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2009 Subaru Forester- Driving in low gear

I just found out that my daughter drove her 2009 subaru forester over 1000 miles (from Washington, D.C. to Memphis Tennessee) in 1st gear. Going an average of 80 mph on the highway. The car seems to be driving fine now, but I’m taking it in to the mechanic to check for damage. What’s the worst I can expect here? Is the engine most likely completely blown?

Are you sure ? I don’t think 1st gear will even reach 80 MPH . Is that what she said and if so have her show you what she did.

Edit: If this is an automatic and she selected 1st in the manual shift mode I think the transmission will shift to higher gears on its own . Your mechanic can verify that.

Also what the Heck is she doing averaging 80 MPH on public roads anyway. She may have driven 80 but to average that is close to impossible.

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I have a Forester, and this is a concern I have when I let me kids borrow the car. It is too easy to have it move from D to L accidentally. Good luck.

If the car still runs and isn’t knocking, the engine isn’t blown.

John, doesn’t the automatic transmission in the Forester shift on it’s own even when the gear selected is first or low ? If this vehicle is a manual am I correct that it can’t reach 80 MPH in first ?

It is not possible to reach 80 mph in first gear–period.
If somebody attempted to do so, the engine would be at its “redline” RPMs, would reach a maximum of… maybe… 40 mph, and would likely self-destruct after a few miles.
It is entirely possible that she drove for that distance at 80 mph in third gear, but… first gear?

I’m not sure how the Forester in '09 behaved. I have driven cars accidentally in low and they just hols that gear.

Pretty sure it wasn’t in 1st gear. In my son’s 2007 it is easy to miss D (drive) and end up in 3rd instead, but to get lower takes an intentional move. So your daughter probably was in 3rd, which cost her some mpgs, not much else.