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Five Things You Should Never Do With an Automatic Transmission

Over the course of my lifetime, automatic transmissions have gone from boring slushboxes reserved for family rides and those who couldn’t drive a stick to the obvious choice for any car, regardless of performance. With the addition of electronic controls and other advances both inside and outside the case, the slush is gone from the auto offerings and they’ve certainly proven to be the better choice from both performance and fuel economy.

With manual transmission seemingly going the way of the carburetor and points distributor, it’s a good idea to know what not to do with your automatic transmission. Back today to list these for us is Jason from Engineering Explained, our favorite automotive education channel. Jason breaks down his list of five things not to do with an automatic, listing several reasons each of these things are bad ideas.

From coasting in neutral – which doesn’t help fuel economy and may be illegal in your state – to failing to come to a complete stop when changing direction, which should be common sense, Jason explains exactly what could go wrong if you do these things. One particular terrible idea that is discussed is what we know as a “neutral drop”, which is revving the engine in neutral and slamming it into gear. This is quite simply a terrible idea because automatics aren’t designed to do that at all and can’t handle that kind of shock.

There’s also no reason to kick the shifter into neutral at a stoplight, something I have seen people do often, although there’s no merit to the belief that it is easier on the transmission or offers better fuel economy. Finally, don’t slam your car into park while it’s still moving. This is another one that should be pretty obvious, but it definitely happens. Thanks, as always, to Jason for bringing us this data. We look forward to seeing what he has for us next.