Can You Drift in an Automatic Car? (Step By Step Guide)

Can You Drift in an Automatic Car

Driving comes with a lot of challenges sometimes. While driving, you might encounter some really sharp and delicate turns along some roads. It is expedient you drift in such places to avoid accidents quickly.

Therefore, can you drift in an automatic car? Yes, you can drift in an automatic car. However, if you watch car racing, you will observe that many of the race cars that drift are manual cars. In this article, we consider everything that relates to drifting in an automatic car.

What is Drifting?

Drifting is a popular term in driving. You’ve probably heard of it when you watch car racing. It is a style of driving whereby the driver makes use of the throttle, clutch, shifting gears, brake, and steering maneuvering to maintain a condition of oversteer in the car.

Drifting can be a more complex term than you think. The car control is made possible by the coordination of the level of the counter steer and the application of the brakes and accelerator (at the same time) to shift the overall balance of the car forth and back as it moves.

When you watch a race car drifting on the move, it appears that the car is sliding sideways as it moves forward.

Many drivers love to learn drifting because it shows them how to handle, steer or manage a car at top speed.

The technique of losing control of the car and regaining control of the car drives many drifters crazy. Many people love the fun and adventure of it. Drifting is actually a form of relaxation and pleasure for many drivers.

Drifting is more comfortable when done in a manual transmission vehicle. Such a vehicle with a handbrake in perfect working condition is suitable for drifting.

If you want to learn how to drift, you should look for a place that is isolated and not close to residential buildings. We do not advise people who want to learn drifting to practice in places where other people might be endangered or put at risk.

Can You Drift in an Automatic Car?

Yes, drifting in an automatic car is possible but it is more difficult compared to drifting in a manual transmission vehicle.

The automatic transmission in cars differs from car to car though. Usually, drifting is done using a stick shift (gear) and since this is not present in an automatic car, drifting has to be done in another way.

When you want to drift in an automatic car, you need to keep the car under perfect control while it is in a special gear ratio. Controlling your vehicle while drifting is highly dependent on the power of the engine.

It needs to be proportional to the compression ratio. If the compression ratio is too high, it can lead to damage to the automatic transmission.

People ask this question often, “is it bad to drift in an automatic car?”. The answer is yes, it is bad to drift in an automatic car. Drifting in an automatic car puts your car at risk of being damaged.

Is it Harder to Drift in an Automatic Car?

Well, the difficulty in performing any task in this world is relative. What you term to be simple for you might be very difficult for others. It is just the same way that what you see to be difficult might be quite easy to pull off by many people.

Well, to the best of my knowledge and experience, drifting in a manual transmission car is easier than drifting in an automatic car.

But some other people exaggerate the difficulty involved in drifting in an automatic car. It can be quite simple to learn though it will definitely take more time compared to the manual transmission car.

How Do You Drift in an Automatic Car?

Before you drift into your automatic car, you need to learn some things. They are:

You need to be able to carry out a 180-degree handbrake turn. Make use of traffic cones or other equipment to demarcate the tarmac. Keep doing this until you reach perfection.

The next thing you need to learn is counter steering. You can carry this out by driving at 30 – 40 miles per hour and then ripping the handbrakes to control the direction of the car. When you are good at these techniques, then you are ready to learn how to drift in an automatic car.

How do you drift in an automatic car? You can do this by using the handbrake or the emergency brake.

If you want to use the handbrake, follow these steps:

  • You need to make use of an isolated area and not a place where people are
  • Switch on the car and press on the throttle while moving the gear
  • You can make use of the second gear
  • Push down the clutch of the torque converter and move the steering wheel inside
  • Pull the handbrake while you do this.

After you’ve done that,

  • Press down on the throttle and remove your leg from the clutch
  • Turn the steering wheel to the direction of the slide and keep pressing on the throttle to maintain a perfect angle for drifting.

Note that the more acceleration you make use of, the more the car will turn and move far from the center of the road. Making use of less acceleration will produce an equally opposite action.

Is an Automatic or Manual Better for Drifting?

Drifting is however more enjoyable and better in a manual car. It is simple and pleasant. You can drift in your automatic car with the help of some other equipment but drifting is done mainly in manual cars because of the way you can shift the gear stick.

However, drifting in any car has other factors involved including the nature of the car and the driving style of the driver. The driver must know how to shift the gears efficiently and properly.

Does Drifting Damage Your Car?

Drifting can damage the transmission of your car. Drifting comes with other things such as oversteering and this can cause faults to the steering. In short, the automotive transmission of your car can be damaged by drifting.

Drifting is nice to watch, just as you know. If you are a drifter, I’m sure you get the thrills when you drift and it works out nicely. It is enjoyable but there are safety risks involved.

When you drift, you are putting a rough load on the transmission of your car – the bearings and the gear. It is advisable you drift with control and precision to avoid damaging the transmission of your vehicle.

Many drifters still say that the pros of drifting outweigh the cons, but is that the case actually? Drifting is a driving technique that requires a level of skill to navigate through curves, bends, turns, and corners.

As a result of the high acceleration involved, you will need to drive with complete care and caution. Drifting can also cause scratches and dents on your vehicle if you lose control of the car.

Pros of Drifting

What are the benefits of drifting? The following are some of the numerous advantages of drifting with your car.

  • Drifting does not lend itself to easy breakage
  • Drifting allows you to efficiently navigate through tight corners and turns
  • You do not need much space to drift, you just need to be creative and skillful
  • Some drivers observed that the batteries of their race cars lasted for a long period when they drifted consistently

These are just a few of the pros of drifting.

Cons of Drifting

Just as there are benefits, there are disadvantages involved in drifting.

  • Not all cars can drift. The make of your car and the wheels it uses to determine the drifting capacity of your car
  • Some terrains are not perfect for drifting. You need specific roads and tracks to drift efficiently
  • Your wheels can wear out much faster than normal.

Final Thoughts

Drifting is a cool experience and many drivers love it for the thrill and fun it brings. It is enjoyed best in manual cars because of the presence of the gear stick.

Drifting is all about making the best use of the gear stick and the throttle. You can drift in your automatic car by using the handbrake or the emergency brake but it is best you use a manual car for the best experience.