The Real WTF



  • Two items:

    1. Heard on the news last night: a woman in a prius was speeding at 94mph. A police cruiser pulled along side. She yelled to them that the car was going fast on its own and she couldn't slow it down. They yelled back to step on the brake pedal. Toyota is sending a field rep out to look at the car and see what happened.

    Ok, Toyota screwed up on how they handled the defective gas pedal assembly (they weren't the only ones who issued a recall on the issue because multiple manufacturers bought it from the same supplier). But honestly, this idiot had a license and didn't think to STEP ON THE BRAKE PEDAL to slow the car down!!? IMHO, TRWTF is the licensing agency that gives these idiots a license.

    2. A friend has two homes with mortgages and is constantly complaining he can't afford both mortgages. Now he's applying for a home equity loan on one of the places so he'll have the money he needs to make the mortgage payments. When I queried how he was going to afford both mortgages PLUS the heloc, he explained that he'd be able to use the money he'd get on the heloc for that.

    Yeah, the banks went wild lending to anyone for any reason with no collateral or assurance of repayments, and they need to be reined in, but come on, how f'g stupid are these people that agree to take these loans?

    </rant>

     



  • @snoofle said:

    Two items:

    1. Heard on the news last night: a woman in a prius was speeding at 94mph. A police cruiser pulled along side. She yelled to them that the car was going fast on its own and she couldn't slow it down. They yelled back to step on the brake pedal. Toyota is sending a field rep out to look at the car and see what happened.

    Ok, Toyota screwed up on how they handled the defective gas pedal assembly (they weren't the only ones who issued a recall on the issue because multiple manufacturers bought it from the same supplier). But honestly, this idiot had a license and didn't think to STEP ON THE BRAKE PEDAL to slow the car down!!? IMHO, TRWTF is the licensing agency that gives these idiots a license.

    Not only that, but don't cars also have gears? I've not driven a Prius, but can you not put it in neutral?



  • Yes you can put it in neutral.

    There was one story where a woman tried to push through all the gears, including reverse; modern cars have some sort of way of preventing it from actually engaging in reverse if you have any significant forward speed, but how TF did she get from drive to reverse without going through neutral? But she had time to grab her cell and call her husband, because she "wanted to hear his voice". *gasp*

     



  • @dcardani said:

    @snoofle said:

    Two items:

    1. Heard on the news last night: a woman in a prius was speeding at 94mph. A police cruiser pulled along side. She yelled to them that the car was going fast on its own and she couldn't slow it down. They yelled back to step on the brake pedal. Toyota is sending a field rep out to look at the car and see what happened.

    Ok, Toyota screwed up on how they handled the defective gas pedal assembly (they weren't the only ones who issued a recall on the issue because multiple manufacturers bought it from the same supplier). But honestly, this idiot had a license and didn't think to STEP ON THE BRAKE PEDAL to slow the car down!!? IMHO, TRWTF is the licensing agency that gives these idiots a license.

    Not only that, but don't cars also have gears? I've not driven a Prius, but can you not put it in neutral?

    Well, according to an actual news source, all of those things were indeed tried. So I think Snoofle was being a bit unfair.



  • @dcardani re news source.

    Sorry - I don't buy all of that.  When I first got my license (more than 30 years ago), I accidentally jammed the mat down on the pedal and the car took off (it was a very fast'72 plymouth fury III - the one New York City was using for police cars at the time). As a completely inexperienced driver, it took me 1 second to realize the car was taking off on it's own, get it in neutral and then while the engine was racing, I got it stopped and killed the engine. And that car was a hell of a lot more powerful than any prius.

    In order for those events to have happened the way they were described, the following all had to happen simultaneously:

    • the throttle had to stick
    • the brakes were inadequate (they were working if they were burning)
    • the emergency/parking brake couldn't slow it down no matter how hard you engaged it (on my camry it can lock the wheels at 60mph)
    • the car won't shift into neutral
    • turning the key won't shut off the engine
    • the car wouldn't go into a lower gear ratio (ok, a prius is a cvt, but still, it has neutral)

    Parenthetically, are you telling me that the engine on a prius is that powerful? I've driven one and I wouldn't exactly describe it as zippy.

    I get that there's something wrong with the cars, but that you can't stop a car at full throttle? Sorry, but there's ALWAYS a way.

     

     



  • @snoofle said:

    94mph
     

    How fast is that ?



  • @snoofle said:

    2. A friend has two homes with mortgages and is constantly complaining he can't afford both mortgages. Now he's applying for a home equity loan on one of the places so he'll have the money he needs to make the mortgage payments. When I queried how he was going to afford both mortgages PLUS the heloc, he explained that he'd be able to use the money he'd get on the heloc for that.

     

    You know, I did something sort of similar to this.  Got a relatively high fixed-rate mortgage, so after the interest rates crashed, I took out a home equity loan at a much lower rate, which is basically working as a free grace period/balance transfer.

    Of course in practice the money is flowing through several channels - investments returning a lot more than the 4% APR interest payments on the LOC - but my point is that under some circumstances it might not be quite as retarded as you think.  You don't pay interest on a LOC until you actually withdraw from it, so factor in the time value of money and the huge gap between risk-free interest and low-risk (i.e. dividend) investments and it can actually work in your favour.



  • @snoofle said:

    @dcardani re news source.

    Sorry - I don't buy all of that.  When I first got my license (more than 30 years ago), I accidentally jammed the mat down on the pedal and the car took off (it was a very fast'72 plymouth fury III - the one New York City was using for police cars at the time). As a completely inexperienced driver, it took me 1 second to realize the car was taking off on it's own, get it in neutral and then while the engine was racing, I got it stopped and killed the engine. And that car was a hell of a lot more powerful than any prius.

    In order for those events to have happened the way they were described, the following all had to happen simultaneously:

    1. the throttle had to stick
    2. the brakes were inadequate (they were working if they were burning)
    3. the emergency/parking brake couldn't slow it down no matter how hard you engaged it (on my camry it can lock the wheels at 60mph)
    4. the car won't shift into neutral
    5. turning the key won't shut off the engine
    6. the car wouldn't go into a lower gear ratio (ok, a prius is a cvt, but still, it has neutral)

    Parenthetically, are you telling me that the engine on a prius is that powerful? I've driven one and I wouldn't exactly describe it as zippy.

    I get that there's something wrong with the cars, but that you can't stop a car at full throttle? Sorry, but there's ALWAYS a way.

    1. Apparently that's the problem with these cars 
    2. Apparently they can't stop the car at 94 mph, maybe due to some system preventing them to overheat?
    3. See 2
    4. I think Prius prevents you from shifing into any gear that could damage the engine or gearbox.
    5. It has a push button that you need to push for several seconds to turn the car off, if it's going over a certain speed, when standing still it turns the car of immediately. Therefore pushing it doesn't seem to have an effect in this scenario.
    6. See 4.
    What I understand from discussions elsewhere is that these cars are trying to be smart and helpful, but in this unforseen scenario, they end up preventing you to stop, unless you've read the manual and know to push the start button for several seconds. It's not your fourty year old Plymouth.


  • @Monkios said:

    @snoofle said:

    94mph
     

    How fast is that ?

    1.4016950361068365335748332599131e-7c



  • This Toyota thing has a huge psychosomatic element now that it's been on the news so much. Every crazy person in a Toyota is going to start thinking their cars are out of control for no reason at all.



  • @RogerWilco said:

    In order for those events to have happened the way they were described, the following all had to happen simultaneously:


    1. the throttle had to stick
    2. the brakes were inadequate (they were working if they were burning)
    3. the emergency/parking brake couldn't slow it down no matter how hard you engaged it (on my camry it can lock the wheels at 60mph)
    4. the car won't shift into neutral
    5. turning the key won't shut off the engine
    6. the car wouldn't go into a lower gear ratio (ok, a prius is a cvt, but still, it has neutral)

    Parenthetically, are you telling me that the engine on a prius is that powerful? I've driven one and I wouldn't exactly describe it as zippy.

    Well, sorta...

    1. The throttle is computer controlled.  So no, it didn't need to stick.  The computer just needed to get into a stuck state.
    2. No.  The brakes are computer controlled as well (They use regenerative braking, so the computer controls the physical brakes)
    3. The emergency brake has enough power to stop a car going 90.  But not cancel out acceleration.  Take a FWD car out, and while stopped engage the parking brake.  Then floor the throttle.  I bet you can get the car to move...
    4. The transmission is controlled by the same computer that the throttle and brakes are...
    5. The "key" is controlled by the very same computer (Start seeing a pattern here?)
    6. The transmission is controlled by the computer.
    So while yes, a lot of systems do need to fail for something like this to happen, since all those systems have a common point of failure, only one system (the computer) needs to screw up to screw up each one of them...  

    TRWTF is that Toyota relied on one computer for [b]EVERY[/b] critical system.  At absolute least, the throttle and the brakes should have been controlled by different systems (that communicated via a link and used heartbeat to detect "failure")...



  • Occurs to me that by now there might be large numbers of Toyota drivers who have worked out that they can get away with speeding, just as long as they don't slow down for the police and then claim the accelerator was stuck...



  • @davedavenotdavemaybedave said:

    Occurs to me that by now there might be large numbers of Toyota drivers who have worked out that they can get away with speeding, just as long as they don't slow down for the police and then claim the accelerator was stuck...
    Good idea, but better hit a few pedestrians, just to really sell it.



  • @snoofle said:

    Yes you can put it in neutral.

    There was one story where a woman tried to push through all the gears, including reverse; modern cars have some sort of way of preventing it from actually engaging in reverse if you have any significant forward speed, but how TF did she get from drive to reverse without going through neutral? But she had time to grab her cell and call her husband, because she "wanted to hear his voice". *gasp*

     

     

     

    How about turning off the ignition (even on electric cars that kills the engine).

     

    Ok here is a list of steps to take if your gas pedal is stuck:

     

    1) Hit the breaks.

    2) Put the car in neutral.

    2.a) Apply hand break.

    3) If 2 failed, Apply hand break (may cause damage)

    4)Turn off ignition (do not engage stearing wheel lock)

    4.a) Hold on tight, power stearing is gone.

    5) If all else fails, call 911 ask for a police car to get in front and help you stop.

    5.a) Use any railings to scrape ur car to going slower so at least you buy yourself some time.

    6) If that fails ask police to pierce your gas tank so you run out of gas fast.

    Unfortunately 5/6 will require time that you might not have. However I don't know how 4 will fail.

     

    Now how is that not a no-brainer for anyone? Seriously? We need this as part of the PERMIT written test.

    If breaks are not working and gas is stuck how do you stop the car ASAP. If the answer is not satisfactory, go fuck off. Reminds me of a married with children episode when Al goes to the DMV and they handing out licenses to the blind.

     

    Also a response to this all being controled by a computer.

     

    A computer is not magical, one function failed causing uncontrolable acceleration. That does not mean the other parts are not working. There is no AI trying to kill you disablign all systems at once. I doubt that there is ever a situation where you can't kill the car's ignition.



  • @astonerbum said:

    How about turning off the ignition (even on electric cars that kills the engine).
     

    Actually, you're not familiar with a lot of the newer electric cars, are you?  Most of the new cars don't have a physical connection from the ignition key to the engine.  Older cars (really old) used to have a ground wire connected to the magneto.  When you turned the key to off, the magneto was grounded (and hence spark couldn't possibly be generated).  Then when they moved to electronic ignition, power to the ignition coil was controlled by the switch.  But with hybrids it is different.  The computer controlls the engine (So the engine can turn on and off without your intervention).  So all turning the key off does is trigger an interupt in the computer.  It's up to the computer to actually turn everything off (that's where this issue stems from).  And for the transmission shift part, a significant number of new cars (most hybrids) don't have ANY mechanical linkage between the transmission and the shifter.  It's all controlled by the computer.  So if the root cause of the issue is a computer fault, items 1 through 4 won't work.  The only hope you have is to try to apply the parking brake SLOWLY (As to not lock up the rear wheels and lose control of the car) and keep trying to hit the power switch hoping that it will shut off...  Either that, or stick with vehicles that are made with some level of redundancy (My VW has a manual connection to the transmission)...



  • @astonerbum said:

    Ok here is a list of steps to take if your gas pedal is stuck:

    You left one out:

    0) Quickly assess if the pedal's just stuck down and you can easily free it by getting the tip of your toe under and lifting it back up.  If you're in a manual, clutch out while you do so.

    As it happens, that's the only one I've ever needed.




  • One more simple one: open all the windows. The wind resistance will slow you down a good bit with constant power at any sort of speed.

    Considering the Prius is partly electric, do you think turning the stereo up saps power? "Honestly officer, the accelerator was stuck, and I turned the music way up to help me slow down." Could work.

    That said, if it's a computer fault, we all know the fix. Turn the car off, and back on again :)



  • @astonerbum said:

    How about turning off the ignition (even on electric cars that kills the engine).
    Not always. I've been in a Renault where turning off the ignition means pushing an electronic button. The key is a card which goes into a slot, but to be honest, it works just as well if the card is in your pocket, as long as the car can 'see' it. 

    Mercedes can be even better - they have a physical key (but it seems to be made of plastic). You start the engine as normal by turning the key, but you can sometimes remove the key and the engine keeps running.  Since the car also has full control over the gears (the gear stick is the "requested gear", and the car decides on the actual gear) and full control over the acceleration (cruise control), your pretty much at the mercy of the car's computer and you can't do anything about it if it goes tits up (apart from ripping the wires from the battery of course). Handbrake? Servo controlled via a electronic button, which refuses to work if you try and use it above a certain speed limit (I tried it in the snow, but it just flashed at me)



  • @davedavenotdavemaybedave said:

    One more simple one: open all the windows. The wind resistance will slow you down a good bit with constant power at any sort of speed.

    Considering the Prius is partly electric, do you think turning the stereo up saps power?

    Not significantly, but turning on the air con full blast will probably eat up a significant chunk of power.

    @davedavenotdavemaybedave said:

    That said, if it's a computer fault, we all know the fix. Turn the car off, and back on again :)

    But wouldn't you have to close all the open windows first? ;-)

     



  • I think most drivers' first reaction to a car going faster than they intend is to begin to apply pressure to the brakes.  If the accelerator (computer) is stuck then moderate pressure on the brakes will probably be able to maintain the desired speed.  At this point, there is no emergency.  The driver is not concious of the stuck pedal or the length of time they have been holding the brake.

    Of course if this situation continues, the brakes are going to heat up and lose effectiveness.  The driver becomes concious of the increasing foot pressure required to hold the desired speed.  The driver tries to press harder on the pedal.  One interesting fact about the design of car brakes is that most people will use less than 50% of their "strength" to push on the pedal, even if they percieve an emergency such as a pedestrian in their path.  So in the hypothetical runaway situation, the driver is likely to be exerting enough pressure to slow down gently but not actually stop the runaway.

    At this point, the driver becomes concious of the emergency and does press on the brake pedal as hard as they can.  There is no time to consider an alternative course of action such as getting your foot off the brake and un-sticking the throttle.  However the brakes have probably heated up so much that they are no longer able to override the engine power.

    Now throw in a few electronic gizmos, such as "start button must be pressed for 4 seconds to stop the engine if the car is moving" and you will be very lucky to survive the accident.

    The Prius does have an hydraulic brake system which is not dependent on the computer or electric power.  There won't be any power assistance and the pedal travel will be large but it can be stopped under the test conditions specified in national roadworthiness rules.  Without power assistance and with an engine running at full throttle, I would not expect most people to have the strength to stop the car, but that test is not part of the roadworthiness specifications (if the engine is running, you expect that the power assistance would be active.)



  • Otra cosa (another thing)...

    For all the suggestions to use the handbrake, DONT!  The only thing that keeps the front wheels pointed forwards is the back wheels.  If you lock them up, the car will spin. 

    Look at the police PIT maneuvre on those common police-chase videos.  The police attack the back wheels of the fleeing car, not the front.



  •  @Mole said:

    Handbrake? Servo controlled via a electronic button

    As the proud driver of a 2001 Accord, I can confirm the confusion the electronic parking brake on a rental VW Passat can cause.  I drove said rental Passat to a meeting, and parked facing downhill with the nose of the car about 6 inches from a wall.  Only when I got out of the meeting did I wonder how I was going to do a reverse hill start with no control over the parking brake.  Fortunately VW had thought of this and made the brake magic.

    At first I thought the people crashing Toyotas were just plain bad drivers but then I realised it's because I'm used to old vehicles where there's a mechanical connection between the control and the thing being controlled.  My ancient Kawasaki idles at about 5000 while the choke is out but I can ride around it.  If the throttle on my Accord got stuck I could bring it to a safe halt.  I think I'd be headbutting a tree in fairly short order if I was driving something sophisticated with lots of drive-by-wire tech. 



  • TRWTF is putting a computer in charge of critical systems in the first place, the sort that can end up with someone dead if they malfunction.  Whoever came up with that idea ought to go to jail for criminal negligence, for reasons that ought to be obvious to any regular at this site.

    There's an old joke about how nobody's ever been killed in a computer crash.  It's a lot less funny lately...



  • What I find most disturbing about the situation is Toyota's stubborn refusal to admit to the failings of the car's electronics or software. Just get it over with and fix it already.

    The first step really is admitting you have a problem.



  •  I call bullshit on your whole story.  I've driven many Priuses, there's no way those shitbuckets are hitting 94.



  • I'd suggest that the first step is determining that you have a problem. One would think that reports of stuck throttles are fairly constant - a background noise of a few per year, mostly caused by floor mats, high heels, random mess in the foot well and dirt/moisture entry into cables. An issue would be signaled by 'Significantly more than average' reports, and this takes some time to establish. Then you start carefully examining reported vehicles, and thorough simulated testing of actual new cars. This takes months, especially if (as I believe in this case), no amount of testing produced the flaw under controlled situations. I don't think Toyota has been able to find a cause yet: they are adding additional safeguards to control this situation: And if you are doing this, careful testing is needed: It is all to easy to introduce a real problem when trying to fix a phantom one.

    I would expect uncontrolled-throttle situations to be greatly reduced in fly-by-wire designs, as these eliminate the throttle cable, which is a large susceptible moving part, and several linkages, all of which could become jammed. Compare that with a single sender unit, with failsafe designs, and a servo built in to the throttle body, directly attached to the butterfly - much simpler. It would not surprise me to find that the overall rate of 'stuck throttle' reports on the prius is less than the long-term industry average. 



  • @Qwerty said:

    One interesting fact about the design of car brakes is that most people will use less than 50% of their "strength" to push on the pedal, even if they percieve an emergency such as a pedestrian in their path.

    I was taught an interesting way to demonstrate that fact to oneself some years ago shortly after I passed my driving test, although it only works if you're in (and learned to drive on) a manual with a clutch pedal:  Get up to speed somewhere on an isolated bit of road, then try braking with your left foot instead of your right (for the first time in your life).  Trust me, it's a great way to get a real closeup look at the inside of your windshield!



  • @Mole said:

    You start the engine as normal by turning the key, but you can sometimes remove the key and the engine keeps running.
     

    My 1981 Ford Laser had that feature, but it wasn't factory installed :) The ignition keyhole was so worn you could start it with a piece of folded paper. It also had a manual transmission so pushing in the clutch would at least stop a sudden acceleration if the throttle was stuck open.

     



  • @Mason Wheeler said:

    TRWTF is computers.
     

    FTFY :)



  • @DaveK said:

    I was taught an interesting way to demonstrate that fact to oneself some years ago shortly after I passed my driving test, although it only works if you're in (and learned to drive on) a manual with a clutch pedal:  Get up to speed somewhere on an isolated bit of road, then try braking with your left foot instead of your right (for the first time in your life).  Trust me, it's a great way to get a real closeup look at the inside of your windshield!

    That's why my driving teacher told me to only use my right foot for the pedals in an automatic car.



  • @DaveK said:

    I was taught an interesting way to demonstrate that fact to oneself some years ago shortly after I passed my driving test, although it only works if you're in (and learned to drive on) a manual with a clutch pedal:  Get up to speed somewhere on an isolated bit of road, then try braking with your left foot instead of your right (for the first time in your life).  Trust me, it's a great way to get a real closeup look at the inside of your windshield!

     

    Haha I've done this very thing before. Just out of sheer curiosity or boredom, I attempted to push the brake with my left foot, and yikes... Left foot is used to pushing pedal down HARD. 

    AFAIK Priuses are automatic-only. Most cars are these days (unfortunately). It's becoming goddamn hard to find a cheap car with a manual box. So no clutch pedal option. I'm not familiar enough with them to know how much control the computer has over brakes, and gear-selection, but I would imagine that you should be able to push it into neutral and have it work properly; though again I don't have any experience with something like a hybrid. 

    I would be willing to bet that in the majority of cases where a runaway has ACTUALLY HAPPENED (note that these are actually quite few) that the surprised driver simply doesn't think about their options for slowing the vehicle, or use those options correctly. I have never driven a car where the brakes could not overcome even full acceleration. I've done a lot of it - embedding brake pads in sports cars (using one particular method) involves flooring the car on a highway and then braking from 60 down to 10 while floored, this is done multiple times until the brakes start to fade, then allowing the brakes to cool off. A car (sportscar no less, not an anemic prius) can be slowed from "fast" to "stopped" multiple (5+) times before the brakes become too hot to function properly. Most likely, as someone mentioned before, the guy in the original story probably didn't initially apply the brakes hard enough to stop the vehicle initially, resulting in a build up of heat, after enough time the brakes start to fade, and now he's screwed.

    I always tell people I know and like that are a bit clueless when it comes to cars and things like that to try out their brakes in their car on a snowy surface while going slow, just to feel what the antilock brakes do. The majority of people freak out when the pedal starts pushing back on them and actually stop braking. They need to experience it once during a non-emergency situation in order to be able to cope when they need to. 



  • @EJ_ said:

    I would be willing to bet that in the majority of cases where a runaway has ACTUALLY HAPPENED (note that these are actually quite few) that the surprised driver simply doesn't think about their options for slowing the vehicle, or use those options correctly. I have never driven a car where the brakes could not overcome even full acceleration.

    I think a lot of people really don't "get it" about the relationships between gearing, torque and speed, and intuitively think that force is proportional to speed; they reason that if the car is going very fast, the engine must be pulling really hard, and how could the brakes possibly overcome that much power?

    ObDrivingExperienceStory: My first car had rear-wheel drive.  These are quite fun to drive if you don't mind learning how to handle taking a bend too fast, and it led me to independently reinvent what I later learned is called heel-and-toe technique.  Braking and accelerating at the same time has always made perfect sense to me!




  • @dcardani said:

    Not only that, but don't cars also have gears? I've not driven a Prius, but can you not put it in neutral?
    I have, if only for 100 yards or so at a church car wash.

    (This links to the image) You can see the gear shifter between the wheel and the radio It's "at rest" position is the one that it's in.  To go into drive, you push it to the left, then down.  Reverse, left, then up.  Neutral, just left.

    I know nobody cares, but the rest of the thread was boring me.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @dcardani said:

    Not only that, but don't cars also have gears? I've not driven a Prius, but can you not put it in neutral?
    I have, if only for 100 yards or so at a church car wash.

    (This links to the image) You can see the gear shifter between the wheel and the radio It's "at rest" position is the one that it's in.  To go into drive, you push it to the left, then down.  Reverse, left, then up.  Neutral, just left.

    I know nobody cares, but the rest of the thread was boring me.

    I care. Really I do. It's always refreshing to watch huge pics of the steering wheel and shifters on cars. *

    Also that steering wheel is missing the Speedracer JUMP button.

     

     

    mod: fullquoted image reduced because dayum. Think of the children!  –dh.



  • @Monkios said:

    @snoofle said:
    94mph
    How fast is that ?

    Yes. Yes, it is.



  • I rented a Prius once while at an out-of-state conference. It was the most unnatural-feeling thing I've had the "pleasure" of driving. You would just tap the brake pedal lightly and it would nearly throw you through the windshield. The throttle control wasn't much better in terms of sensitivity. The steering felt a bit sloppy as well, I seem to recall.

    Hearing about these sort of incidents makes me glad I drive a no-frills Cavalier. Everything in that car is manual - it doesn't even have cruise control or power locks. The only computer with significant control over the vehicle should be the one in the driver's seat, as far as I'm concerned. Give me hydraulics and levers, not switches and encoders. Although it did kind of suck ass when my clutch line blew up in mid-afternoon traffic, but I was able to force the car into gear effectively enough to stop safely in a parking lot.

    And speaking of braking power, one of my coworkers once recalled an incident that happened shortly after he switched from driving a manual to an automatic. Without thinking, he went to stomp the clutch, which is of course replaced by the extra-wide brake pedal in an automatic. I'm sure at least one person on that freeway ended up with ruined underwear.



  • @belgariontheking said:

     

    (This links to the image) You can see the gear shifter between the wheel and the radio It's "at rest" position is the one that it's in.  To go into drive, you push it to the left, then down.  Reverse, left, then up.  Neutral, just left.

    I know nobody cares, but the rest of the thread was boring me.

     

    What's "B" on the gear shift?

     

     

    mod: fullquoted image reduced because dayum II son of dayum.  –dh.



  • @indigodarkwolf said:

    What's "B" on the gear shift?
    Broken if you believe the sillier suggestions. It would appear to be some sort of regenerative braking according to some of the more sensible ones.



  • @hallo.amt said:

    @DaveK said:

    I was taught an interesting way to demonstrate that fact to oneself some years ago shortly after I passed my driving test, although it only works if you're in (and learned to drive on) a manual with a clutch pedal:  Get up to speed somewhere on an isolated bit of road, then try braking with your left foot instead of your right (for the first time in your life).  Trust me, it's a great way to get a real closeup look at the inside of your windshield!

    That's why my driving teacher told me to only use my right foot for the pedals in an automatic car.
     

    Because it takes more than one cycle to get used to the pedal feel? Jeez. I'm surprised your teacher recommended driving to begin with, then.

    Left foot braking in an automatic is a no-brainer, if you ask me. No pedal confusion possible since each foot has 'its own' pedal. Ability to trail brake (granted, not useful for most people, so that's neither here nor there). And the huge one - SAFETY. If your foot is on the throttle and has to move to the brake and press down when you see an obstacle / whatever, it takes a good half second, whereas you can brake as soon as your reflexes kick in if you're left foot braking.

    If you're going at 65mph and need to jump on the binders, left foot braking saves you 45 feet off your braking distance. Given that the last 45 feet of braking from 65mph usually sees you slowing from roughly 30mph, left foot braking can make the difference between stopping a few feet short of the guy who unexpectedly ran a red light, and plowing into his door at 30mph.

    Seems kinda silly to lose that safety margin just because you'd have to spend a few minutes teaching your leg muscles, or because you believe it's somehow impossible to have your left foot hovering/barely resting on the brake pedal without riding the brakes all the time and don't actually try it.



  • @PJH said:

    @indigodarkwolf said:
    What's "B" on the gear shift?
    Broken if you believe the sillier suggestions. It would appear to be some sort of regenerative braking according to some of the more sensible ones.

    The Prius manual isn't very clear on the function of this setting but it does say that it is to be used when travelling downhill.  In my testing of this feature it actually applies LESS regenerative braking and it forces the engine to stay running at a higer RPM than normal.  I think it is attempting to use the petrol engine for braking, more like a manual car coasting downhill.  Fuel consumption increased in this mode.



  • @Qwerty said:

    @PJH said:

    @indigodarkwolf said:
    What's "B" on the gear shift?
    Broken if you believe the sillier suggestions. It would appear to be some sort of regenerative braking according to some of the more sensible ones.

    The Prius manual isn't very clear on the function of this setting but it does say that it is to be used when travelling downhill.  In my testing of this feature it actually applies LESS regenerative braking and it forces the engine to stay running at a higer RPM than normal.  I think it is attempting to use the petrol engine for braking, more like a manual car coasting downhill.  Fuel consumption increased in this mode.

    That makes a lot of sense.  Automatics have low gears, too, and you should generally rely on engine breaking as much as possible when driving through mountains.  Since the Prius lacks a strict "low gear", it would make sense it has a "low gear mode".



  • This is what I've read about Toyota's HSD system:

    At the top of the brake pedal travel, regenerative braking is applied; harder braking also engages the friction brakes. It should be possible to do this while maintaining a mechanical/hydraulic link between the pedal and the brakes, however I don't know how it's actually implemented. It might even be mandatory for safety reasons.

    Supposedly, the system automatically switches from regenerative to compression braking if the battery is in danger of being overcharged. The "B" setting allows the driver to manually select compression braking, like downshifting with a conventional auto or manual.



  • @db2 said:

    And speaking of braking power, one of my coworkers once recalled an incident that happened shortly after he switched from driving a manual to an automatic. Without thinking, he went to stomp the clutch, which is of course replaced by the extra-wide brake pedal in an automatic. I'm sure at least one person on that freeway ended up with ruined underwear.

     

    I do that too occasionally. I unfortunately have to drive automatics occasionally and the clutch brain control sometimes accidentally kicks in, and yes the stupid wide-pedal gets hit. 

    I have heard of people failing the driving test because of using left-foot braking in an automatic. It's most likely because "everybody knows it's wrong" more than any actual problems that it causes. Also I'm willing to bet most "average" (read "stupid") people would drag the brakes more often than not, keeping their brake lights on and wearing/heating up the brakes such that they don't work as well when they actually need them. That happens enough as-is; ever been behind someone obsessively tapping their brakes while going at a relatively steady speed with nobody in front of them? Now imagine many people do that, because their foot is lightly resting on the brake pedal. 



  • @EJ_ said:

    @db2 said:

    And speaking of braking power, one of my coworkers once recalled an incident that happened shortly after he switched from driving a manual to an automatic. Without thinking, he went to stomp the clutch, which is of course replaced by the extra-wide brake pedal in an automatic. I'm sure at least one person on that freeway ended up with ruined underwear.

     

    I do that too occasionally. I unfortunately have to drive automatics occasionally and the clutch brain control sometimes accidentally kicks in, and yes the stupid wide-pedal gets hit. 

    db2's coworker and yourself, need to get your license revoked. WTF kind of automatic car are you driving that has such wide pedal? And even then, I fail to see how that's an excuse. You are a danger to yourself and others.

    Really you guys need to have a different driving test for each car you are going to drive.

    Specially the "Occasionally" part is something to worry about. I mean, you actually have done this more than once?

    Sell your car, get a bicycle, and please stay on the bike paths. Even better, get the bus, or have your mom drive you.

     



  • @EJ_ said:

    @db2 said:

    And speaking of braking power, one of my coworkers once recalled an incident that happened shortly after he switched from driving a manual to an automatic. Without thinking, he went to stomp the clutch, which is of course replaced by the extra-wide brake pedal in an automatic. I'm sure at least one person on that freeway ended up with ruined underwear.

     

    I do that too occasionally. I unfortunately have to drive automatics occasionally and the clutch brain control sometimes accidentally kicks in, and yes the stupid wide-pedal gets hit. 

    I have heard of people failing the driving test because of using left-foot braking in an automatic. It's most likely because "everybody knows it's wrong" more than any actual problems that it causes. Also I'm willing to bet most "average" (read "stupid") people would drag the brakes more often than not, keeping their brake lights on and wearing/heating up the brakes such that they don't work as well when they actually need them. That happens enough as-is; ever been behind someone obsessively tapping their brakes while going at a relatively steady speed with nobody in front of them? Now imagine many people do that, because their foot is lightly resting on the brake pedal. 

    Maybe you people are just driving some weird cars, but I've never had this happen.  I've never been tempted to clutch in an automatic.  Now, when driving an automatic I'm not used to (like a rental) I have accidentally hit the brake when adjusting my left leg to keep it from falling asleep.  Some cheap economy cars especially lack a lot of room around the pedals, so it's easy to bump the brake if you are moving your foot around.  I've also done that in manuals, hitting the clutch pedal and causing the clutch to skip, which is a bit startling, I suppose.  When my primary car was a manual the biggest adjustment to driving an unfamiliar automatic was that the brakes are far less sensitive.  On all the manuals I've driven the brake pedal just needs a tiny amount of pressure to slow the car down whereas with autos you have to push the damn thing halfway to the floor to get any braking at all.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    bla bla bla... Now, when driving an automatic I'm not used to (like a rental) I have accidentally hit the brake when adjusting my left leg... bla bla bla.

    You too should have your licensed suspended until you learn how to adjust your left leg (and your nuts) without endangering other people.

    Seriously dudes, I really hope none of you guys get a blowjob while driving.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    On all the manuals I've driven the brake pedal just needs a tiny amount of pressure to slow the car down whereas with autos you have to push the damn thing halfway to the floor to get any braking at all.

    That's not the matter of automatic vs manual. That's just well adjusted and serviced brakes (which with disks on the rear is piece of cake) vs mal-adjusted drum crap on the rear.



  • @fatdog said:

    You too should have your licensed suspended until you learn how to adjust your left leg (and your nuts) without endangering other people.

    Sorry, this isn't Communist Venezuela.  This is America: if I want to endanger innocent lives, that's my choice and I'm free to make it, just the same as owning an assault rifle or having a partial-birth abortion.

     

    @fatdog said:

    Seriously dudes, I really hope none of you guys get a blowjob while driving.

    I have.  Do I have to remind you about the assault rifles and the partial-birth abortions again?  I've also performed oral sex while driving (although she steered because I couldn't see the road, obviously).



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    On all the manuals I've driven the brake pedal just needs a tiny amount of pressure to slow the car down whereas with autos you have to push the damn thing halfway to the floor to get any braking at all.
     

    I haven't found that correlation. My manual 1981 Laser needed a bit of brake force to work but my mother's
    auto 1996 Laser had really sensitive brakes. I just got rid of an auto 1989 Camry which had "bad" brakes, but my auto 2004 Honda CRV doesn't need much. This newer car does have the feature of changing down a gear when going down a hill if you just touch the brakes. I've never had an auto do that for me before, though it is the youngest auto car I've ever owned or driven regularly.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    I've never been tempted to clutch in an automatic.

    You don't have that muscle memory? The CRV's gear shifter is in a different spot to the Camry's, so you can bet my left hand would often go to the wrong spot when swapping between them. When you get into a manual you have to put the clutch in to start it (you do leave it in gear when you park, right?), so your foot would have to automatically look for a clutch when you jump in the car, until it learn it can be lazy. Same thing going around corners and reaching for the gearstick to change down a gear, etc. Though I don't think I've actually hit the brake pedal with my left foot.

    @db2 said:

    ever been behind someone obsessively
    tapping their brakes while going at a relatively steady speed with
    nobody in front of them?

    Could that mean their car selected too high a gear and they don't know any other way of slowing down? I mean I had a 1998 Ford Falcon with a 4-speed auto, and it would cruise in 4th at about 70km/hr. Bit of a problem when many speed limits or 50 or 60, so I often had to manually put it into 3rd. (Actually the gearbox was stuffed and sometimes it would go into 3rd all by itself, then I'd wonder why it was revving high on the motorway) The Camry and CRV both call this 4th gear "Overdrive" but they both had 4 cylinder engines so went slower anyway.



  • @Zemm said:

    (you do leave it in gear when you park, right?)

    Only on inclines, as a backup to the parking brake.  Normally I just popped it into neutral and put the parking brake on.  I don't like leaving the car resting against the gears.  Also, I've driven a few manuals where the gears would get jammed pretty tight if you left it in gear and it would take a lot of force to pop it out of gear when you wanted to move.

     

    @Zemm said:

    Could that mean their car selected too high a gear and they don't know any other way of slowing down? I mean I had a 1998 Ford Falcon with a 4-speed auto, and it would cruise in 4th at about 70km/hr. Bit of a problem when many speed limits or 50 or 60, so I often had to manually put it into 3rd. (Actually the gearbox was stuffed and sometimes it would go into 3rd all by itself, then I'd wonder why it was revving high on the motorway) The Camry and CRV both call this 4th gear "Overdrive" but they both had 4 cylinder engines so went slower anyway.

    My current car has this annoying habit of agressively upshifting.  I'd be accelerating and would let off the gas just perfectly to go through a turn or because I was easing up behind someone and then it will upshift and jump forward a bit.  Then I'd have to tap the brakes to take the bleed off the extra speed I hadn't accounted for.  After about a month I got a good feel for it and don't have a problem with it anymore.

     


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