Accidentally turned off engine with car in drive

First time car owner and I feel like a complete potato after turning off my engine with the car still in drive. I parked my car and then turned off the engine and tried to pull out my key. It wouldn’t let me pull out my key so I thought that the key was stuck and spent 4 minutes trying to figure out the problem before realizing the car was still in drive. The car was motionless the entire time and I turned the key back and forth a ton.
My car is a 2016 Honda Civic and I am wondering if there is any significant damage in the short/long term I should worry about? Not worried about major damage but I’m wondering if it’s worth bringing up next time I get an oil change/inspection.

That doesn’t hurt anything itself. But the vigorous turning on the key might have damaged the ignition switch mechanism or the key itself. If there are no symptoms you could just ignore it, but if having a car that starts and runs reliably every time you turn the key to start it, probably makes sense to take it in for a pro-active inspection.

You will be fine, no worries. Thank you for asking, and motor on! Just curious where you are from as complete potatoe is new to me, and I love linguistics, or potato my bad.

You should have plenty of warranty time so need to mention it unless there is a problem. You should have a routine when you park-put car in park-set parking brake-turn off car.

Not a problem at all but don’t say a thing about it to the dealer lest you become a target for unnecessary work.

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I do it all the time with my wife’s automatic transmission car. I forget to put it in “park” before shutting off the engine. It’s a habit learned from driving manual transmissions where you want to park it in first gear. It does absolutely no harm to the engine or transmission.
The reason all those interlocks are there is so you can’t crank the engine with the transmission in drive and have the car surge forward as soon as the engine starts.

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Don’t feel bad. I’m sure most of us have done this at one time or another when distracted by something unusual while parking. I know I have.

I switch off the engine, set the parking brake, and then I can’t remove the key and then do a facepalm because I forgot to put it in park.

Yeah I have to admit I’ve done it a few times and then have to search for the unlock button to get out. When I put it in park the doors unlock, but if I shut it off first and then put it in park, the doors don’t unlock. So then it is trying to find the never used unlock button symbols (not words) to unlock the door or turn the key to on again and repeat putting it in park just to unlock the doors. Worse if its dark out and can’t see the buttons. Things used to be simpler.

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The correct technique is to set the parking brake, put gear selector in Park, turn off the engine. When starting the vehicle, it’s ignition, select D or R, release parking brake.

Why are replying to me on a two year old thread . I am not the one who does not know how to park a vehicle.

Yes from the bowels of issues from 2017. In driver’s training class in 1964, we were taught the proper sequence of parking and starting. Yes and it made sense. The guy was a former fighter pilot so knew something about proper procedures. But then we all make mistakes. Just the other day I was distracted at the post office by a guy making a J turn in back of me and forgot to take the parking brake off. Two blocks later I determined what the chime meant.

Between you and me Volvo, I too am starting to get a little annoyed with some of these and find my posts more sarcastic. But hey, site traffic is site traffic. No traffic, no money.


When starting the vehicle- if your foot is on the brake, what difference does it make if you shift into gear before or after releasing parking brake. Just curious.

The idea is to have the foot brake on. So you put your foot on the brake, release the parking brake, then shift into gear. Then the car won’t roll when the PB is released if a manual, or put pressure on the parking pawl if an automatic. Of course unlike some folks here, I never use the parking brake unless on a hill and then mainly to keep the pressure off the parking pawl. If you learn to do it in the correct sequence it just becomes automatic, so I never even realized when the cars switched to having to have the brake on to shift first.

Yeah, that’s how I do it. But I was wondering about the message I replied to which said to put into P or R before releasing the parking brake.