Taken from the Owner’s Manual for the 2008 Honda Pilot:

Drive (D3) -This position is similar to D, except the first three gears are selected.  Use D3 to provide engine braking when going down a steep hill.  D3 can also keep the transmission from cycling between third and fourth gears in stop-and-go driving.

Second (2) – This position locks the transmission in second gear.  It does not downshift to first gear when you come to a stop.  Use second gear:

  • for more power when climbing
  • to increase engine braking when going down steep hills
  • for starting out in a slippery surface or in deep snow
  • to help reduce wheel spin
  • when driving downhill with a trailer

Personally, I prefer D3.  Last winter it helped tremendously with the inclement weather.  And, here in Traverse City, we had a lot of inclement weather.  Thankfully, I’ve never had to use Second Gear; never really thought about it.  D3 is easily interchangeable with Drive ; one shift and you’re golden.

The theory behind this lower gear thing is that the engine has less forward momentum, increasing the handling/stopping ability.


That’s it on technical Cars  talk.  To tell you the truth, I probably even presented that brief, one sentence synopsis wrong.  I AM not and never will be a gear head.  Though I seriously doubt that’s a surprise to anyone.  But, it’s not because I haven’t tried.

I purchased my first car – a 1975 royal blue Ford LTD II – from a neighbor $200.  The engine was frozen, so we pushed the car from their driveway onto ours.  My older brother wanted to rebuild the engine.  Well, good for him.  The only thing I can ‘build’ is a sandwich.  Still, he felt challenged and really wanted to do it.  Once again, good for him.  Good for me, too.  I got a ‘new’ car out of this endeavor.

Other than financing the project, only one stipulation was required of me.  I was instructed to take Automotive 101 at the Community College.  That was something I knew I could complete.  Not excel in by any means; complete.  The goal was to become more knowledgeable.  Unfortunately, the only knowledge I retained solidified the fact that I was NOT and never will be a gear head.  Shit, man, I can’t even change the damn oil in my car.  In my defense, car design has become very complicated, not to mention intimidating.  The Volvo Cross-Country has this part called the ‘Mother Board’.  What amateur wants to  mess with something referred to as the ‘Mother Board’?

Pause breathe

I’m relaxed now.  Besides, it’s lunchtime.  I need to go ‘build’ one of those sandwiches I mentioned.  Enjoy the link.


I feel the need to qualify something regarding this skit.  While it is way funny, the idea of going to a  ‘Dispencary’ to fill a piñata with ‘legal’ substances – I’m not referring to the damn Sour Patch Kids , okay – is not.  “Funny, but wrong.”

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