Park (P) – This selection mechanically locks the transmission, restricting the car from moving in any direction. However, it is strongly advised to 1st pull the hand brake and then release the foot brake after engaging the transmission in P, especially when the surface is inclined. The reason being, there is only a small pin that locks the transmission and bears the weight of whole car.
Neutral/No gear (N)– This disconnects the transmission from the wheels so the car can move freely under its own weight. This is the only other selection in which the car can be started.
Second (2 or S) – This mode limits the transmission to the first two gears, or more commonly locks the transmission in second gear. This can be used to drive in adverse conditions such as snow and ice, as well as climbing or going down hills in the winter time. Some vehicles will automatically upshift out of second gear in this mode if a certain rpm range is reached in order to prevent engine damage.
Lowest (L) – This mode locks the transmission in first gear only. It will not accelerate through any gear range. This, like second, can be used during the winter season, or for towing.