Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

transmission in park while moving

I’m always asked what happens when you put your transmission in park while moving. Well, first, you’ll hear a loud ratcheting sound. What’s happening is that the parking pawl is skipping across the notches on the locking disc. The pawl is spring loaded and can handle a certain number of ratcheting cycles, so this isn’t something you want to do repeatedly.


shift into park while moving

Parking pawl, spring, and notched disc

park while moving


Should you be worried if you shift transmission in park while moving?


Aside from the loud noise, this usually doesn’t cause permanent transmission damage. However, every transmission is different and some are more robust than others. If you don’t notice any changes in shifting or acceleration or difficulty shifting into and out of park, chances are you’re ok. In that case, there’s no need to take it into a shop for a check.

©, 2016 Rick Muscoplat


Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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