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7 Things To Avoid While Driving An Automatic Transmission Car

Automatic transmission is ,without a doubt, one of the greatest invention in the car industry. Automatic car opens the whole new era for car owners thanks for the safety it provides. This car type is favored not only by the professional drivers but also by people with basic driving skills. However, does this greatest invention provide total safety for its driver? Sadly it is not.

7 Mistakes To Avoid When Driving An Automatic Transmission Car

Even though automatic transmission vehicle is amazingly safety, you should avoid a few things at any cost while steering the wheel. Here’s a list of 7 mistakes that can damage a vehicle badly and put the owner on the hook for some huge repair bills.

Sliding The Vehicle Down A Slope In The Neutral Mode

driving car
This is a very common mistake when driving automatic transmission car

This habit won’t let you accelerate the car except for slowing it down. It cuts the oil supply, so the transmission does not get the proper lubrication for smooth operation. It results in significant wear and damage. For that reason, we recommend to discard this habit since the repair costs don’t worth the negligible fuel savings.

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Revving The Engine Before Switching To The Gear

automatic gearbox
Revving the engine before switching to the gear is not a good habit for automatic car owners.

We all have done it as teenagers. But, don’t be that stupid because your parents are not going to pay the bills this time! It gives the transmission a massive shock that leads to more friction between the internal components, causing damage to engine parts.

Shifting Gears When The Car Is Rolling

switch gear
You cannot save fuel in this way

It makes your transmission components to change direction rapidly, wearing out the gearbox at an astounding pace. Use your brakes instead to stop the vehicle. Some people shift into the Park without the pushing the brakes, which is also bad for the gearbox.

Keeping In Neutral At The Red Light

switch gear
You will damage the car by doing this

Many people do this to save fuel and protect the driveline from unnecessary wear. In fact, the loss is minimal if you push the brakes by keeping the gearbox in Drive mode. The actual damage takes place when you switch into and out of the neutral mode.

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Switching Into The Parking Mode Before Completely Stopping The Car

driving automatic car
You shouldn’t switch into the parking mode unless your car is completely stopped.

Shifting to the Park mode will cause a locking pin to be inserted into a gear attached to the output shaft of the gearbox. The wheels are also connected to the same shaft. So, when you lock it and keep the vehicle rolling at the same time, there’s a risk of breaking the locking pin.

      SEE MORE:

Driving Hard Without Warming Up The Engine

It’s a blunder, especially in the winter season. The oil thickens and moves slowly when the weather is cold. Give the fuel a minute to run into the transmission and all of its parts. If you shift into gear and start driving at high speed from the beginning, it will lead to severe internal damage.

Habits you should avoid when driving an automatic transmission in this video

Keeping The Fuel Tank Low

tank fuel
The tank fuel should be full or half-full at least

An automatic car largely depends on fluid pressure to run properly. Fuel also helps a vehicle’s engine and other elements to stay cool and lubricated. So, these will wear out a lot faster if you continuously keep the tank low on fluid.

How An Automatic Transmission Works

Automatic transmission is by far one of the most powerful tool in vehicle industry. It opens a whole new zone for car mechanics and change the life of many people. So how does it work?

Torque Converter

The transmission will connect with the engine at a bell housing. The part contains a converter for automatic transmission – equipped vehicles. In order to understand how the whole system works, lets take a look at planetary gearsets and torque converters.

First of all is your engine’s flex plate. This part can connect to a converter directly. So when the crankshaft rotates, the torque converter housing will also rotate along, which can connect and disconnect the power of the engine to the driven load.

You can check this video to understand how torque converter work

Look inside the torque converter, you can see the turbine, the impeller, the lock-up clutch and the stator. In those parts, the impeller drivers the turbine, which connects to the transmission input shaft, turn through viscous forces. After that, the engine turns the impellers and rotates the turbine, resulting in sending torque back to the transmission.

For this reason, torque converters contain a lock-up clutch which lock the converter housing with the turbine.

Planetary Gear

Automatic gearbox

One of the most important part in automatic transmission system.

Now that car owners understand how the transmission receives the power from the engine, we can now learn how it the engine changes gears. Since it is quite a complicated job, we will just figure out its basic way.

A gearset of planetary or epicyclic gear set of the automatic transmission has the setting of: two sun gears in the center, one planet carrier and two planet sets. By doing this, the car mechanics plan to prevent components and alter both the system output and input.

After carefully calculated, you can make different gear ratios depending on what you lock, the ring gear or the sun gear. And yes, you are correct, the converter also plays an important role in driving the transmission fluid pump. The gear pump is a rotor spin in a pump housing, which mesh with the housing. When the volume changes, the fluid will also change along. And the hydraulic control unit will send signals to lock the torque converter and change gears.

How to Drive an Automatic Transmission Car

In order to prevent the mistakes when driving automatic transmission car, firstly you need to know how to drive one. Even though all four-wheel vehicle works the same way, car owners should know some differences:

Foot Work

foot driving
When changed from manual to automatic transmission, foot work is the first thing you need to notice

Just like driving any car, you need to understand how the use your foot in order to control the vehicle at its best. However, automatic models don’t have the clutch pedal, just brake and accelerator.

With new drivers, they might have some difficulties. But it is actually pretty easy: You will only use your right foot to control both of them, while your left foot will remain at rest all the time.

Starting The Car

woman driving
Starting the car is another problem if you are not familiar with automatic transmission vehicle

When starting the automatic transmission car, there is something that drivers should remember. When the engine is off, the lever should be in the letter P. And to turn it on, car owners can push the brake pedal and use the key for the ignition. Remember to shift the gear to the D and release the brake. After these moves, the four-wheel vehicle will start moving.

Taking Turn And Changing Speed

driving car
This is quite common with manual transmission car

Taking turn and changing speed when driving automatic transmission vehicle is the same with manual transmission. You can easily change the direction by turning the steering wheel right or left. Along with that, car owners can press the brake and the accelerator for slowing down and speeding up respectively.


You must know how to park with this type of car

Last but not least, car owners should notice when parking.

In order to perform the perfect parking while using the automatic transmission vehicle, you need to press the brake pedal along with shifting the gear to the P. After that, use the ignition key to turn off the engine and headlights.


Gearheads may find these tips no-brainer, but every driver is not an expert on car mechanism. Avoiding these practices is not harder than changing some habits. They will extend the life of your automatic transmission car, keep you safe on the road and save you a lot of money from car maintenance.

  1. Craig Francis says

    Another one is putting the car in park before pulling up the hand brake. This puts pressure on the parking gear. You will actually hear a knocking sound when you take it out of park. To avoid this pressure, put the car in neutral upon stopping, pull up the hand brake, then put the car in park.

    1. Chi says

      If this hard switching from Park mode to other gear is frequently done, will this eventually damage the transmission?
      By the way, your info about avoiding the knocking sound is very useful. Because its actually my problem. I always rncounter this hard switching from P and hear this knocking sound. Thank u very much.

  2. Brian says

    Great article and so informative..

  3. Brian says

    Very educative…Thank you

  4. Katumba Daniel says

    Thanks for the great advise.I usually shift my gear to neutral while sloping down hill with the intention of saving fuel not knowing the dangers i have been causing to my vehicle.

    1. PAOK says

      Bolches yarboclos

  5. Bukenya says

    This is good. I have been exactly what u explained about automatic transmission. Now am going to change my harbits.

  6. Eric Gitonga says

    Thankyou so much for these enlightening tips. I am a driver in Nairobi Kenya and 90% of the motor vehicles we use here are Japanese vehicles.

  7. Sam Kembero says

    Good stuff. Keep it up.

  8. christine says

    Thank you. Can you bless me with a car.

  9. Josephat Mwale says

    Good lecture.

  10. Dan says

    Its great keep on.

  11. uon grants says

    Very Good artilce, quite informative and greatly fascinating. Such piece of work to share out. Keep up the good work of blogging such articles i like your ideas and instuctions about cars and way around them

  12. Iddi says

    Hi.thanks I read and understand a lot of things I never know before

  13. Mwachia says

    I like the article. It is very educative. I request for the same on 4WD automatic car without a shift button. Fuel consumption and the mechanisims involved

  14. Mwachia says

    Give an article on 4WD automatic toyota probox

  15. rajen ojar says

    waiting at a traffic light to change ,can i change from drive to neutral ,waiting in traffic can i pull hand brake and release foot brake

  16. Justine Chishimba (Mr.) says

    Thanks for the advice. I have BMW X5, i think I do observe most of the tips you highlighted just by my own instincts.

    1. Trang Tran says

      Thank you for your comment. Find this article useful? Please share exciting updates with your friends and they will love it!

      1. Anthony M.Mudachi says

        Thankyou l know little mechanics but ave been observing all the above no shortcuts,l need advice on when to use the H or H2 ,L and other gears apart from P,D,N,R

    2. Tevita Gukibau says

      Thank you Toyota..Japan…thats what we call the real complete service to customers..

  17. Roger says

    Hello, I don’t understand your assumption for tank-gue
    Level. Please explain the impact on oil. Thanks

  18. Douglas says

    What couses burning of the oil seal in the geaar box leading to oil leakage

  19. Namukali yusuf says

    Thank you for the beautiful knowledge shared

    1. Trang Tran says

      Arigatou. Thank you. Your comments encourage us a lot.

  20. Benson says

    I’ve been well informed


    Amazing.thnx for th info

    1. Trang Tran says

      Thank u for your comment

  22. Manand Trade says


    1. Trang Tran says


    2. Eyalu.francis says

      Thanks a lot for that Education

  23. owen chipidza says

    the gearbox on my mazda premacy auto sometimes reads hold on the dash and the car stops what might be the problem

  24. otim thomas says

    Thanks for the tips am one of the victim,i like shifting to neutral all the time when am on the slope.

    1. Trang Tran says

      Hope it is useful for you

  25. Arthur M says

    This post has been very educative to me.
    Thank you for it

    1. Trang Tran says

      We are glad that you like the article. Don’t forget to share with your friends!

  26. Maranya O'Mayengo says

    These are the common mistakes we do most of the time! Thank you for such educative piece!

  27. Hosea Michael says

    That is so amazing in fact, I have so many friends who violate many if not all the directions. I tried to always stay checked and obey all the basics and I believe my car will last 100 years!

  28. Wandega says

    Great advise ,
    1.When should I use oil treatment in my Automatic transmission Chasser,
    2.What is its Use?
    3.What makes my plugs get damaged too frequently and when removed bears too much oil on them

  29. Vilimoni. Sukanacagilaba I says

    Is there any steering fluid reservoir in toyota belta….?

  30. Bakutayo says

    Thanks for the advice

    1. Trang Tran says

      We are glad that you like the article. Don’t forget to share with your friends!

  31. Ngabinet Services says

    It pays add more please. I have learnt a lot on this.

    1. Trang Tran says

      We are happy to receive your comments. Please share with your friends so they can enjoy this article, too.

      1. Isaac says

        Automatic car drivers
        Please observe this during this festive season to avoid bad omen.

    2. Iosefo Mikaele says

      I would like to thanks for the good opportunity to let me know these 7things to avoid while driving an automatic transmission cars..because I plan to buy an automatic car for my family..

  32. Gaspar says

    Good job

    1. Trang Tran says

      Thanks a lot

  33. Jerry says

    At what time do I needed to use L gear.


      hey guys how i can win this game in order to get free car

  34. amon says

    I now know. Thank you a great deal especially the Neutral issue on the red light and slopping down.

    1. Trang Tran says

      We are glad that you like the article. Don’t forget to share with your friends!

  35. Solomon Kamau says

    How about overdrive,drive 3 or when rolling,should it be applied.

  36. ken says

    hei my car has a tendency of producing a funny sound when gear is changing from one to
    another ,as if it is been forced to change pliz help.automatic flider

  37. Daphy Hussein R. says

    This is the best way of teaching many users of motorcars to safe drive I am sure most of us we all attempts such mistakes with ignorance or careless only because we are not aware of damages that could happen into the car after wrong driving.

  38. John wafula says

    This is a good lesson to learn

    1. Trang Tran says

      We are glad that you like the article. Don’t forget to share with your friends!

  39. Tush says


    1. Trang Tran says

      We are glad that you like the article. Don’t forget to share with your friends!

  40. paul says

    Thanks, a very educative piece

    1. Trang Tran says

      We are happy to receive your comments. Please share with your friends so they can enjoy this article, too.

  41. Mwesigwa Alex. says

    Good keep on enlighting us with driving skills.

    1. Trang Tran says

      Thank you. We will provide more useful information like this. Stay tuned

  42. Bolly Anjejo Jaburu says

    What a good message of good.

    1. Trang Tran says

      We are happy to receive your comments. Please share with your friends so they can enjoy this article, too.

  43. Kassim mawa says


    1. Trang Tran says

      U welcome

  44. Callistus Katuku says

    Thanks for the tips.

    1. Trang Tran says

      We are glad that you like the article. Don’t forget to share with your friends!

  45. okuku james says

    thanks for the explanation on automatic car maintenance

    1. Trang Tran says

      We are glad that you like the article. Don’t forget to share with your friends!

  46. Yosa Justus says

    I really like those tips so much because it helps a lot to maintain my car effectively.
    Thanks so much.

    1. Trang Tran says

      We are glad that you like the article. Don’t forget to share with your friends!

  47. Michael Robinson says

    I appreciate the advice on how to take care of your CVT automobile. It is interesting that you say it is actually better for the car and that you save fuel when you put the car in neutral at a red light. My mom used to do that and I always wondered why she did that. She used to tell me it was habit, but it cool to know that there is actually a positive benefit to doing so. Thanks again!

  48. Best car stereo says

    Thanks for the comprehensive guide! I’ll be sure to print this out when I need to buy a pressure washer.

  49. mumba chrissy says

    Reliable and valid information

  50. Shad says

    Thanks for the information. It very helpful.

  51. Nelson Chimaliro says

    Thanks for the tips. I appreciate

  52. Kato James says

    Hi ineed to know this, according to answer no 1and no 4what is the use of a neutral gear if I shouldn’t use it down aslope and at the red light? And what the use of a neutral gear? When should we use it?

    1. jon falk says

      I have two cars and notice that they are not made the same way. One with AWD has an alert about the neutral mode, which may increase wear and tear. But the other smaller car has not such precaution.

      I think the owners manual of the car is a better reference on what is best for that model.

  53. Clement Ochieng says

    Thanks for the information – we must share with other users, especially Psv operators.

  54. Dhliwayo Luke says

    Thank you so much for the information

  55. Justin Black says

    Well, driving an automated vehicle is more plain sailing than that of driving a vehicle having a manual gearbox. In fact, all automatic vehicles are currently more dependable than in the olden days. But like everything has some pros and cons, an automatic driven car also has some disadvantages. Expensive maintenance is the most prominent disadvantage of an automatic car. I mean to say that a manually driven vehicle is less expensive to maintain as compared to an automatic automobile. In addition to what, it also needs some specific driving skills for safe and comfortable riding. In this specific regard, I would like to tell that a driver must consider all the above precautionary measures while driving an automatic transmission car, otherwise, he can put himself and his passengers at risk and be responsible for his car failure.

  56. Winyi Geberts says

    thanks for your advise

  57. Audney Mayuni says

    Very useful indeed . Appreciated! Bravo!

  58. Maxcode says

    Thank you for the article. I have a concern. Most of the time, I see petrol attendants asking car owners who happens to be their client to check the engine oil after fueling their motor vehicle. More often than not ,they do top up the engine oil which they normally sell to the client. My question is,is it advisable to measure the level of engine oil after the vehicle has been running and you happen to get into a petrol station to refuel?
    Personally I do refuse this check up by petrol attendant because I believe its not right. My reasoning is , the oil is distributed in the engine system so you can’t get a correct reading . Kindly advise. Thank you

    1. N Barnett says

      Dead right, you should always check oil level when the vehicle is cold and standing still, the oil, as you say, will still be dribbling down from the lubrication channels.
      That’s general advice, but your owner’s manual will tell you specifically how and when to check the oil on your car.

  59. Geoffrey says

    when am I suppose to drive on “L”?

  60. Shammie Runyowa says

    A great lesson for me! I was getting more and more into the neutral mode @ red robot until my Son brought me this very important tip & advice of driving….I am so grateful. Thank you so much!

  61. harold says

    thanks for your advice

  62. Jupiter Cheembo says

    Thanks for that good advice

  63. Cosmas Oduya says

    Where am I supposed to use gears like N and L

  64. vilitati kina says

    then what is the purpose of having the neutral gear coz it will cost more damage

    1. N Barnett says

      The wear effect of changing to neutral at the lights is minimal, but there are times when you need “no gear at all”. Also the gearbox needs that pause between reverse and drive.
      Read the manual for your car, it tells you what to do.

  65. Silas says

    I do service every. 5000km,but Nissan advance has a problem during hot day u drive until the vehicle loss power u stop and start the engine again at some point it fails to start u Wait to cool

  66. Andrew says

    So how do I resolve the broked pin issue?Have seen this happening to my car,hence each time I want to engage from parking,to reverse it goes to neutral that’s where reverse is then neutral is at Driver.This has made my car to only use 1 and 2 and not at drive.Please help me,it consuming a lot of fuel.

  67. Melvin K. Musesa says

    This is a awesome guidance.

  68. Willex says

    When do you use the neutral mode in an automatic car???

  69. Von says

    Thanx for the advice….you are responding to our very important questions here, Im not sure if this is deliberate or what….but I will ask again…..WHAT IS THE NEUTRAL GEAR FOR THEN?

  70. Francis says

    Good tips

  71. Daktari mKenya says

    Worthy advice

  72. Sanaa PM says

    I drive a Subaru which has a manual model and shift paddles. I tend to use that a lot when going down steep hills or inclines as I live in a mountainous country. The tendency is to shift from drive to manual (low gears). Can this cause damage as well? what is your recommendation?

  73. Aitui Failauga says

    Thank you so much for helping us, thanks a lot Toyota from Japan

  74. Kazimiri H. says

    Thank you stake holder for the safety of our lives and property.

  75. Professor Markins says

    Hello! Thank you for the great article. I have a pressing issue here that I need any specialist’s help. My car has this tendency of switching off each morning or during the day when the engine has rested for sometimes. Also when driving of neutral gear it is okay but when driving on the Drive gear without accelerating the engine switches off several times. I have replaced the ignition distributor and the throttle but the problem persist. Kindly help. The fuel pump and filters are all new. My car is Toyota Carina. Thank in advance.

  76. wilberforce Sewe says

    Thank you Matsumoto Naoki we learn alot from your driving advice.

  77. Moses Komwa says

    Quite useful advice

  78. Dr.A says

    Pro.markin…u hv to chek crank pos. Sensor

  79. Phanuel Ochieng says

    I have learnt a lot here and have already taught my staff mates, though I am not a driver.

  80. Julia M Tahu says

    most appreciate your sharing of knowledge and though I only have 1 bad habit in driving my auto I will now make that change..Looking forward to your future sharing

  81. garnet Scott says

    What can I do to stop the sport mode from jumping on and off

  82. Sayan says

    Exactly what I want to know.

  83. Don says

    Quite informative thanks.
    But my question would be,when are we supposed to use the neutral, or where is its value in the automobile?

  84. Hastings Kadya says

    This is very important to learn alot about how to keep the engine and Gearbox working perfectly.also the donts on to use the neautral gear.

  85. Mark turibu says

    The material is educative , can you please elaborate on , why should we not keep the car at neutral when there is red right?

  86. Philip kimwele says

    I doubt the competence of this write ups.To assert that shifting to neutral gear cuts oil supply to the engine sounds untrue and preposterous.

  87. Krishna says

    When the car is required to be stationary for 3 to 5 minutes and I want to remove my foot from brake pedal, do I just pull up hand brake or first go to N and them pull up hand brake?
    Lovely article

  88. Francis Desmond Tutu Phiri says

    It was a gud article n education

  89. Rui Kudungu says

    Very educative. How can one change the funny Japanese voices and the writings displayed on the radio screenplay on Japanese imported cars?

  90. henry mjema says

    Nice lesson

  91. SUjoy Gharami says

    It was great article and amazing to read !!we just love your articles as we are automotive mechanics !!

  92. […] Things To Avoid While Driving An Automatic […]

  93. jorge says

    Tenho um Toyota Allion 1.8 quando acelero muito ele acede Check engine o que pode ser.nao e frequente posso ficar muito tempo e depois isso acontece.



  95. BOWEN says

    A good gesture on how to handle automatic vehicle types on the road without making unnecessary blunders, thumbs up!

  96. Brian mwenya says

    a good tips on how to handle automatic transmission car

  97. thanks for it

  98. Lary Cook says

    That’s some useful information. My daughter just started learning to drive and I referred her this article and this was surely of great help to her. Kudos to the writer.

  99. Momo B. Gray says

    This is great. I love the entire lesson.

  100. Millie Hue says

    I totally agree when you said that being able to be aware of the kind of transmission of your car will not just keep you safe on the road, but it will prolong the life of your vehicle. I guess I would really have to enroll in a driving school to fully understand these things first hand. Maybe, I will look for a driving school next year after I finish my baking course since I do not have extra money for now.

  101. Peter Mwangi Mugo says

    I don’t understand the purpose of neutral gear and none of you seem to explain it properly…
    What’s the difference between when the car is stationary and on… And when the car is moving at neutral…..

  102. Ogada says

    Quite insightful, drivers need to know more of their vehicles lest the
    damage becomes unbearable.

  103. Gvm says

    Can we start car in P mode, or move them to N and then start. Say vw gt.

  104. Akshay says

    Nice article…. You give us good knowledge about drive a automatic car. This article is very useful for us.
    Thank you for sharing this great article.

  105. Kamando Saidi says

    Thanks guys. I have learnt much from your article. Be blessed.

  106. Joseph mundan says

    Quite educative indeed.

  107. Francis Xavier says

    Thanks for the great knowledge

  108. olupot james says

    I have just procured the Japanese automatic vehicle and this lectures have perfected my driving skills!!!!!
    Thank you so very much and I you keep on taking us through different areas.

  109. elphone says

    thanks i have learnt a lot of good to practice

  110. elphone says

    learnt a lot of good things for better driving

  111. Samson Ifedayo says

    When I move the gear to 1, 2 and 3 respectively. The car moves. When I move it to “D” it also engages 1 alone and doesnt changes to gear 2. What do you think is wrong? Nevertheless it engages reverse.

  112. rohit aggarwal says

    thanks for the information

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