Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

"Drop a gear and disappear"

I have a question, so I have a 1994 Chevrolet Silverado. Would using the 1,2 and 3 on my automatic transmission to shift be bad? I’m just asking in case I’m cruising and want to “drop a gear and disappear” sorry if I sound dumb, I just need some info and feedback

No it won’t hurt the transmission.

But why would you do this? The truck will downshift from OD (4th) to 3rd when you hit the gas without any other input from you. Are you trying to grab 2nd from 4th?

I figure I could use third and drop to second and smash it. Would it instantly do it instead of OD doing it for me?

I expect it’s the same either way, from the point of view of the transmission. It doesn’t know what caused the command to downshift, the innards of the throttle body, or the shifter linkage moving. I suppose what you are asking tho is if you downshift much further than the transmission normally would by itself. Like driving at 70 mph and manually shifting into second or even first gear. Would that hurt the engine or transmission b/c of the high resulting engine rpm? … hmm … well, I can’t see how it would help the life of either the engine or transmission. But I doubt it would do much in the way of harm either. Suggest if you want to give it a go, to try it gradually. 50 mph manual downshift one gear, see what happens, etc. etc. At some point I expect what will happen is you’ll manually do a downshift and nothing will happen, b/c the transmission will lock that command out until the vehicle speed is low enough.

Instantly? No, no more instantly than a normal kick-down.

Drop a gear and disappear. In a 23 year old truck ? Only if so much smoke comes out of the exhaust pipe that it can’t be seen.


It wouldn’t hurt anything. But there would be zero benefit from doing it. Flooring the accelerator would get you exact same result without the added time it takes to physically move the gear lever.

1 Like

Modern automatics will prevent the driver from destroying them. They recognize the driver’s commands (via the shifter and the throttle position) and check to make sure they’ll be safe to the powertrain. They won’t for example, allow you to shift into second at 75mph unless the car is capable of 75mph in second. You might be able to move the lever, but the tranny won’t downshift until it’s mechanically safe to do so.

I don’t know about a '94 Silverado, but I suspect it’s modern enough to prevent driver-inflicted damage to itself.

The only thing a modern car cannot protect itself against is a loose nut behind the steering wheel. But that’s another discussion! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

1 Like

She’s a good truck. Lasted us a long time