Want to Start Driving? Learn the Basics of Your Car First

Learning how to drive is a lot easier than it looks. It looks intimidating from the passenger’s seat, or in the movies, but once you get behind the wheel and gently put your foot on the pedal, the process becomes very interesting. If you learn to take things slow in the beginning, you will be well on your way to mastering the basics of driving.

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How To Drive An Automatic Transmission Vehicle

Seat: Adjust the seat so that your feet comfortably reach both pedals: you can adjust your seat front and back, as well as up and down. Some cars have electronic controls, while some older ones have latch underneath the seat that allows you to control the position of the seat.

Pedals: knowing the foot pedals. In automatic cars, the rightmost pedal (which is usually smaller than the other pedal) is the acceleration pedal, pressing down on it speeds the car up. The pedal to the left (which is larger) is the brake pedal, and pressing down on it slows the car down
Note: Use your right foot to reach both pedals (even if you are left foot dominant). It may be difficult initially, if you are left footed, but getting used to it is important because it’s proper technique and safe too.

NEVER use both feet at once to reach the pedals. Only use one foot- your right foot- to access each pedal. This will make it impossible to accidentally press on both pedals at the same time.

Car Mirrors: adjust your car mirrors; ensure you can see through them clearly and effectively. There should be three mirrors in your car; one rear-view; which allows you to see directly behind the rear windshield in back of you. The other mirrors are the two outside mirror which let you see to either sides of the car and protect you from blind spots.

The Rear-view Mirror: should be positioned to allow you see directly behind you and as much of the rear windshield as possible.

Hand (Parking) Brake: The parking brake is a longer lever with a button on it’s tip. When the parking brake is pulled up, it locks the car in place, ensuring it doesn’t move. When the brake is let down, it is disengaged and the car can freely move. Make sure you disengage your parking brake before you start driving.

The Shift Lever of Gear Box: it is positioned between the two front seats of a car, it controls some of the car’s gears (park, neutral, drive and reverse).

  1. When the gear is engaged in park, your car cannot move forward or backward not matter how much you press down on the accelerator.
  2. If your gear is in neutral, your car’s natural momentum will continue to carry it forward.
  3. When in Reverse the car moves backwards instead of forward when you take your foot off the brake
  4. When in Drive, your car move forward when you take your foot off the brake

Dash Board Controls: shows how much fuel you have in your car, how fast your car is going, how hot the engine is, and how many RPM (Revolutions per Minute) the engine is clocking.

  • The speedometer shows how fast the car is traveling, in either miles per hour (MPH) or Kilometers per hour (KPH)
  • The RPM gauge tells you how hard your engine is working. When the dial in the gauge travels into red, learn to ease off the acceleration
  • Fuel gauge tells you how much fuel your car has. It usually has a dial that travels between “F” and “E”, “F” = Full, “E”= Empty.
  • The temperature gauge tells you whether your car’s engine is overheating. It usually has a dial that travels between “H” and “C”, signaling “hot” and “cold”. Your dial should normally be in the center of the gauge.
Category: How Tos 

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