Riding the brake

I have a friend that borrows my 97 plymouth van he not only rides the brake and gas pedal at the same time but also even though its auto trans just has to shift from Drive to 2nd and often times fails to remember to to shift back to Drive.

These vans are known to have tranie probs. so with the high mileage 160.000, I just know he is adding wear and tear to the brakes and the tranie.

I will add there is zero reason to shift down to slow the engine as its reasonable flat grounds around here. I wonder if its riding the brake that makes him wish to downshift and automatic?

I have yet to speak with him on this as he is the type to demand proof about anything when questioned about anything.

Tracy, It Sounds Like You Either Need A Cooperative Friend Or Start Saving For A New Van.

You’re the van’s owner. Anything you wouldn’t do to your own van should be respected by your friend. No proof should be required.

I don’t blame you for being concerned. There’s no reason to use brake and gas together, unless of course you’re being paid as a race driver. Your friend will probably say that he is never on the brake and gas simultaneously, but that’s hard to prove and besides, it’s not considered “normal” driving. It’s possibly abuse.

Shifting the automatic transmission is not necessary and again, it will only cause extra wear and tear. This too is not “normal”, possibly abusive.

You sound like you know what you are doing. With higher miles and questionable transmissions it is a good idea to “baby” your baby. That type of driving could result in many more happy miles of driving.

I’d discuss it. Should you lose a friendship over this then it probably wasn’t going to work anyhow. It scares me that " . . . he is the type to demand proof about anything when questioned about anything." Don’t let him do this any more. Why doesn’t your friend get his own car?


Rule 1, never loan a car to a friend, if you wish to remain friends.

I agree and I thank you for your input–I was pretty darn sure that the shifting was bad and the riding of the brakes too…I will have mild talk tomorrow no matter the cost of friendship as we need this van to stay alive…I cannot afford to replace it at this time. And yes will probably make him use his own RV from now on…cause I can’t be certain that his driving habits will change if I or hubby are not in the van…


A car is too big an investment and necessity to loan to misuse. A real friend will accept your decision.

Your “friend” is wrong in two ways. First what he is doing is hard on your car and second, and more important in this case, he does not respect you or he would do as you wish with your car.

Never let your “friend” borrow your car again, he is not really your friend. You are better off without them.

Just stop lending your car to your sponging and inconsiderate “friend”. With friends like that you really don’t really need enemies.

Has this brake rider ever made a payment on your car? If not he has no business borrowing your car.
Is this person a friend or a buddy? A friend is there when you have nothing, a buddy is there when you have something to offer…a van.
He has no need of proof, he needs to abide by your wishes.