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Old 07-12-2009, 12:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I shifted into reverse by accident

So I was driving home today after a long day at work. Shifting between N, D and 2 as usual to maximize cruise and DFCO. I always knew it may eventually happen and it did today - I went into reverse going about 50km/h. To my surprise, nothing happened! It was only there for half a second before I realized it and shifted back into neutral, but the car didn't even make any kind of sound or hesitation. It was as if there was a protection mode and the car just continued to cruise.

This is a 1998 Toyota Corolla. Can anyone confirm that there is such a protection feature?

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Old 07-12-2009, 12:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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zimagold -

I don't know but whewwwwwwwwww! The title of your thread made me fear the worst. Have you tested reverse since that happened?

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Old 07-12-2009, 12:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, I think I got lucky. I was honestly quite surprised at the behavior. Haven't tried reverse yet....pulled straight into my garage after I got home. I'm heading out again in about 30 minutes, so I'll give it a good test. I did drive it about 20 minutes to get home after it happened, and the car was totally normal. Whew indeed!
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Old 07-12-2009, 12:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have shifted into reverse about 3 times doing the same thing since iv been hypermiling, It has not done anything to my car. The first time it did absolutely nothing weird, going about 5mph (8kph) , one time I did it going about 40mph (64.3kph) and the car jumped a bit but I put it in neutral and it worked just fine. Once I did again at about 40 (64.3kph) and the whole car cut off, I pulled over and it cranked right back up and drove perfectly fine... You will be fine BTW~ I reverse into my parking spot, All 3 times were no problem at all
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Old 07-12-2009, 12:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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One day, someone gave me a car.

The next day, on the way to get the title exchanged, he took the car back. He asked me to drive it to his house, stating some BS excuse.

I told you that story so this one would make sense:

As I pulled onto this guy's (paved) road, I accelerated to about 60 MPH, put the transmission into neutral, redlined the engine, and dropped it into reverse, stalling it instantly. (Not what I expected to happen.) Yeah, I don't think I've ever heard of anyone actually damaging their car by accidentally putting it into reverse, even on the old GM 2speed powerglide auto.

Unfortunately, nothing happened to the car.. this was 5 years ago, the guy still drives it.
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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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!
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I swapped the ugly T-shifter in my auto '84 Subaru GL with the pistol stick from an XT and the lock-out button ALMOST matched perfectly, but was a little loose when catching. Shifted into reverse once at 40 when it jumped through N and I expected to see the transmission in the street, but I beat the bag out of the car for another 2 years before cancer took it.
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Most if not all electrically controlled transmissions have a built in protection feature that will not allow it to shift into a certain gear. Also they have a delay when actually shifting to the gear of ~1 second +/-. This is to protect the tranny from serious damage but this is not say that you can not do serious damage to it if you try hard enough. In your case I bellieve you are ok.
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I did it once accidentally. Killed the engine and lit up the dash instantly. Dropped it back into N, re-started, listened for funny noises, then babied it for the next few miles.

It's been 6 months and there was no funny stuff in the transmission pan when I changed the ATF 2 months ago.
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hello -

Maybe dumb thing to say, but this safety feature ONLY applies to modern automatics, right? Manuals can still self-destruct at the whim of the driver, yes?

I'm asking because I "like" to think of reverse as my last best hope for stopping in a situation where my brakes have failed. No tranny left, but won't fly over a cliff either.

CarloSW2

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