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offthewall

Automatic advice

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Hello all,

First post here.
After 45 years of driving in all types of vehicles both for leisure and professionally I finally succumbed to the pressure of arthritis knees and am getting an auto.

Should be collecting at the weekend a 2011 Fiesta Titanium 1.4 Auto.

In all those years I have never driven an automatic apart from once, for a few miles, so would like any user tips on methods and practices to use or avoid.
Same goes for Cruise Control.
Been looking through the handbook and can't really follow how and when I might use the M+ and - manual override.
Any constructive advice would be welcome.

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Don't bother with manual override.   Just put it in 'Drive' and leave gear selection to the car.

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Autos you will quickly find how easier they are to manuals and how little you need to do. Obviously use just your right foot to operate the pedals. You will break the gearbox if you brake and accelerate at the same time with both feet. My dad changed to an auto as he's getting older and I've found your a bit more relaxed when driving. 

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Manual override is most often used when you need engine braking, such as steep descents. You use the transmission to ensure the engine provides compression braking in the same way as you use a manual. 

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47 minutes ago, ThaiFiesta said:

Manual override is most often used when you need engine braking, such as steep descents. You use the transmission to ensure the engine provides compression braking in the same way as you use a manual. 

Thanks. That is the sort of thing I was looking for. I would have presumed that but, without trying it, would probably be a bit wary in case I messed something up.
I take it, under that circumstance, I would knock the shift over towards me then move M towards minus?  Like changing down in a manual?
Other situations could include a higher notch when needing traction for snow?

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5 hours ago, offthewall said:

Thanks. That is the sort of thing I was looking for. I would have presumed that but, without trying it, would probably be a bit wary in case I messed something up.
I take it, under that circumstance, I would knock the shift over towards me then move M towards minus?  Like changing down in a manual?
Other situations could include a higher notch when needing traction for snow?

Yes that's exactly right. 

Also useful if you're towing and, depending  on your driving style and how much it "kicks down", for accelerating when overtaking. 

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strap you left foot to the floor (metaphorically speaking). It is likely you will whack your left foot down instinctively when coming to a stop at a junction like you are declutching and you might catch your left foot on the edge of the brake pedal when doing this which will cause very sudden braking. Due to all of the automatics I have driven having big wide brake pedals which protrude into the area where your left foot would be  - are the brake pedals on automatics still like that?  I have not driven a newer automatic so don't know for sure.

A pic of a wide brake pedal on an automatic

stock-photo-focus-of-brake-pedal-of-auto

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37 minutes ago, isetta said:

strap you left foot to the floor (metaphorically speaking). It is likely you will whack your left foot down instinctively when coming to a stop at a junction like you are declutching and you might catch your left foot on the edge of the brake pedal when doing this which will cause very sudden braking. Due to all of the automatics I have driven having big wide brake pedals which protrude into the area where your left foot would be  - are the brake pedals on automatics still like that?  I have not driven a newer automatic so don't know for sure.

A pic of a wide brake pedal on an automatic

 

Yes the Fiesta is like that. Worth having a decent left foot rest or "dead pedal" if your model doesn't come with one. Plenty on eBay and AliExpress, even fancy Fiesta branded ones. 

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Until you get used to driving an automatic just tuck your left foot behind your right heel.
I did this when living in America and after a couple of weeks I lost the instinctive tendency to move my left foot at all.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

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i drove auto in the us too for 2 weeks, get used it quite quickly. trouble was when back in uk airport car park it seemed strange with manual gearbox, clutch and steering wheel on the right. 

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Thanks for all your comments and observations.

Collected the car on Friday and seem to have slipped straight into the 'left leg out of the way' pattern without too much bother.
All seems to be going well.
Have a long trip in a couple of weeks so that will be the real test, especially the cruise control.
My first quick try out of this had me a bit baffled as the handbook is so sketchy on how to use it.
I was expecting to get something on the display to indicate a selected speed but, eventually, discovered that you have to actually reach a desired speed and then switch it on!
There seem to be so many issues where the handbook is a bit hit-and-miss. Would have expected a company like Ford to be more on the ball with this sort of thing.

Anyway ... thanks again. Any further tips are welcome.

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