Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Accidentally stepped on the gas pedal, while the car is in the park position

I accidentally stepped on the gas pedal of my brand new Mazda CX-5, when I had the car in park, while waiting for the outside bank teller. The car made a revving sound at the time, but seems to be driving OK. I am wondering if I have done any short/long term damage to the motor, engine, transmission or any other part of the vehicle. Advice welcome.

How long did you hold the gas down? I doubt any damage was done.

1 Like

Nope, no damage was done, except perhaps to the OP’s dignity.

Modern vehicles have electronic systems that will not allow you to rev the engine so fast that you will damage it. When the engine’s speed reaches the “red line” on the tachometer, the fuel supply is cut off, so that you can’t over-rev the engine.

No problema!


Great to hear that no damage was done and that new cars have a built in system that prevents one from over revving the engine. Certainly, something I hope I won’t be doing accidentally again!

To answer the prior question, my guess is that I had my foot on the pedal for about 10-20 seconds, before I realized what was happening. The drive thru bank teller was in a tunnel, so it was very dark and obviously I wasn’t paying attention to the position of my foot, while I was parked waiting. Luckily, I had shifted the car into PARK, as I had difficulty estimating the distance between the capsule and the brick walls on both sides of the car, as I entered the tunnel. Honestly, I was more concerned about damaging the exterior of my new car, since I just got rid of my 10 year old minivan. The last thing I anticipated was revving up the engine due to my misplaced foot. Probably won’t be going to that drive-thru again anytime soon.

Many thanks!


The wonderful thing about modern computer controlled engines is that the computers will not allow you to damage the engine simply by revving it. You can sleep soundly. You have done no damage. Except, of course, perhaps to those slacks you were wearing.

I bet that it only seems like up to 20 seconds, but probably was much less. Enjoy your new car for many years to come.

LGC There are actually times when it can be helpful to rev your engine while in park.

Here’s one such situation:

Worry no more!

It’s especially helpful to rev the car up when waiting for a bank teller who is taking a little too long for your liking. Hopefully, the teller has the mike turned up real loud.

It’s when you rev the engine…then while it’s at about 3000rpms…you throw it it low…That’s when the problems start to happen.

I know that my cars will not shift into D or R when moving in the opposite direction but stall, but I wonder if there is a buffer feature to protect the transmission when the rpms are too high. Any volunteers willing to check ?

There might be a check NOW…but the last time I did it (some 40 years ago) there weren’t. Friend of mind did it in high-school…and blew up his tranny.


If my understanding is correct, if you were at 3000 rom and then tried to throw it in low, the engine wouldn’t so readily allow it? It would actually protest such a move.

If my understanding is correct, if you were at 3000 rom and then tried to throw it in low, the engine wouldn't so readily allow it? It would actually protest such a move.

Todays electronic controlled tranny’s - I think so.

But 30 years ago nothing stopped you (except the durability of the tranny). And I don’t care how durable or well made the tranny was…you do that a few times…you’ll destroy that tranny or something in the drive train (U-Joints).

In HS driver’s ed I was luckily paired up with the prom queen of our class. One day we were practicing a technique on a hill, parking I guess. She was driving and I was in the back seat of a '64 4 dr Chevy with a 6 cyl auto transmission drivers ed car. The instructor told her to start moving forward and she stepped on the gas. Problem was the car was in neutral and started rolling backwards. She stepped harder on the gas and the car pick up speed rolling backwards. Then she realized she was in neutral and reached for the column shifter. The instructor said NO very loud and perhaps a other couple of x@@!!yy words but didn’t get to her hand in time. She hit drive with the motor racing at about 5000 rpm and moving backwards at 10-15 mph. The car shuttered, made a huge banging noise and stalled. We got out and there was transmission fluid all over the road. We walked back to school, with the instructor muttering something about how was he going to explain this to the principal. The car was towed to the Chevy dealer who provided the 2 driver’s ed cars on loan to the school system. That took one of the cars out of service and it wasn’t replaced so everyone heard the story of how Linda D. wiped out the driver’s ed car.

Hee hee. My guy would have been doing more than muttering. He was a pretty hot head former Navy pilot. We had one girl in our car too (future mayor’s future wife), and it was the only time the instructor used his brake pedal to avoid a crash. 64 Ford, 4dr. Kinda likeed tht car.

Speaking of bad shifting, anyone remember a Mopar commercial with the car being shifted from ‘D’ to ‘R’ and back, repeatedly, while being given lots of gas? "60s or so…

Don’t remember those but my BIL used to take his 54 Desota and shift to reverse going about 20 mph just for fun. Tires would squeel like crazy but never hurt the transmission.

I remember how I used to hunt for parallel parking space in many parents’ Mazda and the car just would not cooperate. I would come to a complete stop, throw it in reverse, step on the gas before the transmission is done shifting, and the car just sat with the engine screaming while the electronics kept it out of trouble. And that just continued until I back off.

When I learned to drive a bus, the mechanics brought us under one that was on a lift. Then he pointed out how thin the driveshaft was and that it could easily snap. Indeed, one section was no thicker than the half shaft of a car. But that was built like that for a purpose. In case the driver does something stupid, the shaft would probably be the only thing that gives

No, that was the column shifters fault. A floor shifter, at the center of the car instead of right in front of the driver, would have been easily reached by the instructor

Is this really true?
MikeInNH If my understanding is correct, if you were at 3000 rom and then tried to throw it in low, the engine wouldn’t so readily allow it? It would actually protest such a move.