When Am I Supposed To Switch to Neutral Gear?

The majority of automatic transmission drivers rarely ever use neutral gear, so why is it there anyway? Well - the neutral gear serves a fundamental purpose. It is often used for manual transmission vehicles, especially since manual cars always have to be neutral first. Whereas most automatic transmission drivers rarely depend on it. When your vehicle is in neutral, it can not accelerate. Since this position is seldom engaged, when should you shift your vehicle into neutral?


Fun Fact: Did you know that neutral isn't deemed a gear? When switched to "N", no gear is employed at all hence the name - neutral. 


Below are the instances where you should switch your vehicle in a neutral position:


During a Drive-Thru Car Wash

If you frequently go to the car wash, you know that most drive-through car washes have rules that require you to be in neutral gear. Before you proceed to get your vehicle cleaned, you must have it in neutral. Putting your car in neutral allows your vehicle to roll through the cleaning cycles consistently with other vehicles and prevent collisions during the process.


During a Tow

If your tow service does not have a dolly, then you are in luck. You can alternatively switch it into neutral. The feature is beneficial for tow trucks without a dolly as it keeps the engine on and prevents damage to the transmission.


When Your Vehicle Breaks Down

In the situation where your vehicle stalls or breaks down, you might have to give your vehicle a push to move it out of harm's way. Before pushing the car, you should always place it in neutral. 


Brake Failure

If your brakes stop working mid-drive, most people believe the right thing to do is turn off your car. However, it would be best not to do so because it will lock up the steering wheel. You will end up losing all control of your vehicle, which is incredibly dangerous. Placing the car in a neutral position during a brake malfunction is the safest plan since it will let you steer off onto the roadside.


Though the neutral function is not regularly used, it is best to know when you have to use it. As you may know now, it is only used during emergencies and mechanical failures (if you have an automatic transmission). If you encounter any problems with your vehicle, give us a call or visit TC Auto Service today!