Driving in Neutral

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Hello,
I drive an automatic 95 Toyota Corrolla. I drive a lot on roads with many traffic lights. Would I get noticable better gas milage if i put the car on neutral whenever I am not pushing the gas? For example, if there is a red light pretty far ahead, can i put the car in neutral and let it coast until the light and put it back on drive when the light goes green? What about on a downhill road where i dont need to press the gas?

posted by  therealrameth

when going downhill I think it might save a very small amount of fuel (depending on the hill size of course). But on the actual road, I think it would only help you **** up your transmission. What say you VWhobo?

posted by  Satty101

though im not vwhobo, i think it might save on a little bit of gas, because you'll be running at a lower RPM (idle) if your not pressing the gas, compared to when you're driving, the RPMs will be up a little higher, so itle probably save some gass, probably not to much of a noticable amount. and i dont think it will hurt the tranny to much if anything

posted by  mazda6man

well, if he throws it into nuetral because he sees a red light ahead and starts coasting to the light, and then when he's rolling the light turns green, he's going to have to shift back into drive. If the RPMs are up more than idle, over time, it will eventually wear the transmission down too much and it won't be able to take it. I'm just throwing out my opinion and what I think is right. just my :2cents:

posted by  Satty101

You may save a very little amount of gas over time but there are two drawbacks, the constant N-D D-N shifting will equal increased wear, maybe slight but still... the other big factor I see is safety. I drive all day in city traffic and at least a time or two a day someone pulls in front of me at the last second, starts to merge without looking... you need to be in control of your car INSTANTLY, not waiting a second or two for the trans to engage.

posted by  medicTA

You all are not very versed in automatic transmissions. One of the worst things you can do to an auto trans is to disengage it from drive range and re-engage while still moving. Based on fluid dynamics, valve body pressures and solenoids you are adding much un-needed wear to the transmission.

On top of the mechanical side of it, ANY-time you disengage the engine from the drivetrain of a vehicle while moving at a good rate of speed, your stability and control of the vehicle is compromised. It is a fact that physics and various law of perpetual motion can explain to you. Why in the world are you contemplating doing this? Are you so financially in the hole that ten cents in gas will determine if you eat tonight or not? God help you, that being the case!

If you actually think about it, in cars that have an automatic transmission, and at speeds where (if equipped) you are not going fast enough to have the "lock-up" torque converter in lock-up, letting off the gas completely will slow the engine back down to idle or close to idle just the same as letting off the gas with the transmission still engaged in range "D." That is what a torque converter does, it allows a fluid coupling between the engine and transmission such that when you are not accelerating, you are breaking that direct connection between engine and driveline. It just does it such that the connection is not "hard-broken" (IE...shifter in neutral and totally disconnected) and when you accelerate, it is ready to engage based on fluid pressure, fluid dynamics and thermodynamics.

In a manual transmission I see no real wear issues with doing this ONLY if your vehicle is built so that the transmission is being lubricated when in neutral and in motion. Some are not, hence, neutral combined with motion is not a good thing. I argue that in the absence of the above, you are far more likely to lose stability and control of a manual with it in neutral and coasting down the road than in an automatic in the same situation. You all may think that premise sounds crazy, but think of it like this. A vehicle in motion is a combination of many things all encompassing mechanical balance. When a vehicle, be it manual or auto is in motion, the engine and driveline need to be connected because that is the way they were built to be operated. Gas consumption is a mute point as well as totally negligible.

posted by  cmeseadoin

I'm in full agreement with that, you must NEVER EVER put any car, man or auto into neutral whislt driving as it messes with the transmission. That's why you a recovery man etc will never tow an auto car with the driven wheels on the road surface (dif.lock etc)! Also, from the safety point of view it is dangerous to coast in any vehicle because when driven, the wheels act with you to control the car (the engine acts as a brake on a car) and with no power going to them the car will just gain speed continuously deeming it harder to brake! as for the MPG, I doubt it saves any fuel at all, infact it probably uses more!

posted by  Cliffy

Is that on the uphill slopes and the flat ground? :doh: :laughing:

Maybe it's just me, but when I put my car into neutral (5spd) it starts to slow down...could just be the thick air here in So. Cal. :banghead:
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posted by  BavarianWheels

lol sorry, I was talking on general terms *feels like a pratt*

posted by  Cliffy

Hey Bav, who said anything about coasting up hills lol....do you guys in the States have uneven road surfaces or is it just us here in Sunny England! :banghead: :doh:

posted by  Cliffy

Uneven road surfaces? Explain an uneven road surface. Engineering a road can have its ups and downs...as the terrain goes and as is feasible. It is sometimes more cost effective to leave the whoop-dee-doo's in. The problem in England is that pavement has a nap to it...it lays one way. You are all driving against the nap and so this causes more problematic pavement.
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posted by  BavarianWheels

You mean a camber? If you do then IMHO it's more logical for guttering reasons! but by uneven I meant ups and downs eg; slight inclines :smoke:

posted by  Cliffy

No. The "nap" thing was a joke. :banghead: :laughing:
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posted by  BavarianWheels

Sorry Bav...call me a pratt, tosser...Fic Brit bloke, what evr, but I dont get it lol :banghead: :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

Isn't it the English (among others) that drive on the "opposite" side of the road? :sleep:

There is no "nap" to asphalt pavement, per se. But if there was and since England drives on the wrong side of the road...that would be driving against the nap (or grain) of the asphalt and thus cause ripples and uneven-ness.

I don't like having to explain jokes...but it could possibly be that it was only funny in my head. :screwy: :screwy: :mrgreen:
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posted by  BavarianWheels

lol, I understand fully now :banghead: and it was probably only funny to you :mrgreen:

posted by  Cliffy

...and really not worth the explanation. :doh:
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posted by  BavarianWheels

...No...I appologise again :doh:

posted by  Cliffy

No need. :mrgreen:
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posted by  BavarianWheels

I recently desided that i would try coasting in my auto 97 cavalier to see if it made any difference in mileage as gas just cost so much these days. upon completing this with a tank of gas i wanted to research the possible damage it may cause over time by doing so, and this brought me here where i have become much more informed in the matter and now more aware of the problems with coasting, but i would also like to throw my results out there for anyone to review and decide what to make of this, so here is what i noticed in the very hilly state of hawaii.
here are some constants to keep in mind:
i only re-fuel my car when it is empty, and when i fuel it i always fill the tank.
everytime i fill the tank i reset my tripometer to help me keep track of when i need to fuel up.
with that in mind
normally my car will run 350 to 375 miles to the tank
i completely depleted the fuel in my car at 387 miles once as well as once at 371, and since doing so i have had a better idea of when to refuel.
this last time i fueled up i desided i was going to try coasting the car whenever possible.
when i finally needed to fuel up i had managed to put 429 miles on the vehicle and did not want to push it any further as i was sure to run out soon.
with all this in mind what are your opinions on this information.

thank you for any input

posted by  PyrosFrost

I have been 'coasting' in neutral to lights, going downhill, etc. in several manual cars over the last 10 years. Never had any engine/transmission issues to deal with and typically run cars to 65k to 80k miles. I have always belived this to be more fuel efficient and my latest car confirms it. A Jaguar X-type with a digital average mpg. I can track my average mpg from a tank refill to an empty tank 500 miles later, and reset the average mpg at any time. The average MPG increases considerably when coasting in neutral, particularly, noticeable on a long downhill. I am not sure how many miles it might add to a tank but there is no doubt coasting at idle rpm reduces fuel consumption, and you can also gain speed in neutral as opposed to in gear as the engine acts as a brake. Also if you are a capable driver, the question of having to be in gear for safety is a mute point.

posted by  jmon100

I do this quite a lot because my neon only gets 18mpg city on a good day. It helps a bit but ive noticed that when i go back to drive from a total stop, there is some kind of noise in the tranny like something hitting something, so to eliminate further problems, i think i will stop.

posted by  newyorker

ummm just to let you guys know, in most places it is ILLEGAL to coast in neutral when driving. If a cop catches you then you are in bit trouble. But really, unless you are driving manual don't shift to neutral (on a manual its almost like holding the clutch in but it doesn't heat up the bearings...also rev then engine a bit before you put it in gear to reduce the strain on the tranny). Auto should never be put into neutral when driving (of course unless something very bad happens to it). Use common sense when doing stuff like this. Sure you may save a tiny bit of money doing this, but is it worth the risk? I mean how fast can you get out of the way of someone coming at you if your car is in neutral? often there is only seconds to react...and if you have to go back into gear you lose precious time

posted by  Golddragoner

A driving instructor a couple of weeks ago told me that sticking an auto into neutral while you were going would definitely screw it up.. Though he might have meant only when the accelerator was down, not really sure.

In manual, when I am slowing to a complete stop and I know I'll be stopping I'll put it into neutral for a little bit, not long though. If I think I can keep going I just switch down a gear or slow down a bit.

I agree with the people who say the amount you will save on petrol is barely worth it.. A couple dollars per full tank maybe.

posted by  strewart

driving with the clutch in or in neutral wont' hurt a manual, and theres no point to do it in an automatic. I always put the clutch in down a hill just to take wear and tear off the drivetrain and get a free ride. also, brakes are cheaper than a clutch, transmission, and gas.

then only thing you are putting wear and tear on when your clutch is in is your throw-out bearing and i have never seen one go bad.

posted by  carls47807

Mine hasn't quite gone out but it isn't exactly silent either...if its relatively quiet around(i.e no cars) then you can hear it turning with the clutch out

posted by  Golddragoner

So you aren't worried about the glazing that occurs as the pads skim across the pressure plate and flywheel faces?

posted by  Wally

If you're going down a long steady hill in neutral, its dangerous because having your foot constantly on the brake cause brakes to heat up, and eventually fade. It is better to go down a hill in 3rd, maintained at say 60 km/h and not have to worry about making a splatter at the bottom.

posted by  Mathew

And, as in the following quote, a while back I might add lol, It's dangerous because the gears act as a brake (along with the engine), to help keep the vehicle at a steady speed. That's why the lower the gear, the better, on a hill! (depending on speed obviously lol)

posted by  Cliffy

And the police can tell how?!?!:banghead:

posted by  newyorker

He'll know when a car 'floats' past him at idle

posted by  Cliffy

Not the dumb ass cops around here. I was going on the boulevard, and there was a cop behind me. Some dude blew the red when the people were turning left, he just went straight through. Cop did NOT say a word.

posted by  newyorker

Some Cops just dont like paperwork.....most Cops like to do things by the book....unfortunately!

posted by  Cliffy

They can tell because the car doesn't speed up or slow down very fast but has suttle changes. The cop probably didn't pull him over cuz he was pre-occupied...I passed someone over a double-solid line and went 80 in a park zone right in front of a cop (he was goin the other way) ...never did a damn thing

posted by  Golddragoner

Because they dont care. He was probbably busy eating a donut

posted by  newyorker

You're joking right? If a cop could give you a fine or conviction or whatever the penalty because he thought he didn't hear your engine revving, then quite frankly the cops own us, and our rights have gone to hell.

posted by  Mathew

More of your mindless drivel. Why are you still even posting here? Use some common sense before posting in the future... or better yet, think, type, submit.:banghead:

posted by  vwhobo

Care to discredit his points individually, or are we to just believe that you are correct because you have established yourself as the all knowledgable one?

posted by  Mathew

I choose B because I simply don't have time for A. How's about this? HE made the statements, let HIM back them up. We can start with a link to the state highway code that says driving in neutral is illegal and go from there.

posted by  vwhobo

Very well.

posted by  Mathew

Hell if I know what the link is...but a police officer told me himself that it is illegal to coast in neutral because you do not have full control of the car. It is actually illegal to lose control of the car in most places or even a little bit

posted by  Golddragoner

Blah, blah, blah, BULLSH*T. If you have nothing useful to say, which is painfully obvious, STFU.

posted by  vwhobo

So, erm......In the first quote what you are bassically sayin is that it's not illegal to 'coast' because the Police kinda have no way of telling whether or not you're in neutral. Yet in the second quote you're saying that it is infact illegal, as you are asking hobo to tell us what he's going on about?....KJust the way it looks from here :screwy:

Oh yeah.....and really, it aint possible to drive in neutral, because eventually you'll stop lol

posted by  Cliffy

I see hobo is back in business.

posted by  newyorker

Down a hill... And remember, the engine acts as a break so when you first switch to neutral from gear you actually speed up.




Link (http://www.cartalk.com/content/columns/Archive/1994/May/07.html).


I really have no idea how they would actually police it though.. I guess theres not much they can do except tell people not to do it.

posted by  strewart

How do you you stall a car when rolling in neutral. Also how is the power steering disabled. Youre kidding right?:screwy:

posted by  newyorker

All hills have to end!.....

posted by  Cliffy

I don't agree with his theory, but at least he's smart enough to understand how a car operates... Unlike you. Spend less time trying to sound smart and more time thinking. You just might find you'll spend less of your life being called names like dumbass.:ohcrap:

posted by  vwhobo

Im smart enough to know that when in neutral, a car doesnt stall, and power steering does NOT disengage!:banghead:

posted by  newyorker

Dumbass. You're so predictable. What drives the power steering pump on most cars Twinkie? The engine. If the engine stalls, the power steering pump ceases to operate and you now have no power steering. Is that simple enough for you, Simpleton?

posted by  vwhobo

Very nicely said. But youre forgetting something. DRIVING IN NEUTRAL DOENST STALL THE CAR!!!!!!!!!!!:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

posted by  newyorker

I don't recall anywhere at anytime that anybody said that it did. I think if you pull your head out of your ass and read the post, you'll find that they said it could. Those little letters add up to be words, and words mean things Twinkie. Get over yourself and go back to your advanced ass picking for idiots class.:banghead:

DUMBASS!

posted by  vwhobo

I think what hobo is trying to say is that the word 'stall' doesn't have to be associated with dipping the clutch and letting it up too quickly causing the engine to stall. Instead, if the engine just cuts out for whatever reason, it's classed as stalling....Or atleast that's the way I've always looked at it...Who knows, maybe I'm wrong, too lol

I think that's how the perevious poster was viewing it, too!

posted by  Cliffy

Are you inept, or just a ****ing hobo. "When moving" and then "car could stall" and hes talking about "moving in neutral". Get my drift yet dipshit?

posted by  newyorker

There is NO reason that A car would stall when in neutral gear, moving or otherwise.

posted by  newyorker

Dumbass. Go to the R&M section and start reading about cars that stall in neutral. It happens all the time. If you can't admit that to yourself, then you're even more useless than you've ever been given credit for. Shut up now and stop collecting dipsh*t points.:banghead:

posted by  vwhobo

Hey vwhobo bitch, I would just like to say this: :finger: . And oh yeah, tell your mom that I am sorry for staining her bed sheets last night. I will buy her new ones next time I go over there. I almost forgot, have some of my home made cookies: :fu: :fu: :fu: :fu:

posted by  U-is-gay

Can't we get this guy off the Forums already :banghead:

posted by  chris_knows

I really love your sense of humor. OK then, since I am wrong, and you are right, would you care to explain WHY this happens....if you yourself know.

posted by  newyorker

I would have thought cars are far more likely to stall at idle than, say, when compression breaking down a hill.

For instance let's say you have a carby engine and you are going down a steep incline in neutral and the fuel splashes into the bowl vents as you apply the brakes .... the fuel goes down the gullet..... what do you think might happen? Or let's say you have an EFI or carby engine and a near empty tank and you're coasting down a hill...... the engine dies, you panic, apply the brakes couple of times, they then go hard through loss of vacuum, you panic some more, .....

posted by  Wally

Boy would your face be red then :laughing: :laughing:

posted by  chris_knows

Yes, pedagogy the hard way.

posted by  Wally

Ok, I'll rephrase it for you. When the engine cuts out....the car has stalled, there could be all manor of reasons WHY the engine cut out. I think you're just associating stalling with it's most common meaning. To physically stall the engine, using the clutch...

posted by  Cliffy

Wow this place needs modding... We're talking about cars in neutral, its not the end of the world. Calm down.

The reasoning may be wrong, I thought it was hard to stall in neutral but I've seen someone stall an auto somehow, but the site still supports the view that it is illegal to.. In any case, it causes loss of control so I don't think it is worth it to save a few dollars on petrol.

posted by  strewart

http://hamptonroadstrafficlawyers.com/
Happy? there is your link...3 Point violation for coasting in neutral...now where is my apollogy? I can find more links if you want

SECTION 56-5-3840. Coasting prohibited.

The driver of any motor vehicle when traveling upon a downgrade shall not coast with the gears of such vehicle in neutral. The driver of a commercial motor vehicle when traveling upon a downgrade shall not coast with the clutch disengaged.
http://www.scstatehouse.net/code/t56c005.htm

Now do you belive me? thats 2 states right there...South Carolina and Virgina

posted by  Golddragoner

you know what should be even more illegal? being a total dipshit.

posted by  carls47807

I owe you an apology for what? The fact that you have no critical thinking or logic skills? Sorry, not my fault. Let's start from the beginning. You posted;


That is a cut and paste of your exact words. Notice the fact that you stated "just to let you guys know, in most places it is ILLEGAL to coast in neutral when driving". Well first off, the last time I checked Virginia and South Carolina weren't most places, they are only two. But the plot gets better. You then posted;


No facts, just blather. At the time you didn't have anything to support your statement. That as I pointed out meant you were still talking bullsh*t, just guessing and groping for straws like you're doing now. Now let's take a real close look at the laws that you sight, claiming they prohibit coasting.

South Carolina Code, 56-5-3840 very specifically states;

"Coasting prohibited.

The driver of any motor vehicle when traveling upon a downgrade shall not coast with the gears of such vehicle in neutral. The driver of a commercial motor vehicle when traveling upon a downgrade shall not coast with the clutch disengaged."

That is not a blanket prohibition of coasting, but instead one that covers only a very specific set of circumstances. Now let's look at Virginia's law on the subject, 46.2-811;

"Coasting prohibited.

The driver of any motor vehicle traveling on a downgrade on any highway shall not coast with the gears of the vehicle in neutral."

Almost exactly the same thing as SC, and still not a blanket prohibition. Very specific circumstances. What you have done, as so many other people who need to find a way to support and verify incorrect statements, is to take part of the wording of a rule or regulation and use it out context. So if you can play that game, so will I.

Did you know that according to South Carolina law 56-5-3835, it's illegal to drive a vehicle? Yep, it very specifically states "No person shall drive any vehicle". Right there in black and white. Of course like you I forgot to include all of the information like the rest of the sentence that says "upon a sidewalk or sidewalk area except upon a permanent or duly authorized temporary driveway." Kind of changes the meaning, doesn't it Twinkie?

The next time you want to play games with words and/or bullsh*t somebody about something, don't do it here. You're now tagged as a tap dancer and a spewer of bullsh*t. Have a nice day.

posted by  vwhobo

Umm... you actually take police officers seriously? lol. Often they'll trick you into voiding your own rights to make their job easier. :laughing:

posted by  VertigoPills

thanks for bringing up a post over 2 weeks old...

NOT

posted by  Golddragoner

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