​​Is There a Right or Wrong Way to Shift Gears?

The majority of most cars, trucks, and SUVs are equipped with automatic transmissions. This is because automatic transmissions are a lot easier to use than manual transmissions, which is why it is the preferred option. All you have to do is put it into the correct gear and go. The gears for automatic transmissions include park, reverse, neutral, and drive. We often don't have to stop to think when performing gear shifts because it comes instinctively to drivers over time. But is there a correct way to go about shifting gears? You may not recall if it was mentioned in driver's ed. But it's okay - we are going to go over this information today.

Shifting from Drive -> Reverse

At very low speeds (within 5 mph), a swift change from Drive to Reverse, or vice versa, will not typically cause any transmission damage. However, it's always a safer choice to come to a complete stop before changing gears using an automatic transmission. By waiting, it can allow its components to adjust accordingly. It also protects your drivetrain. 

Shifting from Drive or Reverse -> Park

When attempting to park your vehicle, there is only one right way to do it! You should always come to a complete stop before shifting into park from any other position. When you turn your automatic transmission into park, an essential item is put to work: the parking pawl. The parking pawl is the piece that secures the transmission and stops it from transferring mechanical power to the wheels of your automobile. Shifting gears while still in motion can ultimately damage the parking pawl. And if this part is damaged or breaks, your vehicle could quickly lose the ability to park and roll away. In addition, you should always apply your parking brake (e-brake) on top of parking gear for an extra layer of protection.

 

Transmission repairs are generally costly and time-consuming, so please do everything in your power to maintain your transmission. When faced with uncertainty, you should always come to an entire stop before shifting to and from any gears. Following healthy practices such as these can extend the life of your automatic transmission and reduce your car expenses over time. If you require any transmission repairs, please do not hesitate to call or visit Fast Lane European.