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Old 07-12-2009, 04:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Lots of new cars have a lockout on reverse or park at speeds above, say 5 mph. Hyundai takes it a step further on some cars by requiring brake application.

But yes, I've had a few "oops" moments in my driving life...

1. 1988 Plymouth Voyager V6. First year of driving. Left the fast food drive through dropped something on the floor (salt packet or something), then as I came back up, my arm caught the shifter and I popped the column into reverse. Speed was about 20 and it died instantly. I thought I killed it. Luckily it started right back up.

-- then there was a stint with manuals...

2. Integra: Backing into the driveway, I've accidentally popped the lever into drive at ~5 mph. It jerks and kills the engine. The goal was to coast in Neutral and cut the engine, but went a bit too far.

3. In some rentals, it's easy to accidentally hit Park at low speeds. The PT Cruiser has a notorious shifter -- when coasting into a parking area, I generally pop it into Neut without pressing the shift button. The PT has often just gone straight to park. It makes a lot of clicking until another gear is selected or comes to a stop.

Essentially, I'm not sure if there are any further lockouts to add...

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Old 07-12-2009, 06:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Several manuals (I've been told) have an inertia lockout on them. If you're going over a certain speed, something moves in the tranny to stop you from putting it into reverse, kind of like the 5th gear detent on older cars. (You can't go from 5 to R, you have to go to neutral (resting position) to release the detent.)

CFG83 - Yep, you can put it in reverse if your brakes fail. First, you'll spend more time fighting to get it in there at anything over 10 MPH than it would take you to jump... and second, you'll have to rev match your engine to the gear, as it's not synchronized.

Use your e-brake. That's what it's there for.

Generally, and I think in all electronically controlled transmissions that DON'T have a direct linkage to the internals of the transmission (some still do, for reverse and park), you can put the car in 1 or 2 on the shifter (whichever is lowest on your shifter) and floor it. You won't over rev the engine. In fact, you can drive around just plain and dandy, but you'll nearly redline every time the transmission shifts.

I do this periodically in my wife's GP (Granny), and have done it in several Chrysler 4 speeds, among others, including Saturns and Hondas.
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Last edited by Christ; 07-12-2009 at 06:50 PM..
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Old 07-12-2009, 06:47 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Nobody should be accidentally shifting into reverse in an automatic car!

The shifter is designed to prevent it in every car I've driven: you don't need to press the button to move between drive and neutral. You just push the selector forward.
Yep, I know it's not necessary. But in my car, when I push from 2 back to D, the shifter button makes a loud click noise that I hate. To be more stealth, I push the button in to get back into D or N. That's where the danger is in overshooting to R. Been doing this for 5 years, and yesterday was the first time it happened to me. Always super careful about it, but I was just too tired yesterday and probably shouldn't even have been driving...

Oh well, no damage done, but still curious as to whether electronic protection saved my car. I always thought hitting R while going at speed would be catastrophic, but it seems others have also done it without damage.

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Old 07-13-2009, 11:57 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I've done this in my 05 Corolla and it didn't complain either. The shifter moves just fine between RND in both directions with no need to push in the button. The worst I did to my car was accidentally shifting from R to P instead of N. Made a horrifying crunching noise as the car came to a hard stop, but the trans has been fine since then (about a year or so ago).
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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When you put your car into park, you've essentially put it into another Neutral, except with a tab that engages a part of the transmission to prevent it from spinning.

That crunching noise that you heard was just that tab trying to engage the transmission. If it catches, it will either lock up your tires, stop you instantly, or break something in the transmission, all depending on outside affecting conditions.

This is why you set your parking brake on hills in an auto. It's not to keep your car from rolling (nice thought, but no.) it's to keep your car from fully engaging the park tab, making it difficult for you to get it back out of park... (yeah, you've had those times.)
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:26 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Nobody should be accidentally shifting into reverse in an automatic car!

The shifter is designed to prevent it in every car I've driven: you don't need to press the button to move between drive and neutral. You just push the selector forward.

But you do need to press it to get to reverse from N (or out of P). So... you shouldn't be pressing the button when the car's moving.

Even the old column mounted shifters were designed to permit going to neutral safely: by pushing the lever away from you and upward (rather than pulling - the normal column motion), the neutral detent will stop it.

One partial exception I know of: VW used to require you to press the button to get out of N back into drive; not sure if they've changed that. And some other vehicles may not have a detent at D when coming out of N; they may slip past it to D3 or below.

You need to know how your car works before trying this stuff on the road!
My thoughts exactly, you beat me to it. Mine you gotta push the button to get in and out of park, and in and out of reverse. And to go into 2 and 1, but not out. The Celeb has a floor shift, which makes things easier. The column shift in the van and wagon are a bit awkward but can be done.

I've shifted into reverse once accidentally when I was learning the stick with our old 85 Cherokee, 4 cyl, 4 speed, absolute cheapest model they made that year. It was going downhill on a gravel road, didn't hurt anything, the back wheels just started skidding for a few seconds till I realized what was going on.
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Old 07-13-2009, 04:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Not all automatics are eco-friendly. I don't remember what I rented (I've rented 5 cars in 10 weeks), but instead of using a button, it had the "move it over and up/down" type of shifter. You had to move the stick to the right and then up to engage Neutral, and then back over and down to engage Drive. Unfortunately, when moving it right and up into Neutral, it was easy to slide it right and up again into Reverse. Fortunately I was only going about 15 mph, and it didn't shift at all. (I got it back into Neutral quickly.)
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:46 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I remember back in the 80's when a neighbor took me and my siblings to school along with her kids. She drove a early to mid 80's Mercury Grand Marquis. I can't remember the exact circumstance, but we had to take this alley about 1/4 mile. Maybe it was winter and she was using the lower gears to keep traction. Whatever it was, I remember the sound to this day of what I thought at the time was shearing teeth when she accidentally crammed it into reverse. This was also the same dipsh*t that got t-boned while making a left turn (to school), and the T-bone was on the rear passenger door where I was sitting. It was enough to spin us around in the snow/ice and mess up the door pretty good, but I wasn't really hurt. I didn't let school officials know that though. As far as they knew I wasn't feeling well and needed to go home. It worked like a charm. How did I get here from the original question? sorry...
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Old 07-14-2009, 12:28 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonman76 View Post
My thoughts exactly, you beat me to it. Mine you gotta push the button to get in and out of park, and in and out of reverse. And to go into 2 and 1, but not out. The Celeb has a floor shift, which makes things easier. The column shift in the van and wagon are a bit awkward but can be done.

I've shifted into reverse once accidentally when I was learning the stick with our old 85 Cherokee, 4 cyl, 4 speed, absolute cheapest model they made that year. It was going downhill on a gravel road, didn't hurt anything, the back wheels just started skidding for a few seconds till I realized what was going on.
I learned stick on a similar vehicle: an '84 Cherokee Pioneer base 4-cyl, 4-speed. Not much torque to start on hills! IIRC it had the "Army Jeep" 2.5L.

You're right on the auto-floor shift action. Nearly all can be flipped without the button from R to D (even columns -- just a smack downward). N, D and D3 on mine has free motion, but the button is needed down to 2 and again to 1. If you start out in 1, it flips all the way up to N with no button. It's handy to just give it a flick to downshift, or out of 2. It makes a solid thump, so not so stealthy with passengers.

Some columns, I'll admit, are a bear to negotiate. Fords are simple -- just push forward toward the dash and up, and it stops at neutral or D until you pull back (others might be the same).

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Old 07-14-2009, 03:35 PM   #20 (permalink)
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My Lumina is column-shift; it'll "push-up" from D to N. Reverse is still pull forward though - in this case, contrary to what was said earlier.

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