The Function of the ‘L’ in a Car Gearbox & Why S’poreans Won’t Need It

Image: Nattanan Boontub / Shutterstock.com

Drivers, some of you have been driving for years while others, for months. There’s a certain gear on our gearbox that we Singaporeans don’t have to use.

Yes, we’re talking about L. Have you ever wondered what the “L” stands for in your car gearbox?

Well, look no further. Read on!

The L in our Prindle–yes PRNDL, pronounced as “Prindle” among automobile personnel and engineers–stands for Low. When driving an automatic transmission car on “Drive” (D), the automatic transmission will shift through the gears as your speed increases.

If your gear is set to Low, or L, there will be no shifts in the transmission. Your car remains in low gear mode, and less fuel goes into the engine. Which means your car gets slower. But as Singaporeans in this fast-paced society, why the hell would we want to go slow, right?

When we set the gear to L, speed is compromised for engine torque where your engine gains in power while speed decreases. A high engine torque is only useful when you are towing something with your vehicle so that less stress will be placed on the engine. Can you imagine yourself having to tow something with your precious Toyota?

L is also useful when you’re driving up a steep hill, and honestly, there’s no hill tall enough in Singapore to pose a challenge to your car. When you’re driving up a steep plane, your engine needs all the power it can get to fight past gravity. Lastly, shifting to low gear is useful when you are driving on snow or icy roads, which…is actually totally useless in Singapore.

However, it is important to understand all the gears on your car, their purposes, and how to use them properly, in order to utilise your car at its maximum capacity. Who knows?

One day you might be towing a trailer uphill during a holiday, or that Singapore might even snow. Just kidding.

Now you’ve become smarter. Remember to check back tomorrow in the Goody Feed app for a new Fact of the Day!