With increase in number of vehicles and traffic jams on the road, the demand for automatics has seen a rise. Even now, there are many car users who are getting used to the two pedal driving method. We have often come across people who drive automatic cars in the wrong manner. We have written about wrong habits automatic car owners do in the past. Here we have something different that many of you might find interesting and useful during your daily commutes. What should one choose on gear selector if you are waiting at the traffic signal in an automatic car?


We will start with the most affordable and simplest form of automatic transmission, the AMT. Almost all the mass-segment cars in the market are available with this type of automatic gearbox. AMT is actually a manual transmission with an automatic clutch and gear shift operation. When the car comes to a stop at a traffic signal, the gearbox automatically downshifts to the first gear so that the car can crawl properly in slow moving traffic. If you keep the brakes engaged for long at traffic signals, it would put more pressure on the transmission and will also wear the brakes quicker. It is recommended to shift to ‘N’ and engage the parking brake just like what you do in a manual transmission car.


This type of transmission is a little forgiving. If you are stuck at a traffic signal for a short period of time, it is not recommended to shift to P or N as it won’t do much harm to the transmission. It also does not put too much pressure on the brakes as well. If the waiting time at the traffic signal is anything above 30 seconds or 1 minute, it would be a good idea to shift the gear lever from D to Park or Neutral and engage the parking brake.



All the cars that come with CVT gearbox have this tendency to go ahead as soon as you release the brake. This is because, it comes with creep function. This once again puts unnecessary pressure on the brakes of the car. In many cases, if you shift to Parking mode, the door unlocks as the car thinks that the driver is preparing to get out of the car. In order to avoid such confusions, it is always a good option to shift to Neutral and engage the parking brake.



DCT or dual-clutch transmission is one of the most advanced automatic transmission. One of the major issues in this type of transmission is that they tend to overheat during slow-moving traffic or long traffic jams. Many car owners who have a car with DCT gearbox have faced this issue and we have reported the same on our website too. The transmission won’t heat up if you are waiting at a traffic signal 1-2 minute long but, it is always recommended to shift the car to neutral and take off the pressure from the transmission. The transmission would cool down as long as the engine is running and once the traffic starts moving, the driver can use the car without getting any overheating issues.

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