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Discussion Starter #1
The RAV4.3 is my first automatic car and I noticed that automatics are kinda sluggish on downhills (or flat roads) unless you're stepping on the gas. I just discovered that you can set the gear on neutral if I'm going downhill or I'm cruising on a flat roads. Doing this on my daily drives has not given me any problems. It really works well too since I know how far the roads are and where the stops will be. Often times I do a full stop before I re-engage to the D gear, but I have changed from N to D at 30mph and notice no problems.

Is this okay to do? Am I doing anything that I would regret later on?

BTW, I thank everybody in this forum. I can't believe you guys already discuss most questions I wanted to ask!

OZ
 
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You'll also, potentially, be using more gas.

In drive, the engine can effectively cut off the fuel supply whilst coasting because the cars momentum keeps the engine turning over.

In neutral, the engine needs to keep itself running under its own power and hence requires fuel.
 

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So you mean the 'ol Georgia overdrive, as truckers call it.

I wouldn't let it coast in neutral for two reasons:

1. It's illegal (and dangerous).

2. It seems like a good idea in theory (and I have tried it before when I drove an automatic) but it's not very good for the engine and transmission if you are shifting in and out of drive while moving.
 

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Also our Rav's have the new alternator that mainly kicks in during braking and while coasting, so your practice would work against that.
 
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From what I've heard (not only in our RAV's) that it's bad for the transmission but cannot remember why..... :?
 

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I would never recommend coasting with an automatic - the tranny is lubricated by the internal oil pump - when the car is travelling 70 mph and the tranny input is idle rpm that pump isn't working at full capacity and some parts of the tranny may be starved for oil.

It's not advisable and it doesn't really do any good to keep popping the selector into Neutral.

John Davies
Spokane WA
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the insightful answers!
I guess that means no more cruising on neutral for me!

OZ
 
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