What Does S and L Mean on Honda Civic? Detailed Explanation

What does S and L mean on honda civic?” is a common question among several Honda Civic users. The S and L gear mode is a major feature of the SI trim level of the Honda Civic, with SI meaning “sport injected.”

Shifting Gears of Honda Civic

The S gear is the sports mode, and it generates a higher RPM and more power, while the L mode is the Low mode, and it causes the engine to operate in low-speed gears, providing low-speed power for towing and propelling the car up hills. This guide explains everything you need to know about the S and L gear, including their differences.

What Does the S Mean When Shifting Gears?

When shifting gears, the S means sport mode or settings. Not all auto owners know this letter, and not all cars with automatic transmissions have it. Because of this, some people might not be familiar with the terminology and applications.

The tranny can only be used in the lowest two gears when the S mode is chosen. While maintaining the lowest two ratios, this mode will make the automobile feel sportier and increase the revolutions per minute (RPM). The car’s sportiness and overall engine and transmission performance will both be improved by this setting. But, you’ll respond with more force.

The engine will, however, run at higher revolutions per minute (RPM) when the tranny is in S mode. High gas consumption will result from this. For this reason, using the S mode while driving all the time is not advised. The tranny might not be affected, but frequent trips to the petrol station will result.

What Does the L Mean When Shifting Gears?

When shifting gears, the L means low gear. The power of your Civic’s engine is increased in difficult driving conditions thanks to this gear, which also helps to secure your safety while driving. The first gear in front-wheel drives is sometimes called the L gear in Honda Civics.

So, when answering the question, “what is L gear in Honda Civic?”, it is important to first note that it is accessible on a few automatic and manual transmissions. By reducing the fuel given to the engine, it limits fuel consumption. This raises torque while bringing down engine speed.

As a result, your vehicle slows down while exerting more force on its wheels. Since many drivers need to learn how it works or when to use it, the L gear is controversial among drivers.

How to Change a Honda Civic’s Gear to L

To change a Honda Civic’s gear to L, you must first slow down your car and follow some procedures. The L gear is usually at the terminal side of the shifting lever. However, there are automatic and manual transmissions, so choose the one suitable for your vehicle.

Automatic Transmission

In automatic transmission, the transmission is managed by a computer system, which also permits the engine to run at various RPMs.

Automatic Transmission on Honda

For the duration you decide to drive in this mode, you must maintain a constant speed of 20 to 25 miles per hour. Once in low gear, where you can travel 10 to 15 miles per hour, let go of the gas pedal.

Manual transmission

Allow your car to slow down to at least 20 miles per hour as you lift your foot off the gas pedal while in Drive. Keep moving at a constant speed. Then shift into L gear with the shifter. You’ll need to slow down even more if the Revolutions Per Minute rise too high.

When Should A Honda Civic Use S Gear?

A Honda Civic should use S gear when overtaking, upholding, descending steep heel, uphill, and spirited driving. You may switch your Honda Civic’s gears from D to S while driving. But if the accelerator is on the floor, you shouldn’t do this.

Even then, it’s safe since the computers won’t let it hurt the car, and no matter what you ask the car to do with the transmission lever, it will only shift when it’s safe to do so. For interstate travel, the S setting is acceptable. The normal Drive mode will likely offer better fuel consumption if you’re driving your Honda Accord on a typical road.

Vehicles equipped with features like higher power and torque, as well as quicker acceleration, put more strain on the engine, which raises fuel consumption. Because it reduces fuel efficiency, Sport Mode is a feature that may be turned on and off.

When Should a Honda Civic Use an L Gear?

A Honda Civic should use an L gear when towing, steep inclining and declining, and driving in snow.

Honda Civic Use an L Gear

L-gear driving increases your car’s dependability and efficiency. It is meant for something other than everyday use, though. There are some specific situations when it’s best used.


The low gear shift increases your car’s power. This makes it perfect for hauling hefty loads or pulling automobiles. To find the top speed, consult your car’s owner’s manual before shifting into low gear.

Steep Inclining and Declining

It might be challenging to ascend steep slopes without taxing your engine. Low gear is advised when driving up hills as it provides more torque to aid in the climb. Additionally, it eases engine strain.

Going downhill in low gear also helps you keep a constant, moderate speed. As a result, you won’t need to ride the brakes, and your transmission won’t become too hot. Driving in low gear safeguards your Civic’s brakes against damage caused by riding the brakes.

Snow Driving

Driving in the snow and ice can be quite risky. Your automobile can skid off the road if you go too fast.

Driving in The Snow

You can drive with less speed and more power by downshifting. This helps your wheels grip the pavement in slick conditions and prevents your automobile from spinning out of control.

What Are the Benefits of L Gear in a Honda Civic?

The benefits of L gear in a Honda Civic are increased power, helping your car last longer, improved fuel economy, increased torque, and better control. The L gear restricts fuel from entering the engine. Reduced engine pressure naturally improves fuel consumption because the engine uses less gasoline.

The driving experience is enhanced by using L gear. Your Civic is more dependable and effective on terrible roads in this position. In difficult conditions and bad weather, you can control your car. You won’t need to slow down on slick roads because the transmission effectively manages speed and quickens acceleration.

The torque generated directly changes when you change gears. It alters as the speed alters. As a result, torque and speed have an indirect relationship. Your Civic produces more torque when you slow down and vice versa. Your Civic has higher torque because of the L gear’s low speed and low pressure.

Is it Wise to Constantly Use L Gear When Driving Your Civic?

No, it is not wise to constantly use L gear when driving your Civic. Overdoing it could damage your transmission. This is because the low gears operate at higher RPMs. As a result, your engine is working harder than it would in a higher gear.

Constantly Use L Gear on Car

Low gear should only be used infrequently and briefly. Switch back to “drive” after you’re finished. When you are driving, your gear shift should be in this position. If you keep your automobile in low gear for an extended period, your transmission may become stressed and fail. Utilizing it is advised, depending on the condition of the roads.

How Do You Employ the S Gear?

You employ the S gear the same way you use 1, 2, and D3. Before driving, you can also change the gear to S from a standing position. Additionally, it is possible to switch from S to D while the vehicle is in motion.

If you keep your foot on the gas pedal while driving, the automobile might not shift from S to D. Paddle shifters will make the S mode much more enjoyable. While driving, you can change gears up or down without using the gear lever. The car will feel sportier than ever as a result of this.

Gear Changing on Honda Civic

This mode is ideal if you’re traveling on a highway or on a deserted road with little to no traffic. Remember that driving the automobile in S mode will be more hazardous and power-hungry. Additionally, the car will use more gas than it would if you were using a conventional “D.”

How Quickly Can Your Civic Travel in L Gear?

Your Civic can travel quickly in an L gear at about 10 to 15 miles per hour. Whether your car has an automatic or manual transmission determines how quickly this mode operates. The owner’s manual may find the recommended speed for low gear.

They frequently instruct motorists to adhere to a set speed restriction. Driving too quickly puts additional stress on your Civic’s transmission, which could break from the tension.

What is the Meaning of S and L on a Honda Civic and How Does it Relate to TLC for Cars?

The S and L on a Honda Civic refer to the transmission modes: Sport and Low. These settings allow drivers to optimize their driving experience based on road conditions or personal preference. When it comes to TLC for cars, understanding the different modes and utilizing them appropriately can enhance performance and extend the lifespan of the vehicle. Cars and their care explained is essential for all car owners to ensure optimal driving and maintenance practices.


Many people still need help locating features, modes, or buttons in their cars. This guide has explained the differences between S and L gear.

Let’s have a list of some of the important points discussed.

  • When changing gears, the S stands for sport settings. This letter may not be present in all automatic gearbox vehicles; not all auto owners know it.
  • When changing gears, the L indicates the low gear. This gear helps improve the engine’s power in challenging driving situations, contributing to your safety behind the wheel.
  • A Honda Civic should be in S gear shift when overtaking, uphiling, descending a steep heel, traveling uphill, or driving aggressively.
  • A Honda Civic should be in an L gear when towing, making a steep incline or decline, or navigating snow.

You can choose the driving mode that best suits your needs by learning your Honda Civic’s S and L gear designations.

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