Reverse to Drive without braking

My new girlfriend has a 2005 Toyota Matrix. When backing out of the driveway she doesn’t come to a stop before putting the car in Drive and moving forward. I cringe every time she does this, and have told her I think she’s heading toward an expensive tranny repair if she doesn’t stop this. I rarely if ever put my car in Drive from backing without coming to a stop. Is she looking at problems down the road or should I keep my mouth shut?


Brakes are much cheaper than transmissions. Come to a full stop between R and D.


My 92 Explorer never showed any signs from coasting back a few feet with it in drive before accelerating forward.
My 08 Expedition shivers like a chihuahua. I think it’s trying to tell me something. ( so I don’t do that in the 08 but it’s a hard habbit to break. )

Some cars have fly-by-wire transmissions that will override your shift if it’s bad for the car. Your girlfriends’ might be one of them.

But even if it is, it’s a terrible habit to get into. If she doesn’t break her car, she’ll borrow one that she will break.

Yep, bad idea. This puts lots of stress on both the transmission and motor/transmission mounts, both are $$$ to fix.

Even though you are right, you should pick your battles with a new relationship, especially if she doesn’t like being told how to drive her cay by her new boyfriend.

I’ve gotten on my mom about this several times, but she doesn’t listen. She’s usually in N before she’s backed fully out of the driveway/parking spot, then puts it in drive. The other day she did it in my step dad’s truck and I heard a groaning noise coming from the rear of the truck, most likely the driveshaft or rear diff(do vehicles have rear diffs if they’re RWD?)

So then, I’d have to opine ;
If the CAR isn’t arguing with her ( as does my 08 )
then you shouldn’t either.

I let my girls do what they like, when the problem is serious they are all ears.


(assuming it’s a front-engine. Mid-engine/rear-engine wouldn’t)

I agree with “oldschool”. Unless you have a financial interest in her car, she’s been warned, let it rest and read a book while she drives. Inform her though, that she’ll NEVER drive your car regardless of how “idiot proof” modern transmissions are. The only person I’ve ever known who could consistently get away with such practices was Broderick Crawford of Highway Patrol. But maybe his car was replaced every episode.

As others have said this is a very bad driving technique. It is simply lazy in my opinion. In my work I had to critique driving performance of my sales reps and would correct this action with my comments. If my wife did this in our cars she would listen to criticism to avoid a large repair bill.

A girl friend is another matter entirely. If she drives your car you can tell her how to drive your car. You can’t tell her how to drive her car, unless you are going to be the one paying to repair her car. If she pays her own repair bills you can give her a lesson in correct technique but if she persists its her car and her money.

If she won’t change, don’t expect her to suddenly listen to you once you are married. She will continue this until she blows out a tranny and has to pay the piper.


My opinion is that you should explain in nice terms that this is likely to damage the car but then drop it after that (assuming that she’ll be paying for the eventual repair).

It’s an 89 C1500(pre-Silverado name) automatic, with a 305 IIRC. Doesn’t even have a posi rear end.
And, from what she told me when I said something about it(even she didn’t like the sound of it), even my step dad has gotten on her case about not completely stopping when she’s backing out. Worse is that if they have to go into work separately, she has to drive his truck and he drives her car(for reasons I won’t go into on here). The truck has sentimental value to my step dad, and I don’t even want to guess how bad the argument is gonna be if/when she breaks something expensive on the truck.

Just don’t marry her. Then she’ll do this to your cars.

Yes, she is damaging the drivetrain of her car, every single time she does that.
Changing gears (R to D or the other way around) while the car is not at a COMPLETE STOP is simply a big no-no. This applies to both automatic as well as manual transmissions. This is fully spelled out, in the Owner’s Manual. She should try and read it sometime.

Do not keep your mouth shut. Mention this to her once or twice. That should be enough.
Explain to her, that you are only telling her this because you care deeply about her and her wellbeing-being stranded with a broken transmission in the most inconvenient place and time is not safe.
If she is unable to grasp the reasoning behind it all, NEVER let her drive your car, or marry her.

Broken transmission keeps your car from going.

Broken brakes keeps your car from stopping.

Which would you rather have?

“She will continue this until she blows out a tranny”