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2020 Hyundai Kona SEL Plus
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Edit: changed the title because I realized I asked it backwards

Hey everyone,

I drive a 2020 Kona SEL plus that we just got a week ago and I'm going through the manual and noticed this section:
Do not move the shift lever to N (Neutral) when driving. If the shift lever is moved to N (Neutral) while driving the vehicle loses the ability to provide engine braking. Doing so may increase the risk of an accident.

Also, moving the shift lever back to D (Drive) while the vehicle is moving may severely damage the transmission.
I thought it was pretty common with automatic transmissions that you could shift from N back to D while moving. i.e. coasting downhill, leaving the carwash, etc. Am I wrong? or am I misunderstanding the manual here? My main concern is that I accidentally think I'm in manual mode (when actually in D) and "shift up" to N on the interstate. If that happens do I need to pull over, stop, and shift back to D?

Thanks in advance! Also, sorry if this is the wrong area to post.
 

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2019 Kona Ultimate
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20 Posts
Edit: changed the title because I realized I asked it backwards

Hey everyone,

I drive a 2020 Kona SEL plus that we just got a week ago and I'm going through the manual and noticed this section:


I thought it was pretty common with automatic transmissions that you could shift from N back to D while moving. i.e. coasting downhill, leaving the carwash, etc. Am I wrong? or am I misunderstanding the manual here? My main concern is that I accidentally think I'm in manual mode (when actually in D) and "shift up" to N on the interstate. If that happens do I need to pull over, stop, and shift back to D?

Thanks in advance! Also, sorry if this is the wrong area to post.
Take what I say with a grain of salt, because I'm not entirely sure, just speculating.

However, I think that's more of a safety guideline because if I remember correctly, it states that you shouldn't do that because it may take extra time shift back into drive if you need to move quickly in an emergent situation.
 

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2020 Hyundai Kona SEL Plus
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Take what I say with a grain of salt, because I'm not entirely sure, just speculating.

However, I think that's more of a safety guideline because if I remember correctly, it states that you shouldn't do that because it may take extra time shift back into drive if you need to move quickly in an emergent situation.
Sorry I got my original title backwards: my main question is about shifting back to Drive from Neutral while moving in case I accidentally shift to neutral while driving on the interstate or something. The manual states this could severely damage the transmission, but I thought it was pretty normal to be able to shift back to drive from neutral.
 

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you should be able to do it, but the warning is more so not to condone it due to people either neutral dropping it (revving the motor up and then dropping it from N to D) and/or in the event the motor stalls while moving - as you'd need to put it back into park to get it started again. or at least that is what I think they are going for, others might know more though.
 

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2018 Kona SEL, AWD, Tech Package in Chalk White
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Would not recommend, here's why:

In a conventional automatic trans, moving the shifter from 'D' to 'N' does not uncouple the motive force (reverse hydraulic pressure), from the front axles to the output side of the trans-axle. (that's why towing wheels on the ground, over a certain speed is not recommended in your owner's manual).

When you shift back into 'D' from 'N' at the bottom of the hill, there's a unscheduled 'surge' of pressure thru the valve body to the torque converter lock-up clutch and the intermediate servo(s) thru the solenoids that control the automatic gear shifts. Simply put, the trans has no idea what gear it's in and has to 'hunt' for what is the proper gear to be in. It happens in seconds, but in that time the transmission & valve body are shuddering, increasing wear, big time.

When coasting down hill, the torque converter clutch will sometimes unlock, allowing the engine to return to near idle (in some cases signalling a 'fuel cut' thru the ECM), while keeping the trans in the correct gear & keeping fluid going the correct way thru the valve body & shifting solenoids within the valve body.

TCM programming (under OBD-II), has remained almost unchanged for the last 30 years when 'coast-down' conditions are encountered.

Just put it in 'D', and unless in low-speed hills or ice conditions when selecting a specific gear ratio for safety or control, just let the trans live up to it's 'automatic' designation. You'll actually be dollars further ahead by changing the trans fluid as recommended under the 'severe' maintenance schedule.
 
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