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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

My 2014 mazda 6 is my first car which have AT transmission. I know, it's not complicated to use it :) but i have a serious question.

Do i make any trouble, if i set the transmission knob to N at red light ? I hate to press the brake and wait, it's very uncomfortable, not to mention the fuel economy is slightly better if i set to N. Will this kill my transmission ??
 

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It's pretty much unnecessary, and it has no effect on your fuel mileage. It may, however be a little harder on your solenoids. (Correct me if I'm wrong. Never owned an automatic.)

Sent from the wrong side of the tracks.
 

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shifting to neutral (N) basically means you are not in gear whatsoever, just like how a manual is. The difference between N and P is when in P the parking pin/prowl is engaged(this locks the transmission so the car can't roll). I can see why its harder on the solenoids since its an extra shift every time you pull to a stop, vs leaving it in drive(D). There is really absolutely no need to shift into N at a stoplight, automatics are designed to idle for long periods in D.
 

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Hi all,

My 2014 mazda 6 is my first car which have AT transmission. I know, it's not complicated to use it :) but i have a serious question.

Do i make any trouble, if i set the transmission knob to N at red light ? I hate to press the brake and wait, it's very uncomfortable, not to mention the fuel economy is slightly better if i set to N. Will this kill my transmission ??
Starting with the last question first - no, it probably won't "kill" your transmission. But do remember that your AT was designed to stay in drive, not to be constantly shifted like that, and it may cause parts to wear out a little faster.

You're not saving any measurable amount of fuel by shifting into neutral, and not really gaining any benefit. You might be harming the transmission (or leaving parts on road behind you) if you're revving the engine in neutral and shifting into drive (like you would releasing the clutch in first). The torque convertor, fluid coupling, and some other things replace the functionality of the clutch in an AT, but aren't designed to behave and be treated the same way as a MT. Some ECUs won't let the AT shift into gear if the RPMs are too high.

As a safety issue, what's more concerning is the "I hate to press the brake and wait" part. Do you mean that you shift into neutral and let off the brake while stopped at a traffic light? That's maybe not so great. Assuming for a moment the car doesn't roll into someone while you're distracted answering a phone call, etc - an otherwise minor rear end collision could send you into the intersection, or at least into the car in front of you. It may happen if you're hit hard enough even with the brakes applied, but at least a low speed hit from the rear won't push you into crossing traffic while the brakes are applied.
 

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As a safety issue, what's more concerning is the "I hate to press the brake and wait" part. Do you mean that you shift into neutral and let off the brake while stopped at a traffic light? That's maybe not so great. Assuming for a moment the car doesn't roll into someone while you're distracted answering a phone call, etc - an otherwise minor rear end collision could send you into the intersection, or at least into the car in front of you. It may happen if you're hit hard enough even with the brakes applied, but at least a low speed hit from the rear won't push you into crossing traffic while the brakes are applied.
Just to play devil's advocate here a little bit. While I completely agree with everything you've said, he may be in the same habit that I was always in with my manuals.

I always keep it in neutral at lights because it's easier (and better for the throw-out bearing) to not keep the clutch in (duh), but I get tired of holding the brake, or lazy because I'm on flat ground - So, I got myself in the habit of putting the e-brake on at each light if I needed to, rather than keeping my foot on the break.

I'm not saying it's a good habit to be in, but I can see where he might be coming from.
 

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This opinion has merit as well. I do this to save my bearing. Electric parking brakes make this less attractive with automatics.

In the end, I would leave it in gear with your foot on the brake.

Sent from the wrong side of the tracks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just to play devil's advocate here a little bit. While I completely agree with everything you've said, he may be in the same habit that I was always in with my manuals.
I'm getting used to have an AT car, but in the last 20 years i had only manuals. I enjoyed the manual, loved to shift, but i wanted to have at least once in my life a car with automatic transmission. It shifts very smooth (most of time, but sometimes not), not allows me to drive fast :), so it's an another world for me.
Today i tried avoid to set the knob to N but i always want to do that. A friend of mine who has lexus 450h has told me, it's not a good idea to set to N, that's why i asked here, if i make any mistake or not. :)

I accept the safety concern it's much safer to keep my foot on the brake. I will try to do that, but very uncomfortable, and i think the bright brake lamp will disturb the other drivers who are waiting behind me.
 

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I think you'll be lucky if they even see your brake lites. Honestly, it's so common that it's more noticeable if they aren't on, in a sense. Also, if your foot is off the brake, inattentive drivers approaching from behind will only have an excuse.

Sent from the wrong side of the tracks.
 

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I found a pretty clear video that talks about there being no need to put the car in N at a stop...Interesting that it is illegal to put a car in N and coast in a bunch of states.

Here are 5 things to never do with an automatic transmission: Video Here are 5 things to never do with an automatic transmission: Video
Good stuff. The visual explanations of why not to do things showing how the torque convertor and transmission parts work was a nice touch.
 

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I only put mine in Neutral at a stoplight if the engine and fluids are cold and it pulls really hard in drive (30F day, cold start, sitting at a light). Otherwise when the fluids are warm it doesn't tug too hard and is better off left in drive.
 
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