Your car’s gearshift has several letters that signify different transmission settings. Girlfriend probably currently know what many of these letters mean, but your vehicle might have an additional setting you only rarely, if ever, use: “L.” Let’s break down what “L” means on a car’s gearshift.

You are watching: What does the l mean in prndl


Your Vehicle’s Gearshift – one Overview

A car’s gearshift is a an essential component for the transmission: the major car component that “transmits'' engine power and torque deserve to be supplied by her car's wheels to develop motion. This days, most people drive v cars featuring automatic transmissions that can easily detect, v sensors, what equipment is required for the current situation and also driving conditions.

Here's a much more detailed failure of the transmission and its purpose:

Your engine runs and also simultaneously spins a part called the crankshaftThe crankshaft produces the strength your automobile needs to relocate its wheelsYour car’s automatic infection will adjust the gearshift and also transmit the crankshaft’s power at different levels of torqueThe much more torque the is created (and the reduced the gear), the much more power her wheels have and also the slow they turn

Your engine would become unruly if the transmission weren’t there to regulate the power it gives to your car’s wheels.

P, R, N, D, and also L – The Gears of an automatically Transmission

You’ve no doubt noticed that most vehicles have actually a gearshift control with the letters “P, R, N, S” and also “L.” These every indicate various states for her transmission and also correspond to assorted operational modes.

P represents parkR means reverseN means neutralD stands for drive

All that these modes are typically used because that one factor or another. Park is provided to save your automobile stationary, turning back is offered to ago up the vehicle, Neutral is used if you ever before need to press or pull your vehicle without the engine being engaged, and also Drive is provided for day-to-day travel movement.

So, What’s The “L” For?

While the above four transmission claims are the most typically used, some automobile manufacturers provide an “L” setup as well.

L means “low” gear, which equates to a gear setup of 1 or 2 (if friend know how to drive a hands-on transmission) in most vehicles.

When a vehicle is in short gear, the infection won't change normally. Instead, your transmission will remain in the short gear, leading to less fuel to get in the engine and also lowering your all at once motor power. In exchange, you'll get extr engine torque.

When you press down on your gas pedal, the engine will essentially administer your wheels v a little much more raw pressure instead the speed, which have the right to be beneficial under certain circumstances.

Does her Car change Into Low gear Automatically?

Yes. In fact, your car constantly passes through low equipment whenever you very first start the vehicle and slowly ramp up to higher speeds. Furthermore, your auto passes to and also back above low equipment whenever girlfriend park or protect against at a street intersection without turning the vehicle off.

Low gear is necessary so the your engine doesn't spin her wheels out of control and make you go too quickly for safe driving.

Cars v automatic transmissions take treatment of this procedure for you, so girlfriend don’t have to worry about shifting gears constantly if driving v city streets.

When must You use the “Low” setting on your Gearshift?

While one automatic transmission may shift you earlier down and over low gear without your input, some cars allow their chauffeurs to transition into low equipment manually. Yet why execute this?

There space some situations where you could need to usage your shortest gear and also take advantage of the extr torque it offers your wheels. For example, low equipment can be advantageous when:

You must tow trailers, vehicles, or boats. Remember, low equipment provides additional pulling or pushing power to your car. Note that you should constantly consult her car’s owner’s manual before using short gear since it will suggest a maximum safe rate that girlfriend shouldn’t cross.Driving with ice and also snow. When you transition to a short gear, your automobile will always drive more slowly and with an ext power, i beg your pardon can help your wheels grip the road under slippery conditions and prevent you from spinning the end of control.Driving up and also down hills, like as soon as traveling with the mountains. Steep inclines deserve to be difficult to surmount without putting too much stress on her engine if friend don't shift to low gear. Furthermore, low gear driving can be beneficial when descending a hill because you won't need to brake together hard.

See more: How Many Laps Is 800 Meters Swimming, How Long Is A Lap In An Olympic Pool

Wrap Up

Ultimately, the “L” setting on her gearshift is just one much more tool at hand to ensure safe driving and to make sure that you use your engine’s power as necessary based on her circumstances. Friend shouldn’t use low gear all the time, however you must familiarize yourself v your car’s procedure under low gear settings therefore that, when the time comes, you’re ready to use it come its preferably effect.