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Blond moment + wrong gear =?

2007 Chevy Impala 1LT

3.5L FF engine

Auto trans

15,500 miles

Okay, I did something really stupid this evening. Took the car to an automatic car wash to get all the road salt washed off and the underside well blasted clean of salt. It’s one of those where you get the left tires on the track and it pulls the car through. I thought I had put the car in neutral like I should. But when I got to the end of the line I discovered I’d somehow bumped it into reverse rather than neutral. Sooooo, the car was busy trying to go in reverse the entire few minutes it was being dragged through the car wash. I’ve only driven it the couple of miles home from there since. Can’t see any damage to the tires, didn’t smell anything hot, and transmission seemed to behave normally on the way home. I’ll look more closely at the tires tomorrow in daylight.

1) How likely is it I’ve done any damage to the transmission?

2) How likely I’ve damaged the tires or anything else?

3) Any particular transmission or other mechanical service I should go get as a result of this?

4) Is it okay to change my hair color in hopes of avoiding any future such dumb blond moments?



…still reading, still learning!

I wouldn’t worry too much about this. Soapy water has some slip to it anyway.

Don’t beat yourself up over gender or hair color contributing to this. There’s not a person alive who has not had a “blond moment”; and I’ve had a couple myself.
(A couple of those 2 wheeled motorcycle adventures are funny now, but at the time…)

Being in gear at idle on a automatic transmission, is not much different then being in nutueral, in that the torx converter is allowed to slip. The car will creep without the break being applied in gear though. I suspect no harm.

Thanks for the replies. I won’t worry then. But I did have to make a joke out of it being a blond moment. :wink:

it’s like pulling up stopping at the top of a hill and it rolling backwards in drive i agree with these guys totally

Blond people don’t get a lot of guff here, but some poor teacher wrote in and caught a little. The wash damage light hasn’t been invented yet and we hope it is never needed.

I agree with all of the others…no damage. The difference was safely absorbed by the torque converter. The torque converter is designed to effectively “disconnect” an idling engine from the drivetrain. The difference in speeds is safely and easily absorbed by the fluid in the converter and safely dissipated as a wee tiny bit of heat energy.

Personally I have “poor old geezer” moments. It’s good to be able to laugh at our mistakes.

You’re ALL having a “Blonde” moment. :0) Rocketman

Look on the bright side. At least it wasn’t a brain fart…

You’ll be fine, dont worry about it.


Well, it certainly wasn’t the first goof I’ve ever made and surely won’t be the last. I was aggravated at myself but at the same time couldn’t help a rueful laugh at myself for having made the sort of error that is fodder for typical “dumb blond” jokes. So, while being serious in my questions about potential damage, I tossed in the tongue in cheek joke at my own expense.

Thanks for the feedback and I’m darned glad to know I can not worry about this except to be more careful about which gear the car is REALLY in next time I take it to the automatic car wash. (I usually wash it myself but it was too cold outside and I wanted the underside blasted clean too.)