Driving in and starting up in third gear

My husband constantly plays with the gear shift. He switches to neutral to coast and then switches from drive to third to start off from a stop sign or light. I think it is hard on a transmission to start driving a car in third gear. I was always taught that you went from first, to second, etc. We have an automatic. My question is does it hurt the transmission to drive in third gear about 40 percent of the time—particularly when taking off.

With an AT he’s not doing anything by selecting 3rd - that’s the highest gear it’ll use once up to speed.

To clarify what texases said, when an automatic transmission is placed in third gear, the transmission does start in first gear, then it shifts to second, and then it shifts to third gear. So, what the OP’s very strange hubby is doing does not alter the way that the transmission shifts–until the point that the vehicle gets up to cruising speed.

Once the car gets up to cruising speed, he is essentially locking it in third gear, and is preventing the transmission from shifting to fourth gear/overdrive. This very weird behavior is probably driven by a lack of any real automotive knowledge, and is actually causing the car to use more gas (and to incur additional engine wear) by preventing it from shifting to fourth gear.

I would suggest that the OP show the posts in this thread to her husband, so that he can see that his actions are not saving gas, and are actually causing him to use more gas and to produce more wear and tear on his engine.

He’s fine…as long as he doesn’t start turning left, to go right!

i’d also be concerned about coasting in neutral. if there is a tachometer in the dash, have him look at the RPMs when he’s getting ready to shift into N, then have him look again after he’s shifted. higher RPMs usually means more gas consumption.

When I first saw the post I was sure this was going to be a question relating to a car with a manual trans.But then I read automatic.Now I have nothing at all to say.

Me, too. Boys, like girls, just wanna have fun! (Remember the old song?)

You do it your way, you’re right. AND let him do it his way, [ and let him think he’s right ;). ] Happy marriage = happy car.

You said it! ha ha ha

Different strokes for different folks.

Thanks for all the responses. MAYBE if he realizes he’s wasting gas he’ll stop. It drives me crazy!!!

Coasting in neutral isn’t a good idea. It means he can’t accelerate immediately if needed in an emergency. It’s also illegal in many states. Finally, some cars in the past could be damaged by coasting in neutral, but I don’t know if that still applies to any cars today.

As others have said, starting with the gearshift in 3 makes no difference until the car would normally shift from third gear to fourth gear. I don’t understand why he drives in third gear that much, though. I can see driving in a sporty manner by dropping to a lower gear for hard acceleration (even though it kills your gas mileage), but that’s certainly not 40% of the time, unless we’re talking about driving on twisty mountain roads.

Some day your husband is going to swith from drive to neutral and go a little too far and put the car in reverse while going forward. In today’s paper Tom and Ray had a letter from a driver who just ruined his tansmission doing that.

Tell your husband the auto transmission is a lot smarter than he is, and it is called AUTOMATIC because it shifts from first to second then to third, etc. There is no need to play with it, except to put it in reverse or park. Let him have his fun with the remote control for the TV & stereo; that’s much safer!