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Old 08-17-2007, 12:27 AM   #1
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Default Shift into "N"

Okay, I've owned 4 cars so far (I'm only 23). In each and every car I do(did) something that most people find very odd. When sitting at a long stop light, railroad crossing, etc., I sometimes shift from DRIVE into NEUTRAL. The reason for this is because I find most cars idle better in "N" than "D." Therefore, for the duration of the time you sit at the light you experience much less shaking and/or vibration. Well today I did this while waiting at one of the longest lights in the world and a friend of mine in the car thought I was nuts. Said that was terrible for my transmission. I can't see how that would be true but I'm just curious if anyone else has an opinion on this. The only safety concern I would see is if you shifted into "N" while on an incline while not depressing the brake pedal, therefore rolling into the car ahead of you. What do ya'll think?
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Old 08-17-2007, 12:44 AM   #2
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nothing is going to break or go wrong if you shift into Neutral. Hell if i have an engine light that turns on for no reason and the way to reset it is to turn the car off then start it again. I'll get up to speed or just a bit faster on an open road mind you and then I'll shift into neutral turn the car off. Wait a couple seconds then start the car again. Wait another second then shift into drive and keep driving. Nothing wrong in doing that too.
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Old 08-17-2007, 12:45 AM   #3
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You did the smart thing. You took the trans out of a 'load' situation, which saves the wear on the torque converter friction material, and saves gas.

I do it too.

You also allowed the trans to run cooler while sitting there. N and P would both do the same in this situation.
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Old 08-17-2007, 02:10 AM   #4
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i do it too sometimes, its become habit since i had to do it for one of my cars to keep it running ("chevy" nova )
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Old 08-17-2007, 02:17 AM   #5
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Hah, apparently your friend knows absolutely nothing about transmissions or cars at all for that matter. When I know someone is full of it, I always ask them specifically what will happen if I do that one thing. And if they can't explain it, or just say they heard it from someone, I just tell them that when they come back with some iron clad proof or a deep solid understanding of auto mechanics, that I will very respectfully refuse to follow their advice.

Thats one of the craziest things i've ever heard. I am x2 on absolutely everything wren said. Takes load off your engine, allows you to take foot off brake, the more you do it at long lights, the cooler your transmission will stay (very helpful in city driving situations), save gas, and not have to worry about rolling into someone by mistake. Also allows your accessories to spin faster, allows alt to charge battery better, spins compressor faster (helps when sitting in traffic on hot day)

I even do it once in a while on long slowdowns to a known long light, no idea why, almost seems like the car slows faster.

You're right on.
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Old 08-17-2007, 02:27 AM   #6
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I do this too, waiting for trains and such. I don't do it for stop lights or anything though, just the really long stops like trains or drive-through waits.

I suppose there is the slight concern about wearing your shift mechanism, but that'* a pretty minimal risk, I think.

There'* no reason that you have to do it, but no good reason not to either. If anything, I think evidence would suggest that it'* a good thing, at least in moderation.
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Old 08-17-2007, 08:47 AM   #7
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I'm a member, especially since getting the cam.

The only downside I could see is the shifiting in and out on the overall system and mounts. To me a $120 mount is much cheaper than replacing my transmission.
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Old 08-17-2007, 10:16 AM   #8
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If I'm sitting completely still I either throw it in P or turn the car off. There have been times when I sat still for 15-20 minutes. So I shut the car off while everyone else around me wasted their gas.

I can count on one hand how many times I've ever put any car I've had into Neutral and I'd still have fingers left over. But I suppose I could do that in traffic jams since it'* easier that going all the way up to Park. I just never thought about doing it.
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Old 08-17-2007, 10:43 AM   #9
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Oh geez, ya, for long extended period of time, put it in P and shut it off. I'm not a user of N (ever, havent had to)

We have idle laws in Ontario now, 3 mins idling and you could be fined. *sigh*
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:20 AM   #10
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Wow...I had no idea this many people did this little trick also. The friend in question doesn't know anything about cars actually (though he does have a Benz, Audi and F-150...I call him Richey Rich ) I think his concern was as someone said that shifting a lot wears out the shifter, which I guess is true to a point, but I think the shifter is designed to take pleanty of use. I assumed it was good for the tranny/engine/accessories but I just did it all this time because it feels nicer to sit in a car that isn't shaking/vibrating. To everyone who shifts into Park, I suggest trying Neutral. Much faster shifting into Drive, although you have to keep the brake depressed when inclined. WAIT, I suggest that to everyone but the Canadians...Ideling Laws? Thats a new one on me.
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