What Happens If You Put Tesla In The Park While Driving? – Introduction

What Happens If You Put Tesla In The Park While Driving?
What Happens If You Put Tesla In The Park While Driving?

So you just got your shiny new Tesla and are excited to test out all the futuristic features. One thing you might be tempted to try is throwing the car into Park while cruising down the highway to see what happens. Before you do, you should know that’s an incredibly dangerous idea that could seriously damage your expensive new ride.

When you shift into Park, the parking pawl locks the transmission designed only for stationary use. Engaging it at high speeds can destroy the pawl, damage the transmission, and even cause you to lose control of the vehicle. Your Tesla may be a technological marvel, but the laws of physics still apply. Save the experimenting for the test track and keep your Tesla in Drive when driving. Your wallet and your safety will thank you.

What if you press ‘park’ while driving a tesla model 3:

Why You Should Never Put a Tesla in Park While Driving

Putting your Tesla in the Park while cruising the highway is a bad idea. Here are a few reasons why you should never do it:

First, it’s dangerous. Slamming a vehicle from high speed into the Park can cause the tires to lock up and skid, potentially losing control of the vehicle. The sudden stop also stresses the transmission and drivetrain, which can lead to damage or premature wear over time.

Second, it wastes energy. When a Tesla is in motion, the motors generate electricity that recharges the battery. Putting it in the Park while driving interrupts this process and drains the battery faster.

Lastly, it’s illegal. Most states have laws against putting a vehicle in Park while in motion. You can face legal penalties like fines if caught doing this.

In short, there are no benefits to putting a Tesla in the Park when driving at high speeds, only risks and downsides. Your safety, vehicle’s health, and wallet will all thank you for keeping it in the proper gear until you’re ready to stop fully.

If, for some reason, you do accidentally shift into the Park while moving at a high rate of speed, slowly take your foot off the accelerator and gently apply the brakes while carefully steering to a safe stop. Get off the road as soon as possible and have the vehicle checked by the Tesla service before driving again. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – so keep your hands off that shifter until the time is right!

What Happens When You Shift Into Park in a Moving Tesla

So what exactly happens when you shift your Tesla into the Park while cruising down the highway? In short, nothing good.

The wheels lock up.

When you move the gear selector into the Park, the transmission locks the front wheels in place. High speeds will cause the tires to skid across the road, reducing control and stability. The immense friction can even damage the tires and wheels.

You lose power steering and braking.

With the wheels locked, the power steering and brakes will be disabled, making it nearly impossible to steer or slow down. You’ll have to slam on the manual brake to slow down and stop the vehicle.

The transmission takes a hit.

Forcing the transmission into the Park while moving can easily damage internal components like the parking pawl, an important mechanism that locks the transmission. Repairing or replacing a transmission is a costly undertaking.

You risk an accident.

Between losing control, steering, and braking, shifting into the Park in a moving Tesla is extremely dangerous and can easily lead to a collision. No one wants their EV joyride to end in a trip to the emergency room.

Shifting into the Park in a moving Tesla is never a good idea. It won’t activate some secret autopilot or propulsion system – it will just wreck your transmission, damage your tires, and put you in a risky situation. Your Tesla may be futuristic, but it still requires you to completely stop the vehicle before shifting into the Park. Some things never change!

The Dangers of Shifting Into Park in an Emergency Situation

Putting your Tesla into Park while driving at high speeds is dangerous and should never be done in an emergency. The forces acting on the vehicle can cause loss of control, damage to the transmission, and injury.

Loss of Control

When moving at 50 mph or faster, suddenly shifting into Park will abruptly slow the vehicle and likely cause a loss of control. The tires will lock up and skid, making it nearly impossible to steer or brake effectively. This can easily lead to spinning out, hitting other vehicles or objects, and rollovers – all of which pose a major threat to you and your passengers.

Transmission Damage

The transmission is not designed to handle the forces of high-speed deceleration. Shifting into Park in motion can seriously damage internal components like the parking pawl, gears, and shafts. At a minimum, you’ll be faced with costly repairs. At worst, it may ruin the transmission, leaving the vehicle inoperable.

Injury Risk

As the vehicle slows and control is lost, occupants will be thrown forward due to momentum. Airbags will likely deploy, and the violent shaking and jolting puts strain on the neck and back. There is a high potential for muscle strains, fractures, concussions, and other injuries for anyone inside the vehicle.

Rather than shifting into Park during an emergency at high speed, remain calm and take your foot off the accelerator to begin slowing while gently applying the brakes. Activate your hazard lights to alert other drivers, and pull over as soon as it is safe. Once stopped, shift into Park and turn off the vehicle. Tesla’s advanced safety systems are designed to bring the vehicle to a controlled stop in emergencies, so keep a firm grip on the steering wheel and let the automatic emergency braking do its job. Your safety and your passengers’ safety should be a top priority. Avoid shifting into Park at high speeds at all costs.

Tesla’s Safety Features and How They Handle Sudden Stops

Tesla vehicles come equipped with advanced safety features to help avoid collisions and protect passengers in the event of an emergency stop. However, abruptly putting a Tesla into Park while driving at high speeds is extremely dangerous and can cause serious harm.

Automatic Emergency Braking

If Tesla’s automatic emergency braking system detects an impending collision, it will automatically apply the brakes to reduce the severity of impact or avoid the collision altogether. However, suddenly shifting into Park will override the emergency braking system and immediately lock the wheels, causing the vehicle to skid uncontrollably.

Seat Belts

In a panic-stop situation, seat belts are critical for securing passengers in their seats. Tesla’s seat belts are designed to lock in place during hard braking and impacts to prevent injury. Putting the vehicle in Park at high speeds will not activate the seat belt safety mechanisms, leaving occupants unrestrained and vulnerable in a crash.


Tesla’s airbag systems will only deploy during a collision to cushion passengers from impact and reduce forces on the body. Airbags will not deploy if the vehicle is put into Park at speed, even though the resulting loss of control and crash would warrant their use to protect passengers.

While Tesla builds safety standards into their technology and design to avoid accidents and mitigate harm, purposely overriding these systems by shifting into Park in an emergency is extremely dangerous. The vehicle’s safety mechanisms require proper braking and impacts to activate and will not function as intended if the vehicle is abruptly stopped through other means. In summary, putting a Tesla into Park at high speeds neutralizes many of its life-saving safety features and puts all vehicle occupants in peril.

FAQ: Putting a Tesla in Park at High Speeds

What happens if you accidentally shift your Tesla into Park while driving high speeds? Don’t panic – your vehicle is designed to avoid damage in this scenario. However, it still needs to be recommended and can negatively impact your driving experience.

Why does my Tesla turn neutral when I shift to Park while moving?

Teslas will automatically shift into neutral if Park is selected above five mph to prevent transmission damage. The vehicle will coast until it slows to under three mph, at which point it will shift into Park. This is a safety feature to avoid unwanted braking at high speeds.

Will this damage my Tesla?

Shifting into Park while moving at high speeds should not damage a Tesla under normal circumstances. The vehicle is engineered to seamlessly transition between gears to prevent harm to the transmission or other components. However, repeatedly or intentionally shifting into Park at high speeds is not advised and could potentially reduce the lifespan of your Tesla over time.

What should I do if I accidentally shift into Park while driving?

Don’t slam on the brakes! Gently press the brake pedal to slow your vehicle. Once you’ve decelerated to under five mph, your Tesla will automatically shift into Park. Remain calm and continue braking until you’ve come to a complete stop. Then, shift into your intended gear (Drive or Reverse) and continue. No permanent damage should occur from an occasional accidental shift into Park.

How can I avoid this in the future?

Keep your hands on the steering wheel to prevent unintentionally shifting into Park while in motion, and be mindful of the gear stalk position. Only select Park once you have fully stopped the vehicle. If distracted or drowsy driving could be a factor, pull over and rest to ensure the safe operation of your Tesla. Your safety and the safety of others on the road should be the top priority.


So now you know why slamming your Tesla into the Park at high speeds is awful. Your poor transmission doesn’t deserve that kind of abuse. Next time you’re tempted to do something reckless in the name of science or curiosity, think about how much it might cost to replace that transmission if things go wrong. And think about how bummed you’d be if your shiny new Tesla ended up in the shop for weeks. Curiosity is great, but save the high-speed park tests for the crash test professionals. Your bank account and your Tesla will thank you.

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