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What Does 2 Mean In a Car?

March 16, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

Modern automatic vehicles now have automatic gear selectors, making driving easier. So if you don’t know what 2 means in a car’s gear, this article is for you.

Previous car models feature drive, park, reverse, and neutral (PRND), while the latest models come with additional settings like “L,” “1,” “2,” “D3,” and “D4”. Remember that not all of these extra features will be available at once in a newer vehicle. For instance, the options “L” and “1” have the same meaning. Therefore, no car will come with both of them.

However, you’ll learn what 2 means in a car and how to use it in an automatic car.

To give you an idea, the “2” is simply the first two gear selections. It is mainly used when climbing downhill since it is relatively slow, but not as the “1” or “L” – 2 is the second gear.


What Does 2 Mean In A Car?

The “2” or ‘D2‘ gear option is only available on some newly unveiled automatic vehicles. You should have the “L,” “3“, and “4” alongside it on your gear selector.

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The L is equivalent to the first gear (1) and is the slowest, while the four or “D4” is the fastest.

The “3” settings, sometimes called “D3,” allow the car only to use the first three gears. The vehicle can only use the first four gears with the “4” or “D4” switch.

The first two gears are represented by the number 2 on your gear selector, which stops the car transmission from using higher gears. The “L” can use the first and second gear on some vehicles with the ‘L’ and ‘D3’ but without the “2” gear.

Application of 2 in an Automatic Car

Since the two gear isn’t as fast as the D3 or D4 gears, it is equivalent to the L gear in some cars.

Although you can use the L, 2, and D3 interchangeably if you own a high-power automatic car, here are scenarios where you’ll need to apply D2.

  • If you’re Climbing Downhill
  • When Towing another vehicle
  • When driving on slippery, and would need to reduce speed.
  • Best for Engine braking

You might wish to know when to use L gear in automatic autos if your vehicle lacks a 2-gear option. The L gear may replace your automated gear’s second gear.

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When driving uphill in a low-power automatic, you can utilize the “D3” to keep the transmission from changing out of third gear.

How to Apply the 2 Gears in Automatic Cars

Some automatic gearbox cars offer manual settings that let you choose the first, second, and third ratios by hand. P, R, and D with M by the side can be seen in such vehicles.

Depending on your speed, the car will automatically change gears for you when you manually put the gear selector in D. The gear selector must be moved to the M side if you want to switch between gears 1 through 3. On some cars, the letters plus (+) and minus (-) will be located above and below the letter M.

Start the car, choose the D mode, then slide it to M to utilize gear 1. The vehicle will engage gear 1 if you move the selection toward the minus sign. To engage gear 2, rev up the engine’s RPM and move the selector to the plus symbol.

To go to gear 3, use the same procedure. Reduce engine speed and move the selection to the negative sign to return to gear 2. Upshift and downshift in that order once again. Useful for visual clarification is this video.

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However, if your car lacks a manual mode, you’ll choose the “2” mode as you select the drive (D).

How Fast is the 2 Gear on an Automatic Car?

The 2nd gear is quite similar to the 1 or L gear because it doesn’t aid movement at a faster speed.

Although the 2 gear is faster than the L gear, it’s not ideal when climbing hills in a hurry.

2nd gear runs at a maximum speed of 69 mph (110km/h), making it ideal for climbing downhill, engine braking, or driving through slippery surfaces.

In Summary

In this article, you’ve got the “What does 2 mean in a car” query helping you understand your gear correctly.

In brief, Depending on your choice and the speed the vehicle is moving, automatic cars automatically change through the gears. As previously stated, gear 2 restricts the transmission to just being able to use the L, 1, and 2 gears.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.