S, 2, L – Auto Shifter Gear Symbols Explained!

July 14th, 2022 by

S, 2, L – Auto Shifter Gear Symbols Explained!


Upgrading from a manual transmission car to an automatic is not always that easy for twitchy gear shifters. In fact, an auto is taken a step down from the control afforded by a manual car. But an automatic does offer a lot of conveniences & sits in for bad driving to give novices less gear shifting stress on the road.


However, one does need to get the hang of the gear shifter symbols before they master the auto. Have you ever noticed the letters and numbers on the gear shifter in your car? If not, take a quick look – they’re right in front of you. You may be wondering what they mean. We’ll explain it all to you here.


How Does an Automatic Transmission and Gear Shifter Work? –

First, it’s essential to understand how an automatic transmission works. In a nutshell, your car’s engine produces power transferred to the transmission. The transmission helps to regulate the power transferred to the wheels.


The gear shifter in your car controls the transmission. The transmission system includes various gears that the car can shift between. Each gear uses different speed ratios and power. When moving the shifter, you tell the transmission which gear to shift into.


The Numbers and Letters on the Auto Shifter –

The numbers and letters on your auto shifter indicate the different gears you can shift your transmission. Read the breakdown of what each one means:


  • P (Park) – This puts the transmission into its parking position. The car will not move when in this position.
  • R (Reverse) – This gear is for backing up.
  • N (Neutral) – The car will not move when in this position, but the engine will be running.
  • D (Drive) – This is the most common position for driving. The transmission will shift between gears 1-9 in this position.


Most automatic transmissions will also have a manual mode. This allows you to shift gears instead of letting the transmission do it for you. To do this, you will need to move the shifter into the manual position. This is usually indicated by an M or S on the shifter. Once in manual mode, you can use the + and – symbols on the shifter to upshift and downshift through the gears.


How to Maintain an Automatic Transmission? –

Automatic transmissions are designed to last many miles, but they will eventually need replacement. The best way to extend your transmission system’s durability is to service it regularly. This includes changing the transmission fluid and filter and checking the fluid level in the system. You should also check your transmission if you notice strange noises or leaking fluids.


Common Transmission Problems Automatic Car Owners Face –

Automatic transmissions are complex pieces of machinery, and they can have problems from time to time. Some common transmission issues include:

  • slipping gears
  • delayed engagement
  • fluid leaks
  • strange noises


If you notice any such problems or issues with your car’s transmission, you must take it to a mechanic as soon as possible. You can often fix transmission problems before they cause significant damage to your car.


If you’re in the market for a new car, you may want to consider one with an automatic transmission. Here at Hanania Buick GMC, serving St. Augustine, FL, we have a wide selection of automatic vehicles for our customers to explore.


Explore our inventory and choose one that fits your needs the best!

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