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Driving automatic car - tips?


priusnoob
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5 hours ago, AEB-UK said:

Don't sit at the traffic lights with your foot on the main brake pedal - the brake lights are very bright an unpleasant for the driver behind.

Use the parking brake - it will comfortably hold the car whilst in drive mode (it only has tick-over momentum to restrain). Then simply release the footbrake and off you go.

 

Of course, if you don't care about the glare affecting those behind you ............ .

They don't complain about this in any other English speaking country, it seems this sensitivity to brake lights is only a problem for some Brits.

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Sorry, going cross eyed in my old age! - I meant I'm with AEB-UK - I get very unhappy if the person in front is lazy and inconsiderate enough to dazzle me for longer than necessary, and I certainly try not to do it to other people

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As my driving instructor used to say, "If a pause becomes a wait, use the hand brake OR I'LL RIP YOUR LUNGS OUT!" :eek: biggrin.png

 

If that's what he would do for that kind of mistake, I dread to think what would happen if you did anything worse ;-)

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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PeteB, must be that brake light sensitvity making you cross eyed, LOL.

Brake lights have never bothered me. Although I first learnt to drive in the UK, I learnt to drive automatics in North America, and they did not seem to have this problem with brake lights that some or maybe it is many have in the UK. I've always found it curious.

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It's not 'brake light sensitivity', it's that brake lights are really **** bright - They are about the same brightness as fog lamps if they are working properly!


 

It's okay now, while it's sunny and bright, but when it starts to get dark and you're in a street with **** lighting with your irises dilated, it is no fun. I often shut my eyes when stopped behind someone for extended periods in the winter, esp. when coming home from work when my eyes are already sore from staring at a monitor all day, because I can SEE the brake lights through my eyelids, and see when they go off!


 

I suspect most people will find it increasingly uncomfortable but just take it as normal, as they are also holding down the brake pedal.

For short periods you can ignore it but if you ever get stuck in a 2 hour queue on the motorway in a non-lit section with some **** with high-powered LED brake lights on for the ENTIRE time you may begin to understand shy some of us get a bit pissy about such things...


 



 

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23 hours ago, AEB-UK said:

Use the parking brake - it will comfortably hold the car whilst in drive mode (it only has tick-over momentum to restrain). Then simply release the footbrake and off you go.

If you leave the toyota hybrid in drive (D or B or R)  with the parking brake on, the HSD will still try to drive the car forwards (or backwards).

Use P to engage the parking pawl which will also stop the HSD trying to move the car (and save HV battery).

Toyota Hyrbids don't have "tick-over momentum" or creep like a conventional automatic, but MrT decided to emulate this with the hybrids so the HSD will actively try to move the car unless it is in P or N, or the main brakes are on.  Toyota hybrids are 'direct drive' so while you have the parking brake on to stop the wheels moving, the electric motor is still spinning to provide the psuedo creep.  That spin has to go somewhere. It can't go down the drive shaft (you have the brakes on) so it either has to spin the generator, or the petrol engine.  Either way, you are using up the HV Battery.

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On 15/08/2016 at 10:38 PM, timberwolf said:

PeteB, must be that brake light sensitvity making you cross eyed, LOL.

Brake lights have never bothered me. Although I first learnt to drive in the UK, I learnt to drive automatics in North America, and they did not seem to have this problem with brake lights that some or maybe it is many have in the UK. I've always found it curious.

In fairness, not all brake light bother me, and almost never during the day, but at night, some are unpleasant and some are probably illegally bright.  The latter sometime have me dropping the sun visor until the traffic moves.

I have no problem with people staying on their brake pedal for 30-60 seconds, but more than that is both inconsiderate and unwise.

To keep my membership of RoSPA's driving groups (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) I have to submit to a special driving test every three years.  These are conducted by a serving or retired Police driver with a Class One Police driving certificate.  Failing to set the parking brake for more than a brief stop would be a fail.

I try (with varying degrees of success) to drive all the time as though an examiner is sitting next to me, so quite apart from being considerate its a matter if discipline - the tests are quite long and any bad habits are likely to surface at some point if they are one's normal practice.

As to why other nations seem less worried?  Maybe other countries' legislation permit a lower luminescence for their brake lights (no idea myself)?  I suspect in the USA it may be linked to the fact that automatics are and have long been much more prevalent and people just got used to seeing brake lights on a lot.

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1 hour ago, PeteB said:

In fairness, not all brake light bother me, and almost never during the day, but at night, some are unpleasant and some are probably illegally bright.  The latter sometime have me dropping the dun visor until the traffic moves.

I have no problem with people staying on their brake pedal for 30-60 seconds, but more than that is both incinerate and unwise.

To keep my membership of RoSPA's driving groups (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) I have to submit to a special driving test every three years.  These are conducted by a serving or retired Police driver with a Class One Police driving certificate.  Failing to set the parking brake for more than a brief stop would be a fail.

I try (with varying degrees of success) to drive all the time as though an examiner is sitting next to me, so quite apart from being considerate its a matter if discipline - the test are quite long and any bad habits are likely to surface at some point if they are one's normal practice.

As to why other nations seem less worried?  Maybe other countries' legislation permit a lower luminescence for their brake lights (no idea myself)?  I suspect in the USA it may be linked to the fact that automatics are and have long been much more prevalent and people just got used to seeing brake lights on a lot.

Plus it reduces the chances of you being shunted from behind, then your foot slipping off the brake and shunting the car in front. Since some people sit on your rear bumper and creeping forward.

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It's just one of many driving gripes, along side things like people that don't check their mirrors, people that use the phone while driving, people that don't use signals, people that think 'courtesy traffic lights' are a real thing, people that hog the middle and outer lanes (Although this I am less annoyed with nowadays as I can often just stay in the left lane and bypass long queues of traffic! :laugh:), and people who don't know the 2-second rule (I want to put some rubber Mad-Max style spikes on the back of my Yaris to scare such people. Or maybe a rearward-facing slingshot with copies of the highway code tied to bricks...)

But alas this is part of driving... at least over here it isn't as bad as say India, China or Paris :laugh:
 

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Yes, I am with Pete B and Rospa and others on this one, as I have been Observing for the IAM (or now RoadSmart) since 2000, and driving an auto is now 50/50 with manual for Trainees.

 The OP was asking about driving an auto, but at least holding the car on the footbrake, is not quite as bad a 'sin' as holding it on the clutch and acccelerator.

However, as mentioned by others, Consideration of (or for) other road users, is one of the headings that is looked at during IAM/RosPa training, and a display of high intensity brake lights especially on a wet night, is hardly 'considerate'. But Cyker list of poor behaviour could all be added to the list of In-considerate and unthinking driving which is always depressing to be a part of. But most of it just thoughtless rather than malicious.

However as for the Prius,  co-ordinating the foot parking brake and the accelerator pedal is a great way to hold the  car  at traffic lights or on a hill, and (if there are enough bars eg 3+ on the HV battery) then slip it into N as well.....combining all aspects of Car Sympathy and awareness of others all together

Again as previously mentioned, holding the ccar on the footbrake alone invites potential problems if shunted from behind, as inertia of the shunt sends the driver back into his seat, and lifts the foot off the footbrake, allowing forward movement into the vehicle in front, or into a stream of crossing traffic.

AS PeteB says, if these aspects of the drive are not habitual, then any Test situation with a Class 1 copper sitting beside, will find out the weak points.

On the other hand, if anybody else would like to chip in and help the situation, by becoming a volunteer ttrainer/observer themselves for the IAM or Rospa, then maybe we could kick a bit mor ***** out there, and improve the UK roads

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I would agree with the above: I've never been a fan, for safety and courtesy reasons (rear-end shunts and brake-lights respectively!) of holding the car on the footbrake for too long - so I tend to use P if I'm on the level, or P+handbrake if I'm on the gradient.   

 

I've always felt it's not very sympathetic to use P alone on a gradient - would that make sense?

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1 minute ago, 37201xoIM said:

I would agree with the above: I've never been a fan, for safety and courtesy reasons (rear-end shunts and brake-lights respectively!) of holding the car on the footbrake for too long - so I tend to use P if I'm on the level, or P+handbrake if I'm on the gradient.   

 

I've always felt it's not very sympathetic to use P alone on a gradient - would that make sense?

From what I understand, P just engages a pin into transmission. Not meant to replace the use of the handbrake.

 

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13 minutes ago, Anthony Poli said:

From what I understand, P just engages a pin into transmission. Not meant to replace the use of the handbrake.

 

Thanks.  That's sort-of what I thought.

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1 hour ago, 37201xoIM said:

... I tend to use P if I'm on the level, or P+handbrake if I'm on the gradient.

I've always felt it's not very sympathetic to use P alone on a gradient - would that make sense?

That's what I do too.  I'm told Americans mostly drive automatics and almost never use the parking brake (aka handbrake)* in them.

The original design of P(ark) was meant to be a backup in case the parking brake fails (which can happen if the parking brake is applied with too little force when the brakes are hot, and then slips as they cool down).  In a manual, best practice when parking on a hill is to leave it in gear (as well as using the parking brake), which a traditional auto can't do.

Also, best practice is not to place a load on components not specifically designed to take them, hence the recommendation of using the parking brake (which normally acts on the wheels) on a hill in addition to the transmission P (which locks the transmission with a pin [aka pawl]).

And, strictly speaking, I believe it's still illegal to exit a car and fail to set the parking brake (in addition to any transmission locks) although I doubt anyone would be prosecuted for this unless their car moved while parked and cause an accident.

[* I use the term parking brake to cover handbrakes and foot operated parking brakes that the Prius and some Mercedes have (and for that matter those operated by an electric switch or button).  The main brake pedal (used while driving) is often called the 'service brake'].

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Just another thought - on another group I belong to there was much chat about the risk of transmission damage if shunted from behind with the transmission in P, which is probably possible.

It hasn't persuaded me not to use P when stopped in traffic, but I don't normally select it until a few cars have stopped behind me, especially on a fast road where I have to stop at traffic lights or behind a stationary queue.  In that case, I'd leave a lot of space and creep forward to take it up as I see people behind coming to a stop, and maybe release and reapply the brakes to flash the brake lights (or use hazards instead or as well) depending on my level of paranoia at what I see in the mirror!).

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2 minutes ago, Anthony Poli said:

Those pesky Americans, :happy:

I don't care what they do over there - I'm never likely to go unless they bring Concorde back! :usaflag:

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7 hours ago, PeteB said:

Just another thought - on another group I belong to there was much chat about the risk of transmission damage if shunted from behind with the transmission in P, which is probably possible.

It hasn't persuaded me not to use P when stopped in traffic, but I don't normally select it until a few cars have stopped behind me, especially on a fast road where I have to stop at traffic lights or behind a stationary queue.  In that case, I'd leave a lot of space and creep forward to take it up as I see people behind coming to a stop, and maybe release and reapply the brakes to flash the brake lights (or use hazards instead or as well) depending on my level of paranoia at what I see in the mirror!).

That makes an awful lot of sense to me.   I get that paranoia too - the A65 is a great place to encounter exactly that situation!

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Good question about the creep function - I have tried this in the Yaris and found that it doesn't detect the application of the handbrake, and tries to pull against it, but with the footbrake applied it appears to stop pulling (saving the HV battery). The power indicator seems to read zero when the vehicle speed is VERY low, but as soon as any discernible speed is achieved, it pops up to the creep power.

Since getting a hybrid I hold the car on the foot-brake due to the HV Battery charging behavior, as I don't want to risk the pawl being broken if shunted whilst in Park. It would be bad enough having to have the bodywork fixed without having to fix the transmission as well.

Hybrids aren't meant to be towed AT ALL, regardless of drive mode. At a minimum the drive wheels MUST be lifted off the ground, or better, the vehicle put on a flat-bed truck.

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I've driven autos for about 80% of my driving "life"...I NEVER use P unless I'm actually parking.!..if I'm "queuing" for any longer than a minute or so then I select N and use the parking/hand brake (a foot operated brake in my case).

If on a gradient the I simply let the autobox do it's thing and let it hold the vehicle as it should.

Creep is inevitable with an autobox.. I simply "cover" the foot brake and/or go to N and use the parking brake if I need to.

 

I confess I don't use the parking/hand/service brake that often (I don't think many auto drivers do)..even when parking...but I make sure I operate the brake a few times say once a week to keep it working and "free".

 

 

Neil

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Because the hybrids have a gear selector switch that is quite unlike a 'conventional' auto lever (where all the options can only be accessed sequentially) driving (and stopping) techniques don't have to be the same. 

Once, after a friend had been driving behind my then Saab, he asked me if it was a fault that my reversing lights flashed on briefly immediately before I drove off. It was simply that, as with every non-Toyota-hybrid auto that I've driven, one had to go through Reverse (and Neutral) to get from Park to Drive! Of course that doesn't happen with the Hybrid ... 

 

Regarding transmission damage following a rear-end shunt in P, has this ever been documented with any Hybrid Toyota or other auto box? I've never heard of it actually happening, and suspect it is an internet myth, to set alongside all those ernest warnings about plastic kettles and aluminium saucepans.  

And I repeat my observation that when you shut down a Hybrid (Auris, so G3 Prius also, and why would the others be different), the transmission is automatically set to Park. You simply couldn't leave it in Neutral if you tried! Perhaps you may have asked yourself why that would be designed that way? And why more conventional autos (eg my old VW Bora and others) won't let you remove the ignition key until P is selected (or let you move out of P without the key being inserted, will only start if P is selected, etc, etc). 

Why is Nanny SO insistent if doing what she insists would put the car at greater risk of damage? 

 

I'd also repeat that I personally don't select P at every possible opportunity. 

Nevertheless, my eyebrows did rise when I read barrycoll's comment above "However as for the Prius,  co-ordinating the foot parking brake and the accelerator pedal is a great way to hold the  car  at traffic lights or on a hill ..." 

Doesn't his '13 Prius have the 'hill-start-assist' function of my '14 Auris? - which takes away the need for such fancy footwork, and is surely both safer and more 'mechanically sympathetic'.

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Yes, I believe that my Gen 3 Prius does have a hill hold function dear Beekeeper, but I have never explored it.

I come from a bygone era when there was constant practise of clutch and accelerator pedal co-ordination, so using the clutch-pedal-like foot/hand brake, in unison with the accel, is not really found to be fancy footwork.

 And again, does show some awareness for any following driver in not displaying high level brake lights continuously.

Apropos of using the clutch and accelerator pedal, I was asked by my IAM trainee in his GT86 to give a short demo drive in his car......I agreed (of course) and found that I had lost none of my memory of double de-clutching, and creating a smooth change, up or down,  and by Crikey, that car does shift, complete with a glorious in-take roar when the revs are up round the dial. The sensitivity of the accelerator pedal would not suit Prius owners, however, as just looking at it creates a burst up too 2500 rpm!

 

 

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