I have a 2000 Avalon and shift into neutral to coast down hills and save gas. Can this hurt the transmission?
Yes, if you miss a shift. You also have less control, and you also are saving no gas. In fact you may be using more (many modern cars shut off the fuel injection while coasting in gear). So not worth it.
Probably can hurt the transmission, but a new transmission or a rebuild is a lot cheaper than gas, right? Also this practice is likely illegal. Plus it likely wastes gas rather than saves it because gas is used to idle the engine rather than using engine braking/gravity to turn the engine over. Any more ideas on how to save 3 ounces of gas?
Don’t do it…the manual does not recommend it for a reason. If you want to “play” with the transmission, get a manual. Even then, don’t use neutral except as indicated in the manual, and seldom if ever to coast (on ice at low speeds with abs an exception).
It’s a terrible idea. You don’t save gas. Don’t do it anymore.
You don’t really save any gas, and if you did, it wouldn’t be worth it; this is a dangerous practice. Listen to last weeks show 07/03/10, some lady did it on accident and burnt up her brakes, and the guys talk about some of the other dangers. For the sake of everyone else on the road, STOP.
Shifting into neutral will most emphatically never hurt your transmission. That’s what the N is there for. Whether it’s a good idea or not is another question.
It might hurt the transmission. Neutral on an automatic transmission is much different than neutral on a manual transmission. If you do this frequently and on very long hills it might do some damage.
As for saving gas, on a fuel injected car you aren’t saving any gas. If you shut off the motor you might save some, but then you would definately be hurting the transmission.
You are putting your car’s transmission at risk for no benefit.
In neutral you are always burning fuel to keep the engine running. In gear, when slowing or going down hill, the engine does not need any fuel, so most modern cars totally shut off the fuel when the car’s engine is going faster than idle, which often is the case when descending hills or slowing in gear. Putting it in neutral will use MORE fuel.
“Shifting into neutral will most emphatically never hurt your transmission.” Maybe and maybe not. It may be more dependepent upon frequency (with drive train shock) and duration (with lube issue). Extended coasting in neutral with the engine off is definitely a no no as the transmission does not get sufficient lubrication. Does it also apply while the engine is idling ? From what I’ve read, it may be make dependent and not an easy absolute to answer for “extended coasting” what ever that is. Not seeing it as a recommendation in ANY owners manual is enough for me to conclude it’s either, dangerous, non productive or bad for some mechanics; or all three.