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Jim Ford
9th March 2016, 04:22 PM
It's strange how many drivers are unaware of the function of the big lever in between the two front seats!

Whenever I'm stationary in a traffic queue eg traffic lights, the majority of the cars in front have their brake lights constantly on, because they're holding the car on the footbrake.

I'm always surprised because the type of drivers usually are the ones that try to save wearing out their indicator bulbs by not indicating when turning a corner!

Jim

Loup Garou
9th March 2016, 04:35 PM
Guilty. But my car is automatic without the "inertia control" or whatever that makes it necessary to press the accelerator to move forward. So, if I take my foot off the brake with the engine on, the car immediately rolls forwards.

Jim Ford
9th March 2016, 04:50 PM
Guilty. But my car is automatic without the "inertia control" or whatever that makes it necessary to press the accelerator to move forward. So, if I take my foot off the brake with the engine on, the car immediately rolls forwards.

So does it not have the lever of 'unknown function' between the two front seats?

;^)

Jim

AMc
9th March 2016, 05:24 PM
If it's a front wheel drive automatic with a rear wheel acting handbrake then it will start to drag itself forward depending on the power of the "creep" in the torque converter.
Sticking autos in N at lights is pretty rare. I used to have a boss who put his in P at every light - which went through reverse every time scaring the heck out of the car behind!

I hold my car on the footbrake if I'm queuing to pull out. If I'm sitting at lights or it's a long hold up then I put the handbrake on. I'm less concerned by what most drivers are up to when they're at a standstill, it's when they're moving I worry ;)

Shaw
9th March 2016, 05:29 PM
My car has an auto box, and an electronic handbrake. At traffic lights, I always put it in neutral and press the little button between the seats.

Loup Garou
9th March 2016, 06:09 PM
Mine is a 4WD Skooby. One of the advantages of automatic is the ability to pull away very quickly at traffic lights and elsewhere. If I put my car into neutral and use the handbrake, I'll lose that advantage, which means a lot in inner city traffic. I am not about to do it.

Ralph Harwood
9th March 2016, 07:34 PM
Hi everyone!

I tend to use the strange lever between the front seats in my own car quite often at traffic lights if I have to stop (travelling mostly at night means that I am quite often able to roll slowly up to the lights whilst they obligingly change for me.)

In my wife's Renault Grand Espace however I tend not to if I'm stopping for less than a minute as it doesn't have that strange lever - it has a large button hidden under the dash where the coin cubby hole should be, and worse than that it has an electronic release so slow that I have started driving before it manages to release (It's not incorrectly set up by the way - as far as I know all Renaults with electronic handbrakes are like this - the French like the americans call them parking brakes and only use them at the start and end of the journey!)

Cheers,

Ralph.

Harold Gough
9th March 2016, 08:13 PM
If the vehicle is facing downhill it is correct to hold it on the footbrake and that is how I was taught by professional instructors. It eliminates the unnecessary action and delay of releasing the brake before proceeding.

We have a lot of green-minded drivers of dark cars, locally, who save electricity driving with their lights off even when it is too dim (and not just the lighting) for their vehicle to be clearly seen.

We had a lot of tidy ones, too, who fill those untidy gaps in the traffic. thus they prevent additional vehicles from joining the traffic from side roads, which would have increased congestion.

Harold

Beagletorque
9th March 2016, 08:18 PM
If I have to keep operating the handbrake then I can't use the phone for texting. :rolleyes:

Loup Garou
9th March 2016, 08:20 PM
I am not sure it is mechanically correct to hold an automatic car stopped on handbrake only with the engine running other then in neutral. Will it not damage the brake units?

Harold Gough
9th March 2016, 08:22 PM
If I have to keep operating the handbrake then I can't use the phone for texting. :rolleyes:

It isn't for texting it is for chocking the wheel when the handbrake fails and you have to stop on an uphill slope.

Harold

Beagletorque
9th March 2016, 08:29 PM
It isn't for texting it is for chocking the wheel when the handbrake fails and you have to stop on an uphill slope.

Harold

I've got an app for that.

Harold Gough
9th March 2016, 08:36 PM
I've got an app for that.

How many mouse clicks before it locks?(MOT)

Harold

Naughty Nigel
9th March 2016, 08:59 PM
I'm always surprised because the type of drivers usually are the ones that try to save wearing out their indicator bulbs by not indicating when turning a corner!

Jim

.......... And try to avoid wearing out their mirrors by never looking at them (except when applying makeup)! :mad:

Phill D
9th March 2016, 09:13 PM
Jim i'm with you, that's one of my pet hates too.I moan about it most mornings, the bright brake lights at eye level are really annoying.

Naughty Nigel
9th March 2016, 09:18 PM
If you drive an automatic as I do you have to keep your foot on the brake to stop the car from creeping forward. I could use the EPB but that is a faff when you don't know how long you'll be stationary for.

And if I put the car into Neutral and apply the EPB the safety interlock means I still have to put my foot on the brake before I can turn the knob to engage Drive again!

If I had the roads to myself there wouldn't be any need for traffic lights so you wouldn't have to stare at my brake lights whilst queuing behind me as there wouldn't be a queue! :D

Naughty Nigel
9th March 2016, 09:27 PM
Jim i'm with you, that's one of my pet hates too.I moan about it most mornings, the bright brake lights at eye level are really annoying.

...... But not as irritating as people who drive with their rear fog lights on, six weeks after the last fog or heavy rain.

It is about time those things were banned, or at least redesigned.

If a driver is dazzled by an array of high intensity red fog lights they are hardly likely to notice two insignificant red brake lights coming on, and BANG! :mad:

Wee man
9th March 2016, 09:36 PM
It matches fog/ driving lights always on with or without dip/ full lights.

Naughty Nigel
9th March 2016, 09:44 PM
It matches fog/ driving lights always on with or without dip/ full lights.

I have noticed a lot of Froggy cars seem to be driven with front fog and head lights on at night (contrary to the law).

When I asked a friend who owns one he said the headlights were so poor you have to use both head and fog lights to see where you are going!

Some Froggy cars also have the irritating habit of flashing fog lights on when driving around corners, as if there is a fault in the wiring.

Loup Garou
10th March 2016, 07:01 AM
What is a "Froggy car"? A Renault? :confused:

Phill D
10th March 2016, 07:23 AM
I have to say that leaving fog lights on is equally annoying but from my experience I rarely see it and we do get our fair share of fog here in Derbyshire. But I do see brake lights in cues many time every day. To be honest I'd say it's about 50% of all cars these days and they can't all be automatics. Modern brake lights are also pretty high intensity these days too and a lot of cars have them high up directly in the eye-line of a following driver. Fog lights tend to be lower down and can often be obstructed when in a cue the modern brake lights can't. Sorry no sympathy here for automatic drivers, that's just being lazy and inconsiderate leaving the car in drive and not using the handbrake. As for the newer electronic hand brakes they are just the result of some designer having too much coffee one morning and are a classic example of fixing something with an over complex solution that wasn't broken in the first place! Yeh you guessed this does irritate me, every day. Especially as it could all be fixed by adding a simple timer on to the brake light circuit of all cars. Something that would cut off the high intensity lights after say 5 seconds of use would sort it all out. I'm sure something similar could probably also be developed for the fog lights too to turn them off. Give that designer more coffee *devil

Harold Gough
10th March 2016, 07:30 AM
I have never owned an automatic but have hired one. I can see the attraction but it seems to me that the automatic is the equivalent of a point and shoot camera. :D

Harold

Jim Ford
10th March 2016, 08:52 AM
I moan about it most mornings

I moan about most things, most mornings!

;^)

Jim

al_kaholik
10th March 2016, 09:26 AM
Especially as it could all be fixed by adding a simple timer on to the brake light circuit of all cars. Something that would cut off the high intensity lights after say 5 seconds of use would sort it all out. I'm sure something similar could probably also be developed for the fog lights too to turn them off. Give that designer more coffee *devil

Cut offs fail, where you need a fail safe system, high intensity is the best thing. Should the switches fail on the brake light system, they'll also fail "on". Adding complexity to safety systems is poor engineering. Holding on the brakes is poor operation (in most circumstances).

Fog lights on all new cars for a couple of years in the UK HAVE to switch off when the lights are switched off and cannot latch, so must be manually switched on again. So you'll generally see this on older cars :)

Ricoh
10th March 2016, 09:47 AM
I hate to see drivers slipping the clutch to prevent the car rolling backwards on an incline. On the other hand, if I was selling replacement clutch parts... :)

Otto
10th March 2016, 09:53 AM
Leaving an automatic in D when stopped also wastes fuel due to the drag from the torque converter. I always used to drop into N when stopped at traffic lights or whatever, though in slow moving traffic it was easier to leave it in D and use the "creep". My current car has a dual-clutch automatic with no torque converter but I still tend to select N when stopped - unless the start/stop kicks in, but that's another story :).

Rear fog lights used to be a real pain, but you don't see them so much nowadays; I guessed the reason must be an auto-switch off with the ignition. A well-overdue modification! So now we have the opposite problem - driving in fog with no lights :rolleyes:.

Wreckdiver
10th March 2016, 10:12 AM
That is something that has irritated me for years. It's worse at night because the high level, centre light blinds the driver behind.

Steve

Jim Ford
10th March 2016, 12:04 PM
I'm surprised at the number of drivers on this site that have automatic cars.

Only big girls'part frocks use automatic cars!

;^)

Jim

AMc
10th March 2016, 02:21 PM
Lots of modern cars are autos as manufacturers move to DSG style flappy paddle boxes. Real clutches and manual boxes are on their way out.
I was very tempted when I bought my most recent car, until it went spectacularly wrong on the test drive :o.

As for the front fogs going on on corners - lots of German cars do that too, it's not a French thing. I could have my VW reprogrammed to do it but couldn't see the point.

The Technician
10th March 2016, 02:27 PM
Mine is an Audi with an automatic handbrake button so if you put it on then when you drive off it turns off automaticaly :-)

Otto
10th March 2016, 02:36 PM
Manual gearboxes are for Luddites :). My Alfa has a six-speed twin clutch automatic with full manual override and changes gear much more quickly and smoothly than I could ever manage. Who needs a clutch pedal? It's also more economical than the manual version of the same car and cheaper to tax :).

It still has a proper handbrake though. I drove an Insignia once with one of those electric "handbrake" things and hated it, even if it did disengage automatically when I wanted to move off.

Jim Ford
10th March 2016, 03:30 PM
Manual gearboxes are for Luddites :). My Alfa has a six-speed twin clutch automatic with full manual override and changes gear much more quickly and smoothly than I could ever manage. Who needs a clutch pedal? It's also more economical than the manual version of the same car and cheaper to tax :).


Why should it be cheaper to tax?

Alfas ought to be cheaper to tax anyway - because they're off the road being repaired for a large part of the year!

;^)

Jim

Otto
10th March 2016, 03:38 PM
It's cheaper to tax because the emissions are lower.

I'm not going to rise to the bait other than to say my last Alfa Giulietta cost me nothing at all in servicing or repairs during the two years and 17k miles I owned it (service intervals were two years or 21k miles) which is why I was quite happy to buy another. Two of my friends have had 147s for nigh on ten years, one of which has covered 150k miles, and both are still running fine. Your opinion is based in the 1970s ;).

Naughty Nigel
10th March 2016, 05:57 PM
Why should it be cheaper to tax?

Alfas ought to be cheaper to tax anyway - because they're off the road being repaired for a large part of the year!

;^)

Jim

My new car has an eight speed automatic gearbox, replacing the six speed box in earlier models.

CO2 emissions (and hence road tax) are significantly lower; mainly because the eight speed box means the engine is only revving at about 1,400 RPM at 69 MPH, and it is always in the 'right' gear.

I get comfortably in excess of 50 MPG on a run, which I reckon is good for a 3.0 litre V6 engine (and better than our neighbour's Prius on the same journey). :D

Naughty Nigel
10th March 2016, 06:25 PM
I'm surprised at the number of drivers on this site that have automatic cars.

Only big girls'part frocks use automatic cars!

;^)

Jim

I would have said the same twenty years ago, but modern automatic boxes are so smooth, and the gear changes are so quick. You no longer need a big engine for an automatic gearbox to be viable.

I do have paddle shift, but to be honest the gearbox does a better job most of the time, making overtakes safe and easy.

On the other hand I know a few drivers whose gearchanges and gear selection are so painful I wish they would buy an automatic, but it doesn't seem to occur to them.


Rear fog lights used to be a real pain, but you don't see them so much nowadays; I guessed the reason must be an auto-switch off with the ignition. A well-overdue modification! So now we have the opposite problem - driving in fog with no lights :rolleyes:.

Some people have become so used to automatic light switches that it doesn't occur to them to switch the lights on manually in fog or poor visibility.

I cannot say I am too keen on the idea of driverless cars, but with courtesy and common sense being an optional extra with most cars nowadays I am beginning to think it might not be such a bad idea. :(



As for the front fogs going on on corners - lots of German cars do that too, it's not a French thing. I could have my VW reprogrammed to do it but couldn't see the point.

My headlights swivel slightly to help see around corners, which seems a much more sensible idea. Having fog lights blinking on and off around corners and roundabouts is irritating for others, but looking on the bright side at least the bulbs are unlikely to last long. *devil

I cannot speak for VW's, but my experience of Froggy cars is that replacing the bulbs is likely to cost more in labour than the vehicle is worth after six months. :rolleyes:

DerekW
10th March 2016, 07:36 PM
Not only do I have an auto box but adaptive cruise control, the car will slow down in a traffic hold up to a standstill and then start to move again when the car in front moves.

Very peaceful

Naughty Nigel
10th March 2016, 08:04 PM
Not only do I have an auto box but adaptive cruise control, the car will slow down in a traffic hold up to a standstill and then start to move again when the car in front moves.

Very peaceful

But not as peaceful as this, which is by far my favourite mode of transport nowadays. :)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/495/18899709209_f37d896fa8_b.jpg

Bikie John
10th March 2016, 08:13 PM
But not as peaceful as this, which is by far my favourite mode of transport nowadays. :)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/495/18899709209_f37d896fa8_b.jpg

Great when it's working, awfully frustrating when it isn't. As a lifelong non-driver I speak from an awful lot of experience.

John

Naughty Nigel
10th March 2016, 08:30 PM
Great when it's working, awfully frustrating when it isn't. As a lifelong non-driver I speak from an awful lot of experience.

John

I take your point John, but how often can you drive anywhere without getting caught in traffic, and then you have the hassle of finding somewhere to park.

I hate long distance driving as I feel it is a complete and utter waste of time, and there is very little else that you can do (safely) whilst at the wheel.

At least on a train it is out of your control, and you can make the most of the time until you get there.

I regularly travel long distance by rail both here and in mainland Europe, and very rarely suffer any significant delays. Certainly nothing to compare with a car journey across the M62 anyway! :(

And contrary to what most people believe rail travel, even by First Class, is usually cheaper than the real cost of driving a car over the same distance.

maccabeej
10th March 2016, 08:48 PM
My auto has stop/start so the engine cuts out when I stop. When at traffic lights I press the brake hard and it goes on hold until I press the accelerator. Just as well as the lever in the middle is a foot take which is released by fiddling for half an hour under the dashboard.

Harold Gough
10th March 2016, 08:56 PM
Not only do I have an auto box but adaptive cruise control, the car will slow down in a traffic hold up to a standstill and then start to move again when the car in front moves.

Even if the light has changed to red? :eek:

Harold

Naughty Nigel
10th March 2016, 10:51 PM
My auto has stop/start so the engine cuts out when I stop.

I switch mine off unless I want the engine to stop.

Thinking on, this is another reason that many people hold the brake on whilst stationary, as releasing the brake starts the engine.

I should add that holding the brakes on hard when the brakes are very hot (i.e. after a high speed stop) damages the disk surface, and results in that familiar grinding sound and wobble when braking from high speed.

Harold Gough
11th March 2016, 07:02 AM
Thinking on, this is another reason that many people hold the brake on whilst stationary, as releasing the brake starts the engine.


Isn't it nice to know you are in control? :D

Sounds equivalent to Auto setting on a camera. :)

Harold

maccabeej
11th March 2016, 07:43 AM
Nigel, the system I described basically stops the engine from restarting without holding the brake pedal down. The engine restarts by touching the accelerator rather than releasing the brake. The only time I turn off stop/start is when I need to accelerate from start quickly which is very rare.

Naughty Nigel
11th March 2016, 12:31 PM
Nigel, the system I described basically stops the engine from restarting without holding the brake pedal down. The engine restarts by touching the accelerator rather than releasing the brake. The only time I turn off stop/start is when I need to accelerate from start quickly which is very rare.

Ahh well, mine is an automatic, so you need to keep your foot on the brake to stop the car from moving forward at the lights. The engine stops automatically if you have been stationary for (what seems like) about two seconds, and restarts itself the moment you lift your foot from the brake.

The alternative strategy is to stop, engage neutral and apply the electric parking brake, whereupon the engine will restart as you lift your foot from the brake!

If it doesn't you have the re-engage Drive, wait for the engine to restart and then drive off, which is all a bit of a time consuming faff when you're in pole position at the lights! :)

Ross the fiddler
11th March 2016, 01:20 PM
It isn't for texting it is for chocking the wheel when the handbrake fails and you have to stop on an uphill slope.

Harold

No, no! That used be be when mobiles used to be a brick. Are you still using one of those?!? :eek: :D

Ross the fiddler
11th March 2016, 01:28 PM
I hate to see drivers slipping the clutch to prevent the car rolling backwards on an incline. On the other hand, if I was selling replacement clutch parts... :)

They should have bought a Subaru then, with Hill Hold breaking (for manual). :p

maccabeej
11th March 2016, 01:33 PM
Ahh well, mine is an automatic, so you need to keep your foot on the brake to stop the car from moving forward at the lights. The engine stops automatically if you have been stationary for (what seems like) about two seconds, and restarts itself the moment you lift your foot from the brake.



The alternative strategy is to stop, engage neutral and apply the electric parking brake, whereupon the engine will restart as you lift your foot from the brake!



If it doesn't you have the re-engage Drive, wait for the engine to restart and then drive off, which is all a bit of a time consuming faff when you're in pole position at the lights! :)


Mine is automatic too

Ross the fiddler
11th March 2016, 01:38 PM
Manual gearboxes are for Luddites :). My Alfa has a six-speed twin clutch automatic with full manual override and changes gear much more quickly and smoothly than I could ever manage. Who needs a clutch pedal? It's also more economical than the manual version of the same car and cheaper to tax :).

It still has a proper handbrake though. I drove an Insignia once with one of those electric "handbrake" things and hated it, even if it did disengage automatically when I wanted to move off.

So when you're out in the middle of nowhere & your battery goes a little flat it makes it a bit hard to clutch start the car then. :p City driving (or driving in the UK ;) ) is certainly more comfortable driving an Auto but manual is much better when out of town or densely populated areas.

Naughty Nigel
11th March 2016, 02:12 PM
So when you're out in the middle of nowhere & your battery goes a little flat it makes it a bit hard to clutch start the car then. :p City driving (or driving in the UK ;) ) is certainly more comfortable driving an Auto but manual is much better when out of town or densely populated areas.

They actually fit two batteries, (one for engine starting). I have never tried it but I would hope that one can be used to boost the other if the main battery is flat.

To make matters worse they are both in the boot, which can make jump starting interesting when reversed into a field!

DerekW
11th March 2016, 04:41 PM
If the auto start battery is down in charge the auto stop start function is disabled (well it was in a Mercedes I was in ) until the battery gets charged up.

Harold Gough
12th March 2016, 08:21 AM
When it comes to driver (pretended) unawareness, there is a local bus restriction at a junction which is regularly ignored.

To clarify, small vehicles have just room between kerbs to pass in the lane on the left. The central space is wide enough for buses and is signed for buses only.

The one I refer to, so far as I know, has never seen a bus. It is there to keep HGVs, from the adjacent industrial estate, out of narrow residential roads, where parking makes it difficult for cars to pass in opposite directions at the same time.

I have recently seen HGVs pass through the bus access in, on separate occasions, both directions, the prize going to a huge car transporter. That there is mini roundabout right next to this constriction makes it all the more awkward, with the HGVs straddling lanes.

I have emailed the local Councillor for those streets but have had no reply.

Harold

Naughty Nigel
12th March 2016, 02:18 PM
If the auto start battery is down in charge the auto stop start function is disabled (well it was in a Mercedes I was in ) until the battery gets charged up.

Yes, same system I think.

I'm not sure if the auto-start uses the same starter motor, but the salesman told me the second battery is to speed up engine starting so that you can drive away from the lights unhindered.

I still don't like the stop-start system though, and usually switch it off unless the engine can usefully be shut down for a few minutes in traffic.

Naughty Nigel
12th March 2016, 02:27 PM
When it comes to driver (pretended) unawareness, there is a local bus restriction at a junction which is regularly ignored.

To clarify, small vehicles have just room between kerbs to pass in the lane on the left. The central space is wide enough for buses and is signed for buses only.

The one I refer to, so far as I know, has never seen a bus. It is there to keep HGVs, from the adjacent industrial estate, out of narrow residential roads, where parking makes it difficult for cars to pass in opposite directions at the same time.

I have recently seen HGVs pass through the bus access in, on separate occasions, both directions, the prize going to a huge car transporter. That there is mini roundabout right next to this constriction makes it all the more awkward, with the HGVs straddling lanes.

I have emailed the local Councillor for those streets but have had no reply.

Harold

If you want to try a really moronic, politically motivated traffic management system look no further than Newcastle upon Tyne.

The councillors there decided to install 'No Car' lanes, that as their name suggests, can be used by all vehicles other than cars.

I can see the logic of bus, taxi and cycle lanes, but the object of this system was to allow white van man unhindered access into and out of the city for purely political reasons. To make matters worse it seems that urban speed limits and traffic signals don't apply to van drivers using the No Car lanes, so car drivers have to be extremely careful when making left turns, as the chances are you will be torpedoed by a white van travelling at warp speed.