Using the gears of our automatic to slow the car down

Asked by May 04, 2016 at 04:23 PM about the 2001 Chrysler Sebring LXi

Question type: General

My husband will drop the car into 2nd to slow the car down. It doesn't matter if
we are on the freeway or a city street. Aside from the fact that the car behind
us doesn't know we're stopping, is this safe to do with an automatic
transmission

1 Answer

86,615

Forcing a downshift is hard on the transmission and can cause damage to the clutch packs and other transmission internals, not to mention if it is forced at too fast a speed it can also over rev the engine. Back in the old school days when transmissions only had 3 speeds it was common practice to this, but it started to be unnecessary in cars about 1980 when computer controlled vehicles made their debut. So risking a 1500 dollar tranny to save a few bucks on brake pads is just not worth it. Read the owners manual, it has a lot of information on do's and don'ts. HTH

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