Automatics... - LonLon
Okay - people I ask all disagree!

Should an automatic be shifted into neutral when at traffic lights etc? I do, because I think I'm doing my wallet a favour but is this true or can I just leave it in drive all the time...

Thanks if anyone genuinely knows (rather than guessing like me + friends)!
Automatics... - Vansboy
Handbrake on & neutral selected.

VB
Automatics... - drbe
Handbrake on & neutral selected.
VB

>>

What for?
Automatics... - Roberson
What does your handbook say?

Of the few I have lying around, 2 specifically state that when at traffic lights, remain in 'D'. One implies the same procedure. Only when parking or in a traffic jam, should 'p' or 'n' be selected.
Automatics... - LonLon
Hi - no handbook I'm afraid. '99 Daewoo Nubira if it helps. One person did reckon it depended on if it was an automatic that changed gears (ie with a jerk which mine does I guess) or a CVT.

Thanks VB - that's what I've been doing but see for example:

www.rospa.org.uk/roadsafety/advice/driving/automat...m

"When stationary in traffic, even for many minutes, it is not necessary to move the gear lever into neutral because the torque converter absorbs the engine?s propulsion force but does not transmit it all to the gearbox. No wear is taking place. In fact, more wear will take place if you engage neutral then engage a drive gear when it is possible to move off. Most gearboxes will automatically select first gear when the vehicle becomes stationary."

What it has to do with road safety I'm not sure...
Automatics... - edisdead {P}
More wear to brake components though. Also if you have slowed from any significant speed, holding the brakes forces contact of hot disks and pads - risk of warping?
Personally I do a mixture - stay in 'D' and hold brakes for a short wait, drop into 'N' if stationary for longer than a minute or so.
Ed.
Automatics... - Hamsafar
Quite a while ago, some ZF boxes would blow a seal if repeatedly left in P or N, they said leave in D.

I think people should leave in D, as..
All that spins is a propeller in a bath of oil (TC), and the pump.
No wear is taking place, but the fluid is kept circulating, which is means...

a) its being cooled in the fluid cooler.
b) everything keeps getting oiled.
Automatics... - LonLon
Ed - but aren't brakes far cheaper than gearboxes? On this basis when driving a manual I use the brakes rather than engine braking (on my driving instructors advice).

Ashok - too technical for me - but if I don't hold the brake on the car when stopped in drive it moves forward - so surely not just spinning in oil - I'm braking against the engine(?) They are fighting each other(?)
Automatics... - Lud
Yes LonLon, it is heating up the transmission fluid too, and perhaps using more fuel than it would in N... but if the manufacturer of a slushpump auto says don't keep putting it in N or P, then don't. They know better than you how carp their product is.

Personally can't abide the things except in obvious applications (behemoth limos or old-style American cars). They are incredibly inefficient.
Automatics... - cheddar
>>Should an automatic be shifted into neutral when at traffic lights>>

Traffic light grand prix styley, leave in 'drive', left foot on the brake and hold about 2000rpm ready to floor the right foot and lift the left just as the lights go amber ;-)
Automatics... - LonLon
Cheddar - did you sell me the car?!! When I bought the car the garage guy described the "power" button as the "sports setting"!!
Automatics... - Lud
Leaving you stationary in a huge cloud of rubber smoke, cheddar?
Automatics... - cheddar
Not me m'Lud, I drive a manual, traction control should do the job though.

Also important to make sure reverse is not selected by mistake )
Automatics... - Murphy The Cat
judging by the loooooonnnnnggggg line of brakelights that you see at EVERY traffic lights set in the USA, our American friends use the leave in D and foot on the brake option (like I do !).

MTC
Automatics... - thallium81
Use your discretion, if it is going to be a short stop eg trffic lights there is no harm in leaving the box in D, although you could use the handbrake instead. If you are in for a long stop, traffic jam or some major holdup put the thing in N and apply the handbrake: think of the poor geezer behind you who is being dazzled by your high level brake light. There really is no hard and fast 'rule' for all the myriad of events you come across in everyday driving.
Automatics... - bell boy
im on valium er i mean im with - thallium81
Automatics... - Aretas
The replies so far assume the auto has a torque converter. My A4 Multitronic does not and I never leave it in gear for more than a few seconds when stationary. I don't fully understand how the drive connects to the gearbox and I assume I am reducing wear in some sort of clutch.
Automatics... - Big Bad Dave
Neutral for MacDonalds Drive Thru and handbrake once a year for MOT
Automatics... - Sofa Spud
It's a long time since I last drove an auto. I tend to be quite good about the handbrake and selecting neutral when stationary and I seem to remember I did the same in an automatics.

Since most buses are automtic now, whatever is common practice among bus drivers is probably OK!!!
Automatics... - bell boy
It's a long time since I last drove an auto.
I tend to be quite good about the handbrake and selecting
neutral when stationary and I seem to remember I did the
same in an automatics.
Since most buses are automtic now, whatever is common practice among
bus drivers is probably OK!!!


so no need for indicators on the modern automatic then?
Automatics... - mss1tw
so no need for indicators on the modern automatic then?


Or an accelerator - a simple on/off switch will do!
Automatics... - tanvir
www.2pass.co.uk/auto.htm
Automatics... - eProf
Neutral for MacDonalds Drive Thru and handbrake once a year for
MOT


Especially for vans with mobile murals?


e Prof
Automatics... - Avant
I agree with the D for short, N for long stop point of view. Also for any length of time brake lights can be irritating for the person behind, especially as most cars have three of them nowadays.
Automatics... - Dynamic Dave
Some autoboxes when left in D when stationary automatically drop themselves into neutral when the brake lights have been on for more than a couple of seconds as a fuel ecomomy measure. Vauxhall autoboxes have done just this for at least the last 6 years, and quite possibly longer.
Automatics... - daveyjp
Auto clutch boxes seem to have different requirements.

DSG system disengages clutch when car is in drive and brake pedal is pressed, but apply handbrake and release footbrake and the clutch engages and pulls against the handbrake. So for DSG handbrake and neutral fo lengthy stops.

Smart disengages clutch whenever car is stationary so no neutral required.
 

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