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Jim Ford
13th June 2018, 03:52 PM
I've always understood that the handbrake should be engaged and the gearbox put into neutral, when stopping for any more than a momentary check in motion - eg. at traffic lights. I always do this, but am often in a queue where as many as 7 or 8 out of 10 cars are holding on the footbrake, as evidenced by their brake lights being illuminated. I suspect that the drivers are also not in neutral, but disengaging the clutch as well as holding on the footbrake.

Any thoughts on this practice, which I consider to be dangerous?

Jim

Graham_of_Rainham
13th June 2018, 04:13 PM
Automatics and Stop-Start rely on the foot brake to function as designed.

Plus there are many electric parking brakes now that take time to disengage.

MJ224
13th June 2018, 04:13 PM
It happens so often, I did wonder whether new cars had handbrakes...

Many are probably automatic gear boxes. Even when I drive an auto gearbox, I always put it in neutral at traffic lights. Saves fuel that way. Certainly on my electric car......*chr

Jim Ford
13th June 2018, 04:22 PM
Many are probably automatic gear boxes. Even when I drive an auto gearbox, I always put it in neutral at traffic lights. Saves fuel that way. Certainly on my electric car......*chr

Yes, I thought that, but I don't think that in a line of 10 cars, 7 or eight will be automatics.

Jim

pdk42
13th June 2018, 04:29 PM
Yes, I thought that, but I don't think that in a line of 10 cars, 7 or eight will be automatics.

Jim

I wouldn't be so sure of that.

In any case, there's no legal or even recommended practice to put the handbrake on when the car is stationary. IMHO it's perfectly fine to hold the car on the foot brake when stopped so long as you are properly aware and in control.

I can think of far worse habits that drivers get up to (high on the list being fiddling with phones/GPS receivers etc). I was behind a guy last week who was all over the road and whose speed varied from 20 to 40 mpsh (in a 30mph zone) and it was patently obvious that he was fiddling with a phone. Not making a call - just looking at the screen and tapping it.

OM USer
13th June 2018, 04:42 PM
Neutral and handbrake for me. However the automatic gear box does require you to put your foot on the brake to shift it in and out of neutral.

Harold Gough
13th June 2018, 05:54 PM
A couple of years ago, I was queuing to enter a major road at a T-junction. There was a slow-moving, often stationary queue of cars on the major road.

I was about four or five vehicles back in the queue. Suddenly, the lead car lurched forward, smashing into the side of a stationary one on the major road. I suspect the driver's foot slipped off the clutch while the car was still in gear.

An engineer once told me that just disengaging the clutch puts a tremendous strain on the engine.

I change to neutral and apply the hand brake or, if facing downhill, the foot brake, as I was taught by a professional instructor.

Harold

CJJE
13th June 2018, 07:14 PM
Many cars now have automatic 'hand brakes' that engage as soon as you press on the foot brake at traffic lights. A longer press also engages the 'stop/start' function to turn the engine off. (The only 'hand brake' on my Golf is a little button you can pull but in practice I never use it as the foot brake has engaged it anyway.)

An unwanted side effect is that the brake lights stay on until you press on the accelerator. That then restarts the engine as releases the 'hand brake' as you pull away - even on a hill! There seems to be no way to stop the brake lights coming on unless you turn off the ignition, but I only see it as a real problem at night.

Chris

MJ224
13th June 2018, 08:03 PM
There seems to be no way to stop the brake lights coming on unless you turn off the ignition, but I only see it as a real problem at night.

Chris

I remember that years ago, if you had your lights on the brake light was dimmed (on certain cars). So obvious, but they don't seem to do that now.


Bright brake lights really hurt my eyes at night, worse if it is raining...:(

CJJE
13th June 2018, 08:28 PM
I remember that years ago, if you had your lights on the brake light was dimmed (on certain cars). So obvious, but they don't seem to do that now.


Bright brake lights really hurt my eyes at night, worse if it is raining...:(

Yes I suppose mine could do that... but I've never been able to see them :)

Chris

Jim Ford
13th June 2018, 08:34 PM
An engineer once told me that just disengaging the clutch puts a tremendous strain on the engine.

I can't imagine why he made that claim. Although not an automotive engineer, I've worked on quite a few car engines, clutches and gearboxes.

Jim

Otto
14th June 2018, 07:20 AM
Keeping the clutch depressed causes wear of the clutch release bearing, not so much the engine. The bearing itself is cheap enough but it's a big expensive job to replace it.


My old Stag had a "night dimming relay" which did dim the brake lights when the main lights were on but the disadvantage of that is that if you use headlights in poor visibility (which you should) the brake lights are less visible when arguably they need to be more so! My current car has a dual-clutch automatic gearbox and I generally do slip it into neutral if it's likely I'll be stationary for any appreciable length of time. I have disabled the start-stop though as it's a damn' nuisance, invariably cutting the engine just as the traffic starts moving again. It's rarely needed anyway in this rural area. Fortunately the car has a conventional handbrake, not one of those push-button ones. I had a hire car with one of those once and hated it.

percy
14th June 2018, 07:20 AM
Isn't one of the ideas of putting on the handbrake and going in to neutral to prevent your car rolling/driving forward in to (or in to the path of) another car if you get rear ended? In that scenario your foot is quite likely to slip off the brake/clutch.

Jim Ford
14th June 2018, 09:17 AM
Many years ago, someone I worked with was stationary in a line of traffic, in fog. The car in front started to roll back, so he flashed his lights. The car still rolled back and he operated his horn. The car then bumped gently into him. After the drivers got out, he then discovered that it was him that had rolled forwards into the other car, without realising it. He hadn't put the handbrake on fully.

Jim

Phill D
14th June 2018, 09:19 AM
Handbrake and neutral for me. Glaring high intensity brake lights in queues really annoy me. If it's by design on VWs then that's even worse. That system could certainly have been designed to include a brake light intensity reduction. As an oddity my Mazda turns off the daytime running lights when I apply the handbrake, can't work out why it's designed to do that?

Otto
14th June 2018, 09:39 AM
Rear fog lights should be designed to operate once the switch is pressed, but if they're not switched off they should go off with the ignition and not come back on when the car is restarted. I think my Saabs did that and I'm pretty sure my Alfa does too. Both certainly switch off the lights with the ignition; I can't understand why more don't do that. Some bleep a warning at you that you've left the lights on when you open the door - if they can go to the trouble of doing that surely they can switch the lights off instead?


Something to be aware of if your car has rear disc brakes - if the discs are hot when you park and set the handbrake, as they cool the discs will shrink and the brake force is reduced which can cause the car to roll if on a hill. Leave the car in gear too!

Naughty Nigel
14th June 2018, 01:15 PM
Keeping the clutch depressed causes wear of the clutch release bearing, not so much the engine. The bearing itself is cheap enough but it's a big expensive job to replace it.



Indeed. 'Riding the clutch' when driving is just as harmful. The clutch release bearing probably costs less than 10, but replacing one in a modern car will cost you 500 +. :eek:

I am sure that when Jim and I were taught to drive the correct procedure was to come to a halt, apply the handbrake and then disengage gear; in that order.

One of the reasons for this practice was to prevent the car from rolling backwards or forwards, and to reduce damage if hit from behind whilst stationary.

However, our children who have passed their tests much more recently were both taught to stay in gear at lights and to simply use the clutch. In fact they were told that they would FAIL if they used our old technique because it holds up traffic on our congested roads today.

On the subject of automatic gearboxes, many do disengage drive when stationary for more than a second or two, (I know mine does), but of course it is necessary to use the brake pedal to tell the gearbox that you want to remain stationary. There is also the stop-start which also requires use of the brake pedal.

Interestingly, I have just returned from a few days work in Holland, where I took my own car on the ferry. The Dutch roads are probably at least as congested as ours, but the traffic seems to flow much more smoothly. The Dutch also have a 130 KM/Hr (80 MPH) speed limit on many of their motorways, which seems to work perfectly well for them. So why not here? :confused:

MJ224
14th June 2018, 06:09 PM
The Dutch also have a 130 KM/Hr (80 MPH) speed limit on many of their motorways, which seems to work perfectly well for them. So why not here? :confused:


here here.

Does not happen here because do gooders want to reduce the speed limit. Time and a place for speed, open motorways are usually pretty safe. Congested motorways and roads need speed restrictions...………

(all about relative speed....)*chr

Keith-369
14th June 2018, 08:01 PM
Unfortunately, a lot of traffic congestion is caused by the notion of 'traffic calming'. In our borough, our council decided to narrow quite a few roads, in one case causing two lanes to be narrowed into one lane .... just as it meets a dual lane roundabout, all causing unnecessary congestion. Many other roads have been narrowed (by making bigger pavements) and suspension breaking speed bumps - some are very vicious - are everywhere. All causing traffic to congest and fuel to be wasted.

Naughty Nigel
14th June 2018, 09:50 PM
Many other roads have been narrowed (by making bigger pavements) and suspension breaking speed bumps - some are very vicious - are everywhere. All causing traffic to congest and fuel to be wasted.

I thought these were supposed to be removed now to reduce air pollution? I cannot say that I have noticed any improvements. :rolleyes:

Naughty Nigel
14th June 2018, 09:56 PM
Rear fog lights should be designed to operate once the switch is pressed, but if they're not switched off they should go off with the ignition and not come back on when the car is restarted. I think my Saabs did that and I'm pretty sure my Alfa does too. Both certainly switch off the lights with the ignition; I can't understand why more don't do that. Some bleep a warning at you that you've left the lights on when you open the door - if they can go to the trouble of doing that surely they can switch the lights off instead?


I think most vehicles now have a non-latching circuit to prevent rear fog lights from operating for six weeks after they were last needed, or until the bulbs burn out. :rolleyes:

In my view the warning light should be just as bright and painful to look at as the rear fog lights are to following drivers.

Otto
15th June 2018, 07:55 AM
Odd isn't it that for years roads were widened, straightened etc to improve traffic flow, whist now exactly the opposite is happening with the inevitable results. I remember a piece in Car magazine by the great L J K Setright on the subject of lane closures on motorways and the accompanying lower speed limits causing congestion. He cited the venturi principle which suggests that traffic should speed up in narrow sections to keep if flowing at the same rate. His tongue was only slightly in his cheek. He it was also who on the subject of boats said he woud never put to sea in anything smaller than the Isle of Wight :).


I rarely use rear fog lights but if I do, I switch them off if there is a vehicle following.

Naughty Nigel
15th June 2018, 08:05 AM
I rarely use rear fog lights but if I do, I switch them off if there is a vehicle following.

Exactly; on the basis that if I can see a vehicle following the driver can presumably see me too. If conditions are very foggy and I cannot see anything following I switch them on. Simples!

I always look for brake lights several cars ahead, so I have an early warning of the need to stop. Those wretched high intensity rear fog lights prevent anyone from seeing any red lights other than those that are blinding them. :mad:

Jim Ford
16th June 2018, 02:30 PM
And another thing:

Has anyone noticed that in spite of the advances in car electronics, the indicator electronics are very unreliable. I've often seen on even quite new cars that they are broken! Audis and BMWs seem particularly seem prone to indicator electronics failure.

Jim

Jim

Naughty Nigel
16th June 2018, 07:05 PM
And another thing:

Has anyone noticed that in spite of the advances in car electronics, the indicator electronics are very unreliable. I've often seen on even quite new cars that they are broken! Audis and BMWs seem particularly seem prone to indicator electronics failure.

Jim

Jim

This is a common fault on many of the more expensive German cars. However, it might just be that their drivers are so self-obsessed and narcissistic that they wouldn't think to understand why anyone else might want to know which direction they are heading. After all, "they know where they are going". :rolleyes:

Likewise, Audi, BMW and Mercedes cars are no longer fitted with a reverse gear. In fact I have never seen one of these vehicles reverse for anyone. :)

Wee man
17th June 2018, 07:22 AM
I always thought these cars had the cover fitted for Indicators but the internals were optional extras.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

MJ224
17th June 2018, 07:56 AM
BMW Prank Automatic Gearbox Problems - YouTube

BMW Crap gearbox.....*chr

Keith-369
17th June 2018, 10:12 AM
Nice one MJ224. Love that BMW hoax. *laugh *laugh *laugh *chr

Jim Ford
17th June 2018, 10:47 AM
However, our children who have passed their tests much more recently were both taught to stay in gear at lights and to simply use the clutch. In fact they were told that they would FAIL if they used our old technique because it holds up traffic on our congested roads today.


Hmm, I'm surprised! I was following a learner yesterday and at all the traffic lights the brake lights went off after a second or so, so I guess the tutor was teaching the learner to 'incorrectly' put the car in neutral with the handbrake on, and according to above, teaching them to fail the test!

Jim

Naughty Nigel
17th June 2018, 11:52 AM
Hmm, I'm surprised! I was following a learner yesterday and at all the traffic lights the brake lights went off after a second or so, so I guess the tutor was teaching the learner to 'incorrectly' put the car in neutral with the handbrake on, and according to above, teaching them to fail the test!

Jim

I have just our children this very question. They both said that they were taught to stay in gear at lights (for a quick getaway in today's heavy traffic) with the handbrake applied.

They were taught that the gearbox should only be put into natural if likely to be stationary for 'some time'.

What I think we are seeing is laziness in not applying the handbrake, or possibly the 'security' of having a foot on the brake.

Jim Ford
17th June 2018, 02:14 PM
I have just our children this very question. They both said that they were taught to stay in gear at lights (for a quick getaway in today's heavy traffic) with the handbrake applied.

So they do use the handbrake, rather than footbrake.


They were taught that the gearbox should only be put into natural if likely to be stationary for 'some time'.

eg at traffic lights!

Jim

Naughty Nigel
17th June 2018, 03:20 PM
So they do use the handbrake, rather than footbrake.


Well, that is what they are taught to do, but as I said, laziness and bad habits mean that many people simply use the footbrake.

Added to which, if stationary on a hill many people do not trust the handbrake alone, so they will use the footbrake too.

From my observations, many people use the footbrake whilst stationary, (whether in neutral or not), but then apply the handbrake just before setting off to avoid rolling backwards.





eg at traffic lights!



That depends on the traffic light cycle. Some lights around here wouldn't give you time to apply the handbrake, whilst others would allow plenty of time to put the kettle on for a brew!

(The latter seems to apply to new roundabout layouts designed by Durham County Council; many of which took years to build and are totally illogical.)

Jim Ford
17th June 2018, 09:53 PM
Feet slip off foot controls, especially when wet!

Many years ago I was in a layby at night, and I wanted to pull into the main road. Because it was raining, visibility was poor, so I wound down my window to get a clearer rear view. The road was quite busy, so I had the car in gear with the clutch depressed, ready to go. It was a strain to see behind, so I was twisted round and had my head partially in the window frame. My foot slipped off the clutch pedal and the car lurched forward, and the window frame smacked me on the side of the head quite hard!

Fortunately the car stalled. If it hadn't and I had been knocked unconscious, the situation could have been quite serious!

Jim