Downshifting an automatic transmission car at high speed

My husband has an automatic transmission 2007 Honda Accord Coup. While traveling at high speed(50-60mph), he will down shift into a lower gear instead of using the break then shift back into the drive gear while the car is still moving. At other times, he will shift into neutral then back into drive before using the break. I am concerned that this action will shorten the life of the transmission. He says it will only take away his fun. Please tell me if I am wrong so I can stop worrying.

I’ll let other more knowledgeable people comment on the transmission wear from downshifting instead of braking.

However, I don’t understand the part about shifting into neutral. What is the reason for that? Usually this discussion comes up (over and over, unfortunately) from misguided hypermilers, where it’s noted that this is illegal in many places due to the minor safety issues involved.

It has been mentioned in many previous posts that worn brakes are certainly cheaper than replacing a transmission…I drove a shift car for 50 years now drive an auto…I never considered shifting “fun” nor do I find not having to shift anything other than a new convenience.

My husband is not down shifting to save mileage. I believe he does it because it makes him feel like he has a manual transmission and has fun shifting without the nuisance of having to shift all the time.

In that case, he should have gotten a car with one of those manumatics and not a normal automatic. He’ll likely wear our the shifter before he wears out the transmission, unless he’s in neutral when he needs to be in drive to get out of the way of something quickly

The only thing I can suggest is to have his mechanic tell him how much a new transmission cost vs the cost of new brakes.

That said, I would consider a new transmission much cheaper than a marriage counselor.

He probably won’t hurt a modern automatic transmission in a 2007. What is a “break”?

spelling error!

Go to the hardware or discount store and buy a short plumber’s plunger. Then go to the auto parts section of WalMart or an auto parts store and purchase a sporty gearshift knob. Attach the knob to the plunger and then use the suction cup of the plunger and attach to the floorboard of the Honda. Your husband can then “shift gears” to his heart’s content and you won’t have the concern that he is damaging the transmission.

Love it!

Seriously, he has no business shifting into neutral while in motion (with the exception of dealing with a runaway engine/stuck throttle). “R” is right next to “N”, and sooner or later he will shift into reverse at high speed and leave bits of transmission down the road! I don’t see any harm in shifting down a gear for fun, although the higher revs will hurt his mileage a bit. And as mentioned before, brakes are a lot cheaper than transmissions.

There shouldnt be any harm done

Every time he shifts like this fluid pressure is being removed and applied to certain clutch packs inside the transmission.
While this may come across as very subtle in feel to the driver it’a actually the equivalent of a sledge hammer pounding.

Keep it up and transmission problems will occur at some point. The sad part is that some dealer tech may wind up having to work for a pittance while rebuilding or replacing the tranmission under warranty due to sheer abuse on the car
owner’s part.
It would not be a warranty issue at all if the dealer and Honda Motor Co. knew what was being done to the car and I’d be willing to bet if a trans problem occurs your hubby is not going to say one word to the dealer about his shifting habits while wondering aloud exactly why the trans dropped prematurely.

He may not need to tell them, possibly the car will tell them exactly what he’s doing. I read somewhere that on modern cars with OBD II the ECM/PCM keeps track of shifts to reverse and other oddities while the car is in forward motion. Has anyone heard of this?

He should be driving a car with a manual transmission. I guess nobody bothered to tell him that automatics are not meant to be operated in this manner.

If it’s “fun” he wants, go buy a car with a stick.

As mentioned elsewhere, and on a recent Clic & Clac post, someday your sporty husband will over-enthusiastically slam the lever in REVERSE and you will have to forego that Mexican Holiday, that’s what the transmission repair will cost. The suggestion of a toilet plunger with a shift knob on it is certtainly a low cost solution for your husband’s problem as to what to do with his right hand.