Hand on Gear Shift

When to Use Low Gear

If you’ve ever wondered when to use low gear, or asked yourself, “What is low gear in a car?” we can tell you that you’re not alone. Many Bloomington, Morton, Peoria drivers wonder what low gear in an automatic car is but the answer isn’t as complicated as you might think. In spite of the fact that almost all vehicles with automatic transmissions offer a low gear, many don’t know exactly what it is, or what its purpose might be. Don’t fret: our team at Sam Leman Automotive Group is here and happy to help give our drivers all the information they need to know.

What is Low Gear in a Car?

If you’ve ever been told that you should downshift into a lower gear, your first reaction may have been one of confusion. After all, your transmission is an automatic! Low gear is a setting that can help reduce the amount of fuel used by your engine. By reducing your engine speed and subsequently increasing torque, low gear allows you to power over difficult obstacles or poor road conditions you may encounter on your drives through or .

When to Use Low Gear

You’ve now seen what is low gear in a car, and you might be eager to try it out. So you might be wondering when to use L gear in an automatic car. Or you’re curious, “What is low gear used for?”. And the answer to both questions are essentially the same. However, you should first know when to use low gear, and when to leave the setting alone. There are two main reasons why the driver of an automatic vehicle might switch to low gear:

  • Towing Heavy Cargo: If you’re towing a trailer, a boat, or another vehicle, you might need a little extra oomph to get moving. Naturally, you might not mind moving a little slower, so it makes perfect sense to ease off the gas pedal and start driving in low gear. The added torque from the lower gear lets you make the most of your vehicle’s power.
  • Driving at an Incline: Have you ever had trouble driving up a long, steep hill? If so, you probably should have allowed your transmission to downshift into low gear. Your engine will be working hard to move you up the incline, and the extra engine torque allows every burst of power to take you just a little bit further.
2023 Toyota Tundra Gear Shift

Low Gear vs High Gear

Now that you know what low gear is, how does it differ from high gear? The easiest way to remember how each gear functions:

  • The lower the gear, the more power available. This is used when you want engine power high and vehicle speed low.
  • The higher the gear, the faster the engine runs. This is used for traveling at fast speeds.

Visit Sam Leman Automotive Group to Learn More

The area near and is hardly known for its hills, but if you plan on towing any plus-sized loads, it’s a good idea to get some practice shifting to low gear first. It’ll give you a better sense of your limitations and capabilities. Searching for a new vehicle that can take you further? You’ll find plenty of powerful automatic cars, trucks, and SUVs right here in our new vehicle inventory.

For deeper, technical questions on when to use low gear, contact the experts at our service department. While you’re at it, you may want to find out how to use paddle shifters and when to replace spark plugs, too. We also would be happy to discuss the best diesel engines or the importance of the GVWR.

Parts & Service Specials From Sam Leman Automotive Group

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Sam Leman Automotive Group 40.4607752, -88.9687249.