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Turning off engine while in gear. Dangerous?

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Old 10-04-06, 12:38 PM   #1
tonyguy200
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Default Turning off engine while in gear. Dangerous?

I was driving my new ES350 home from Los Angeles and stopped to get a bite to eat. I was in a rush when I got to the restaurant and turned off my engine while the shifter was in drive (I never owned a car that could do this, it always needed to be in park in my other cars).

When I opened the door and got out, since my car was on a small incline, the car preceded to roll backwards. Thankfully I was able to jump in and apply the brakes. Boy, did that frightened me. Has this happened to anyone else? How can an engine be turned off in any gear and just park? Is my car normal or is something wrong?

I WILL remember to shift into park for now on.

Thanks. Tony
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Old 10-04-06, 01:20 PM   #2
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That's awful news, because I have the uncontrollable urge to press that Start/Stop button while driving. It just stares at me, whispering, "Press me. Press me."

I assumed that nothing would happen if you had it in gear.
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Old 10-04-06, 01:54 PM   #3
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Could there be a speed sensor issue here where you cannot shut the car off while in gear AND in motion vs. being parked/stopped?

Either way, I agree this is not very safe functionality.

I've shut the car off while in neutral (in the garage) without issue.
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Old 10-04-06, 02:57 PM   #4
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What bothered me weas that my car was on an incline and it rolled. Your car was able to be turned off in neutral aslo? If you were on a hill it would roll also.
I need to call lexus and see if this is normal. Do you know if it is?
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Old 10-04-06, 03:23 PM   #5
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Yes, it's normal. All cars can be turned off while in gear - at least I've never seen one that couldn't.
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Old 10-04-06, 04:31 PM   #6
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Yeah you can turn off the engine while in gear. My dad did that when US border told him to shut it off. He couldn't start the car because he left it in gear lol.

At least on the Prius, pressing the button automatically sets it to Park. I guess that's one advantange of the shift-by-wire.

On the Prius, if you press the POWER button while the vehicle is in motion, it'll beep twice and go to neutral. The same happens if you shift into reverse or press Park, it'll beep and go into neutral. Pretty fool proof.
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Old 10-04-06, 06:43 PM   #7
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This is normal. I did that quite a few times too when my car is still in gear D after fully stopped.
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Old 10-04-06, 08:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbsumer View Post
That's awful news, because I have the uncontrollable urge to press that Start/Stop button while driving. It just stares at me, whispering, "Press me. Press me."

I assumed that nothing would happen if you had it in gear.

This topic was discussed in the IS forum. As I recalled from that discussion, even if you press the start/stop button while the car is in motion, the engine will not turn off if driving more than 7 miles or something.
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Old 10-04-06, 08:51 PM   #9
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and if you accidentally turn it off while still rolling, will the steering wheel lock?
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Old 10-05-06, 04:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cali_Girl View Post
This topic was discussed in the IS forum. As I recalled from that discussion, even if you press the start/stop button while the car is in motion, the engine will not turn off if driving more than 7 miles or something.
OK, who's going to try it?
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Old 10-05-06, 04:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyguy200 View Post
I was driving my new ES350 home from Los Angeles and stopped to get a bite to eat. I was in a rush when I got to the restaurant and turned off my engine while the shifter was in drive (I never owned a car that could do this, it always needed to be in park in my other cars).
What cars have you owned that you could not turn the engine off while in gear? I don't have a post '99 vehicle, but everything I've ever owned I've been able to switch the engine off while in gear. It's not a safety defect persay, the safety is to not be able to start your car unless in "N" or "P"
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Old 10-05-06, 05:30 AM   #12
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Being able to turn a car off while in drive or while driving is a safety feature. I am glad that you ARE able to do so. As I mentioned in another thread, I was driving a 1984 Pontiac 6000 many years ago and the gas pedal got stuck. I tried to push the brake, but that did not work well. So, I cut the engine off and rolled to a stop on the shoulder.

As to the ES, I thought that I read that you can hold the button down for 3 seconds while driving and the engine would cut off.
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Old 10-05-06, 10:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MD350 View Post
Being able to turn a car off while in drive or while driving is a safety feature. I am glad that you ARE able to do so. As I mentioned in another thread, I was driving a 1984 Pontiac 6000 many years ago and the gas pedal got stuck. I tried to push the brake, but that did not work well. So, I cut the engine off and rolled to a stop on the shoulder.

As to the ES, I thought that I read that you can hold the button down for 3 seconds while driving and the engine would cut off.
Page 95 of the owners manual in the caution box says pressing and holding the button will stop the engine. There might be another reference to how long you need to hold the button in one of the other manuals.
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Old 10-05-06, 12:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MD350 View Post
Being able to turn a car off while in drive or while driving is a safety feature. I am glad that you ARE able to do so.
Agreed; after all, why do many motorcycles and personal watercraft have kill switches as part of OEM equipment? Even although the method of doing so isn't exactly the same as that w/ automobiles (i.e., passenger automobiles don't typically have kill switches), the end result is the same--being able to kill the engine while vehicle is in gear/motion.
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Old 10-05-06, 01:29 PM   #15
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My original issue with this is that when I stopped at the restaurant to eat, I pushed the start/stop button without shifting it into park ( I accidently left it in drive), so when I got out of the car it started rolling backwards. I was driving a 94 Camry before and it wouldn't let me take my keys out unless it was in park. I will now remember hopefully to always put it in park and use the emergency brake before exiting the car. My camry never rolled backwards after exiting.

Thanks for all the replys.
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Old 10-05-06, 01:29 PM
 
 
 
 
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