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Old 08-19-2009, 07:24 PM   #1
levin.matthew
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An Automatic Transmission Question

I know people who have manual transmissions can coast with their car in neutral when they are say coming to a stop or something like that - ultimately getting better MPGs.

I drive an 05 zx4 with and automatic tranny and was wondering if shifting into neutral while coasting to a stop will do harm.

Also, does shifting into drive from neutral while moving do harm to the transmission as long as you aren't revving the engine up before hand?

Thanks guys for the help...I know some of you guys will look at this thread and laugh but it doesn't hurt to ask!


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Old 08-19-2009, 08:08 PM   #2
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It can be a bit hard on the motor mounts, and torque convertor (always having pressure suddenly off and on). When coasting, your tranny actually slips into neutral and you coast just as well. Personally I don't think the gas savings are all that much.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:56 PM   #3
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As stated above the tranny goes to idle anyway so there won't be any difference. And if left in gear they'll be no chance of forgetting it in neutral when taking of.
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:02 PM   #4
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^^^x2. the tranny does it for u and even if u do it, theres no harm done.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:13 PM   #5
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i usually put it into neutral when coasting to a red light...if it turns green and i haven't slowed down enough i try and get the revs up to whatever speed im going so it doesn't bork anything lol. i dont know about gas mileage but it does make it easier to slow down.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:14 PM   #6
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so it doesn't damage the transmission or anything and as long as it isn't like knocking or being rough engaging into gears, the torque converter and motor mounts are good as well? am I getting this correctly? lol
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:10 AM   #7
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no, its not gonna damage the motor mounts, too much torque will though, so if you slam it into drive and ur revving it at the same time, the effect on the motor mounts is basically the same as dropping the clutch in a manual. Its also not too hard on the torque converter. It will match RPM's w/ gear if ur moving, so say you drop it into neutral then throw it in at 40 mph. its not hard on it, its what it was made to do (to a point).
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:27 AM   #8
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^^^ Very well put MLB. I agree.

HOWEVER! ... I wouldn't recommend using your low range gears to shift in your automatic. That WILL tear up the cogs in your tranny and you'll be left with even more slush in your slushbox. (hehe). Of course, as everyone already knows my opinion on automatics, I won't go there, but I will recommend you take care of it and don't beat it to shit..... that's what manuals are for.

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Old 08-20-2009, 01:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIman2.0 View Post
^^^ Very well put MLB. I agree.

HOWEVER! ... I wouldn't recommend using your low range gears to shift in your automatic. That WILL tear up the cogs in your tranny and you'll be left with even more slush in your slushbox. (hehe). Of course, as everyone already knows my opinion on automatics, I won't go there, but I will recommend you take care of it and don't beat it to shit..... that's what manuals are for.

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Why do people say this??? I have thrown gears in every automatic I have ever had. It's a must in mountain driving! FMX, C-4, C-6, F-4EAT, and now the 4F27E. None of them ever crapped out on me. I owned my '93 Escort GT for 14 years, put 186,000+ miles in her, (many of those were in the mountains), and threw gears constantly on that F-4EAT ATX. When I traded her in for my Focus in 2007, that ATX shifted just like the day I bought her in 1993.

ATX's have fail-safes built into them. They won't even downshift to a lower gear if the car is going over a certain speed. I can shift my ATX from 2nd to 1st, and unless I am going less than 30 mph, the ATX won't downshift to 1st. It won't drop from Drive to 2nd unless your speed is below 70 mph.

Just change your fluid and filter every 30,000 miles, and you'll be fine.
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:13 PM   #10
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I'm just going to chime in on what I have experienced here.

Also living at altitude and doing lots of mountain driving I too shift through the gears on the automatic. In and out of 'overdrive', downshift into 'second', sometimes 'first' when behind a tanker on a twisting turning two lane down hill - never at high speeds except for that one "Incident". Some places you just don't want 'brake fade' from overheated brakes.

The 'hills' here can be 20 miles long and have grades of 6% to 8% or more. I have even bumped the transmission from "neutral to reverse" (yes you read that right - the incident) on accident while doing 80mph downhill (the skis slid forward and pushed the lever from 'D' to 'N'. Without thinking I moved it from 'N' to 'R' and corrected the mistake - 'R' to 'D' after the "Oh Crap" moment - I used the seat belt on them after that).

I was surprised, to say the least, that nothing happened - this was when the car had 40k miles on it. I never let that happen again and never brought it up til now. I have 120k miles on the car.

As far as 'Neutral' on the lever being the same as 'idle neutral' on the transmission - I have to disagree only because on the downgrades here you will definitely notice more resistance when coasting in gear than when coasting in 'Neutral'. It's a huge difference. But then we are talking a very steep grade too.

I do have a rattle under the front end that I haven't found yet or really looked for - could be motor mounts. And I just started getting a random 'CEL' when shifting in automatic from 1st to 2nd.

Is it all related? I don't know - could be. But I have also had the fluid 'Flushed' at 40k, 75k and 107k miles.
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Last edited by a_2000_se; 12-20-2009 at 01:18 AM. Reason: 'D' to 'N' and 'N' to 'R' then 'R' to 'D' real quick. Fail safe.
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