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What Does S And B Mean In A Car?

Looking at the car with many acronyms, do you understand all of their meaning? For example, there are some letters which are written on the gear, what is the S gear? Or what is the B on the gear shift? Here is the answer!

What Does S and B Mean In A Car?

1. What Does S Mean?

Look at the car gear, you will see the list of abbreviations and S is one of them. You may wonder what does the S stand for on the gear shift. And many people think that the S on the gear shift stands for Speed, but actually, the S stands for Sport. Since CVT gearbox has virtually infinite ratios, in S mode, the ECM of the car adjusts the transmission to provide the best acceleration when the throttle is pressed hard. Therefore it is possible for the car to hold the gears longer than what it does in D position for more power. If you feel a little sportier, put your car in S and see how the car responds to throttle and gear changes. But pay attention that you will hurt your fuel economy.

what is the s gear
And many people think that the S on the gear shift stands for Speed, but actually, the S stands for Sport. (Source: the verge)

2. What Does B Mean In A Car?

The S stands for Speed, so how about the B? The B means Brake or engine brake in your gear shift. When you are going down on the gradient road, it is recommended to shift the car in B mode. It engages the engine braking, and your car won’t free-fall down the slopes and increase the entire drag. The B mode also helps to prevent your car brakes from overworking since it takes a major load off of them by helping the car to reduce the speed with gear ratios. If you go uphill roads, brake mode will help you to do it easily. It makes sure the car will not start to crawl back. So do not hesitate to use Brake when you go upward or downward. But you may find that your car does not have a B on the gear shift because you own Toyota cars. It will write L instead of B.

s on gear shift
The B means Brake or engine brake in your gear shift. (Source: quora)

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How About Other Letters On Gear Shift?

1. The P Letter On The Gear Shift

The “P” on an automatic transmission stands for the PARK setting. When the gear shifter is in park, the transmission ‘gears’ are locked, which restricts the wheels from being able to spin forward or backward. The park or P mode locks the transmission mechanically thus restricts the movement of the car in any direction. In Drive mode the transmission will automatically shift through all the gears. In 2nd gear (2 or L2) mode transmission will only shift from Low to 2nd gear.

2. The R Letter On The Gear Shift

The “R” stands for Reverse, or the gear selected to drive the vehicle backward. Reverse gear is represented on the gear lever by the letter ‘R’. It can be in a different position depending on the model of car that you’re driving. When you shift the gear lever from P to R, the automatic transmission’s reverse gear is engaged. It spins the drive shaft backward, allowing the drive wheels to spin in ‘reverse’.

3. The N Letter On The Gear Shift

N stands for neutral. In some cars, you have to shift to neutral mode with the engine warmed up to get an accurate reading of the fluid level in the transmission. One more use for N, when the vehicle won’t start in park, put it in neutral to see if the issue is the park/neutral safety switch.

In some cars, you have to shift to neutral mode with the engine warmed up to get an accurate reading of the fluid level in the transmission. (Source: Carput)

Common Question About S and B Mode On The Car

1. Why does my car have P, R, N, D, 4, 3, 2, 1 instead of P, N, D, S, L, R?

It’s because you own a new model car. When there were only three gears available, D meant the transmission would shift through all the forward gears depending on speed, load, etc. S meant the transmission would shift through only first and second forward gears depending on speed, load, etc. L meant the transmission would lock in first.

2. Can you shift from drive to L (B) in automatic transmission while running?

The Brake mode forces your transmission to use a lower gear. If your gearbox is in a higher gear, it will shift down. If your gearbox is in a lower gear, shifting to L will prevent the gearbox from using higher gears. The engine revs higher. It accelerates better. When you put your foot off the pedal, the engine brake effect is stronger – the car slows down.

3. Will using my car’s “sport” mode most of the time prematurely wear out my engine or automatic transmission?

Generally speaking, the harder you drive a car the faster its parts wear out. However, everything is relative. If you use sport mode where it makes sense and don’t stand on the gas, then try to stomp the brakes through the floor, it won’t make a difference in wear on the vehicle. If you push the hell out of it and beat on the car, it definitely will.

Sum Up

The S and the B stand for Sport and Brake on the gear shift as we mentioned above. Each of them has its own function. Beside, there are some other letters on the gear shift such as P, R, N… Read more articles about industry knowledge to better understand your car model.