With the advancements in technology and the automobile industry, it is absolutely no surprise that now we have a selection of cars drivers can choose from. Initially, people could only buy one type of car, the manual one with a stick shift gearbox. At that time, people had no other option other than juggle between handling the wheel and also simultaneously changing gears all the time while they are driving. Then came the automatic cars, the type of car where the driver did not have to keep changing gears, but the car would automatically do it when there would be a change in speed. With the invention of the automatic transmission, the clutch pedal vanished, and there were only the brake and the accelerator pedals where initially there were the three – clutch brake and accelerator. When people got comfortable and knew well about manual and automatic transmissions, then there came a third type of vehicle – the semi-automatic vehicle.
Most reputed driving schools offer an option to teach you how to drive all types of cars – be it manual, automatic or semi-automatic. At National Driving School in Dublin, you get the option to learn how to drive a semi-automatic car as well. National Driving School is the best school to learn how to drive in Dublin as they have a team of highly trained and skilled driving instructors who are also ADI approved. Students who sign up with National Driving School are more comfortable and confident in their driving skills and turn out to be more responsible drivers in the future.
What is a semi-automatic car?
A semi-automatic car is a car with what we call “semi-automatic transmission”. By semi-automatic transmission, we mean that the car has a regular manual stick gearbox, but like an automatic transmission car, it has no clutch pedal. So while it has the regular manual gearbox, you don’t have the clutch pedal. So you can say that you get the best of both worlds in a semi-automatic car.
Many would ask then, why shouldn’t one just go for a manual transmission car rather than a semi-automatic transmission car. Well, the reason is simple – with a semi-automatic transmission car, you can not only save fuel but also save more money! You also have one less foot pedal to worry about – no more clutch pedal! So if you want a simple yet cost-effective car, then a semi-automatic car may just be the perfect car for you. Another feature which makes the semi-automatic transmission such an absolute winner is that while in a manual car uses actual cables and pipes to change from one gear to another, a semi-automatic transmission car has computers and actuators handling all the gear changes for you. So while you will have to use your arm to switch from one gear to another, you would not require as much force or effort as a manual car. So it does simplify the process a lot.
How to drive a semi-automatic car?
In this part of the article, we are going to break down the process of driving a semi-automatic car in the simplest point-by-point format.
- Just like you start any other car, you just have to put the key in the ignition. That’s how you start your semi-automatic car.
- Now you have to step on the brake pedal before you remove your car from the Park mode and switch gears so that you can start driving your car.
- Now while you are pressing down on the brake, move the gearbox to the first gear.
- Now that you have changed the gear, you must slowly release the brake pedal and press down on the gas or the accelerator.
- When you want to slow down or stop your car, you need to lift your foot off the gas pedal and hit the brake. Your car will now start to slow down and ultimately come to a halt.
- Once your car has stopped, you can move your car to the neutral mode.
- When you have to reverse your car, you need to move the gearbox of your car to the Reverse mode. Once it is on the reversing mode, you can now use the rearview mirror to see if your path is clear and slowly start reversing your car.
- When you are parking your car, make sure you change the gear to the park mode when your car is in the desired spot. Once you have parked, you can turn the engine off by switching off the ignition and taking the key out.
What are the advantages of a semi-automatic car?
- You end up saving a lot of gas and money when you are able to manually change the gears yourself
- When you are changing from one gear to another, the shift is a lot smoother since all the mechanical parts of the semi-automatic gearbox have been computerized, simplifying the process a lot.
- The torque converters will no longer experience any type of slippage
- You will not waste any energy and will save more energy while you are changing from one gear to another.
- Semi-automatic cars are the best blend of two worlds – of manual cars and of automatic cars
What are the disadvantages of a semi-automatic car?
- Semi-automatic cars are more expensive than manual cars
- Semi-automatic cars may require a lot of maintenance