What Does 6 Speed Automatic Mean?

With the cut-edge of technology, the auto industry has introduced to the market many types of automatic transmissions with structures and principles suitable for operation and purpose of use also boosts the performance of the vehicle such as 5-speed automatic transmission, 6-speed automatic transmission, or 8-speed automatic transmission…In this topic, we will provide drivers with more information and knowledge about a type of automatic transmission that is quite popular today – the 6-speed automatic transmission. Let’s look deep down and find out What does 6 speed automatic mean? and how to use it.

What Does 6 Speed Automatic Mean?

A 6-speed automatic transmission is a car transmission equipped with 6 forward gear ratios (although there are many more actual, physical “gears” inside the transmission). Unlike manual transmissions, automatic transmissions can automatically shift gears based on the analysis of factors such as load, speed, and throttle position. The function of this type of transmission is to change the gear ratio of the engine rpm and the torque of the wheels like other gearboxes. The first 3 gears are operated as driving gears and are multiplied by the torque from your car engine. 5th and 6th gears like overdrive and they are mostly used when driving on the highway.

The role of these gears is to reduce engine rpm when the moving shaft rotates. With the corresponding 6-speed, the ECU will have more options to help the best balance between engine torque and wheel resistance. Thereby, helping drivers to easily perform manipulations like parking, reversing, and steering. Because it’s an automatic transmission, you don’t need to change gears, your car will do it for you, all you need to do is to drive your car. 

how to drive 6 speed automatic transmission
How to drive 6-speed automatic transmission (Photo: pinterest.com)

6 Speed Automatic Transmission: How Does It Work?

Principle  6-speed automatic transmission operates efficiently through the torque from the engine crankshaft to the hydraulic torque converter, from the torque converter to the transmission input shaft. At this time, the sensor signal from the electronic control unit will work, allowing the path to the clutches to be opened and closed. In order for the torque to be transmitted to the output shaft in the gearbox, the 2 clutches must be closed.

  • When your car moves forward: The gear clutch or the forward clutch corresponding to the vehicle speed will be closed.
  • In case the vehicle is kept in the neutral gear (N): Only the second clutch is closed, the forward clutch must be opened. This is the reason why torque cannot be transmitted to the output shaft of the gearbox.
  • The car moves backward: With a 6-speed automatic transmission consisting of 5 forward and 1 reverse gear, clutches 2 and 5 will close.

Compared to other types of gearboxes in general, the 6-speed automatic transmission possesses many outstanding advantages such as faster and smoother gear changes, fuel economy, significantly reduced risk of engine stalling, and easy control of your car even in crowded places.

>> Related post: What Is A 9-Speed Automatic Transmission?

How To Drive a 6-Speed Automatic Transmission?

Automatic transmissions are becoming more and more popular, so learning how to drive a 6-speed automatic transmission is a must before you let the car drive. Like other automatic transmission cars, 6-speed automatic transmission cars also use symbols on automatic transmissions as follows:

What is 6 speed automatic
6-speed automatic transmission is the most commonly used transmission type in vehicles currently (Photo: pinterest.com)

Meaning of the symbols on a 6-speed automatic transmission

N (Neutral): The function of this gear is to disconnect your engine from the wheels. You can use it when taking a break from driving or going downhill.

R (Reverse): Used when the driver wants to back up the car

P (Park): You can use this function when the vehicle is stopped or parked at one location for a long time.

D (Drive): This position sets your transmission to the drive gear. Using it when the driver wants to move forward.

M (Manual): You can shift gears manually and it helps the driver control the addition and subtraction of gears when passing or going up and downhill.

S (Sport): The letter “S” on the automatic transmission stands for sport mode. When switching to this mode, you will see the car’s RPM increase faster than usual and bring a more dynamic driving feeling.

L (Low): You shift this low gear when your car goes uphill or tows another vehicle. 

 ‘+/-: This icon indicates whether you should move up or down. 

How to use 6-speed automatic transmission?

Start a 6-speed automatic transmission car safely: 

If your car uses a key, turn the key clockwise and press the brake pedal to start the car. For vehicles equipped with a Start / Stop button, it will be simpler, just put the key near, and the driver presses the brake pedal, and touches the start button. Note, when starting a 6-speed automatic transmission car, the driver should remember to remember the position of the gear lever P, step on the foot brake and lower the handbrake if used before, before starting the engine.

Some models do not require the driver to step on the foot brake when starting. Moreover, it is possible to leave the gear lever in the N position when starting, but the driver should regularly use the P gear operation – step on the brake – start as a habit to ensure safety.

How to stop and park when using a 6-speed automatic car

To stop the vehicle, the driver needs to move the gear lever in position D, press the pedal quickly, and then apply the parking brake if necessary. In case the vehicle has to be stopped for a long time, the driver needs to shift the gear lever to position N or P.

Stop at the traffic light when driving an automatic transmission car

Driving when stopping at a red light can be flexible between the position of need N or D. Accordingly, many people have experience driving a 6-speed automatic transmission. When stopping at a red light, time short usually to position D, step on the brake, and release the brake when rolling.

>> Read more: Common 6-Speed DSG Transmission Problems You Might Not Know

Closing Thoughts: What Does 6 Speed Automatic Mean?

With features suitable for drivers, the 6-speed automatic transmission is the most commonly used transmission type in vehicles currently. When using a 6-speed automatic transmission, the driver can easily leave the car in position D. And skip touching the gear lever until you want to turn around or use or park. On the other hand, the gearshift speed of the 6-speed automatic transmission is also smoother than the 6-speed manual transmission. The gears are more nuanced than the 4-speed, 5-speed automatic transmission.