Every now and then when I get home after a long day, I pull into my driveway and while the car is stopped (foot on the brake), I turn the vehicle off without putting the vehicle in "Park". Car is still in "Drive" or "Reverse" when the vehicle is turned off.

What are the negative effects (or are there any?) from shutting off a vehicle while it is in "Drive" or "Reverse"?

Vehicle is 2005 Nissan Altima.

  • 2
    There's the safety issue of your car rolling away, but mechanically, it isn't going to hurt anything.
    – rpmerf
    Commented Jun 9, 2016 at 19:03

1 Answer 1


The transmission and its control systems will not be damaged by this practice.

Safety could be compromised if the shifter is left in this position. The park lock will not be engaged so the vehicle could roll away. This is a system internal to the transmission that is a back-up to the parking brake. It is important to move the shifter back to the P position before attempting to start the engine so that the park lock will engage during engine start.

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