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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-23-2003, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Neutral while stopping

I noticed that one of my friends and some taxi drivers put their automatic tranny in neutral when stopped at a red light for a long period of time. What do you think of this habit? Is it better for the tranny or not?

A TV show I was watching last week brought another question to my mind. In this show, the animator demonstrated that, on an automatic car, you could achieve a shorter braking distance when putting your car in neutral while braking. The demonstration was pretty convincing. I was wondering if doing this on a regular basis would put undue stress on the transmission?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-23-2003, 10:26 PM
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good question, I have ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE, I sometimes use this behavior and I sometimes use engine braking (autostick) which I'm not sure is good either. I'd like to know too.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-23-2003, 10:43 PM
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One of my friends does that too.

I argue with him that while this does save some brake "skins" during NORMAL stops, in EMERGENCY stops this would create imbalanced braking power in the front/real or left/right of the car.

I remember reading the news where a huge truck was over speeding before a corner, so he decide to skip a gear shift down twice 4 -> 2. The engine redlined after he shift to 2, so he shift back to 3, then the truck fish tailed and crash. Some acident analysis say that it is bad to shift up while braking or soemthing ?! while in high speed ?!

So I always keep mine in D.. or autostick. *shrug*
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-24-2003, 12:03 AM
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Actually putting in neutral shortens your braking distance especially in slippery conditions. Because then the brakes are just stopping wheel intertia instead of intertia and the power to the wheels.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-24-2003, 12:11 AM
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Re: Neutral while stopping

Quote:
Originally posted by silvertrep
Is it better for the tranny or not?I was wondering if doing this on a regular basis would put undue stress on the transmission?
Hence the above questions: Will this do harm to the tranny?
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-24-2003, 12:17 AM
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I put mine in park when stopped for a train, but only if there are a couple of cars behind me. Getting rear ended with the tranny in park is bad. Than again getting rear ended is bad. :crazy:

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-24-2003, 09:56 AM
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Not sure about the tranny issue but I always drove stick shift of course and was rear ended and sent flying...I am sure with automatic It would be wiser to leave alone (no neutral) just for the fact that you never know what idiot on the street may hit you and this way your travel distance like into the train will be minimalized...if you know what I mean...just my 2 cents on your saftey...besides brake pads are only $50 every so many years...your life??? Priceless!...Later,
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-24-2003, 10:15 AM
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engine braking isn't really bad for the engine or tranny. it is just use, like any other. you do save brake pads and rotors, and in some situations, that is good. (going down a long, steep hill, where you can warp rotors pretty easily....)
taxi drivers put the cars into neutral at stops to keep the car from shaking... when your engine is engauged, it allows more vibration to come through the engine mounts (it is under load and working a little bit). If your car has alot of miles, it may not idle so well, and neutral might be the thing to do.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-24-2003, 03:12 PM
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it saves gas too because your engine will turn less rpms hence using less fuel.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-24-2003, 09:18 PM
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neutral while rolling is not the greatest for an automatic, better to leave in drive. This is from reputable tow truck driver and mechanic. More wear on tranny than leaving in gear. It is cheaper/easier to replace brakes than tranny.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-24-2003, 09:54 PM
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I've had this conversation with my father in the past and as an ASE Certified Master Mechanic, specializing in transmissions for 30+ years I take his work pretty seriously. In his professional opinion placing the car in neutral while braking won't cause any harm or abnormal wear and tear on the transmission. After all it is part of normal operation for the transmission. You shift in and out of drive every time you start/park your car, every time you back up etc. What it will do, as mentioned earlier is decrease your braking distance and help tremendously in slick conditions. Again, this is because you are simply stopping the inertia of the car rather than also fighting against the engine. This is assuming that you always wait for the transmission to fully engage into gear (this goes for D, 3, L, R, whatever) before stepping on the gas pedal.

However, during towing, you don't want any drive wheels turning. This is becuase you're forcing things inside the transmission to spin, but not supplying any lubrication. Under these circumstances it doesn't take long to do serious damage to the transmission. Therefore, if you're towing a front wheel drive, tow it by the front wheels. If you're towing a rear wheel drive, either tow by the rear wheels or remove the drive shaft to prevent the transmission from spinning. If you have a 4x4 you can place the transfer case in neutral (if possible) or it needs to be flatbeaded...

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-24-2003, 10:03 PM
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So lets say your in autostick, 3rd gear... and you downshift to slow down.. 2.. then 1... is that fine?
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-24-2003, 10:10 PM
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This is interesting
My Mom used to do this in her stratus. But now she has a Maxima and doesnt have to worry about an automatic trans.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-24-2003, 10:18 PM
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Down shifting with autostick is a little different than doing it with a true manual tranny. Since the computer won't allow you to over rev the engine with autostick, there is really not much harm that can be done. With a true manual you can over rev the engine and as stated in a previous thread you can apply too much braking power. With a rear wheel drive you can actually cause fish tailing or other undesirable results. It can be just like kicking on the parking break for a few seconds...
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-24-2003, 10:20 PM
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So what is the best to do? (In order to get the longest life out of the engine, tranny, etc0?
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