At first glance driving a car with an automatic transmission may seem easier than driving a manual. The New drivers don’t have to struggle with the seemingly unruly stick shift and clutch with the simple interface of automatic vehicles.
This is supposed to allow the driver to concentrate on the road better. The automatic transmission nails uphill driving and stop and go traffic. Although driving an automatic may look like a walk in the park, there are still some ways you can unwittingly mess up your transmission.
So here are seven of the most dangerous mistakes you can make when driving an automatic.
Shift from “D” to “R” while your car still moving
We’ve all made this mistake at least once you’re in a hurry and too impatient to come to a full and complete stop before you shift from “D” to “R” or vice versa.
I’m sorry to disappoint you if you think this is harmless. When you shift while your car is still moving, you’re using the transmission itself to stop the car, not the brakes. That can cause that transmission and its components some real damages.
It will only cost you around $200 to replace your brakes. Get ready for damage that can run you at least $2,500 by constantly shifting from “D” to “R” while the car still rolling.
The Choice is yours.
Put in “P” before it stops completely
This one’s a similar blunder. Now if you have a newer car it probably won’t let you make this awful mistake since recent models use speed sensors that block this action.
If your car doesn’t have this sort of equipment and you’ve been guilty of throwing it in part before the car stops moving from time to time. Listen up whether you’re in too much of a hurry or simply unaware of the danger, remember that you can do irreversible damage to your transmission.
The “P” position is supposed to keep your car from rolling away.
Not to stop your car when it’s still moving.
The transmission is locked up when your cars in “P”. The wheels either can’t move or they can but with heavy weight.
A pin locks a transmission output shaft… which connects it to the wheels of your car when you throw it in “P”. When you do this either the locking pin or the output shaft may break if the car still rolling.
Never put it in “N” at stoplights
Some people just don’t feel like keeping their foot on the brake pedal when stopped at a red light. Others said you will wear out the transmission when you keep your car in “D” at a red light.
In any case it’s still better to keep your car in “D” than to switch it to “N” when stopped at traffic-light. First of all, when your car is in “N” you don’t have as much control over it. And you may not be able to execute it in time if you need to make some emergency maneuver .
Also if you forgot that you’ve put the car in “N” and the lights turn green you’ll end up reviving the engine and burning more fuel. Another strategy some people use at stoplights is the emergency brake thinking that it’ll save them gas.
The Fact… that was absolutely unnecessary.
The amount of fuel you save isn’t even noticeable. And try to keep your ignition on the car in drive and your foot on the brake whenever you’re stopped at a light so that you have total control over your vehicle
Coasting in neutral transmission
Some people believe that coasting in “N” saves them gas. I mean, it makes sense you’re going downhill… so why not put it in neutral and let gravity take over. The fact is automatic engines are designed in such a way that they save fuel, even if the gear is in “D”. When you’re going downhill it will simply cut the fuel supply.
Letting your car coast in “N” leaves you with less control over it. When you’re going downhill in “N”, all you can do is slow down you won’t be able to speed up, if the need arises.
Besides your car’s engine runs at its lowest rpm and the oil pump works at the slowest when you’re moving in “N”. That will make the engine doesn’t cool down as well as it should and may fail due to friction and heat.
Never launch your car from a standstill
Never ever launch your car from a standstill launching is basically reviving up the car while it’s still in neutral and then switching the gear to drive to accelerate really fast from a stopped position.
If you believe that some common sense would prevent people from doing this to their cars, think again. This causes serious harm to the bands and clutches of the automatic transmission.
When you shift they use friction to move definite parts and if you rev in neutral and then immediately switch to drive these bands and clutches wear out prematurely even worse than that.
If you keep launching your car this way, these parts won’t be able to hold friction anymore, as a result the transmission will begin to slip when it’s in gear clutches and bands are affordable enough. But… replacing the transmission will cost you a fortune.
Keeping the gas tank on low
Probably every car owner out there knows that driving with the gas light on is a big no-no and still so many of us are guilty of it. Sometimes you just can’t get to a gas station other times, you simply don’t have the cash.
It may eventually cost you much more than just filling your tank up if you ignoring the low fuel light. Especially if your car has an automatic transmission. To run properly, your cars need to have proper fluid pressure. On top of that fuel keeps different elements of the car lubricated and helps the engine as well.
If your tank is constantly low on fluid these parts will wear out much faster than they would normally.
Never let water get in the transmission
You’re in big trouble if water gets into the transmission, even the smallest amount of water. If you’re lucky and notice the problem right away you’ll save a lot of money because the damage won’t be so dramatic. The water probably gets absorbed by the friction lining of the clutches.
This can causes the glue that connects the material and the clutch plates to dissolve some amount of water comes out of the suspension forming white gummy masses in different parts of the unit.
That’s why you can’t just flush the unit to get rid of the water on top of that, the water will cause rust to form on the metal parts of the transmission. The consequences depend on how fast you recognize the problem, unfortunately the most common course of action is to overhaul the transmission.
Are you guilty of any of these mistakes, have you heard of any other driving habits that can damage an automatic transmission tell us in the comment section below, give us a thumbs up for trying to keep your vehicle safe.