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Ted G.
Ted G., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
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Experience:  20 years auto repair experience, ASE Master Tech, Mechanical Failure consultant, Expert Witness
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I am looking for an answer to a hypothetical question. If

Resolved Question:

I am looking for an answer to a hypothetical question. If someone were to either deliberately or accidentally downshift a vehicle doing 80 to 100 mph into say either second gear or even reverse, what would happen to the transmission other than the gears being stripped? Would doing such a thing shear off the drive shaft? Could it possibly tear the transmission from the vehicle?

Thanks so much for your assistance in this matter.

Cindy
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Dan replied 1 year ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm here to help get your problem solved. Automatic or manual transmission? Could you describe what happened and what your trying to figure out? Thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Automatic transmission, 2013 Mercedes Benz C250 sport coupe. I can't tell you what happened...........I am hoping that you can tell me what would happen. It is a hypothetical question.


 


Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX hope you can help me out.


 


cindy

Expert:  Dan replied 1 year ago.

I'm going to open question up and send this to Mercedes experts, do not reply or question will be locked to me only. Someone will respond automatically. Thanks.

-

 

Expert:  Ted G. replied 1 year ago.
Actually since the transmission in the Mercedes you mentioned is completely computer controlled there is no way it would do what you want, they actually program it not too. If you were talking an older car that was mechanically operated you could do it and any number of things could happen. Let's say it is a manual trans and it strips off some gear teeth, they would then jam between the gears still intact and lock the trans. Most likely this would simply lock the drive wheels and cause the tires to skid. If the car was rear wheel drive it would skid to a stop fairly straight. If it was front wheel drive and they lock up the car would tend to swap ends and spin. If enough inertia was built up you could twist the driveshaft off or blow the end of the transmission off, this used to happen fairly frequently with drag cars. Basically it will find the weakest link and break it to relieve the stress on all the other components.
Ted G., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 5552
Experience: 20 years auto repair experience, ASE Master Tech, Mechanical Failure consultant, Expert Witness
Ted G. and 8 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

What if the car's transmissions computer system had been tampered with and it was possible to down shift, if not into reverse, but into second gear? What would be the possible results?


 


 

Expert:  Ted G. replied 1 year ago.
It would over rev the engine (exceed the maximum RPMs it is designed for) and do massive internal damage to the engine. Normally when this happens (not uncommon for manual shift cars) the valves that let air and fuel in and exhaust out will not properly close (they call it float). When this occurs the valves will contact the pistons. This results in bent or broken valves, and if a valve actually breaks off it can damage the piston and/or cylinder block.

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