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Accidentally shifted to Park while moving around 15mph

Car is a 2000 Toyota Corolla. I was pulling up to my mailbox and instead of coming to a complete stop, I accidentally shifted to park (I think it was around 15mph)…the tires immediately locked. I then put it back into drive and it seems to be OK, all the gears seem to be working.

Do you think this damaged the gears? Should I change the transmission fluid (I believe I changed it 10K miles ago)?


When you shifted into park while moving, you engaged the parking pawl.

That’s why the tires locked up.

If the parking pawl is damaged, the car will roll when placed into park.



I agree with tester except to add that a damaged parking pawl can also make shifting the car out of Park impossible. If you can shift it out of and into park normally, and it doesn’t roll on an incline when in park, it’s okay. I would recommend against using a steep hill to test it, as you can even get a good 17-year-old pawl (with normal wear) to get stuck, and there’s no point taking such a chance.

I have the same car. Those transmissions are tough and can take a lot of abuse and I don’t think you damaged anything.If you park on a incline: engage the parking brake before you put your gear shifter in Park.This will take the load off the parking pawl.

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I absolutely support this advice, and do this myself.

The question is why does the OP even have his hand on the shift lever before coming to a complete stop.