Putting car in 'park' at long traffic lights...

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9,283
Location
Fayetteville, NC
(Auto trans of course) Anybody else does this? On my daily commute to work, there are 3 traffic lights which I know to be extremely 'long', as in they remain red for a VERY long time, as they are all major intersections. Whenever I approach these on red, I know by the way traffic is behaving if my direction is just about to turn green or if it's going to take a long time. While I am waiting around 4 minutes (that's a guess; I must time it next time) for the light to turn green, I have started shifting to P rather than holding the brake pedal pushed for several minutes while in D. If I am in front, it only takes a second to put it back in D and go, and I do it just before it turns green so no one is ever 'late' if they're behind me when I do this. If I am not in front, even easier to take my time and shift back to D as I have enough time before line of cars begin to move... I have found this much better than keeping the brake pedal pushed all the time, and it gives me a chance to rest my foot a bit... And PERHAPS some benefit for the engine, and brakes? But more work for trans? - IDK for sure... what do others think? Was wondering if others do this...
 
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Messages
24,456
Location
Dallas,Tx USA
When I had an auto I did that all the time. With my standards (if on a level spot),I put it in neutral and let off the brake and chill till the light changes.
 

97tbird

Thread starter
Messages
9,283
Location
Fayetteville, NC
Originally Posted By: simple_gifts
In my AT days, I would slip into N. If I get rear ended, i'd like to roll forward with as little resistance as possible.
But then you have a good chance of rolling into moving traffic, no? (if someone rear ends you while you're sitting at a red light, and if you're the front-most car at the light...)
 
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9,783
Location
Saskatoon canada
Only at trains otherwise I leave it in gear with my auto tranny vehicles. Honestly you aren't saving the engine,tranny or brakes putting it into park rather than hold the brake,unless you creep and ride the brakes. In fact I'm thinking leaving it in gear is better on the engine because it's not free spinning and has some resistance to turning although I doubt it matters a whole lot.
 
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1,723
Location
Virginia
It's rare, but I do this sometimes if I want to stretch my leg or ankle while sitting at the light. Though I normally pop it into neural and apply the hand brake.
 
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1,791
Location
Ontario, Canada
I also put it in park, to give my leg a rest. I'm noticing while on vacation here in Florida, the red lights seem to take forever to change.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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46,143
Location
New Jersey
Neutral. Both in mt and at cars. If you run a scangauge, you'll find that the fuel rare will drop slightly when in neutral.
 
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367
Location
Ct., USA
Why not turn the engine off? If it's more than a minute, the amount of gas used to restart is less than letting it idle. And, a lot of new cars have that 'stop start' feature. Saves gas, keeps the air cleaner.
 

Nick1994

$50 Site Donor
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13,309
Location
Phoenix, AZ
When at a long light I always put it in neutral and pull the handbrake. When I had the Camry I would just leave it in drive most of the time and pull the handbrake, but with the DSG tranny and TDI on his VW, I put it in neutral because without my foot on the brake in gear it "pulls" pretty hard wanting to go.
 
Messages
1,198
Location
Zimbabwe
I do it in neutral all the time. You've heard of bad lights, but you wouldn't believe the [censored] on Lake St. in Minneapolis. Some lights red for 2-3 minutes for tiny side streets that never have more than one or two cars waiting to go. And most of the time you have to stop at least at every other light, if not every single one.
 
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211
Location
Sta Catarina, Br
The TC and ATF will be finer w/o the constant pressurizing, but the valve body and pressure pistons will work harder at shifting to D every time before you takeoff. You'll need to know wich part is wearing out better from each practice.
 
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7,509
Location
North America
I hate burning up my taillights at stoplights so into park or neutral it goes. But if it's known to be less than a minute or two, it's less shifting for the trans so it stays in gear. Manuals, almost always have it in neutral, that way you're not burning up the throwout bearing.
 
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27,514
Location
PNW
Originally Posted By: Kuato
I hate burning up my taillights at stoplights so into park or neutral it goes. But if it's known to be less than a minute or two, it's less shifting for the trans so it stays in gear. Manuals, almost always have it in neutral, that way you're not burning up the throwout bearing.
+1 ... I do the same for the same reasons.
 
Messages
2,535
Location
Nowthen, MN
Originally Posted By: 97tbird
Originally Posted By: simple_gifts
In my AT days, I would slip into N. If I get rear ended, i'd like to roll forward with as little resistance as possible.
But then you have a good chance of rolling into moving traffic, no? (if someone rear ends you while you're sitting at a red light, and if you're the front-most car at the light...)
That, and if someone rear ends you, and you roll forward and rear end the car in front of you, at fault for that.
 
Messages
43,670
Location
'Stralia
I wouldn't use park personally. If you get nudged, the palls that make park "park" can get damaged...just another thing to argue with the insurance over.
 
Messages
35,693
Location
NY
A very long light, or train, AT goes into Neutral with my foot on the brake. At a normal light I leave it in drive. Stick in Neutral foot on brake all the time at a light or train crossing.
 
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