plymouth! Apply for financing online and check out our car buying tips! We like to take care of our customers even after they leave the lot, so be sure to take advantage of our service specials and schedule a service appointment for your next oil change or tire rotation!

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