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Old 04-23-2012, 05:01 PM
 
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Is it OK to switch between N and D on an automatic transmission doing free-wheeling and etc? Is that going to wear our the transmission?
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
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It really won't hurt the transmission. On a modern trans, it won't let you hurt it by shifting manually to the wrong gear, or from neutral to drive (in fact, many cars won't let you go back to drive from neutral at speed). It's not really necessary, but you can do it. Why would you want to?
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:43 PM
 
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You may get better gas mileage by leaving it in drive.

In neutral it would keep the engine at a minimum RPM and use gas to do so.

In drive it may totally cut off gas and use the downhill movement of the car to keep the engine running and also provide "engine braking".

Depends on the design and engineering/electronics.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
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It can also be used as a gas saving technique. If conserving momentum is the goal, engine braking is counter to that. Shifting to neutral in order to coast as far as possible won't hurt anything.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:40 PM
 
Location: South Jersey
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when you let off the gas at speed in an automatic, the torque converter breaks 'hydraulic connection'(for lack of a better term) and you will coast just as far as in neutral.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankgn87 View Post
when you let off the gas at speed in an automatic, the torque converter breaks 'hydraulic connection'(for lack of a better term) and you will coast just as far as in neutral.
No you won't, letting off the gas allows for engine braking, if the converter "broke"connection" as you suggest, there would be no engine braking.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHDave View Post
No you won't, letting off the gas allows for engine braking, if the converter "broke"connection" as you suggest, there would be no engine braking.
I think this is correct but would I save gas by doing this?
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy_J View Post
You may get better gas mileage by leaving it in drive.

In neutral it would keep the engine at a minimum RPM and use gas to do so.

In drive it may totally cut off gas and use the downhill movement of the car to keep the engine running and also provide "engine braking".

Depends on the design and engineering/electronics.
I don't think the car would cut off gas unless it's a hybrid.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
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For Frank and Dave, it depends on the design of the car. The automatic in my Volkswagen will not provide engine braking unless you're in the "manual" mode of the transmission, if not, it will allow the transmission to freewheel and allow speed to increase w/o any braking effect. It is however somewhat more "limited" than the car being in neutral, so there is SOME rolling resistance, but not effectively engine braking.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
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I put my truck in neutral on a down grade a few weeks ago. The rpm's remained the same as it was in gear. The cluster says I am not burning any fuel thou when turning 2000 on a 80 mph downhill. I have been driving at 55 these days anyway but I hate riding the brakes on a downhill grade.
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