Most Americans drive an automatic. If you do, then you know the basic settings of your gear shift. There’s Park, Reverse, Drive, and Neutral. But what’s the “L”? Here’s an explainer.

What does it mean?

The “L” starts for Low, or Low Gear. It holds your automatic transmission in its lowest gear for certain situations. You can only find the “L” in an automatic. And some newer cars don’t have it.

When do I use it?

This setting is good for climbing hills. It minimizes the stress on your engine when you’re driving up a steep grade. Low is also good for descending hills. It reduces your brake wear because it lets the resistance of your engine slow your vehicle. And, it’s good for towing heavy loads. It gives you added torque for more pulling power, and to reduce the strain on your engine.

Alternatives to Low Gear

Your car might not have a Low setting. It could have a Manual mode, or “M.” That allows you to shift gears manually for added control. Or you have Tow/Haul Mode. This is, of course, for pulling a trailer. It delays your shifts to make the engine rev higher. That adds muscle and keeps you from damaging your transmission. Some older cars also have D1, D2, D3, or 1, 2, 3 settings, or O/D Off mode.

Buy a New Vehicle in Forest Lake, MN

You might be in the market for a new automatic car. Or you want a manual. We have both options here in Forest Lake, MN. Check out our full stock of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles online. Or see them in person at our showroom. We also sell used vehicles. Our prices are unbeatable. And we always have the best specials. Plus, if you finance through us, you get our free Lifetime Powertrain Warranty. Our dealer serves all areas, from North Branch to St. Paul. So visit us today!

We ship anywhere in the United States.

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*To qualify for the Lifetime Powertrain Warranty the purchaser must select a qualifying vehicle and finance that vehicle with Forest Lake Chrysler Dodge Jeep & Ram.