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How best to use L (low) gear...suggestions?


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53 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   tonyd

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 04:46 PM

If it's true what Raja said about creep speed, that contradicts what I said about L making no difference when the car is being powered.


Edited by tonyd, 18 December 2014 - 04:51 PM.








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#22 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 05:13 PM

If it's true what Raja said about creep speed, that contradicts what I said about L making no difference when the car is being powered.

 

Creep mode is the same in D or L. According to both my '05 and '09 FEH Ford Powertrain manuals, regen is cancelled at 6mph and you are using 100% brake pads to stop under that speed in both D and L.

 

Gary



#23 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 12:17 PM

I agree, I've gone 120,000 miles using L in my 2 FEH's and my NRG and never once did anyone come close to hitting me from behind. In addition, my '67 GT500 and other 4 speed cars I've owned, I've downshifted heavily to save the brakes. It someone hits you in the rear, they're following way to close and it's their fault.

 

Gary

However in a no-fault state like MN a rear-end collision is the only case where fault is assessed. However, if someone rear ends you and you don't have brake lights on but are slowing down then the accident is determined to not be 100% their fault and thus no-fault insurance means that you have to pay instead of the idiot who hit you. I will occasionally use L to slow down quickly when a light changes on me by surprise or while exiting the freeway but I always check my mirror first to make sure that there's no one behind me. If someone is close behind then I just use the brake pedal and try to do my best to not engage the brake pads any more than absolutely necessary.



#24 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 04:21 PM

FL State No Fault involves Personal Injury Protection or PIP. PIP is required as a minimum for all insurers here in FL to reduce injury lawsuits. It has nothing to do with brake lights. I was a Insurance Agent here.

 

Gary



#25 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 05:20 PM

FL State No Fault involves Personal Injury Protection or PIP. PIP is required as a minimum for all insurers here in FL to reduce injury lawsuits. It has nothing to do with brake lights. I was a Insurance Agent here.

 

Gary

PIP is required here too. But the state insurance website specifically advises against slowing your car down by downshifting in a manual because your brake lights aren't on which can lead to your insurance having to pay in an accident. 

 

Having a burnt out brake light can also lead to the same result.



#26 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 05:37 PM

The bottom line is, who pays should not be your deciding factor.  Be smart about it, check to make sure no-one is behind you when you use L without brakes so that you don't bash up your maxie or worse get hurt. 

 

-=>Raja.


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#27 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 07:36 PM

PIP is required here too. But the state insurance website specifically advises against slowing your car down by downshifting in a manual because your brake lights aren't on which can lead to your insurance having to pay in an accident. 

 

Having a burnt out brake light can also lead to the same result.

 

 

People who tailgate me will get L if not a hard braking to back off. I've locked up my brakes to stop that kind of behavior. I use L all the time, with tailgaters. They always back off after that. Following to close is their problem, not mine, and they will get a ticket, not me. The % of fault is BS to raise your rates. Just went through that with my Son and Progressive when a car pulled out in front of him. Progressive wanted me to contact my insurance (Allstate) to get his car out of pound. I told them to screw themselves, and they did. Got another $1000 cash from them for depreciation lost after they paid for the repair and rental car. I was legally right, and no Insurance Company will tell me to do otherwise. You can drive like a fairy, but it doesn't mean everyone has to.

 

Gary     


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#28 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 07:40 PM

Gary, did your son bash up his new Maxie or is this his older car (forgot if Maxie was his first or not)?

 

Hate to say it but if you lock up your brakes when someone is tailgating you (probably for going fast then slow coasting in N) then you're asking for trouble.  By this I mean you might get hit, and what for?  You want to go through insurance claims?   Best not to cause these headaches, if they want to tailgate you because they think you're not going fast enough or driving them crazy just let them be or wave them on if you can.  

 

Slamming on the brakes when someone is right behind me is the LAST thing I would ever do.  In fact I go the opposite way, make sure I slow down real slow coming to a stop or a red light and keep more distance between me and the next car so I DON'T have to ever hit the brakes hard because I don't want to get hit, EVER!

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 22 January 2015 - 07:44 PM.

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#29 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 08:21 PM

No, it was his '12 Focus that I just sold that was in a wreck. 

 

Tailgaters watch your rear end because they know the consequences. I locked up my brakes with a big boat car behind me coming to a stoplight. That boat was all over the road out of control going side to side to stop. I wasn't doing P&G at that time, and wasn't in a hybrid I don't think. Today, I just slowdown till people back off, and that works just fine. I know what works, and I use it with tailgaters. I drive the speed limits and more, but I don't take any shit on the road. You should know that from my post.

 

Gary



#30 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 08:33 PM

Well I'm glad to hear Gary its not the new Cmax, that would be terrible.  I hope he enjoys it alot and teach him to drive safe.

 

-=>Raja.


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#31 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 05:53 AM

 

Tailgaters watch your rear end because they know the consequences. I locked up my brakes with a big boat car behind me coming to a stoplight. That boat was all over the road out of control going side to side to stop. I wasn't doing P&G at that time, and wasn't in a hybrid I don't think. Today, I just slowdown till people back off, and that works just fine. I know what works, and I use it with tailgaters. I drive the speed limits and more, but I don't take any shit on the road. You should know that from my post.

 

Gary

I normally travel the speed limit and stay to the right when I can to allow others to get by.  I don't like tailgaters either but I usually gradually slow down by about 5MPH. They usually back off. That did not work yesterday on a road where there were no passing lanes. It was night and the tailgater was so close I did not see his headlights in my rearview mirror. I slowed a bit and he backed off briefly. As soon as we got to a short section on road with a left turn lane he sailed by me. I gave him a friendly horn honk to let him know I was glad he made it without killing someone. As much as I would have liked irritated that driver as much as possible I prefer to avoid any potential accidents or road rage. 



#32 OFFLINE   tr7driver

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 07:26 AM

I have a neighbor that used to tailgate me every morning she got behind me on the way to work.  I twice pulled off to the right and waved her by me.  She was pretty embarrassed and now gives me plenty of space on those days she is caught behind me.  Here is the best part:  She works for State Farm Insurance.



#33 OFFLINE   stevedebi

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 08:14 AM

I normally travel the speed limit and stay to the right when I can to allow others to get by.  I don't like tailgaters either but I usually gradually slow down by about 5MPH. They usually back off. That did not work yesterday on a road where there were no passing lanes. It was night and the tailgater was so close I did not see his headlights in my rearview mirror. I slowed a bit and he backed off briefly. As soon as we got to a short section on road with a left turn lane he sailed by me. I gave him a friendly horn honk to let him know I was glad he made it without killing someone. As much as I would have liked irritated that driver as much as possible I prefer to avoid any potential accidents or road rage. 

That is my technique as well, I slow down ever so slightly. They will back off.



#34 OFFLINE   dontfret

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 11:10 AM

Just as 'L' is not a gear downshift, only changes the regenerative braking setting, 'R' is not a gear change either - you can shift into R at 50MPH and the only thing that happens is the rear view camera comes on and the car is ins N!  R only runs the EV motor, and only allows that when the car is at a complete standstill.  While I wouldn't recommend trying it often, I did it once by mistake doing a P&G at highway speed and overshooting N, then learned that it actually is not dangerous or destructive.  But if it also turns on the the backup light, think how it would panic a tailgater!!  My proven technique for getting a tailgater off my back is to briefly flash the panic lights, looks like your tapping the brake.



#35 OFFLINE   RubyMax

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 06:02 AM

Ok, I am revisiting this thread AND the idea of One Pedal Driving.
 

I've had my C-Max for almost a year and a half, and typically drive it the way I have driven other cars for the past 35 years.  I have, however, learned to be more efficient, I think, easing into acceleration, leaving more room in front of me, coasting to stops, etc.  But I am almost always driving in D, and only using L as a "low gear" as I have with conventional vehicles, especially in the winter, on snow and ice.  I've tried a little bit to use L in normal driving, and I get that it creates maximum brake regen, and works like a go-cart (for lack of better term).  But to me, it seems like, in order to maintain a normal constant driving speed, I am always pressing the pedal, instead of allowing the vehicle to naturally coast.  More so, this constant use of the accelerator gives me the impression I am actually using MORE electricity instead of less.  I just feel it is counter intuitive.  I see the arrows on the battery gauge removing energy more often than adding energy.  Maybe it's just me.

 

Am I thinking about this all wrong?  is there a better argument to use One Pedal Driving?

 

As always, I am interested in your thoughts, and value the opinions of the forum members.



#36 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 07:55 AM

Ok, I am revisiting this thread AND the idea of One Pedal Driving.
 

I've had my C-Max for almost a year and a half, and typically drive it the way I have driven other cars for the past 35 years.  I have, however, learned to be more efficient, I think, easing into acceleration, leaving more room in front of me, coasting to stops, etc.  But I am almost always driving in D, and only using L as a "low gear" as I have with conventional vehicles, especially in the winter, on snow and ice.  I've tried a little bit to use L in normal driving, and I get that it creates maximum brake regen, and works like a go-cart (for lack of better term).  But to me, it seems like, in order to maintain a normal constant driving speed, I am always pressing the pedal, instead of allowing the vehicle to naturally coast.  More so, this constant use of the accelerator gives me the impression I am actually using MORE electricity instead of less.  I just feel it is counter intuitive.  I see the arrows on the battery gauge removing energy more often than adding energy.  Maybe it's just me.

 

Am I thinking about this all wrong?  is there a better argument to use One Pedal Driving?

 

As always, I am interested in your thoughts, and value the opinions of the forum members.

 

Just remember to only accerate in D and never L. Use L as a first line of braking and the brake pedal if additional braking is required. Coasting in N is most efficient over D.

 

Gary



#37 OFFLINE   makiedog

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 09:21 AM

L works best inside the city, where there're lots of stop-and-go's, you have to learn to feather it to retain efficiency. I use L exclusively inside the city and exiting highway ramps, it will also exponentially extend your brake pad's life.



#38 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 09:41 AM

I agree with Gray on this although I don't coast in N. I do occasionally forget to shift back to D after slowing to a stop and see no issue with acceleration in L but quickly realize I need to be back in D when I let off the accelerator. When this happens a am losing a bit of momentum and am sure that adversely affects my EV range. Even around the city I never stay in L as trying to feather the accelerator seems like more work than I car to do.

 

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Edited by Tom_NC_1, 18 March 2015 - 09:41 AM.


#39 OFFLINE   GaryG

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 09:58 AM

I agree with Gray on this although I don't coast in N. I do occasionally forget to shift back to D after slowing to a stop and see no issue with acceleration in L but quickly realize I need to be back in D when I let off the accelerator. When this happens a am losing a bit of momentum and am sure that adversely affects my EV range. Even around the city I never stay in L as trying to feather the accelerator seems like more work than I car to do.

 

Tom

 

I'd say I forget to shift back to D from a stop about 5% of the time also Tom. When I try to shift to N for the coast, that's when I catch myself and shift to D and then to N. Driving in L under 50mph (around town) will decrease your MPG by an average of 5.1mpg.

 

"Important: Many of us drive in low gear ("L") thinking we are in the same state as drive ("D"). During my tests, I accidentally left the shifter in "L" and came up with astounding results. It appears that "L" at below 50 mph, there is still regenerative braking occurring while in cruise control. This must also be the case while not in cruise control. The result I was getting was a 5.1 MPG  reduction at 30 mph while in the "L" position over the "D" position. At 40 mph, I was getting a 4.1 mph reduction in "L" over the "D" position. To sum it up, I will no longer be using the "L" position in the steady state cruising mode. In addition, I believe that using "L" in EV  mode may reduce fuel efficiency. This is sort of like saying the "L" position causes an accelerate or brake (regen) "L" mode, instead of an accelerate and (light regen)"D" coast mode. Based on these test, I recommend using "L" for going EV  and charging the battery only. Driving only in "L" will reduce your FE"

http://www.cleanmpg....hread.php?t=350

 

Gary



#40 OFFLINE   evolVE

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 01:10 PM

Tesla and BMW both use very aggressive regen, and I'm sure their engineers know what they're doing. But they also have the brake lights come on via a deceleration sensor. I've driven an i3 and got used to it in no time, but not having brake lights in the C-MAX, I won't be using L much.

 

A shame, really, because one-pedal driving is the way cars should have been in the first place. We're just still carrying a lot of mental and technological ballast that goes back to the days of ICE + clutch + set of fixed gears. In a few years, using the brake to slow down will seem as obsolete as double-clutching when shifting down.

 

I do believe that as legislation catches up with EV tech, brake lights by sensor will become mandatory soon.

 

Anyway, regardless of whether or not one setting is a little more efficient over the other, or what works best to get rid of a tailgater, my first concern is to keep my family and myself, as well as the $25k loan on wheels, out of harm's way. Driving in L potentially conflicts with that.










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