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Old 05-22-2008, 04:23 PM   #1
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How easy is it to cause transmission damage?

I have a slight grade in my driveway. I always put the car in neutral and let it roll out backwards before starting up the engine and pulling away. This saves me from having to shift to reverse to back out.

The car is a 98 Corolla automatic which is NOT okay to flat tow. Am I killing the car by doing this every day? We're only talking about roughly 15 feet of rolling here.


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Old 05-22-2008, 04:42 PM   #2
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What you are doing is perfectly fine. What They mean by flat towing is if you tow the vehicle for many many miles without the motor running. If the motor is running however you can flat tow. This is because the engine is circulating oil in the transmission. In you case where you only roll 15 feet it will do no harm at all.

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Old 05-22-2008, 05:31 PM   #3
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Yep, you'd need a real long driveway before that became a problem. 5-10 miles long..... with a grade that got you over 30mph for that long...
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:40 PM   #4
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Thanks for the answer guys.

There was one time when I parked on the 6th or 7th floor of a parking garage. It was in the middle of the night when I left, so there was nobody around. I put it in neutral and rolled all the way down. I managed to startle a security guard on patrol as I went past him silently. It was tough getting the car to make the 180 degree turns though. Good to know there shouldn't be any damage done.
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Old 05-22-2008, 11:11 PM   #5
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Zimagold... Dont worry My car is also not suitable for flat towing, and I do a 10-mile commute each way every day. My car is automatic!

Most days, I get 9-12% engine OFF coasting at a maximum of 38mph... Which is just over 2 miles a day. And I also used to do the car-park-roll down thing dozens of times until I moved to another car park at work.

So, my car says you can only flat-tow it for 20 miles, at 30mph, it EXTREME emergency (unless an extreme emergency, it needs to be towed with dolly wheels). I have done lots of 38mph engine-off coasting, for up to 1/2 a mile at a time! And so far, no problems have occured.

A word of warning : do not copy me I can easily afford to put a new transmission in, and, more importantly, I have a manual gearbox in my garage waiting to go in in the next few months. And if I get gearbox faults I would be prepared to drive it to destruction as long as it still went forward before replacing the gearbox . For any coasts above 38mph I do engine-on coasting. I also rev-match prior to going from neutral back to drive, and my gearbox is one of the ones that doesn't mind going D-N-D-N all day long.

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Old 05-23-2008, 08:45 AM   #6
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landspeed, it's really cool that you have a transmission waiting to go in and you can afford to destroy the old one. Is that on Bluey II?

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