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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have unintentionally bumped the shift lever while driving and while stopped, reaching for the heater contols, and moved the gear shift knob from drive and into neutral. It doesn't take more than a slight tap to do this. Is this universal with the automatic transmissions?

Sherwood
 

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in almost 5 yrs and 112,000 miles of ownership I have never once accidently shifted into neutral, let alone hit the shifter while trying to adjust the hvac controls.

Do you rest your hand on the shifter? Do you leave your arm hanging out on the arm rest? I don't do either, my right hand is on the steering wheel the majority of the time.



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not all ats do this. with honda though, all models shift without having to step on the brake pedal. i shift my car into neutral accidentally a few times, but most of the time it intentional. i drive with my left hand on the steering wheel and the right on the knob about 95% of the time. occasionally, my right arm gets excited from driving stick and it shifts into neutral as if i am shift to first gear. anyhow, if you keep your right hand around the shifter, more power to you. i do this cause i hit my od button to downshift to third when passing or speeding up with the extra kick. also, when i need to brake hard, i slap the shift knob forward to neutral to brake.

an example of cars that do not do this are mini coopers and bmw's. those require stepping on the brake pedal and squeezing the release button for the shift knob to move even a little bit. i should i know. i work at a dealership and drive those all day everyday.
 

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i do this cause i hit my od button to downshift to third when passing or speeding up with the extra kick. also, when i need to brake hard, i slap the shift knob forward to neutral to brake.
This is the absolute worst possible way to improve your braking! If you need to stop in a shorter distance and I am talking possibly a few feet shorter then shift down into 2nd then 1st if needed. That allows for the engine to brake even more than just leaving it in Drive. Shifting into Neutral makes the car unsafe if you need to avoid something/someone, it actually will speed the car up ever so slightly because you've taken the car out of gear and it begins to free spin.



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Discussion Starter #6
Spelling of "shift" corrected, purely accidental, apologies to all.

The buttery easy slip, of the shifter, from drive to neutral seems a defect to me. I keep my eyes on the road and the shift lever is smack dab in the path of my right hand enroute to the HVAC controls. A logical engineering error in my humble opinion.

I'm going to have to train myself to avoid it.

Thank you for the replies.

Sherwood
 

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This is the absolute worst possible way to improve your braking! If you need to stop in a shorter distance and I am talking possibly a few feet shorter then shift down into 2nd then 1st if needed. That allows for the engine to brake even more than just leaving it in Drive. Shifting into Neutral makes the car unsafe if you need to avoid something/someone, it actually will speed the car up ever so slightly because you've taken the car out of gear and it begins to free spin.
I agree with you here Larry, downshift to engine brake for safer short distance braking. Going into neutral is a no-no. On my old Accord I would downshift the AT D4 to D3, then 2 then 1, with braking. Even with an MT now, I make full use of downshifting for engine braking.
 

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i always park it into neutral whenever i'm stopped at an intersection; doesn't take much force to push it back and forth between neutral and drive :confused:
 

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You'll notice that certain moves require depressing the button on the handle, and others can be done by just moving the lever. Anything into reverse requires the button, as is downshifting. Moving from 1 - 2 - D does not require the button, and as noted, D - N does not either. That is pretty common. It is documented in the manual. My RAV4 has the same pattern.

So you could for example start in 1, and easily move to 2 and on to D as you pick up speed. But it is hard to keep from moving on to N. Moving into N does not harm the transmission, but you do need to cut back on the gas to keep the engine from reving higher.
 

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I have had no problem with it on the Element, but my old 1990 Camry had the issue of being able to jump into Neutral from D without issue, and because of where the stereo, HVAC and cupholders were put it right in line to get bumped or caught on a sleeve and it always scared the crap out of me. But, I still never had transmission problems. So if it does not break anything I cannot complain about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I just took a drive and studied my right hand movement to the heater controls. I dangle my right hand above the emergency/parking brake handle, ape-like knuckle drag posture, and swing it in a direct path from the floor to the climate controls.

I will try to put a "hill" into this path over the shifter. Also, I could rest my hand on the inside edge of the passenger seat so that the movement to the fan knob would be a swoop around maneuver avoiding the shifter.

I don't use the armrest. My right arm gets quite a workout casing, sorting mail into delivery sequence, at the post offices and it just feels better having it hang from the shoulder even after three Motrin.

Great forum. Thank you members for the content.

Sherwood
 

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This is the absolute worst possible way to improve your braking! If you need to stop in a shorter distance and I am talking possibly a few feet shorter then shift down into 2nd then 1st if needed. That allows for the engine to brake even more than just leaving it in Drive. Shifting into Neutral makes the car unsafe if you need to avoid something/someone, it actually will speed the car up ever so slightly because you've taken the car out of gear and it begins to free spin.
i am talking about lower speeds with the neutral. it makes a difference with lower speeds. i am not talking about highway or freeways speeds. that is like suicide. u can feel the car speeding up if you slap the shift knob in neutral as your are decelerating from 70 mph down. if you are in a neighborhood or in a business area or on a small surface street, try it out. it does make a difference. also, i am not talking about turning while braking. this is full on straight braking. a sudden stop sign or an animal or a kid. on the freeway, you will be turning either through a road curve or a turn from an exit. this is seriously deadly on the freeway or highway. never do it on those. but, in lower speeds, this has served me well. try it out.
 

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My 1st gen Ody seemed to slip past drive to D3 pretty easily when I was first putting it into gear.

In fact it would sometimes be extremely difficult getting it out of D3 and when I tried to get it back it would skip drive and neutral and go right through to reverse :shock: Maybe I'm just really, really strong?

Just another reason why I am partial to manual transmissions; while the problems are rare, it seems Honda has more issues with autos vs. manuals.

Good luck figuring out your issue!
 

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My right hand is usually on the steering wheel. Occasionally I'll rest it on the gear shift, but in that case, the pressure is downward, in the 'locked' direction, toward 2nd. So it is unlikely that I would move it into N, unless I am pretending to use it like a Manual (up shifting from 1-2-D).
 
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