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Turning key in ignition when car is on

I was changing gears in traffic and thought the car had stalled, so i turned the key and it took me several seconds to realize that the car was still on… it hadn’t actually stalled. There was a pretty terrible screeching sound which i didn’t notice immediately because there was loud music playing. How bad is this? Did i do a lot of damage to the engine? All together the key was turned (and screeching) for 5-10 seconds…

If you did this often it would eventually damage the gear on the starting motor and perhaps even wear the gear on the flywheel. If the car is starting normally after this event you should be OK with no long term damage. Just make this a one time event. You can confirm the motor is running or not by a quick visual check of the tachometer if the music is blasting.

Loud music in heavy urban traffic isn’t really a great practice. It helps to be able to hear emergency vehicle sirens, and horns etc.

Yeah the car is starting normally and seems otherwise fine. I feel better and will be very careful about this in the future… Thanks a lot!!!

Does your car have a tacometer? if it does it will indicate if the engine is running or not.