Automated Manual Transmission gearbox or simply AMTs are getting increasingly popular in India because, in a way, they give you the best of both worlds, that is – the control of a manual gearbox when you need it and the convenience of a fully automatic transmission.
It was derived from the holy world of Formula 1 and was made available on road going cars by the likes of Ferrari. Now, it is available in affordable passenger cars like the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10. Interestingly, Maruti Suzuki was also the first automaker to introduce AMT, or as they call it – AGS, into the hatchback segment in India with the Celerio. So we decided to take one of the most affordable AMT in the country and have put together a list of things to keep in mind while driving an AMT transmission car.
Use Your right foot to moderate the brake and clutch.
Your left foot is ‘dead foot’. It is preferred to use your right foot to use the accelerator and the brake for better moderation, especially for those who have learned driving in a manual transmission car.
Do not 'Launch' your car
Never try to ‘launch’ your car by revving the engine before you put it into drive. It puts unnecessary pressure on the drivetrain as the engine is spinning at a far higher rate as compared to the transmission when the clutch action is completed. This puts a lot of pressure on the drivetrain components and you don't want to be doing that as the fix could be expensive.
The 'Creep' Functionality
Modern AMT gearboxes come with a ‘creep’ functionality built into them that rolls off the car from a standstill for you by itself, making it almost impossible to stall the car. This might be a really convenient feature as you don't have to fiddle around with getting the moderation of accelerator and clutch for a smooth start-off, but you should not rely on it completely. Give it a bit of gas with a slight nudge on the accelerator after the car begins to roll away so that you can ease off the pressure on the drivetrain.
Do not coast in 'Drive' mode
When the car is not in motion, like for example when you are at a traffic stop, make sure you put it into ‘N’ or neutral. As when the car is in 'D' or Drive, the creep functionality would trying to do its job but then you would be stopping it from doing so as you would have your foot on the brakes, this causes unnecessary wear and tear of the parts. Hence, it is best to coast in 'N' or Neutral when your car is stationary.
Based on the rising trend for AMTs in India, they are here to stay. So next time when you’re driving an AMT-driven car like an Alto or a Ferrari, you know what to do.