Subaru Impreza is a popular choice among car enthusiasts, thanks to its superior performance, reliability, and style. One unique feature of the Impreza is its Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) which allows for smooth gear transitions and better fuel efficiency. However, few drivers know about the L mode, which can significantly improve their driving experience. In this article, we will explain what the L mode is, when to use it, and how to do so effectively.
What is the L Mode?
First things first, let’s define the L mode. The L mode is one of the two driving modes available on the Subaru Impreza with a CVT. The other mode is the regular drive mode or D mode. The L stands for low, which means that the L mode lowers the gear ratio of the transmission, increasing torque and acceleration.
How to Engage the L Mode
Engaging the L mode is straightforward. Look for the shifter position closest to the driver’s seat. You will notice that the shifter has two positions marked as L and D. Move the shifter to the L position, and you’re done. Now you’re ready to drive in the L mode.
It’s important to note that engaging the L mode activates a simulation of a traditional stepped gearbox. The L mode is not suited for continuous driving but is best suited for challenging terrain or driving conditions that require more torque and versatility. In such a case, changing to the L mode could make all the difference.
Benefits of Using the L Mode
The L mode offers several benefits, including:
Increased Acceleration: When driving up a hill or overtaking a vehicle, you may feel that the Impreza is not accelerating enough. Activating the L mode will increase acceleration by increasing the torque and gear ratio.
Increased Control: The L mode allows you to control the engine braking more effectively. This is particularly useful when driving downhill or in challenging terrain. You can control the speed of the car without using the brakes excessively because the lower gear ratio will provide more resistance.
Improved Towing: If you’re towing a trailer or boat, the L mode increases torque, making it easier to tow the load.
Better Driving Experience: By using the L mode, you’ll experience better engine feedback and a sportier feel of the car. You may also experience a more enjoyable driving experience.
Situations When Using the L Mode May Be Necessary
Using the L mode may not be necessary in all driving conditions. However, certain conditions make using the L mode almost mandatory. These include:
Going Uphill: When driving uphill, the L mode can help overcome the gradient better by increasing torque and gear ratio. It’s not recommended to use the L mode when driving downhill, as this might increase the chances of overheating the transmission.
Towing or Carrying Heavy Loads: When towing a load, the L mode is recommended to increase torque and balance.
Driving on Slippery Surfaces: On slippery surfaces, using the L mode can help avoid wheel spin and improve vehicle control.
Instructions for Using the L Mode Effectively
Using the L mode effectively requires some practice and patience. Here are some tips to bear in mind:
Use the L mode for short periods: It’s not recommended to use the L mode continuously, as this could overheat the transmission.
Reduce Speed when Switching to L Mode: Before engaging the L mode, it’s recommended that you reduce your speed and ensure that the car is moving in a single direction.
Know when to Switch Back to D Mode: You should switch back to D mode when you need to maintain a consistent speed or when you’re cruising at higher speeds where torque and acceleration are not as critical.
Potential Risks and Hazards Associated with Using the L Mode
While the L mode offers several benefits, it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks and hazards that might arise from using it inappropriately. The most common risk associated with the L mode is overheating the transmission if used continuously at high speeds. Prolonged use of the L mode may also affect fuel efficiency and cause excessive wear and tear on the transmission. Additionally, it’s not recommended to use the L mode when driving downhill or on wet surfaces, as this may cause wheel spin or loss of control.
What does the L mode on a Subaru Impreza with a CVT do?
The L mode lowers the gear ratio of the transmission, increasing torque and acceleration.
When should I use the L mode?
You should use the L mode when going uphill, towing or carrying heavy loads, or driving on slippery surfaces.
Can I use the L mode continuously?
No, it’s not recommended to use the L mode continuously to avoid overheating the transmission.
What are the benefits of using the L mode?
The benefits of using the L mode include increased acceleration, better control, improved towing and a better driving experience.
Are there any risks associated with using the L mode?
The most common risk associated with the L mode is overheating the transmission if used continuously at high speeds. Prolonged use of the L mode may also affect fuel efficiency and cause excessive wear and tear on the transmission.
In conclusion, the L mode is an excellent feature in the Subaru Impreza CVT that can significantly improve your driving experience. However, it’s essential to use it correctly and avoid prolonged use to prevent damage to your car. Use the L mode for the right reasons, and you’ll enjoy a more comfortable and efficient driving experience.