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Unread 02-27-2011, 02:24 PM   #1
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Default How to Use PRND3L Effectively

Hey all, I got myself a 1995 Chrysler Cirrus which gets me back on the road after a long absence.

We had a snowstorm the other day and the roads were really slick so I put it down into L to get around because I find that helps with traction and deceleration.

That got me thinking though, what uses does 3rd have? Also I've never really found a use for Neutral either but if they put it on the car I'm assuming it must have some use. I know its used for towing but are there any driving situations it's useful in?

I'm just wondering how I can use the little used gears effectively to help me with control in bad weather and also with gas mileage in good weather. I've seen articles about using only L in 30MPH/50KPH zones, Using 3 to overtake, etc but I just thought I'd bring my questions here because I've always gotten good advice here in the past.

Thanks for your time,
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Unread 02-27-2011, 02:39 PM   #2
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three is third gear. 2 is 2nd gear, 1 is first gear. it's mostly for the snow. Neutral is for towing, or idling if the vehicle is manual.
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Unread 02-27-2011, 02:56 PM   #3
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Drive does just that, shifts all the way through overdrive for you. On trucks, using 3rd is mainly for pulling something up a hill so you're further in the powerband and the torque converter is unlocked. On cars it just unlocks the torque converter and allows you greater control of the car. 2/1 and low are again, just for greater control of the car or even more towing for trucks.
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Unread 02-27-2011, 08:20 PM   #4
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In my crapvan I use 3 going down hills so I don't have to ride the brakes. Works great when the transmission actually kicks out of 4th....


As for using it to overtake, don't. Just floor it. Your gearbox should kick down into second or third as needed on it's own. On your car being able to select individual gears is only there to give you greater control of traction, and a bit of engine braking going down long, steep hills.
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Unread 02-27-2011, 09:17 PM   #5
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What kenny said. It'll drop a gear or 3 if you drop the hammer. I don't think i've ever put the Grand Prix or Bonneville in anything but OD...but the Silvy and Blazer i put in D or 3rd if i'm pulling. In the Silverado when plowing i only use R and 1, because otherwise it'll try and shift to second sometimes, which is just going to put extra wear.
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Unread 02-28-2011, 07:39 AM   #6
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if its slick i put my truck in 3 to drive on the streets. 2 if its to slick when im trying to get out of my neighborhood. and 1 when i have to get up my brothers driveway. other then that it stays in od
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Unread 02-28-2011, 09:37 AM   #7
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Endo, you never pull anything?
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Unread 02-28-2011, 11:00 AM   #8
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Endo, you never pull anything?
only a few times. which i used 3. but i try not to volenter my truck for towing.
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Unread 02-28-2011, 11:57 AM   #9
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Be careful down shifting in snow for "more traction."

Lower gears = higher RPMs, which generally means more power, which means you're relying on MORE traction, not less traction.

Its good for slowing down without using the brakes too much, but for accelerating you're safer using higher gears (which you can't do in an automatic, it will usually down shift no matter what your gear selector is in).
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Unread 02-28-2011, 07:44 PM   #10
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If you are getting the urge to shift on snow you're going too fast. It's that simple.
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My rigs:

1985 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci OHV inline six | 4-speed OD manual | 310K | No power brakes | Running 100% - It hasn't driven this good in 15 years!

1984 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci six | granny four | 3.55 rear end | 210K | Brakes shot. Rear drums are doing most of the work. Not fit to drive due to that.
1997 Ford Explorer XLT | 4.0L Vulcan V6 | 5-speed automatic | shift-on-the-fly 4WD | 210,000 miles | Running 95% - Needs brakes on all four corners + bald tires
1989 Ford F150 | 300cid six...again | 5-speed | 4x4 | 160K | Needs brakes done as well. Oi!

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