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Unread 10-07-2012, 09:26 AM   #1
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Question changing to neutral

Hi,

Do you recommend changing the gear to neutral (in automatic transmission car) when it comes to red traffic light and you need to wait for minutes ?

My conception is to do so, so that your engine is not trying to go and you are trying to stop by pressing brakes. Placing it in neutral disengages it completely.

Is it recommended to do so ? Or is it going to damage transmission while doing so from time to time ?

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Unread 10-07-2012, 10:38 AM   #2
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Leave it in gear. The Trans pump is still circulating fluid and allowing it to cool. Disengaging it will stop the fluid flow.
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Unread 10-08-2012, 12:12 AM   #3
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Unless you need to really stand on the brakes to keep it still, the engine is malfunctioning and won't stay running otherwise, or the engine's cooling system can't cope with the load, leave it in D. Automatics are designed to idle in gear at stoplights all day every day and you won't harm anything by leaving a healthy vehicle in gear at lights.

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Leave it in gear. The Trans pump is still circulating fluid and allowing it to cool. Disengaging it will stop the fluid flow.
The pump is driven by a part of the torque converter that always turns with the engine in most gearboxes to provide the necessary hydraulic pressure to select a gear in the first place, not to mention lubricating the inside of the torque converter and the various shafts that spin even in park. If the engine's turning the fluid should be flowing.
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Unread 10-08-2012, 12:48 AM   #4
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Honestly the best thing you can do is put it in park and turn it off. Saves gas.

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Unread 10-08-2012, 02:55 AM   #5
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...and what few pennies you'll save on gas over the years you'll spend on frequent starter rebuilds. There's no real point in shutting the engine off at a stoplight.
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My rigs:

1985 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci OHV inline six | 4-speed OD manual | 310K | No power brakes | Running 100% - It hasn't driven this good in 15 years!

1984 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci six | granny four | 3.55 rear end | 210K | Brakes shot. Rear drums are doing most of the work. Not fit to drive due to that.
1997 Ford Explorer XLT | 4.0L Vulcan V6 | 5-speed automatic | shift-on-the-fly 4WD | 210,000 miles | Running 95% - Needs brakes on all four corners + bald tires
1989 Ford F150 | 300cid six...again | 5-speed | 4x4 | 160K | Needs brakes done as well. Oi!

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Unread 10-08-2012, 06:37 AM   #6
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Thank you all for the feedback. I also never recommend or turn off engine in such stop lights. It is instead going to lessen life of your starter.

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Unread 10-08-2012, 11:03 AM   #7
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So the myth of the car saving gas when switching off to neutral at stops is actually a myth?



I've been doing it since I got my license, a little over 5 years ago.
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Unread 10-08-2012, 11:42 AM   #8
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In some cars the time you'd need to stay off in order to save any gas versus just idling away is 2 minutes. Even if it does save gas you don't gain anything, you spend your savings having your starter rebuilt every few years versus having it rebuilt every 15-20 years. It's also needlessly hard on batteries.


As for grabbing neutral at a light, I've never heard of that being a way to try to save gas. Indeed, in some auto cars it will use more gas because the idle goes up a bit. It's only really something to do in MT vehicles with heavy clutches or an AT with engine problems, and is done for comfort and to keep the car running respectively.
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My rigs:

1985 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci OHV inline six | 4-speed OD manual | 310K | No power brakes | Running 100% - It hasn't driven this good in 15 years!

1984 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci six | granny four | 3.55 rear end | 210K | Brakes shot. Rear drums are doing most of the work. Not fit to drive due to that.
1997 Ford Explorer XLT | 4.0L Vulcan V6 | 5-speed automatic | shift-on-the-fly 4WD | 210,000 miles | Running 95% - Needs brakes on all four corners + bald tires
1989 Ford F150 | 300cid six...again | 5-speed | 4x4 | 160K | Needs brakes done as well. Oi!

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Unread 10-08-2012, 09:34 PM   #9
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The hell? If you know you are going to be stuck at a light for 3 minutes, stop going on that road. Detour! If you must travel that way, however, it's perfectly fine to shift into Park. Don't shift into Nuetral, unless you like pressing tbr brake the whole time, which I assume you don't.

As far as damage to granny goes, its harder on the brakes and transmission to be in gear with the brakes applied for an extended time period. Wear and tear and strain. I thought all you experts knew this?
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Unread 10-09-2012, 10:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KSIMP88 View Post
The hell? If you know you are going to be stuck at a light for 3 minutes, stop going on that road. Detour! If you must travel that way, however, it's perfectly fine to shift into Park. Don't shift into Nuetral, unless you like pressing tbr brake the whole time, which I assume you don't.

As far as damage to granny goes, its harder on the brakes and transmission to be in gear with the brakes applied for an extended time period. Wear and tear and strain. I thought all you experts knew this?
It's hard on the brakes to keep them slightly applied for a few minutes? Well I'll e damned.

It's not great for the tranny but it's better than park or neutral where it won't cool the tranny.
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