What Happens If You Turn Off Your Car In Drive? Surprising Facts You Never Knew!

Have you ever wondered what happens if you turn off your car in drive?

Perhaps you accidentally turned it off while you are in drive mode. And now, you wonder about the potential dangers this can cause your vehicle.

You may be concerned if there is a prolonged, serious damage to the car. Or if it is nothing to worry about. Whatever your situation may be, have a look at these potential effects of turning your car off while in drive.

Let’s dive right into it.

what happens if you turn off your car in drive

What Happens If You Turn Off Your Car In Drive

Vehicles that were made in the 50s up to the 60s come with simple operation techniques. For instance, you can simply take the key out without causing damage to the car. This is mainly because of the simpler components in them. There are also far fewer features in these vehicles, which are the exact opposite of newer, more high-tech cars.

When you are driving a modern vehicle, the features are very much more intricate. So, you can never turn the ignition off while you drive it. And even if you were able to turn it off as you drive, perhaps because of manufacturer defects, you will realize that it is hard to control it. Perhaps, the steering wheel may even lock into position. Hence, you may lose control of your vehicle, which increases the likelihood of an accident.

Now, the power steering turns off when you turn your car off in drive. The wheel will also get tighter, and the brakes will be harder and act sluggishly. 

Avoid Turning Off Your Car In Drive

When you take your key out of your ignition while your engine runs, it is more of a reckless move. After all, the steering wheel will get locked, which means you will be unable to control your vehicle. Thus, the engine continues to run but the steering is basically useless.

This is why you should never ever do this when you are driving. It is important to note that when you drive in heavy traffic, and you turn your car off while the engine is on, you may get yourself in an accident and involve other people along the way.

In older vehicles, you may be able to get the key out while causing the steering wheel to lock up. So, if you have the wheel in a glider mode, this will cause it to get stuck. Other features will also be disabled if you turn your car off while in drive such as GPs, airbags, radio, and the like.

The cause of this action also depends on whether you are driving a manual or an automatic transmission vehicle. If it is a manual transmission, the engine may run for only a short time while the brakes and steering will be power-assisted. And the next thing that happens is that the car will stop.

However, in the case of an automatic transmission car, the engine will immediately stop and cause the vehicle to lose power. Then the brake assist follows after.

Is It Possible To Turn Modern Cars Off While Driving?

In many newer vehicles, they do not even come with ignition keys. Instead, they use a RFID fob, which means you should have the RFID close to make sure the car operates as it should. When the fob is away, the car may go in parking mode.

However, if you accidentally throw the fob away while driving, this will not cause the engine to stop. The car will simply detect this as a malfunction to the fob, which is why the engine is not impacted. 

This feature is designed primarily for safety purposes. There are also other vehicle models with a start or stop button such as with SUVs, which serves as a safety feature. When you press Stop, this will cause the vehicle to stop. However, this only works when you are running your engine at a slow speed such as 20 mph. If you are running it fast, then the vehicle will not stop.

There may be an instance when your vehicle stops while you are driving it. If this happens, you need to perform some things to stay safe. 

For instance, bring the car to neutral, which will prevent the engine and wheels from connecting. Hence, this can spare you from causing unnecessary damages to your vehicle. Then, apply your brakes while you have the vehicle in neutral mode. Press on the brakes harder since it will be more difficult to do this when your vehicle is off.

Afterwards, make it a point to turn the warning lights on. You need to do this to warn the other drivers that your vehicle is going through some problems, which will prevent them from getting too close to your car. 

Read More: Odometer Stays On When Car Is Off? What You Can Do

Final Thoughts

When you turn your car off while in drive, this will lock the steering wheel, which makes it impossible to have control of your vehicle. This is why the only thing left is the emergency braking, which you need to use to stop your vehicle. Then, you can turn the ignition back on before you drive.

Be sure to perform the steps we have shared with you and to make sure that you can spare yourself from accidents that may happen while on the road.

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