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405 NJ-17, Paramus, NJ, 07652

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Dealership Info

Phone Numbers:Sales Hours:
  • Mon - Thu9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Fri - Sat9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • SunClosed
Service Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sat8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • SunClosed
Parts Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Sat - SunClosed

Understanding When to Use Low Gear

close up of hand on manual gear shift knob

Switching to low gear reduces the amount of fuel reaching your engine, resulting in reduced engine speeds and higher torque output. Even if you’ve got the basics down, understanding when to make the switch is another matter entirely. Here’s when to use low gear:

  1. While towing heavy cargo
  2. When ascending or descending a steep incline

Now that that’s out of the way, keep reading to get a better sense of how to use low gear in real-world situations. In no time at all, you’ll be able to head out on the backroads of Ridgewood and Jersey City with confidence.

What is Low Gear in a Car?

Low gear (or first gear, in some cases) is a driving mode offered with both manual and automatic transmissions. Here, the ratio between the engine gear and the wheels themselves is lowest; higher ratios correspond to higher numbers on your gearshift. 

In general, you’ll want to keep this rule of thumb in mind: the lower the gear, the more power you have available. The higher the gear, the faster your engine runs! With both manual and automatic transmissions, you’ll generally move from lower to higher gears as you accelerate. Knowing when to do just the opposite can help you stay in control in all situations.

When to Use Low Gear

So, what is low gear good for, anyways? Many drivers with automatic transmissions never switch into low gear at all because they don’t know what the setting does. As we noted above, those who plan on doing a lot of towing, off-roading, or adventuring shouldn’t make the same mistake! 

Here, we’ve collected a few tips to help you make the most of low gear when you’re hitting the trails:

  1. When you shift out of park, your vehicle starts in low gear. This helps you get up to speed, even if you’re pulling a trailer or a lot of heavy cargo.
  2. Staying in low gear while you tow can help you exercise more control over your cargo. Slower acceleration is a small price to pay for a safer journey.
  3. Shifting into low gear when you’re ascending a steep hill helps to reduce wear and tear on your engine.
  4. Shifting into low gear when you’re descending an incline reduces strain on your transmission. Since you’ll slow down automatically, you’ll also reduce the strain on your brakes!

Remember, your transmission will only work as intended if you have enough transmission fluid in your vehicle.

How to Use Low Gear: Manual vs. Automatic Transmissions

Still not sure of how to use low gear? Automatic transmissions will automatically move into lower gears as you slow down, although many also include a dedicated “low” setting that prevents unintended shifts. Manual transmissions are of course controlled by hand; if you’re not shifting up, just remember to keep your speed in the low range! 

Go Anywhere with Land Rover Paramus!

If you’re planning to take your Land Rover off-road near Fort Lee, everything you see above still applies! Most drivers tend to stay in a lower gear when they’re traversing the trails, anyway. While you’re here, explore our off-roading SUV checklist and our guide to choosing the best off-road tires to make sure you’re prepared for anything that comes your way.

Land Rover Paramus 40.9489573, -74.0731194.