15 Things You Should Never Do to Your Automatic & Manual Car (2022)

List Of Things To Never Do With Your Car:

The life of a car depends upon how the driver drives it. Being too sloppy or too harsh on your car while driving will reduce its life by a few years. Moreover, you will have to invest in maintaining the car more frequently. Here is a list of things you should never do to your car.

  1. Never use two feet when driving an automatic car.

  2. Never engage the clutch continuously while driving.

  3. Never switch to ‘Park’ before an automatic car stops completely.

  4. Never drive an automatic car downhill while on neutral.

  5. Never shift gears without engaging the clutch.

  6. Never leave your manual car in gear when stationary.

  7. Never use wrong gears with wrong speeds.

  8. Never rest your hand on the gear stick.

  9. Never press on the break without engaging the clutch.

  10. Never forget to shift to the parking brake.

  11. Never accelerate for long before switching to the next gear.

    (Video) 7 Things You Shouldn't Do In an Automatic Transmission Car

  12. Never drive without warming the engine first.

  13. Never drive frequently with less fuel in the tank.

  14. Never switch to neutral while driving.

  15. Never shift to second gear immediately after the first.

Things You Should Not Do With Manual Transmission Vehicle:

Cars that have a manual gearbox, a gear stick with options to switch between different gears, and a clutch pedal are called manual transmission cars. Here is a list of things you should never do in a manual transmission vehicle:

Never Engage The Clutch Continuously While Driving

The clutch is supposed to be engaged only when you are pressing the brake or changing gears. If you keep it pressed halfway while driving, it will lead to extra friction and the clutch will wear out sooner. It will not only reduce the durability but also increase your car’s maintenance cost.

Never Shift Gears Without Engaging The Clutch

Not engaging the clutch while shifting gears can be harmful to the transmission of your car. Understand that the main function of a clutch is to control the contact between transmission and engine. The car can run into a series of jerky motions as it struggles to find the right balance between gears and engine’s speed.

Never Leave Your Manual Car In Gear When Stationary

Keeping the car in gear while stationary implies that the clutch is also engaged. Keeping the clutch engaged for longer durations wears it out sooner. As mentioned earlier, this will increase the maintenance cost for your car.

Never Use Wrong Gears With Wrong Speeds

Using wrong gears at wrong speeds visibly stresses the car. The car will lag and you will hear the noise that is not natural for a car to make. This sound is caused by the strain on the transmission and the engine of your car. Continuously driving with mismatched gears is not good for the car in the long run.

Never Press On The Break Without Engaging The Clutch

While some car drivers prefer to hit the brake without engaging the clutch, it is not advised for people who have recently learned driving. You need to have more control over the vehicle and expertise to handle it in such a situation. Your car will start jolting if you brake without holding down the clutch.

Never Accelerate For Long Before Switching To The Next Gear

Accelerating at the lower gear will launch your car at a higher speed, however, it can only reach a certain high point. Driving with this setting will put a strain on your gearbox and this habit will damage it faster. At the same time, you will also end up using more fuel than required. Thus, switch to the next gear when the speed increases. This is one of the most important things you should never do in a manual car.

Never Switch To Neutral While Driving

It is widely believed that switching the car to the neutral mode while driving will save fuel. However, it is dangerous to do so. Switching to neutral will reduce the control you have over the car. This can prove to be life-threatening in a risky situation.

(Video) 10 Things You Should Never Do To Your Car (Never Ever!)

Never Shift To Second Gear Immediately After The First

It is advised by experts that a person should switch to the second gear only when the car is running between 5 to 15mph. This does not imply that you attack the accelerator on starting the car. Switching to the second gear immediately will reduce the expected life of the gearbox and you need to spend money on it.

Also, Read:

Things You Should Not Do With Automatic Transmission Vehicle:

A car that automatically adjusts the gears according to its speed and that does not have a clutch pedal is called an automatic transmission car. Such cars have their own set of advantages over manual cars, for example – differently-abled people may drive the car as less manual work is required while driving an automatic car. Here is a list of things you should never do in an automatic transmission vehicle:

Never Use Two Feet When Driving An Automatic Car

Using both feet to drive an automatic car can lead to a crash if you happen to press both pedals simultaneously. It can also stress out the transmission fluid, torque converter, and brake fluid of the car. If you wish to drive an automatic car with both feet, you should buy a car that automatically engages the braking system when both pedals are pressed at the same time.

Never Switch To ‘Park’ Before An Automatic Car Stops Completely

Some new cars may not even allow the driver to shift to the park mode before the car stops moving. However, it might be possible that you hurriedly switch to park. This can harm the transmission of your car. The parking gear is not meant to work instead of brakes, it is meant to hold the car still while it is parked. The wheels won’t move when you switch to park. Thus, never switch to ‘Park’ before an automatic car stops completely.

Never Drive An Automatic Car Downhill While On Neutral

Switching to neutral stops the flow of fuel to the engine, this reduces your control on the car as you cannot use the engine’s gears for slowing down. You can only rely on the main breaks in this situation putting more strain on them. Reduced control over the car can prove to be dangerous especially in a situation where you quickly need to react while going down a slope.

Never Rest Your Hand On The Gear Stick

Two things can happen when you have the habit of resting your hand on the gear stick – early wear & tear and endangered safety. When your hand is rested upon the gear stick, it puts pressure on the shifter rail. The shifter rail then pushes the synchronizers. They touch the gears and friction is created. This friction can cause premature damage to the teeth of the gear.

Never Forget To Shift To The Parking Brake

The parking brake of your car helps it remain steady while in a parking space. If the parking brake is not applied, the transmission of the car is not locked and there are high chances that the car may roll away. This can be a big safety concern for everyone around the car. It is one of the most important things you should never do in an automatic car.

Never Drive Without Warming The Engine

It is advised that a car should be warmed at least for 30 seconds before driving, especially in a cold climate. This is because fuel will not work to its full efficiency until it is in a good liquid state. In winter, give your car a little time to “wake up” before you put her in action.

Never Drive Frequently With Less Fuel In The Tank

Contaminants or foreign particles can settle at the bottom of a fuel tank of your car over a period of time. When you drive on low fuel, these contaminants can enter the engine. This is harmful to your car in the long run.

Also, read: Vehicle Scrappage Policy in India

Frequently Asked Questions:

Will there be changes in my license if I start driving an automatic car?

15 Things You Should Never Do to Your Automatic & Manual Car (1)

No, you will be allowed to drive a class of vehicle that you already have a driving license for. Class of vehicles are not dependent on your vehicle being automatic or manual. It is mostly about private vehicles and commercial vehicles. Switching between these two may require a separate license.

What is meant by “Prindle”?

15 Things You Should Never Do to Your Automatic & Manual Car (2)

Prindle refers to PRNDL that is a short form for Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive and Low. These are the settings on a gear stick of an automatic car.

What does the gearbox do?

15 Things You Should Never Do to Your Automatic & Manual Car (3)

(Video) 5 Things You Should Never Do In An Automatic Transmission Vehicle

The gearbox controls the torque of a vehicle according to its speed. Torque is a force that helps the wheels of a car move in forward or backward motion.

(Video) 7 Things You Should NEVER Do In a Manual Transmission Car!

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What should you not do to a transmission? ›

9 Things You Should Never Do to a Car With an Automatic...
  1. Not Using the Emergency Brake. ...
  2. Leaving the Car in Drive When Sitting for Prolonged Periods of Time. ...
  3. Leaving the Car in Neutral While Stuck in Traffic or Waiting at a Light. ...
  4. Putting Your Car in Neutral While Driving Downhill.
9 Sept 2019

Can you damage your car in manual mode? ›

There's no reason it should cause damage. You can shift back and forth from auto to manual any time you want. There's no need to downshift in manual mode. I use manual mode all the time (almost literally) and it seems to downshift, when slowing, at the same points as it does in automatic.

Does launching a car damage the clutch? ›

“Launching” your car

Pressing the clutch and raising the RPM to 4000 to 5000 can be destructive for the entire car clutch system. A few wheel spins might make you replace your clutch place or even the entire clutch system.

Is it OK to put an automatic car in neutral while driving? ›

Answer provided by. You can switch to neutral while driving in both an automatic and a manual car. In an automatic, simply move your gearshift to the neutral position. In a manual, you only need to push the clutch and put the stick to the neutral position.

What hurts a manual transmission? ›

Keeping your car in gear when you're stopped can damage your transmission. It's easy to want to just keep the car in gear when you stop for ease of starting. However, it is much better for your transmission if you shift to neutral when you stop so that you are not keeping your clutch engaged.

What can ruin your car? ›

The 10 driving habits that can damage your car
  • Running the tank low on fuel. ...
  • Resting your hand on the gear stick. ...
  • Slamming on the brakes. ...
  • Resting your foot on the clutch pedal. ...
  • Revving the engine before it's warm. ...
  • Delaying regular maintenance. ...
  • Neglecting warning lights. ...
  • Hitting potholes and speed bumps.

Should I press clutch while turning? ›

Never press the clutch pedal down while cornering and/or going downhill. And NEVER EVER do this suddenly in the middle of a corner, as it will unbalance your car, at best making for a jerky ride, and at worst, cause you to spin.

What can damage an automatic transmission? ›

Transmission failure can be broken down into three main categories: slipping, excessive noise, and complete failure.
  • Transmission Slipping. ...
  • Transmission Noise. ...
  • Transmission Failure. ...
  • Leaking or Low Transmission Fluids. ...
  • Worn Gears. ...
  • The Transmission Filter Is Clogged. ...
  • Poor Clutch Performance While Driving.
14 Sept 2021

How do I keep my transmission healthy? ›

Here are our top 5 tips that can help you preserve your transmission.
  1. Check Your Transmission Fluid Regularly. ...
  2. Avoid Heat Damage By Following The “Severe Use” Replacement Schedule. ...
  3. Keep Your Engine's Cooling System In Good Shape. ...
  4. Be Careful About Changing Gears (And Use That Parking Brake)
24 Aug 2018

Should I put my automatic in park at traffic lights? ›

Never put your vehicle in neutral at traffic lights

You will be shifting gears every time to meet a stop light, subjecting them to unnecessary wear. You may have to replace them sooner than you thought.

What RPM should I shift at? ›

Generally, you want to shift gears when your car reaches 2,500-3,000 RPM. Eventually, you will know when to shift by sound and feel.

How do I change my gear 1 to 2 smoothly? ›

To move from first to second gear keep your hand on the gear lever, palm away from you, apply slight pressure to the left to stop the gear lever springing back to the central neutral position, and move the gear lever straight back.

Can you shift from D to M while driving? ›

You absolutely can with nothing to worry about. These modern automatic transmissions that have a manual mode are meant to do that. Switching to manual mode from automatic, even while cruising, is something that it was built to do. In the past decade or so, the automatic transmission has undergone a few advancements.

What wears a clutch out? ›

When you're sitting at a stop light and putting your car into gear, you're essentially pressing the three main parts of your clutch into one another: the spring, the bearing, and the diaphragm. Eventually, this wears them out.

How far do you push the clutch in when shifting? ›

Remember, not to push the clutch in fully to the floor. If you push it fully to the bottom, you'll eventually burn out the clutch brake. You only want to walk it, so push it down half to three-quarters of the way every time you shift.

What causes the clutch to burn out? ›

The most common reason for a burnt clutch is improper use of the clutch. Not fully engaging and disengaging the clutch when changing gears and driving with your foot on the clutch pedal will cause it to wear out prematurely. A clutch can also burn out if the car or truck is used to pull loads that are too heavy.

Will an automatic car roll back on a hill? ›

Automatic cars can still roll back on a hill, if you're in gear, you shouldn't roll backwards when you take off the parking brake. If you do start rolling backwards, you can gently apply the accelerator to correct this. In addition, most modern automatics will be fitted with hill start assist.

How can I accelerate faster in an automatic car? ›

How To Accelerate FAST In A Car-Driving Lesson - YouTube

What happens if you drive in neutral for too long? ›

Is it safe? This will cause your vehicle to do something called Freewheeling, this is unknown as coasting and is quite dangerous as it reduces your control of the vehicle. It reduces natural braking power from the engines activities, and you can overheat your brakes.

How long does a clutch plate last? ›

The average lifespan of a clutch is anywhere between 20,000 to 150,000 miles. Luckily, your clutch will likely give you ample notice that something is going wrong. Don't get left at the side of the road with a vehicle that won't shift into gear. Read on to learn the signs and symptoms of a failing clutch.

How fast should I let off the clutch? ›

Rev the car engine to about 3,000 rpm as shown on the tachometer. Let the clutch out until you feel the car move forward slightly.

What is a money shift in a car? ›

A money shift, for those lucky enough not to have encountered the problem, is when a driver attempts to go up a gear with a manual transmission, in this case from third to fourth, but instead goes down a gear. The term comes from the high expense involved in fixing the consequences of the botched shift.

Does accelerating fast damage car? ›

It is possible to damage your car by driving fast, but most of the damage is done through rapid acceleration. Flooring the gas will essentially start a chain reaction of your engine components crashing together. This means that you can damage your pistons, connecting rods, transmission, axles, etc.

Should I apply clutch while braking? ›

While braking, you should always depress the clutch.

This is one of the most common scenarios wherein people do apply the brakes but forget to disengage the clutch in-turn stalling the car.

Do you brake then clutch? ›

Don't forget... Driving slowly, clutch then brake when stopping. Driving faster, brake then clutch down.

Should I hold the clutch while braking? ›

The clutch disconnects the wheels from the engine, allowing you to switch gears but also stops power going into the wheels. So pressing clutch while braking is very much necessary if you want to stop.

How long should a transmission last? ›

The lifespan of your transmission varies on how well you maintain your vehicle. With proper maintenance, transmissions can last up to 300,000 miles or more. This includes changing the fluid in your transmission system and regular checkups.

How long do automatic transmissions last? ›

Time and mileage vary between car drivers and how they use or abuse their transmissions. Still, typical automatic transmissions last around 150,00 to 200,000 miles or approximately 7 years. Cases exist in both extremes; extreme longevity and early failure.

What is the most common cause of automatic transmission failure? ›

The leading cause of transmission failure for all makes of vehicles is due to not properly following the manufacturer's maintenance recommendations for the engine and transmission and changing the fluid and filters at the proper recommended mileage and time, especially if you are using the vehicle in harsh conditions ...

How often should transmission fluid be replaced? ›

If you drive manual, most manufacturers will recommend changing your transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. If you have automatic, you can typically boost that range up to 60,000 to 100,000 miles. There's no harm in changing your fluid early.

How do you look after an automatic car? ›

10 Ways to Care for Your Automatic Transmission
  1. Check your transmission fluid periodically. ...
  2. Use the right type of transmission fluid. ...
  3. Have your engine's cooling system serviced. ...
  4. Get your transmission flushed regularly. ...
  5. Don't change gears while your car is moving. ...
  6. Let your car warm up before you drive.

How do you know your gearbox is broken? ›

Here the breakdown experts at Sterling Insurance identify 10 signs that your gearbox is failing.
  1. Check for gearbox fluid leakage. ...
  2. Check dashboard warning lights. ...
  3. Gears become unresponsive. ...
  4. Listen for any unusual sounds. ...
  5. Beware a shake, jerk or grind. ...
  6. There might be a rumbling in neutral.
24 Feb 2022

Why do automatic cars rock when parked? ›

When you put an automatic transmission into park, the parking pawl will swing towards the output shaft, and those few inches of roll or “lurch” that you experience are caused by the small amount of space left over once the pawl is engaged.

Can you change gears in an automatic car while driving? ›

You can change gears while driving your automatic vehicle. Your car thankfully shouldn't let you shift to the most damaging gears like reverse and park. When shifting to the other options, it's important to know when it's the appropriate time to do so.

Is it better to idle in neutral or drive? ›

Keeping an automatic transmission in Drive puts an extra load on it, which drains fuel. In neutral, it's resting -- or at least as close to rest as an automatic ever gets. This shift is even more important when the air conditioner is running, so the engine doesn't have to strain so hard while idling.

What happens if you shift too early? ›

If you shift too early, you run the risk of lugging your engine, asking it to move your car forward at an unnaturally low RPM. For more details, and a side-by-side comparison of the fuel efficiency achieved in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th gears at identical speeds on the same stretch of road, watch Fenske's video below.

Can I shift gear from 5th to 2nd? ›

Can I go from 5th to 2nd/1st? Yes it is recommended that in a modern manual transmission you can skip gears when going up or down. For example; when accelerating you can if required change-up from 1st to 3rd, though 3rd gear may labour due to low engine revs.

What RPM gives best mileage? ›

Shifting up at 2,000 rpm (1,500 rpm for diesel) gives the best mix of speed and economy. On an automatic with manual shift, short shift to save fuel. The heavier the car, the greater will be its thirst.

Can you change gear while braking? ›

If you are stopping, you don't change down gears at all - brake down, clutch down, when you stop handbrake on, first gear and ready to go again. If you are just reducing your speed, for example to slow from 40 to 20 because of parked cars, then you can stay in the highest gear possible until you need more power.

Why does my car jerk from 1st to 2nd gear? ›

Lurching is caused by a mismatch between wheel and engine speed as the clutch engages. Release the clutch more slowly so their speed is synchronized gradually.

Why does car jerk when changing gears? ›

Automatic transmissions that shift hard, jerk or shake during a shift change may mean your transmission fluid needs changed or fluid level is low. In manual transmission vehicles, abnormal gear shifts could indicate damaged gear synchros, worn clutches or other, more severe issues.

What does 3 2 1 mean in a car? ›

D – Drive. 3 – Third gear 2 – Second gear 1 – First gear.

What is M in driving? ›

First, shift from “D” (Drive) to “M” (Manual). The shift indicator in the instrument panel will display the current gear. Simply push the lever to the plus position to up shift, or push the minus position to down shift.

Should I put my automatic in park at traffic lights? ›

Never put your vehicle in neutral at traffic lights

You will be shifting gears every time to meet a stop light, subjecting them to unnecessary wear. You may have to replace them sooner than you thought.

How do you drive a perfect automatic car? ›

How To Drive An Automatic Car | Learn to drive: Car control skills

How do you drive an automatic car smoothly? ›

How To Drive SMOOTHLY In An Automatic Car-Driving Lesson

What is P mode in automatic car? ›

Most automatic gearboxes will let you select between 'P' (for park), 'R' (reverse), 'N' (neutral) and 'D' (drive). Park should only be used when you're stopped and getting out of the car. This 'locks' the transmission, preventing it from rolling away (but you still need to apply the handbrake when parked as well).

Why do automatic cars rock when parked? ›

When you put an automatic transmission into park, the parking pawl will swing towards the output shaft, and those few inches of roll or “lurch” that you experience are caused by the small amount of space left over once the pawl is engaged.

What happens if you drive in neutral for too long? ›

Is it safe? This will cause your vehicle to do something called Freewheeling, this is unknown as coasting and is quite dangerous as it reduces your control of the vehicle. It reduces natural braking power from the engines activities, and you can overheat your brakes.

What is B in automatic cars? ›

Brake position - B

B can be selected at any time while driving. In the B position the car brakes with the electric motor when the accelerator pedal is released while the hybrid battery is charging.

How do beginners park automatic cars? ›

If you drive an automatic, you need to shift to “P” and engage the parking brake to park the car. There are however, two different types of people in terms of the sequence of action. Some shift to “P” first, and then engage the parking brake, while some engage the parking brake first, and then shift to “P”.

Do you have to step on the brake to start an automatic car? ›

In order to start the car for the first time, two things need to happen: the car must be in park and you must have your foot on the brake. So, with your right foot on the brake and the car in park, turn the key and start the car. You should get used to using only your right foot for both the brake and the gas.

Which foot to brake in an automatic car? ›

The pedals

There are two pedals in an automatic car. The accelerator is on the right. The brake is on the left. You control both pedals with your right foot.

Can you shift from S to D while driving? ›

You can definitely switch from D to S while driving, just don't do it while pedal to the floor.

How do you drive an automatic car in uphill? ›

Hill Starts In An Automatic Car | Learn to drive: Basic skills - YouTube

Do you brake before turning? ›

Turning is one of the basic maneuvers of driving and also one of the most important. When making right turns, left turns, and U-turns, always remember to do the following steps: Signal and slow down or brake before the turn.

What are the four braking techniques? ›

Braking Techniques for Smooth Driving, Control & Reduced Stopping Distance
  • Controlled braking.
  • Threshold braking.
  • Cover braking.
26 Oct 2020

Is it brake then clutch to stop? ›

Driving slowly, clutch then brake when stopping. Driving faster, brake then clutch down.


1. Never Do This In An Automatic Car! | Learn to drive: Car knowledge
(Advance Driving School)
2. 5 Things You Should Never Do In A Manual Transmission Vehicle
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3. 4 Things You Should NEVER Do In An Automatic Car
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4. 5 Mistakes You Should Never Do In A Manual Transmission Car🚫
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5. 6 things you should never do in your manual car
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