What does D3, D2, D1, mean in Automatic cars?

I've owned only Manual transmission cars all my life; just got my first automatic. I know the first D puts you in Drive, but what does D3, D2, D1 really do or mean. I know it has to do with weather condition and hill climbing or something. Please advise. I'm just hoping to get answer from you guys before actually sitting down and read the literature

And for those of us that just reads and gives nothing but harsh responses, please stir clear and don't waste your time.

Respectfully submitted.

7 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    D3, D2, and D1 are just different settings that allow you to control the shifting of the gears to some degree. In D1, the car stays in first gear only. In D2, the car can shift back and forth from first gear to second gear but that's all. So, logically, D3 allows the car to switch at will between first, second, and third gears. For the most part, it's best to leave a car with an automatic transmission in drive because the car has a computer that figures out which gear the car really needs to be in given the conditions (grade of the road, rate of acceleration, etc). However, if you want to go to manual shift, just use the shifter as you would in a stick-shift. Start in D1, shift up to D2 when you want to go into second gear, then D3 for third gear, and back into drive to engage the 4-speed overdrive. Make sense?

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  • 1 decade ago

    D1, D2, D3 is just a way to make your car kind of like a manual transmission. If you put your car into D1, it will put it into a low gear and keep it there. D2 is probably a slightly higher gear than D1 and so on. These gears are good if you are going up large hills or in snow so you can keep your car in a lower gear without it automatically shifting. Personally, I never really used them.

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  • teeter
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    D1 Gear

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It is the transmission 1st 2nd and 3rd gears. You can drive an automatic manual if you really want, but it is used going down hills to prevent the wear and tear on your brakes. Just slowing your vehicle down using the transmission....

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  • 1 decade ago

    D1 IS 1ST GEAR

    D2 IS 2ND

    D3 IS 3RD

    D IS OVERDRIVE

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  • 6 years ago

    and what about the plus (+) and minus (-) signs on the transmission..??

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    thanks to each and everyone of you for the replies!

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