Is shifting to NEUTRAL saving fuel/pollution? 2008 Expedition

When going down a gentle hill, I shift into neutral.

Otherwise, with no gas, the vehicle is slowed by compression.

If if slows to a certain speed, the automatic transmission even shifts into a lower gear, rather than coasting in the high gear.

I just want to maintain the speed limit and not have to add gas to go down hill.

Any thoughts?

Thank you.

I think everything would be better if you left it in Drive.

This question is asked a lot.
The answer is no. In fact, for your specific truck, you will consume more gas going down the hill in neutral than in gear. If you leave it in gear, the wheels will turn the transmission, and the transmission will turn the engine. Since the transmission is turning the engine, the PCM will turn off all fuel to the engine (until your speed becomes too slow).
In neutral, the engine has to have fuel to keep idling.

Be careful Robt. Expeditions have been know to gather speed rather quickly, up to 105 mph with little effort on your part; right in their comfort zone.

So I’ve heard!

Thank you, tard.
That is the complication.
I must apply fuel just to get up to near the speed limit, going down various hills.
The amount of fuel, I presume, is greater than the fuel needed to maintain idle RPM.

It’s hard to guess, but let’s say that you are right and shifting to neutral results in marginal savings. Can you imagine that this would add up to even $10 a year. It’s also impossible to estimate how much this practice will result in shorter transmission, u-joint, or engine life. I just can’t see it being worth the hassle.
If your really want to save gas/reduce pollution then drive a motorcycle instead. With a cargo box in the rear, you should be able to haul at least some blood or whatever else it is that you transport.

Yes, imagine doing 120 mph to a hospital on a crotch rocket!
But the blood boxes are too big and often too many.
Plus, the motorcycle cannot travel on snow-closed highways and interstates.

I assume the drive train would gain slightly less wear when freely turning as opposed to bearing engine drag.

What is most bothersome is thathe transmission still down shifts when not under load. As though if I wanto coast at 30 mph, I must still keep the accelerator at a certain point rather than no gas and just coasting in high gear.
I believe it is a 6-speed automatic.

"I assume the drive train would gain slightly less wear when freely turning as opposed to bearing engine drag. "
The added wear comes from the slight jolt caused each time you shift from drive to neutral and from neutral to drive. Much like the gas savings, it probable doesn’t amount to anything that you could really detect.

If you are saving any gas it is minimal. There are control issues if you need to get on the gas for some reason.

I wonder about the implications on the transmission. Whether in neutral or in gear the drive shaft is moving and the transmission is spinning, however the torque converter is spinning at a slow speed as the motor idles. I know its not adviseable to tow an automatic car or truck with the wheels on the ground and the transmission spinning. The best you can say is this doesn’t help the transmission, you can’t say for certain that this won’t harm the transmission.

I don’t think the gas saved, if any, is worth the risk.

Every time you shift in and out of drive, the whole drivetrain takes a jolt. From the pistons to the CV joints, every bit of linkage takes a jolt. These components are designed to withstand normal use, but what you are doing is excessive. You will accelerate wear to these expensive components. I wouldn’t be surprised if the first thing to go is a motor mount or two.

I do believe he is talking about coasting to a stop, then putting it in gear. Yes I see the gas savings as a non issue but from the posters indication it is downshifting it sounds like no greater wear and tear his way.

The 2 ton dump body I run during the summer has an automatic that downshifts on it’s own to afford additional engine braking. It works great… The thought, I’m sure, of the engineers is that any unneeded build up of speed, is going to put more stress on the brakes and tranny when downshifting at that higher speed. Where a big vehicle is concerned; control is everything.

Robt, you’re barking up the same tree you did before, driving at 105 mph and expecting to control this beast as you are now circumventing the engineers intent to to make a safer vehicle.

Some advice, which you won’t take I’m sure, is to “let go”, drive the vehicle as was intended, and don’t set yourself for an accident.

There are people around us who know more about operating Ford Expeditions and law enforcement than we do. Let’s start trusting and working with them instead of against.

Again I think this is all a scam as no one could take this abuse and keep coming back for more, while trying to rationalize their poor driving. So far, we have criminal speeding, running red lights, unsafe vehicle operation. All under the “protection” of a red light. If I wrong, I apologize.
Regards !

Before coming to a stop, I place in Drive, maybe at 5 to 10 mph, so that engine idle and wheel speed are similar so there is no jolt.

There is a jolt whether you feel it or not…whether the vehicle is moving or not. What you are doing is kind of like backing out of the driveway and changing from reverse to drive while the vehicle is still moving backwards. It won’t break anything when you do it, but it will put additional stress on expensive drivetrain components. There is always a speed differential between the engine and transmission when you shift from neutral into gear. You don’t feel it when you shift into gear because the torque converter (which is also expensive to fix or replace) absorbs it. It is designed to absorb normal shifting, not what you are doing.

You might not plan to own your vehicle long enough to care about the potential damage you are doing, but in terms of risk vs. reward, you are taking an expensive gamble to save what I estimate could range from nothing to a few pennies in fuel. In terms of risk vs. reward there is no upside to doing what you are doing.

What is Ford’s rationale in having to press accelerator when coasting downhill?
I’d rather use a little brake to stay at or under the speed limit than speed up engine.

On level roadway, why does it shift to a lower gear when there is no load on the higher gear and I am coasting to a stop?
None of my Ford station wagons did that.

In manual shift vehicles I NEVER downshift.
To slow or to come to a stop, I coast in Neutral and use brakes.
Rather than wear engine and drive train and suck more fuel and emit pollution, better to wear brake pads a little. (If a long downgrade, I downshift only enough to still need brakes minimally to keep them cool.)

Going through red signals, I do not stop if cross-traffic has stopped.
The faster I get through and out of everyone’s way, the less of everyone’s fuel and time I’m wasting and less pollution.
Denver Police almost collided with a vehicle the officer did not see. The motorist did not hear and see the police car.
If my view is blocked, I check each lane before entering it. Never count on the siren being heard nor emergency lights noticed.

Don’t apologize. Speak your peace.

Before changing directions, I stop.

Even being gentle, am I causing undo wear by shifting between Drive and Neutral?
Is the opposite direction load on the drive train,(from being decelerated by engine compression) worse than all components freely moving under no load either way?

Wish I could put a flow meter on the fuel line to see if it is even worth it.

I try to keep my vehicles in excellent condition for the next owners, too.

Some people hear, but they don’t listen.

BTW, I have spoken my “piece”.
Peace be with you.

I try to keep my vehicles in excellent condition for the next owners, too.

How do you do this, by excessively shifting in and out of gear and by speeding excessively? What about over-inflating your tires? Is that supposed to help keep your suspension in peak condition? I guess I should go abuse my car so it is in excellent condition for the next owner too.

The difference between you and me is that there will be no next owner for my car. I plan to keep it and maintain it until it can’t be fixed anymore. That is why you will never see me with overinflated tires, driving 100+ MPH, shifting back and forth between drive and neutral while my car is in motion. Of course the other reason you won’t see me with overinflated tires, driving 100+ MPH, shifting back and forth between drive and neutral while my car is in motion is that I have enough common sense to value my life, and, to a lesser extent, my money. Everything you do is a cause of higher-than-necessary maintenance costs.

Knowing what I do about your driving habits, I would never buy one of your used vehicles.