How To Drive An Automatic Car

Driving an automatic car can be a breeze if you know the basics. Unlike manual cars, automatic cars do not require you to manually shift gears. Instead, they have a simplified transmission system that does all the work for you. If you’re new to driving an automatic car or simply need a refresher, this article will guide you through the steps of how to drive an automatic car.

Step 1: Familiarize Yourself with the Controls

Before you start driving an automatic car, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the controls. Automatic cars have three pedals: the accelerator, brake, and dead pedal. The accelerator is used to speed up, while the brake is used to slow down or stop the car. The dead pedal is simply a footrest. In addition to the pedals, automatic cars have a gear selector. This is usually located on the center console or steering column, and it allows you to select the desired gear.

Step 2: Start the Car

Once you’re familiar with the controls, it’s time to start the car. Unlike manual cars, you don’t need to engage the clutch before starting an automatic car. Simply insert the key into the ignition and turn it to start the engine. Some newer cars have a push-button start instead of a traditional key ignition. In this case, simply press the start button to start the car.

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Step 3: Put the Car in Drive

With the engine running, it’s time to put the car in drive. To do this, press the brake pedal and keep it pressed down. Then, move the gear selector from park to drive. The gear selector may have a diagram indicating the different gears, such as park (P), reverse (R), neutral (N), and drive (D). Simply move the selector to the drive position to engage the drive gear.

Step 4: Accelerate and Decelerate

Once the car is in drive, you’re ready to start moving. To accelerate, release the brake pedal and gently press the accelerator pedal with your right foot. The car will start moving forward. To decelerate or slow down, simply release the accelerator pedal and press the brake pedal with your right foot. The automatic transmission will downshift as needed to slow the car down.

Step 5: Stopping and Parking

When you need to stop the car, press the brake pedal firmly with your right foot. The car will come to a stop. If you’re coming to a complete stop, such as at a traffic light or stop sign, you can shift the gear selector to the neutral (N) position instead of keeping it in drive. This reduces strain on the transmission. When parking, shift the gear selector to the park (P) position, set the parking brake, and turn off the engine.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQ 1: Do I need to engage the clutch when driving an automatic car?

No, unlike manual cars, automatic cars do not have a clutch pedal. The transmission system in automatic cars does all the shifting for you, so you don’t need to worry about engaging the clutch.

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FAQ 2: Can I switch gears in an automatic car?

In an automatic car, the transmission system automatically selects the appropriate gear for you based on various factors such as speed and engine load. Therefore, you do not have the option to manually switch gears in an automatic car as you would in a manual car.

FAQ 3: How do I reverse in an automatic car?

To reverse in an automatic car, bring the car to a complete stop, press the brake pedal, and shift the gear selector to the reverse (R) position. Then, release the brake and gently press the accelerator pedal to start moving backwards.

FAQ 4: Is it normal for an automatic car to make a clicking sound?

Some clicking or ticking sounds are normal in an automatic car, especially when shifting gears. However, if the clicking sound is loud or accompanied by other unusual noises, it may indicate a problem with the transmission or other components, and you should have it checked by a professional mechanic.

FAQ 5: Can I switch from automatic to manual mode in an automatic car?

Some automatic cars have a manual mode or sport mode that allows you to manually select the gears. However, it’s important to note that this feature is not available in all automatic cars. If your car does have this feature, consult the owner’s manual for instructions on how to use it properly.


Driving an automatic car is easy once you understand the basics. Familiarize yourself with the controls, start the car, put it in drive, and you’re ready to go. Remember to accelerate and decelerate smoothly, and always bring the car to a complete stop before shifting gears. If you have any further questions or concerns about driving an automatic car, consult the owner’s manual or seek guidance from a professional driving instructor.