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Old 5th April 2013, 17:12   #1
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Default Honda City Automatic : Remove key in neutral gear?

My friend has just bought a honda city automatic. This is the first automatic in our friend's circle so we don't really know the ins and outs of them. Yesterday I noticed a peculiar problem. You can't take the key out of ignition, if the car is in N. This to me a massive problem because you cannot double park, without giving the key to the attendant. Also, in my society, everyone is required to put their cars in neutral at night, and then in morning who has to go first has to play a game of car bricks before taking out their car. Delhi High Court has a fancy automated parking - my friend was told that due to this problem, his car can't be parked in that parking.

Is there any way around this. What is the logic to problem. Is it Honda specific (though I see on the net, references to other manufacturers as well). Am afraid this should have been taken care while indianizing a car - I can't buy an automatic and not get parking.
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Old 5th April 2013, 17:20   #2
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Default re: Honda City Automatic : Remove key in neutral gear?

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Originally Posted by manolin View Post
My friend has just bought a honda city automatic. This is the first automatic in our friend's circle so we don't really know the ins and outs of them. Yesterday I noticed a peculiar problem. You can't take the key out of ignition, if the car is in N. This to me a massive problem because you cannot double park, without giving the key to the attendant. Also, in my society, everyone is required to put their cars in neutral at night, and then in morning who has to go first has to play a game of car bricks before taking out their car. Delhi High Court has a fancy automated parking - my friend was told that due to this problem, his car can't be parked in that parking.

Is there any way around this. What is the logic to problem. Is it Honda specific (though I see on the net, references to other manufacturers as well). Am afraid this should have been taken care while indianizing a car - I can't buy an automatic and not get parking.
The old Honda city ( 2nd version.I think it was called the dolphin model) had a key slot next to the auto gear shift, to put your key and switch to neutral manually. I need to check on my new honda city if that is still there.
Being in Mumbai, I never had to use this feature anyways.
Have you tried removing the key in 'P' and then shifting to 'N'?
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Old 6th April 2013, 11:55   #3
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Default re: Honda City Automatic : Remove key in neutral gear?

It is a serious safety issue if cars are kept in N when parked, that is why no AT car will ever have a system of allowing key to be removed when in N.
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Old 6th April 2013, 12:04   #4
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Default re: Honda City Automatic : Remove key in neutral gear?

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Originally Posted by manolin View Post
Also, in my society, everyone is required to put their cars in neutral at night, and then in morning who has to go first has to play a game of car bricks before taking out their car.
This is downright dangerous. I'm assuming that you do not use the handbrake while parking, because if you do, then it negates the perceived benefit of parking in neutral. Just imagine if some kids are there playing around and they take a fancy to removing those bricks after watching the adults do the same. You need to knock some sense into the guys running the society before something untoward happens. Better to find some other solution like having the guy who is going to take the car out first to park near the gate, or if all owners agree, carrying a spare key of the other cars in the same line as yours, in your dash.

Last edited by longhorn : 6th April 2013 at 12:11.
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Old 6th April 2013, 12:28   #5
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Default re: Honda City Automatic : Remove key in neutral gear?

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Originally Posted by sandeep108 View Post
It is a serious safety issue if cars are kept in N when parked, that is why no AT car will ever have a system of allowing key to be removed when in N.
In fact many do have it as a safety feature.The old Honda City had it. See picture, where I have circled in Red. If you put your key inside, it release the gearshift to wherever you want it to be in.
It is called manual override function/selector lever lock override button or something.
Imagine the battery going kaput when you have parked in P in the middle of nowhere and you need to push the car for whatever reason.

As Original poster mentioned,it is very common in Delhi, to leave the car in N at carparks,so that attendants can play "Park the Car" with it. The car park opp. Mumbai High court, also did the same thing, however now they keep the keys with them,since it is difficult to maneuvre Power steering cars without them being on.

Regarding the practice not being safe, that is a different story altogether.
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Last edited by riteshritesh : 6th April 2013 at 12:37.
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Old 6th April 2013, 12:47   #6
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Default re: Honda City Automatic : Remove key in neutral gear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeep108 View Post
It is a serious safety issue if cars are kept in N when parked, that is why no AT car will ever have a system of allowing key to be removed when in N.
Quote:
Originally Posted by longhorn View Post
This is downright dangerous. I'm assuming that you do not use the handbrake while parking, because if you do, then it negates the perceived benefit of parking in neutral. Just imagine if some kids are there playing around and they take a fancy to removing those bricks after watching the adults do the same. You need to knock some sense into the guys running the society before something untoward happens. Better to find some other solution like having the guy who is going to take the car out first to park near the gate, or if all owners agree, carrying a spare key of the other cars in the same line as yours, in your dash.
Its not a safety concern- it is a pure parking lot on a level ground, at the end of the street (not an apartment parking). Kids play in their earmarked playground. Around a 100 cars are parked there, generally triple parked, so this system is a necessity. Apart from this, there are lots of places in delhi, where you have to double park, and leave your car in neutral (everyone is aware enough not to do this on inclined ground). By not allowing automatic car owners to have that flexibility, manufacturers are just creating problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by riteshritesh View Post
The old Honda city ( 2nd version.I think it was called the dolphin model) had a key slot next to the auto gear shift, to put your key and switch to neutral manually. I need to check on my new honda city if that is still there.
Being in Mumbai, I never had to use this feature anyways.
Have you tried removing the key in 'P' and then shifting to 'N'?
I checked with my friend. He says you can't. Will check if he has the override system that you have mentioned.

Last edited by manolin : 6th April 2013 at 12:50.
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Old 6th April 2013, 15:24   #7
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Default Re: Honda City Automatic : Remove key in neutral gear?

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Originally Posted by manolin View Post

I checked with my friend. He says you can't. Will check if he has the override system that you have mentioned.
I used to face the same problem when I had the Honda City AT and in my office the parking attendants would ask me to leave the car in neutral.
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Old 6th April 2013, 17:54   #8
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Default Re: Honda City Automatic : Remove key in neutral gear?

As riteshritesh said, at least my car has a shift lock.
If you want to take out the key, put the gear in P, take out the key, then press the shift lock to move the gear lever out of P.
In an automatic, any gear other than P, you should be able to push/move the car.
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Old 7th April 2013, 11:53   #9
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Default Re: Honda City Automatic : Remove key in neutral gear?

I think not being able to remove the key in Neutral is common across AT-cars - in our A-Star_AT also one can't remove the key in Neutral (key can be removed only in P mode).
However, the A-Star provides a better solution to the problem faced by the OP - there is a ShiftLock button provided, which when pressed, you can move the gear to any position you want, without needing the key.
Like what Abes has in his car. A similar option exists in the City, but just that you need the key, while in cars with ShiftLock, key is not needed.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 7th April 2013 at 11:56.
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Old 7th April 2013, 15:02   #10
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Default Re: Honda City Automatic : Remove key in neutral gear?

The fact that Honda has designed it that way has a lot to do with safety. Apart from places you have mentioned above I don't see a place/reason, why one needs to park his/her car in the neutral gear. And as someone said what if the battery dies down? I think the current gen City also has a key slot next to the gear lever to manually override the shift lock, I might be wrong because I am guessing that the slot is under the small lid that's close to the gear shifter. I, however, don't think one should use the manual over ride(if at all it exists) every now and then, because again it has been designed to be used in emergency.
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Old 7th April 2013, 16:35   #11
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Default Re: Honda City Automatic : Remove key in neutral gear?

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Originally Posted by 599gto View Post
The fact that Honda has designed it that way has a lot to do with safety. Apart from places you have mentioned above I don't see a place/reason, why one needs to park his/her car in the neutral gear. And as someone said what if the battery dies down? I think the current gen City also has a key slot next to the gear lever to manually override the shift lock, I might be wrong because I am guessing that the slot is under the small lid that's close to the gear shifter. I, however, don't think one should use the manual over ride(if at all it exists) every now and then, because again it has been designed to be used in emergency.
As I explained above, safety is not really a concern, otherwise in manual cars, a similar system could have been built in - where you have to put the car in a gear to remove key. That is the entire reason why we have parking/emergency brakes.

I have another question - how do automatic cars get towed by police if they have been put in P mode.
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Old 7th April 2013, 17:54   #12
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Default Re: Honda City Automatic : Remove key in neutral gear?

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As I explained above, safety is not really a concern, otherwise in manual cars, a similar system could have been built in - where you have to put the car in a gear to remove key.
P is the only only "gear" in which the car will not move, when the engine is NOT running. When using P, handbrake also need to be engaged, so as not to cause any damage to the transmission.

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Old 7th April 2013, 19:33   #13
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Default Re: Honda City Automatic : Remove key in neutral gear?

On my Santro AT (2003) , I can switch off the engine in "P", then move the gear shift to "N" or any other slot - "D", "2" or "L"
Of course to get the car to start again, one needs to move it back to "P" before turning the key in the ignition.
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Old 7th April 2013, 20:41   #14
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Default Re: Honda City Automatic : Remove key in neutral gear?

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Originally Posted by manolin View Post
As I explained above, safety is not really a concern, otherwise in manual cars, a similar system could have been built in - where you have to put the car in a gear to remove key. That is the entire reason why we have parking/emergency brakes.

I have another question - how do automatic cars get towed by police if they have been put in P mode.
And I think you are absolutely right regarding the manual transmission cars!
Yes I too think that regardless of the car being a manual or automatic, the parking brake should be compulsorily used for the car to be safe.
Regarding your query, I think that putting an automatic car in P mode blocks the movement of front wheels only, and in case the car is a front wheel drive and the parking brake is not engaged, the rear wheels are still free, therefore the car can be picked up from the front and towed away!
in case of the car being rear wheel drive however the scenario changes, here regardless of the car being in P or the parking brake engaged, the front wheels are almost always free, so the car can be picked from its behind and towed away! I might be wrong regarding the rear wheel drive cars because I am yet to own one!

Edit: I just realised that I already have a rear wheel drive i.e. a Scorpio, but really never thought of it being towed away!

Last edited by 599gto : 7th April 2013 at 20:49. Reason: the most expensive car in my garage just slipped off my mind!
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