My husband’s car has an automatic transmission, but he always shifts in and out of drive/reverse without coming to a complete stop. I seem to remember this is a big no-no from Driver’s Ed. Am I right?
– Four on the Floor
How. Annoying. This ignorant habit is referred to as roll shifting. Not to be confused with role shifting, which occurs when the wife is way smarter about cars than her husband.
An automatic transmission is a gearbox that changes gear ratios automatically as the vehicle accelerates. In its simplest form an automatic transmission utilizes teeth and sprockets and works like this:
In its more complicated form an automatic transmission is best explained with many paragraphs containing all of the following words: springs pressure seal piston valve friction plates shaft hydraulic spin cable governor steel housing tapered rod throttle circuits fluid pump cable lever fluid torque mechanism.
The bottom line remains the same – this is your transmission:
And this is your transmission after two years with your husband:
Since transmission repair is so expensive, you’d think your chucklehead would want to do whatever is necessary to keep his car out of the repair shop – including the following advice from Edmunds.com:
- Change your transmission fluid every 12-18,000 miles.
- Keep your eye on the driveway for transmission fluid leaks, which appear reddish brown.
- Make sure the car has come to a complete stop when shifting from forward to reverse and back.
If your husband is still skeptical, explain that even girls know not to roll shift – as proven in the following quote from GM’s pro-babe newsletter Women in the Driver’s Seat:
“Always come to a complete stop before shifting into reverse — or reverse into drive. Roll shifting reverses the torque on the driveline, which could damage the transmission, axle, mounts, and drive joints.”
After all, does your husband really want to continue doing something that busts his mount?
Edmunds Explains The Transmission But I Hope You Are A Car Engineer
GM’s Pro-Babe Guide To Understanding Your Automobile Without Breaking A Nail!
thegreatgetzby saysJuly 26, 2006 at 12:42 pm
I was skeptical at first, I must admit, but thanks for getting the facts.
Adorable Girlfriend saysJuly 26, 2006 at 1:48 pm
I am not skeptical — I knew this. It makes good sense and only takes a second more.