The early gear systems were too crude and limited in their use with most vehicles coming with a 3-speed gearbox. Now, with the advancement, gearboxes have become more and more complex and sophisticated. Gear systems were introduced so that the power of the vehicle becomes usable to users of different kinds. Every gear has its own significance and impact on the speed of the vehicle.
If you have a car with a manual gearbox, you must have seen a pattern on top of the gearbox mentioning the position of all the gears. The 1st gear is used solely(mostly) for initiating the drive and the 2nd gear is used for ambling around in heavy traffic conditions. The rest of the gears (apart from R or reverse gear) are used for higher speed. It is often observed that people have a doubt about gear number 2. Let us discuss the meaning of “2” in the vehicle’s gearbox at length.
The number 2 written on the gearbox signifies gear number 2 and it is either used for slow speeds or steep inclines. The gear is bigger in size than gear number 2 but smaller than all the other gears. The smaller the gear, the more is the torque or the pulling power and the less is the speed of the vehicle.
Some Important FAQs:
1) What do “2” and “L” mean on an automatic car?
Automatic gear tops have generally 4 letters which symbolize as below:
- D for Drive: Further D has a minimum of 4 gears to traverse through different speeds of the vehicle. D1 is also referred to as gear number 1, D2 is also referred to as gear number 2 and so on.
- N for Neutral.
- R for Reverse
- M for Manual mode.
- L for Low range mode: Some cars also have a Low range or L mode which is used in offroad conditions.
2) When to use gear 2 in automatic?
We do not need to change gears in automatic gearboxes. You only need to put the gearbox on D mode and then the vehicle will automatically change the gears according to the usage. However, most automatics come with an M or Manual mode. After switching to the Manual mode, you either have the option to change gears with the paddle shifters present near the steering or by toggling the gearbox up and down.
In Manual mode, shift up the gear from 1 to 2 which should be used in slow-moving traffic, or in the hilly regions. However, if the vehicle is in a stand-still position, it might stall and turn off the engine in gear 2.
3) What does step 2 mean in cars?
Steps are used in CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) type automatic gearboxes. There are no gears but steps in this system. Step 2 can be described as similar to gear number 2 in other types of gearboxes.
Gearboxes were always aimed to deliver diverse usability to different kinds of drivers but engineers outdid themselves to design super smooth modern gearboxes which almost compels us to think twice whether there are gearshifts going on or not. Gear 1 is used to put the car in motion, gear 2 is used at slow driving speeds and higher-numbered gears are used for higher speeds. Using the right gear at the right speed and condition is paramount for a smooth ride.
I have been noticing a few doubts regarding gear number and gear number 2 in particular. Hopefully, I was able to clear the doubts regarding gear 2 and there is no more confusion regarding gear 2 or any other gear for that matter after reading this article. So, folks always remember to shift the gears timely in order to ensure the smooth working of the gearbox of your vehicle.