5 Things You Should Never Do In An Automatic Transmission Vehicle

Most of the people prefer driving an automatic over the stick since it is more straightforward. But with greater technology comes more complexity, and there are still many ways you can wreck your automatic transmission car.

The video below by Jason Fenske from the EngineeringExplained YouTube channel explains the five worst things you can do when driving an automatic vehicle. Here is a brief list:

  1. Never coast downhill in neutral: Modern automatic transmissions cut fuel to the engine on their own, so putting your car in neutral won’t save you any gas. Also, it takes some control away from you and it’s illegal in 15 states (full list at the link below).
  2. Never switch directions without stopping: Make sure you come to a complete stop before going from drive to reverse or vice versa. Otherwise you’re using your transmission to stop the vehicle instead of letting your brakes do their job.
  3. Never “launch” your vehicle: Don’t rev your car’s engine in neutral and drop into drive to launch yourself forward. It’s fast way to wear out the bands in your transmission (they’re expensive to replace).
  4. Never put your car in neutral at a stop light: It won’s save you any fuel (fractions of a gallon if any), and it can wear on the transmission.
  5. Never shift into park until you’ve come to a complete stop: Some cars won’t even let you do this, but you should never do it anyway. You can damage or break the locking pin that’s used to keep your transmission from running.

Some of these might seem like a no-brainer for a gearhead, but not everyone that drives a car knows how it works or what kind of damage you can do with seemingly harmless habits. These tips and best practices can help anyone keep safe on the road and extend the life of their automatic vehicle.

Watch the video below to learn more!

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4 Comments

  1. In general, automatic transmissions are not my favorite. I prefer a standard and if every vehicle came with the option to have one. I would gladly choose it.

  2. How could you wear on the transmission if you put into neutral. I think it’s the other way around if you hold the car having forward torque when on gear just by the brakes.

  3. My Mother when backing out the driveway onto the street, never came to a complete stop before yanking it into Drive. And she had to look down to do it. Sigh …

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