Is Shifting Your Mercedes to Neutral When Stuck in Traffic Advisable?

Giancarlo Perlas October 10, 2015


Should you put your Mercedes-Benz to N or neutral when not moving due to heavy traffic? By way of a habit, many of us probably do this. But is it really advisable?

I was browsing through some stuff online when I came across an article related to this from Top Gear Philippines. One car owner raised the question of whether the practice will have a bad effect on his car with automatic transmission gearbox. According to the answer provided by the source, it is only proper to shift your Mercedes to neutral when at a complete halt in traffic.

First, this will help you save fuel. Keeping the transmission in Drive or D when idling or waiting for the traffic light to turn green will still signal your car to accelerate even if your foot is stepping on the brake. Even when not moving, the engine is still energizing itself to go forth. Thus, the fuel use is more than what it should be compared to a neutral gear state.

Second, shifting to neutral in the same situation will prevent you from using unnecessary automatic transmission fluid, which will help you avoid wearing out your transmission clutches or heating up your brake pads quickly. With the transmission in N, you can ease the use of the mentioned components and prolong their usefulness.

Third, and most importantly, the practice will let you avoid accidents stemming from the accidental slipping or lifting of your foot from the brake pedal.

It should be noted though that Mercedes now has plenty of semi self-driving features that will force your car to brake at certain conditions, or allow it to keep its distance automatically from the next vehicle in traffic. However, this habit should still be observed for extra precaution regardless if you are driving a new Merc or not. As they say, “Prevention is always better than cure.”

About Author

Giancarlo Perlas

Giancarlo Perlas is an economist by profession with a career spanning nearly two decades. His professional journey has seen him assume vital roles in various government and private organizations, particularly in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors. Alongside his civic and corporate pursuits is his love for cars, particularly those made by Mercedes-Benz. In 2012, he found himself with like-minded individuals within BenzInsider. From then on, he used the platform as a way to share his passion with the automotive community. Follow his Facebook page at, X (formerly Twitter) @giancarloperlas, and IG @benzinsider. View all posts by Giancarlo Perlas →

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