When to Use Low Gear

2019 Range Rover Velar heading downhill

Low gear is ideal for driving down a steep hill or a slight but long downward angle. Find out how gear works and why it’s good for your drives on and off Newark roads. Be sure to contact Land Rover Wilmington if you have any questions or want to take a test drive and see low gear in action.

What is Low Gear in a Car?

The term “low gear” indicates that the ratio of vehicle speed to engine speed is low. In other words, the engine is still working hard but the wheels are moving slower than when the vehicle is in higher gears. Depending on the type of transmission you have in Middletown, getting into low gear will be different:

  • Manual Transmission: Manually downshift into a lower gear before you are about to descend down a hill.
  • Automatic Transmission: Since automatic cars will automatically go into low gear, you will have to essentially create the conditions for your transmission to downshift into a lower gear. To do this:
    • Start to slow down by easing off the gas pedal when getting ready to descent.
    • This will help your vehicle automatically shift into a lower gear, but there are certain speed limitations and it will not downshift if you are still going too fast.
    • Be sure to leave enough time to slow down before getting to the descent.
    • Once you are at an appropriate speed, stay in low gear by braking.

Why Is Low Gear Important?

When driving down a steep hill or slight a downgrade for an extended period of time, your brakes have to work harder to maintain a slow speed and fight the forces of gravity. As a result, your brakes could overheat which can cause permanent damage and brake failure. If your vehicle is in low gear, the engine braking system helps to slow down the vehicle without overstraining the brakes.

When Else Is Low Gear Useful?

  • Steep Ascents: When trying to drive up a steep hill, a low gear will deliver a quicker engine response, so there is less rollback and a smoother ascent.
  • Slippery Roads: With ice and mud on the roads, switching to low gear can give you additional control over vehicle speed without having to accelerate or brake too quickly. Sudden acceleration or braking can cause the wheels to slip more and lose traction.

Rely on Land Rover Wilmington for More Automotive Tips

Land Rover Wilmington is a great resource for West Chester, PA drivers who want to stay more informed on vehicle ownership. Find out how often you should rotate your tires, or visit our service center to get your vehicle ready for off-roading.

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