What is L gear in Honda Civic?

Adeel Amir

L gear in Honda Civic

Different gearbox positions are available on your Honda Civic’s gearshift. They are generally denoted by the letters P, R, N, and D, however, certain Honda Civics include an additional L gear. If your Civic is equipped with an L gear, you must understand what it signifies and how it affects the performance of your vehicle.

You’re undoubtedly familiar with the “D” and “P” modes on your gear shift, but what does the “L” mode on a Honda Civic gear shift mean?

The L Gear Honda Civic represents “low” gear appropriate for challenging terrain. The transmission does not shift correctly when you use the L gear. Instead, your gearbox will remain in low gear, resulting in reduced motor power in return for increased engine torque.

The L gear is an efficient gearbox under the correct driving circumstances. It is available in cars with both manual and automatic transmissions. Let’s investigate what the L gear on a Honda Civic is all about.

Go through our epic guide on the Honda Civic trunk

How L Gear Honda Civic Works

As previously stated, the L gear on the gearshift represents low gear. This equipment helps to guarantee that you drive safely and that the power of your Civic’s engine is maximized in difficult conditions.

The L gear on a Honda Civic is also known as the first gear in front-wheel drives. It is offered on a limited number of manual and automatic gearboxes. It operates by restricting the quantity of gasoline that enters the engine. This improves torque while slowing down the engine.

As a result, your automobile slows down while transmitting more power to the wheels. Drivers dislike the L gear since they do not understand how it works or when to utilize it.

How to shift to L gear in the Honda Civic

Manual Transmission

The L gear is frequently found at the far end of the shifting lever. You must first slow down your car before shifting into L gear. Take the following steps:

  • Remove your foot off the accelerator pedal while in Drive and allow your vehicle to descend to at least 20 mph.
  • Maintain a constant pace.
  • Next, transfer the shifter to the L gear.
  • If the RPMs get too high, drop the speed even further.


At high speeds, do not shift into low gear. If you do this, you risk inflicting irreversible damage to the transmission and engine. Always travel at a modest pace when moving into low gear.

Automatic Transmission

In automatic transmissions, a computer system regulates the gearbox and allows the engine to run at a variety of RPMs.

  • You must maintain a constant pace of 20 to 25 mph throughout your journey in this mode.
  • Then, let go of the gas pedal to change into low gear, where you can go at speeds ranging from 10 to 15 mph.

When should you use the L gear?

Driving in L gear enhances your vehicle’s efficiency and durability. It is not, however, suitable for daily usage.

Under some situations, the L gear is appropriate for usage. The following are some perfect conditions:


The low gear boosts your vehicle’s power. This makes it ideal for hauling automobiles or transporting large stuff. However, before driving in low gear, always consult your car’s owner’s handbook to discover the maximum speed.

Steep Incline and Decline

Steep inclines can be difficult to climb without taxing your engine. When driving up hills, low gear is desirable since it provides more torque to aid in the ascent. It also reduces the load on your engine.

Shifting to low gear when going downhill also helps to keep a constant and reasonable pace. It prevents your gearbox from overheating and eliminates the need to ride your brakes. Riding your brakes may result in brake failure, thus driving in low gear protects the brakes on your Civic.

Driving in the snow

Driving on ice and snow may be quite hazardous. If you drive too fast, your automobile may skid off the road. Shifting to a lower gear allows you to drive at a slower speed while gaining greater power. This helps your wheels grip the road and stops your automobile from spinning out of control in wet conditions.

Why should you utilize the L gear in your Honda Civic?

Using the L gear not only boosts power but also helps your vehicle in a variety of ways. The benefits of using the L Gear Honda Civic might extend its life.

Here are some of its advantages for your vehicle.

Improved Fuel Economy

The L gear restricts how much gasoline enters the engine. Because the engine is under less pressure, it burns less gasoline, automatically boosting fuel economy.

Improved Command

The use of L gear enhances the driving experience. In this configuration, your Civic is more dependable and efficient on terrible roads. You’ll be able to manage your car in difficult situations and bad weather.

You will also not have to slow down on rough roads since the gearbox properly manages speed and accelerates.

It Generates Greater Torque

The torque produced is directly affected by gear changes. It fluctuates with the pace.

As a result, there is an indirect relationship between speed and torque. More torque is created when you slow down your Civic, and vice versa.

Because of the low speed and low pressure created by the L gear, your Civic has higher torque.

Is It Good To Drive Your Honda Civic In L Gear All The Time?

It is not possible to drive a car in L gear all of the time since you can raise your speed on clear highways.

The major cities have large and smooth roads that allow you to transfer to higher ratios by shifting from L to D.

When you encounter problems such as uneven roads and stones in a hilly location, go back to L mode. This shifting progressively reduces the vehicle’s speed.

As a result, it is preferable to make position judgments based on the road conditions.

A freeway route, for example, is suited for transferring to 4th or 5th gear, but a steep road necessitates shifting to 1st or 2nd gear.

How Fast Can You Drive In L Gear?

Its speed is determined by the gear number and whether the vehicle is manual or automated.

When the gearbox is in first gear, you may attain a top speed of 10 to 15 mph.

Furthermore, when driving in second gear, your Honda Civic may achieve speeds of 20 to 25 mph.

As a result, shifting at a moderate speed or between 20 and 22 mph is preferable while traveling a long distance.

When you attempt to exceed the maximum speed restriction of 25 mph, you put stress on the engine, which might result in costly damage.

Can You Shift From D To L While Driving?

It is critical to understand the safety gears to avoid transmission damage while changing the shifter position while driving.

You cannot go from the driving mode, D, to reverse or park mode.

This is because the parking mode locks the wheels and restricts their forward and backward mobility.

Shifting to the P and R positions is not recommended, however, you may simply transfer to low gear while driving in the D position. Furthermore, it reduces a car’s speed, resulting in smooth driving.

Automatic vehicles, such as the Honda Civic, feature automatic gearboxes that may alter gears based on driving conditions.

Final Thoughts

L gear Honda Civic refers to a low gear that delivers greater power while driving at a slow speed. On uneven and hilly roads, it gives a pleasant driving experience. It helps you climb slopes by going past barriers since it reduces engine stress and provides greater torque.

Furthermore, while the automobile is in L gear, there is less stress on the brakes since the brake pedals are not depressed as quickly. Furthermore, while the automobile is moving at a low constant pace, it is possible to pull a big cargo.


What is S and L in an automatic car?

L – Low Gear: This gear is generally used for hauling or driving up steep hills. S – Sport: Lowers the gear ratio, giving you greater power and control when accelerating. M – Manual: This position allows you to shift gears manually, giving you more control over the speed of your vehicle.

Can I shift from D to L while driving?

With an automatic gearbox, can you change from drive to L while moving? Yes, however doing so at high speed will be uncomfortable for both you and your gearbox. Shifting into L at high enough speeds, if the automobile doesn’t stop you, might lead you to blow the engine and ruin the transmission.

What is the L mode on a Honda CVT?

The L setting is used to boost engine braking for steep descents and so on. It’s a relic from extremely old US regulation that required a separate mode for hill descents–the “overdrive off” switch on earlier gearboxes.

What is the I on my gear shift used for?

The strangely titled “I” gear position is another acronym for a fairly frequent characteristic. The letter represents the Spark’s Intermediate gear on the shifter; it serves the same purpose as the more commonly used “2” elsewhere.

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