What does D3 mean in an automatic car?

Modern cars are more advanced with the automatic transmission system. Therefore, you may not use all the gears of your car frequently while driving.

If your knowledge of the braking system of a  car is limited within P-stands for Park, D-stands for Drive,  N-stands for Neutral, and R-stands for Reverse, you probably have to know a bit more about the D-3 gear.

So, what does the D3 gear mean in a car?

D3 simply stands for Drive-3 gear. Engaging the gear to D3 means the car’s braking system is locked to the third gear.

Even if your car is running on an automatic transmission system, engaging to the D3 gear will not move the gear to any other gear automatically.

That is why we call the D3 the most versatile gear of an automatic car.

D3 mean in an automatic car

Why the D3 gear is so versatile?

We call the D3 gear versatile because this particular gear engages one to three driving gears in a single place.

As a result, going down the hill or driving on a busy street will be much easier and more convenient than ever before.

At the same time, shifting to this particular gear will not allow the automatic transmission system to move the gear to another. As a result, you will have better control over the car. 

Shifting to the D3 gear means moving to the manual version of driving a car

When you are driving a car with an automatic transmission system, you do not need to think about a lot of things from changing gear to coping with the road conditions.

But there will appear some scenarios when you will need to go to the manual version of driving a car. That is when the Drive gear or more specifically, D2, D3, and D4 gear comes in handy.

Shifting to these particular gears just locks the gear position so that the driver gets to control the rpm and speed delivery of the car according to his preference.

That is why the Drive gears can really make you comfortable when driving in unprecedented road conditions. 

Your car is still automatic when you are shifting to the D3 gear

One confusion that arises when talking about the D3 gear is that D3 gear only locks the gear position to the third gear but does not move to the other gears. 

The truth is that shifting to the D3 gear means your car will use the gears from first to the third according to the road condition where the third gear is the highest possible boundary that the gear shifter can move.

That means the car still runs on the automatic transmission mode.

The only difference is that instead of moving to all the gears, the gear shifter will go to the forward drive mode and will shift the gear from the first to the third through the hydraulics of the car according to the preference.

When should you use the D3 gear?

Not all automatic cars that you see on the street come with the D3 gear. The cars that come with D3 gear can be really handy in typical road conditions. 

What are the benefits of using D3 gear?

Well, here are the top five scenarios where the D3 gear can be really versatile to give you a wholesome experience-

  • First of all, D3 gear works most efficiently when you are driving down or up the hill.
  • Second of all, on a typical snowy day, driving the car on a D3 gear can be lifesaving.
  • Moreover, cruising, hauling, and carrying something heavy on your car can be easier with the D3 gear shifter.
  • Another ideal benefit of using the D3 is when you need to rotate the gear constantly while driving in unprecedented road conditions.
  • Finally, driving the car in a busy road condition will be much easier when you are driving with the D3 gear.

Driving an automatic car

Unlike a manual car, driving an automatic car is much more convenient and easier. When you need to be much more skillful to drive a manual car, honing the skill of an automatic car is much easier.

Here are some of the basic things that will help you to drive an automatic car better-

P (Park) Gear

The P or Park gear will prevent your car from moving forward or backward.

This gear comes into effect when you want to start the engine of the vehicle or park it in a certain position.

R (Reverse) Gear

R or Reverse is another basic gear shifter. Shifting to this particular gear will allow your car to take in the backward direction.

N (Neutral) Gear

The N or Neutral gear in an automatic car simply means that the car will simply run on the previous gear that you have used and will not accelerate the gear from that certain speed point.

D (Drive) Gear

The D or Drive gear in an automatic car simply refers to the forward driving mode.

While all the other gears are only limited to only one gear variation, this particular gear is limited to multiple positions.

Here are some of the variations you may notice that is related to the D or drive mode of the car-

L or low-

The L or low gear mode refers to the first gear of the car. In this gear position, your car engine produces the least rpm and runs at a really slow speed.

Second gear or D2-

The D2 refers to the second gear in forward-drive mode. Engaging in this gear will move your car a little faster than the first gear.

D3 and third gear-

Two scenarios might happen when you engage the gear shifter to this gear position.

The hydraulics of the car can either lock the gear to the third gear position in the forward-driving mode of the car or it can fluctuate from the first gear to the third gear of the system according to the road condition automatically.

D4 and fourth gear:

If you have a five-speed automatic transmission car, you may notice the D4 gear on your car.

The theory remains the same for the D4 gear as well.

The system will either lock the gear to the fourth forward driving gear it will rotate the gear constantly from the first to the fourth gear according to the road condition.

S (sport) Gear

Another gear you might notice on most automatic cars is the S or Sport gear.

If you want to get a more dynamic feel while driving the car, this gear might give access to your full potential.

Automatic cars have reduced the number of car accidents dramatically. It is indeed true that in auto mode, the car will shift the gear just perfectly.  But still, learning about the basics of driving an automatic car will make you more productive and efficient on the road.

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