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[Solved] Good/Bad habits while using an automatic transmission


Topic starter

Hi Scotty and Friends,

I recently started driving an automatic car, prior to which I used to drive a manual gear car in my home country. Out of habit here are few things I do:

1. Switch to neutral, if I know I am going to idle for long at a stoplight. More of a habit from driving a manual car as holding on the clutch can hurt. I figured the automatic transmission might benefit from it.

2. While at a stoplight on the top of an inclined road, accelerate slightly instead of breaking so that the car doesn't roll back. This is something I used to do back in my home country as cars there do not have fancy tech like hill hold. I feel there is a two-fold benefit here, one, the car doesn't slip back and you don't have to squeeze the breaks with a clock ticking in your head. Two, when you start off the wheel don't slip since the take-off is gradual. Not sure how this wears out the transmission parts though.

Looking forward to inputs on this from a car maintenance and road safety perspective.

Thanks in Advance!

1 Answer

Bad habits.

  1. Unnecessary and potentially dangerous. No significant benefit.
  2. Don't do this. Read your owner's manual. It probably says something along the lines of "do not use the accelerator to hold the vehicle on a hill. This could damage your transmission". Automatics don't roll back on slight inclines at all. On steeper hills, I lightly hold the brake with my left foot and accelerate with the right until vehicle takes off.

@mmj thank you!!

enjoy driving a civilized car that doesn't feel like a farm plow