Starting and driving Drivers unfamiliar with the performance characteristics of an automatic gearbox should thoroughly familiarize themselves with the following instructions before driving.
Before starting the engine, ensure that both foot and parking brakes are applied.
After starting the engine, KEEP BOTH BRAKES APPLIED before and whilst moving the selector lever to the required drive position.
Keep the brakes applied until you are ready to move - remember, once a drive position is selected, an ‘automatic’ will tend to creep forward (or backward) without throttle application, as soon as the brakes are released.
Never ‘rev’ the engine while selecting a forward or reverse drive gear, or while the vehicle is stationary with a drive gear selected - remember, an ‘automatic’ will move immediately once the accelerator pedal is pressed.
NOTE: The starter key cannot be removed unless the gear selector is in ‘P’ (Park), and it is impossible to move the selector lever from ‘P’ (Park) unless the foot brake is pressed.
Gear change speeds With ‘D’ selected, the road speeds at which gear changes take place will vary according to the position of the accelerator: minimum acceleration will result in gear changes at low road speed, while larger throttle openings will cause the gearbox to delay gear changes until faster road speeds have been reached (thereby increasing acceleration).
With practice, gear changes can be made to occur at a wide range of road speeds depending on accelerator pedal pressure.
On long inclines the gearbox will sometimes change back and forth between gears. This occurs because the transmission does not include a ratio that is precisely right for the particular incline and vehicle loading circumstances. However, excessive gear changing results in a loss of momentum and is wasteful of fuel. It can be prevented by selecting the ‘3’ or ‘2’ positions which limit the gearbox to lower ratios.
‘Kick-down’ To provide rapid acceleration for overtaking, push the accelerator pedal to the full extent of its travel in a single quick movement (this is known as ‘kick-down’). Up to a certain speed, this will cause an immediate downshift into the lowest appropriate gear, followed by rapid acceleration. Once the pedal is relaxed, normal gear change speeds will resume (dependent upon road speed and accelerator pedal position).