I've used engine braking ONCE in my entire life, brakes are cheap and more controllable, so I always use them apart from this one time when I smelt something funny. Descending in the French Alps with my Golf auto. I just knocked it down two gears with the lever and left it there for a mile. Nothing overheating or got broken. That's why the low gear selection is there.
Said the Duchess of Windsor at tea,
"Young man, do you fart when you pee?"
Kick down? That refers to a large throttle opening. Not the over run.
Depends on how steep the motor way incline. But it only happens when you
have told the car you don't want it to increase speed on a downhill by
touching the brakes. If you are happy for it to speed up going down hill,
it won't change down.
Not much point in an auto if you often have to select the gears yourself.
And auto changing down on the over run puts little load on the clutches.
*A cartoonist was found dead in his home. Details are sketchy.*
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
So, I'm going down a gentle hill and wish to slow slightly and touch my brakes, then the auto drops a gear and I find myself slowing even more than I wanted. No thanks. The car cannot possibly in any way whatsoever know if I want to use engine braking. That's why there's a lever.
I've done it ONCE in my entire life. Engine braking is rarely needed. Use the brakes, that's what they're for.
We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart -- H. L. Mencken
I agree. It needs to be a clever algorithm to be able to second-guess when
it should and should not change down to give extra engine braking. Manual
control in that situation is better, as long as it's easy to change down
In order of preference (most preferable first) I slow down by:
- lifting off the throttle and letting friction/air resistance slow me a
- supplementing the footbrake with changing down (on a long steep 1:5 or
I'm never sure whether changing down on a steep hill is still necessary (as
warning signs still say - eg https://goo.gl/maps/6P92xo2F1VE2 and (further
down) https://goo.gl/maps/YYcvT88uFwB2 ; also this one
https://goo.gl/maps/AUJkHxZAuEy ), or whether it became less important as
drum brakes gave way to disc brakes.
That second hill https://goo.gl/maps/AUJkHxZAuEy is a nasty one. I was once
coming up and as I approached a hairpin bend, having hooted as I approached
it, as I tend to do on blind bends on steep hills, I saw a cyclist who was
coming down shoot across the road in front of me and land in a heap on the
grass verge: presumably his brakes weren't strong enough to keep his speed
down low enough for him to negotiate the bend and he bottled out. As you can
see, cyclists *are* warned :-) Doing a hill-start on a 1:3 hill after I'd
stopped to check he was OK was "interesting" ;-) The Tour de Yorkshire bike
race went down there the other year and they took it at a speed that I
wouldn't dare do in a car, never mind a bike, even if I knew that nothing
would be coming the other way.
The current system (well the one on a 1998 VW Golf) works perfectly well. Under normal driving conditions, it's always in exactly the right gear. The harder I press the gas, the more power I get, it drops gears as required and the torque convertor smooths the change so I hardly notice it. And it can change fast enough that if I want to overtake, I put my foot to the floor and immediately get full power from the engine in the lowest gear possible. If I want to engine brake (which I've done only once in 21 years of driving, in the French Alps), it's simply a matter of moving the lever down a notch or two. And since it's an intelligent gear system, if I want maximum engine braking I can select 1st, knowing it won't actually use 1st, but the lowest possible without overrevving the engine.
However I have driven my neighbour's 2004 Rover 75. Its auto box is abysmal, it's like having a learner driver change the gears for you. It feels just like you have a manual box and an incompetant drunken clumsy oaf is changing them for you. Perhaps they've never heard of torque convertors.
I don't use the gears unless I'm going to br braking for a considerable time (as in I'm in a mountainous area). Why bother? Brakes can take you from full speed to zero without overheating.
Try just using the brakes. If they smell, you need the gears.
I can't really tell from the images on Google, but it doesn't look that steep. I assume the sign is for lorry drivers.
Why are they called buildings, when they're already finished? Shouldn't they be called builts?
On 01/20/2018 08:56 AM, James Wilkinson Sword wrote:
Nice illustration. I like the 60% slopes. That's when you are hauling
your ass up by grabbing trees and other vegetation holds while pausing
every 20 feet to gasp.
There's no way I'd park a car as expensive as https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grade_(slope)#/media/File:DunedinBaldwinStreet_Parked_Car.jpg on that slope. Looks the same slope as a hill near where I grew up. Me and my friend used to cycle down it, hoping nobody was driving along the main road at the bottom. There was no way in hell a bicycle could have stopped at the give way (yield) line.
The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is its inefficiency -- Eugene McCarthy
On 01/20/2018 03:40 PM, James Wilkinson Sword wrote:
I'm assuming he hopped out for the photo op and then went on his way. It
was not as steep a hill but a friend parked his car on a hill one winter
evening. We both got out and were about to walk away when we realize the
car was slowly sliding downhill. Fortunately we managed to push the
front end enough sideways to have a front tire wedge against the curb.
The college campus was built on the same hill so we got our exercise
trudging up and down it between classes.
It was a classic metaphor for town and gown; the peons from the city
below could climb the marble staircase to the glories of education
available above their mundane existence.
The staircase merely put you at the bottom of the campus; there was much
more to come. It was wonderful in the winter.
A "1 in 3 hill" was easy to imagine, you ascended 1 foot for every 3 feet you went horizontally, although I think it should have been for every 3 foot of road.
But the new signs we have in the UK like "25%" are really illogical. I'd imagine a 100% slope to be a vertical cliff, but it's not, its a 45 degree slope.
Why don't they just put up signs in terms everyone would understand, degrees! Everyone knows what 20 degrees looks like.
The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is its inefficiency -- Eugene McCarthy
The first one, Sutton Bank, is signposted as maximum 1:4 / 25%. The second,
Rosedale Chimney, is signposted 1:3 / 33%. Sutton Bank is on a trunk A road
and is used by HGVs - there's a sign at the bottom (which doesn't seem to
have been updated for several years) which says "174 closures due to HGVs",
referring to the fact that it is notorious for HGVs getting stuck, either on
the sharp hairpin bends or else running out of torque. I followed an animal
transport lorry which made very good speed on the flat approach to the hill,
but then got stuck several times on the hill, causing traffic behind to
grind to a halt, possibly because having once stopped he found it very
difficult to set off on the gradient. But he made it, though I was beginning
to think I might need to turn round to avoid the blockage!
Rosedale Chimney is a real killer, though it's a tiny moorland road so it
doesn't get any big vehicles - just tourists who panic at a road that seems
to disappear before their eyes and which has nasty hairpins which are sharp
and steep (they are probably the 1:3 bits of the hill). I once had to rescue
the car in front: the driver had stalled and couldn't manage a hill start on
the steep section. When he kept rolling backwards towards me, I thought for
the sake of my car I'd better intervene!
I posted the photos mainly to make the point that very steep hill like these
have "use low gear" signs. I'd assumed that they were aimed at all drivers,
but maybe they are more for lorry drivers. There's a steep hill near the
coast, and when I was little and we went to that village for seaside
holidays, I can remember signs at the top and bottom "United Counties Bus
Drivers: Engage first gear and retain until next sign". Sutton Bank has
signs at the bottom "HCVs (*) Use crawler gear"; it used to say "Use crawler
*lane*" which implies that there is an extra lane for slow vehicles, with
another for faster ones to overtake - if only!
(*) I can't get used to using the new terminology: Heavy *Cargo* Vehicles
Why do people have such trouble hill starting? I don't even use the handbrake unless the hill is extremely steep.
Surely HGV drivers already know how to use gears going up and down hill. Why should we have signs to remind them? Should there also be signs telling them how to indicate, operate the radio, turn on the windscreen wipers?
On 01/20/2018 09:01 AM, James Wilkinson Sword wrote:
The problem in the US is many of the eastern drivers have only ever
encountered basically flat roads unless they've spent time in West
Virginia. Even there, the grades can be very steep but they are short.
Five or seven miles of downhill is something they have never dealt with.
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