firstly I am happy to join her in amazing place I have very important question and it's really am afraid about it I have 2017 hyundai elantra automatic transmission (AT) Hear is what happened "last week I stopped the car as usual by home (it's flat ground) but ,,,, I turned off the car while the gear shifter is Neutral "N" hand break is set UP and the key is coming out normally without Warning !! (i forgot to put shifter on Park "P" ) Then I leave it 1 day then after that I start it again and it was on "N" . so ,,,, 1-turn off car on (N)and hand break is set up > 2- leave it 1 day >> -3- start up again on (N) >> so > dose this will cause any mechanical or electronic damage ? ? Please help me I need your help I am really freaking out because it's my first new car (I used to drove 2001 corolla Manual (MT)

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Where are you from in the world? Every (and I mean every) automatic transmission'd vehicle I've ever driven will not let you take the key out of the ignition while the vehicle is in neutral. So what you're telling me is surprising. It won't cause any mechanical damage to start the vehicle in neutral, but it's weird, is all. Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 21:51
  • Hi I am belong to th erth looool ,,,, really my Elantra can do this that what i'm telling in my Qust ,,, yeah you right my cosine 2008 Honda accord will not let take the key until you put it to 'P' ( I test tht btw) Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 0:05
  • i am still looking for more practical answer Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 0:35
  • My point about asking you where you're from in the world is if you bought your car in the States, take it back to the dealership and get it fixed. A 2017 Elantra is going to be under warranty unless you've already put 60,000 miles on it. Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 0:58
  • I'm pretty sure that foot on the brake overrides the shift interlock, so starting probably is not an issue. Although "yes" no way can you pull the key out in neutral... So me learn-ed "answer" is none at all. As @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 says go get it checked out under warranty.
    – SteveRacer
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 6:27

1 Answer 1


As others have mentioned, the ignition cylinder should not be releasing the key for you to remove it unless the transmission is in Park. However, the vast majority of automatic transmission vehicles will allow you to start the vehicle while in Neutral. I've personally done it countless times when I had stalling issues.

As SteveRacer was suggesting, there is a safety device that will prevent you from starting the car when the transmission is in an unsafe state, it is usually called a neutral safety switch. It's job is to allow the engine to be started only while the transmission is in either park or neutral. The reason neutral starts are permitted is in case the engine stalls while the vehicle is rolling at speed: then engine can be restarted without stopping the vehicle and putting it in park.

  • You may want to add to your answer to actually answer the question. What you have is good information, though. Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 11:36
  • hello thnk u so much for help and sorry for misunderstand Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 13:49
  • I read this in many car site same thing >> " It is also a common mistake. Operating the engine while putting the transmission on the "N" position causes serious damage over time to the transmission, so the best way to operate the engine without damage to the carrier is to position the carrier on the "D" position, If the engine works, you can return the transmission to the "N" position again, thus avoiding unnecessary friction between the engine and the transmission." Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 14:12
  • this is inconsequent but that make me worry so I am asking for practical answer enplane this and thank you again for help Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 14:13
  • and I am fro UAE - Abu dhabi city and yeah my car is able to shutdown while the shifter on Neutral (N) and key release from ignition normally same as the shift on P Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 14:15

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