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Could these problems be caused by throwing car in park while moving?

Today i was driving and was going about 10-15mph,i didn’t feel like braking, i threw it in park. My car is a 2003 pontiac sunfire that did NOT have any issues at least until now. Althought i think the “eerrie” noise has been going on.

The problems:

Whenever i brake in REVERSE my car goes “errreeeee” like a screech not super loud but definitely not quiet. ONLY reverse for the most part.

Second one is… my speedometer is “lagging” let’s say i’m going 45mph and accelerate to 55 in 3 seconds. It will take 4-5 seconds for it to reach 55. This gets noticeable at times.

Could either of these be somehow related to what i did, or is my car fine? It still drives fairly normal.

The noises are only when BRAKING only in reverse. Not when i’m shifting gears. I don’t really have problems shifting gears.

I don’t think we should even bother to comment.

What a boneheaded move.
I hope you have no savings…little income…and you’re trans is shot…you deserve it!!!


Yosemite, that doesn’t help me. What’s done is done. Your immature comment doesn’t do anything for me or help me whatsoever. I hope you’re not a mechanic because you’re probably bad and rude to your customers.

What is the answer to my question based on what i’ve said? I don’t see how my transmission is ruined when i can shift perfectly fine…

They’re both related to what you did. To get from D to P, you need to go past R. It’s designed that way intentionally to keep people from doing what you did, because that can damage the transmission.

My guess is that your move also damaged the Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) system, which reads from the transmission output shaft how fast it’s rotating. The VSS is an inductive system consisting of a “reluctor” on the output shaft with a magnet that passes a “pickup” and induces a pulse every time it passes. The alignment and the spacing are critical. My guess is that you shifted the output shaft axially, adversely affecting the ability of the pickup to sense the speed of the shaft properly. That axial shift may also be the cause of your new noise in reverse.

In short, you damaged your tranny. You need now to find a reputable tranny shop and tell them what you’ve done. Bring your checkbook. You’re gonna need it. Consider this a very expensive lesson.

The same mountainbike… assuming you are correct (lets hope not) what am i looking at? Will the mechanics be able to tell me if the speedometer is off and what is causing it? Is it possible somehow these are not bad problems or possibly easy repairs at all? Like i said the car is shifting fine… It’s only when i brake in reverse. It could be my sense of time is off also with the speedometer just not likely.

I’m unable to estimate how much this might cost to fix. You’ll need a tranny shop to do that.
For the record, I hope I’m wrong.

Mountainbike, is it possible nothing is wrong technically from this?

Or should i say, nothing SERIOUS is wrong from this?

Most electronically controlled automatics have failsafes built in to keep damage from occurring from things like this. My Bronco with the E4OD did. It was going in for a transmission rebuild anyway, , and I decided to throw it into park at 50 MPH to test the theory… Nothing happened at all, it just kept going like it was in drive.

I had a similar problem as a teen-ager. I had learned to drive a standard transmission (straight stick) car. The first time I drove an automatic, I was at a stoplight and the car next to me was revving up his engine for a drag race. I shifted the automatic into “D” for drag and stepped down on the pedal. When the car abreast of me started to pull ahead, I shifted into “L” for lunge. For a while I was staying with him, and then he started to pull ahead. I looked down at the selector and saw a “P”. Thinking that meant Power, I shifted to “P” and that’s when I had real trouble.
At least my reason for shifting into “P” was better than your excuse " ,i didn’t feel like braking,[so] i threw it in park".
{for all you regulars out there, I couldn’t resist this occasion to use that old joke from my teenage years of the 1950s}.

triedaq is it possible my car is fine though? it’s a 2003 pontiac and it is still shifting without any real issues.

And this is why I rarely buy used automobiles.

fodaddy this is a 2003 sunfire. would this have those failsafes you were referring to?

I’m immature!!!

My poor boy I feel so sorry that you have had such a terrible…tramatic event that might cost you well in the excess of $1000-$2000 dollars. And that your car may be in the shop for 10 days.

How will you ever get to your “Advanced Adulthood” meetings …three nights a week. And deliver meals to the handicap the other four.
You are so nice and for something like this to happen to a good, kind alterboy like yourself is just not fair.

The good lord should not be so harsh upon you as your struggles have been so great.
Doesn’t the “big guy” know that you had just saved that blind woman from the burning building.
This is so unfair!!!

It was the fault of those highschool girls that were walking past that made you do such a thing.

But maybe this will just be…a loose bumper bolt…or a $2 washer that fell off. Or maybe it could be the cat dragging from the muffler that is making your transmission act funny.
Maybe if you slam it into park again it will throw whatever is rattling around, back in place.


Sorry…Mr. Dufus


@gabermarshall–I have no idea whether or not your transmission was damaged. Some metal from the parking pawl could have been sheared off and is floating around in the transmission. I would have the transmission pan removed which might reveal something. Then have the filter and transmission fluid replaced. I would do this as soon as possible.
I remember when some automatic transmissions–the GM Hydramatic through at least 1954, and the original Chrysler Powerflyte didn’t have a Park position. One of my high school classmates was the fussiest about his parents’ car of anyone in the class. He refused to use the Park gear–when he parked the car, he would put it in neutral and set the parking brake. The car was a beautiful 1956 Chevrolet BelAir 2 door V-8.

Yosemite. You seem pretty grumpy and upset. You calling me a “boy” indicates your an older guy. Go take your Alzheimer’s meds. I’m not your grandson, go slap him around papa hick.

triedaq didn’t you also (during your story) shift into park at a way higher speed then i did?as well as an older car you did it with?

@gabemashall–read the last line of my post. This was an old joke of the 1950s when only 50% of the cars had automatic transmissions. I did state that when shifting into P my troubles began. My family didn’t own a fully automatic transmission in a car (we did have both a Dodge and a Desoto with the “lift and clunk” semi-automatic transmissions, but these cars had a clutch pedal and no Park position) until they bought a 1960 Rambler with automatic when I was in college. That car had push buttons, and to put the car in park, you had to push the neutral button and then push in a lever below the dashboard.
I did, however, learn how to shift the manual transmission cars that did not have a synchronized low gear into first gear while the car was moving by double clutching without causing the gears to clash.

Triedaq, i’m not sure i get the joke really, but i think i do. On topic however, in your opinion is it possible or likely the car is fine after this? I mean it is shifting fine, really. But i have small issues that kinda came after this. Also, do you agree with the other poster that said most newer cars have safety features for this (would this include my car 2003 sunfire?)