Yaris Automatic Transmission

I bought a Toyota Yaris 2 weeks ago. When I bought it, the person I test drove with did not clearly explain the the functionalities of the
three lower gears (L, 2, 3) aside from the D. Never mind why, the guy had some kind of disability and plus I couldn't understand his English either.
I had been a Toyota Corrolla (automatic) driver for 10 years. Then I moved to Manhattan and didn't drive for about 5 years. About 15 years ago, I used to drive a Honda Civic stick shift. The Yaris seemed to me llike a halfway stick / automatic to me.
So I started driving in gear 3, which is vertically at the same level as D. To the right is D, to the left is 3. In fact, if you don't look in the dashboard , you can't tell whether you're in D or 3. This is not incrementally vertical automatic transmission as in Corolla.
Of course you'll know from the engine revving what gear you're in. Overdrive isn't possible from 3/2/L, only from D. But what is the point of having it right next to D? I drove about 200 miles in 3, and even in 2/L at speeds ranging from 25-65, before realizing I had better be in D. You can imagine my alarm when I switched to 1 and the engine revving and the RPM zooming all the way to the red zone. I hope I didn't do any damage.
Anyone else thrown off by this and the failure of the owner's manual to clearly explain the transmission system ("engine braking").
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The principle behind your new Yaris transmission is the same as for your automatic Corolla, and to a certain extent, in your Honda's transmission.
In your Yaris: D: - transmission shifts from first through 4th (overdrive). 3: - shifts from first through 3rd. 2: - shifts from 1st to 2nd. L: - stays in 1st.
The Yaris has a gated shifter, which allows the driver to choose gear ranges without having to look at the shifter once the driver becomes accustomed to the gate pattern.
I have not read the Yaris owner's manual so I really can't comment on whether the explanation is clear or not.
--

Ray O
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I haven't read the Scion owner's manual, so I don't know whether it was well or poorly written, but if you just bought the car two weeks ago, and are having trouble understanding the manual, I suggest you set aside some time and go to the dealership (who you just spent $X,000 with) and ask a salesman to sit down with you and run over all the items you don't understand. With your stated confusion about the transmission, it would behoove you to do this sooner rather than later, since it may save you a large repair bill for something you do that isn't covered by the warranty. Surely there is someone at the dealership who is a native English speaker, right?
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wrote:

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Good thing you did not put in "R" when you wanted to race. Run it in "D" and allow the tranny to select the proper gear as needed, WBMA, that is what it is designed to do
mike

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-- snip --
8) Back when I was a teen did that one time. OUCH!
I was driving a rented car with a automatic (my car was a 3 in the tree manual) along some road about 45 mph and crammed it in to R from the habbit of down shifting the manual.
Worse yet was that I was trying to rev the engine at some girls I knew walking along the road!
Talk about embarassing. The car skidded to a stop right in the middle of a main street, (and the laughing girls) with the shifter stuck in the R position.
I had to crawl under the car and free up the linkage before I could get out of there. Lucky for me that old chevy (chevelle maybe) transmission was still ok.
Dan
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wrote:

To reduce your confusion, leave it in D (drive). It is an automatic. Just keep pulling down from park and you will find that it stops in drive without looking. This is by design. That's why you have to shift to the left to get into the lower gears.
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Its to give you a more sporty transmission, you can just slap it back and forth. not much practicallity , just fun.

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