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The invention of automatic transmission engines completely revolutionized the motoring world. It made driving easier and more accessible, especially for learners, because it eliminated the confusing clutch system.

However, the invention also came with new challenges. Wrong handling of these vehicles when driving can result in expensive damage. But proper practices and common sense should get you the best out of a vehicle with an automatic transmission.

Here are five things you should never do while driving an automatic transmission car, according to Engineering Explained.

Never coast downhill in neutral

Many drivers mistakenly believe that coasting downhill in neutral gear can save some fuel. What you don’t know is that putting your automatic transmission vehicle in neutral only slows it down and does not save any fuel. Neutral gear also takes some control of the vehicle away from you. This means that in case of emergencies, you might be unable to maneuver it. You should also know that rolling down the slope in neutral is illegal in 15 states.

Never change gears without stopping with an automatic transmission

Whether it’s ignorance or a lack of common sense, some people change gears before their car has come to a complete stop. You should never change from reverse to drive or back without completely stopping the vehicle first.

You may be quite in a rush, but it beats logic why you would want to use the transmission to stop the car instead of the brakes. Moreover, it leads to expensive wear of the gears, and you may have to spend a fortune to replace the entire transmission system, reports Car and Driver.

Male hand on gear shift in automatic transmission vehicle
Gear stick in an automatic transmission vehicle | via Getty Images

Don’t rev the engine

You are finally in the driver’s seat of a sparkling Nissan Kicks, and you’re ready to hit the road. Don’t let the excitement of buying a new car get to your head.

Desist from revving the engine in neutral before shifting to drive. You will only wear out the bands in the transmission, which are very expensive to replace. Instead, put your foot on the brake, turn the ignition, and shift the lever to drive before accelerating away.

Never put the vehicle in neutral at traffic lights

Shifting to neutral at the traffic light to save fuel is pure folly. In any case, stop lights only last a few minutes; thus, any savings on fuel would be quite negligible.

The story doesn’t end here. You will shift gears every time to meet a stop light, subjecting them to unnecessary wear. You may have to replace them sooner than you thought.

Avoid all this by letting the brakes do their job: leave the engine in drive and step on the brakes at the stoplight. You will only have to release the brakes and continue driving when the light turns green rather than having to grind the gears.

Never shift into park without stopping the car completely

Your new automatic transmission auto may not allow you to park without stopping it completely, but you should never try to do it. When you engage the parking gear, a locking pin inserts into the transmission to prevent any further movement. If you engage before the car has come to a complete halt, you risk breaking this pin. Replacement of this pin will leave a huge dent in your bank account.

These small tips add up

These habits may seem innocent, but you may never know the harm you are causing to your vehicle until it stalls in the middle of nowhere. Worse still, they may expose you to grave danger if you are not careful. These simple tips can help you stay safe on the road and increase the lifespan of your car.

Next time you hit the road, be sure to avoid these extremely dangerous and expensive habits.