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HomeTips & GuidesAutomatic Transmission Kick Down – Does it Assist in Overtaking?

Automatic Transmission Kick Down – Does it Assist in Overtaking?

Do you know the function of the automatic transmission kick down? If you drive an automatic transmission vehicle, this property can significantly assist you, especially when overtaking. 

We invite you to find other scenarios when you can activate this mode while driving. Also, we’ll explain how this feature works. 

What is Kickdown in an Automatic Car?

It is a driving mode exclusive to automatic vehicles that, after engaging, gives your auto the maximum RPM and acceleration. Noteworthy, if you drive an automatic transmission vehicle, you can easily identify the kick-down button below the accelerator pedal. 

Therefore, to engage in this mode, you have to press the gas pedal to the floor so that it triggers the kick-down button. The other key feature of this mode is that it’s unavailable in continuously variable transmission (CVT) vehicles. 

What instances require the kickdown mode activation?

Kick Down Button Pressing. 

Kick Down Button Pressing. 

The general rule is to activate the kick-down when looking for more power or acceleration. Therefore, we recommend you apply it if you want to realize the following outcomes: 


One car overtakes another on the street.

One car overtakes another on the street.

When you want to overtake, especially in tight situations, you will require a mode that gives you instance acceleration. 

You only need to press the accelerator pedal to the floor firmly, and the car picks up maximum acceleration. The automatic car will know that this signal prompts it to shift to the fastest gear. 

Next, after you’re done overtaking, lessen your press to allow the gas pedal to return to its original drive position. 

Climbing a Steep Hill

A vehicle is climbing a hill. 

A vehicle is climbing a hill. 

Your automatic drive vehicles have a mechanism for identifying the road’s topography and shifting gears accordingly. When driving up a hill, your automatic transmission kick-down comes in handy.

Hence, when you find yourself in such a scenario, press the acceleration button till it touches the floor. The car will engage in a lower gear and have more power to scale the hilly road. 

Once you’re back to flat terrain, you can return to the normal driving mode by lessening your press. 


When you want to tow a load, such as another vehicle, up a hill, you must engage the kick-down to generate the extra power necessary for this exercise.  

How Does Kickdown Work in an Automatic Car?

A steep terrain. 

A steep terrain. 

As mentioned, the kick-down button is below the acceleration pedal but on the car’s floor. 

Hence, pressing the pedal to the floor aims to trigger this button. When pressed, your car’s kick-down button is a simple solenoid that makes an electrical connection that triggers the gearbox. When you disengage the press, the solenoid disconnects, and the car gearbox works normally. 

Is the Kickdown a Feature in All Automatic Cars?

A hand shifts gears on the automatic transmission lever. 

A hand shifts gears on the automatic transmission lever. 

Yes. Almost all automatic cars you will encounter have this functionality. In modern automatic transmission vehicles, the kick-down button is not present. But you engage the mode by long pressing the accelerator pedal to the floor. 

Notably, the kick-down functionality is also automated in some modern vehicles. Such vehicles have enhanced sensors that detect scenarios that prompt automatic kick-down activation. 

Will Using Kickdown Damage My Vehicle?

The kickdown is Safe. 

The kickdown is Safe. 

The reality is that using the kick-down does not harm; otherwise, automakers would not install it on vehicles.

The design of the automatic transmission vehicle is such that the manufacturer knows all the probable damaging scenarios and has remedied them. 

Therefore, don’t be afraid to use the kick-down function as many times as you may wish because there is no actual harm. 


Drive your automatic transmission car with comfort and ease, no matter the terrain you’re facing. Also, overtake safely and conveniently because it has one of the most remarkable features in modern cars- the kick-down. 

If you have any questions, talk to us, and we will come to your aid. 

Hi I am Christa, sales manager of Cloom.

I have extensive expertise and experience in wiring harnesses and I believe I can help you.

And we have a very professional technical team who can clearly understand the customer’s needs and give professional suggestions and solutions after receiving the drawings.

If you also have wiring harness needs, please send me the drawing so that we can give you our quote and start our business.

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