How Long Can A Car Continue to Move in Reverse Gear?

Driving in reverse gear is not something that you do all the time. Most people do it occasionally such as when backing out of a parking spot, garage, or parallel parking. In most cases, the car moves in reverse gear only for a short time. But, have you ever thought of keep driving in that gear? Is that even possible to do so? Let’s find out.

How Long a Car Moves in Reverse Gear?

It’s possible to move it for an indefinite period! Driving backward in reverse gear is similar to driving forward in first gear. If your car runs on an automatic transmission, it will automatically move to higher gears with the increase of speed. As the reverse has only one gear, you have to maintain a certain speed to keep the vehicle running in the reverse mode. So, it can be said that even if the car moves in reverse gear as long as you want, you have to drive it within a specific speed limit.

car moves in reverse gear
You can drive in reverse gear for an indefinite period. Source: Shutterstock

If you want to speed up, you have to reverse the complete gear mechanism of your car. Average cars have four normal gears and one reverse gear. You have to interchange that mechanism to drive backward comfortably and get the maximum speeds when doing so.


Is There Any Problem When Car Moves in Reverse Gear?

A car is not designed to drive backward. The single reverse gear is there to give your vehicle adequate torque at low speeds so it moves from a standstill. A cars engine and other components are compatible with driving in reverse gear for an extended time or higher speeds.

The durability and resilience of the reverse gear are much less than what the gears and bearings of the forward gears can endure. Normally, you spend only a fraction of time in reverse. So, driving in that mode for a long time will put stress on the reverse gear components. Besides, the car will make more sound and generate more heat in that condition. What is worse, the car won’t release much heat in the reverse mode, leading to the overheating of inner components.

car moves in reverse gear
The engine will take a heat if you drive too long in reverse gear. Source: CarNewsCafe

The engine is going to be another area of concern. There is only one reverse gear, which means that you are driving the car constantly in the first gear. Running a large distance in reverse means the RPM will go up, causing overheating of engine components. It will lead to serious damage to and failure of the valve train, piston rings, camshafts, and more parts. Eventually, the engine will fail and the gearbox will be broken.

How to Drive the Car in Reverse Gear without Any Issue?

If you want to drive a lot in reverse gear, either for fun or adventure, there are two options. You have to change the transmission mechanism so that there is more reverse gear than just one. However, it’s an expensive modification.

Another option is to buy an electric vehicle (EV). The EVs have compatible mechanism to run the same motor moving forward and backward without any extra wear. You will also be able to speed up without making any modification.