Information for our guests about COVID-19

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!

More from Cornerstone Plymouth

  • How Much Can a RAM 1500 Tow?

    Wondering how much can a RAM 1500 tow? A properly-equipped 2019 RAM 1500 can tow as much as 12,750 pounds, and a 2018 model can handle a still-impressive max 10,620 pounds. That’s more than enough to pull a full-sized trailer or motorized boat, and plenty of power for the toughest jobs on your Minneapolis job…

  • How Much Can a Ford Explorer Tow?

    How much can a Ford Explorer tow? The Ford Explorer has been generating a lot of buzz among industry experts and drivers alike for many years, and the impressive Ford Explorer towing capacity is just one of the reasons why. At Cornerstone Plymouth, you will find an excellent selection of used Ford vehicles for sale, including…

  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Towing Capacity and Towing Features

    Whether you need to tow machinery around Minneapolis, or need to haul equipment from gig to gig, a used Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is just as capable as a new one. With a long-running history of delivering powerful performance and strength, you can bet the Chevy Silverado 1500 towing capacity on all the used Silverado models…

Cornerstone Plymouth
Saved Vehicles


You don't have any saved vehicles!

Look for this link on your favorites:


Once you've saved some vehicles, you can view them here at any time.

Contact Us


Call Now

3901 Vinewood Lane • Plymouth, MN 55441

Get Directions

Today's Hours:

Open Today! Sales: 8am-8pm

Open Today! Service: 7am-6pm

Open Today! Parts: 7am-6pm

Cornerstone Plymouth 45.0272529, -93.4508119.