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Driving in L


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16 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   malaugh

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 05:32 PM

I have had my C-Max for about 6 months now, and have just discovered what L is for.  It seems that it is the "one foot driving" setting, the car slows down automatically when you take you foot of the gas. I have been using it in the stop go traffic section of my drive.  I find it much more convenient than switching between the gas and the brake all the time.

 

My question is, can I drive in L all the time, even on the freeway?

Anyone do this?

Does it effect the gas mileage or reliability?

Do the brake lights come on when I take my foot off the gas?

 

 









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#2 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 05:45 PM

Answers:

 

Yes you can drive in L all the time, though I choose not to do this for the reason that you can over decelerate sometimes and doing so and having to reaccelerate is less efficient.  Also if you drive in L all the time (many people do this), you will get exceptionally high regen numbers in Braking Expert category as you are regenerating all the time (or alot of it) and really not an accurate braking score so to speak if you care about that.

 

It can affect the gas mileage yes by slowing down and speeding up more often.  Best gas mileage is obtained by steady state speeds.

 

There IS NO BRAKE light on, so be careful with this strategy as you can get rear ended.  In fact someone with a Cmax already did, saw pictures of that here, most likely because (just guessing) that the car slowed down with no lights and the person behind wasn't paying as much attention.

 

With all this being said, I drive in D all the time but shift to L on several occasions or situations:

 

a) slowing down to take a turn or getting off the highway.  Basically when you are unsure of how much brake you can press as you need to slow down as fast as possible (without digging into the brake pads and lowering your braking score), shift to L first and then if not enough add some braking.

 

b) slowing down on the highway from 65mph to zero due to stopped traffic ahead.  If no-one is close behind me I use L instead of braking on the highway to slow down as its very easy to overbrake on the highway and use the brake pads (dig into the brake score).

 

c) if a light suddenly turns yellow, same thing, need to brake as much as possible.

 

d) down a steep hill, or a hill that ends in a stop sign at the bottom.

 

e) late at night for almost all the stops if I am trying to travel 30 miles on a battery charge and need every ounce of power from the HVB to make it (due to headlights being on as they cut about 20mpge off the efficiency).  Using L negates the brake lights coming on which for a 30 mile trip might gain me a 1/2 mile to a mile of range.  Better to do that than start the engine for 1 mile at the end of the trip.  When there is no-one on the road behind me the brake lights are not necessary.  If on the other hand the trip is say 20 miles and I have plenty of battery to make it then I don't bother using L for all stops, just use the brake pedal and avoid shifting back and forth.

 

Be AWARE of your surroundings and any time there is someone behind you if you plan to use L just pad it ever so slightly with the brake pedal just enough so you start to see the circles going around the battery indicating that the brake lights are now on for the driver behind.

 

Hope this helps,

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 20 October 2016 - 05:50 PM.

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#3 OFFLINE   malaugh

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 05:50 PM

Thanks, great explanation



#4 OFFLINE   MaxLB

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 04:35 AM

L does some weird things (abnormally high engine speeds) when the battery transitions from the plug-in portion to the hybrid portion.  It almost seems like the computer gets confused for a bit.  I've taken to make sure that I'm in D during the transition, then go back to L a few minutes later if I want the enhanced regen.  I use up my plug in range every day, sometimes more than a few times, so I experience this transition a lot.

 

For me, I use L when in traffic but D at most other times.  It's easier to drive smooth in D, but less work to drive stop/go in L.  As Raja said, you can use L like the regen paddle on the G2 Volt, getting more regen selectively.



#5 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 06:20 AM

Instead of using L, I use Grade Assist Button on the Drivers side of Trans Shifter, it's not as aggressive as L, but still does the job. I think it won't waste energy by trying to charge the HVB to  fast.  I think L may waste energy by putting out more energy then the HVB can take and causing a loss in FE.  Not sure where you could find this info, didn't see anything in OM. :smile2:

 

Paul


Edited by ptjones, 21 October 2016 - 06:21 AM.


#6 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 06:45 AM

Paul,

 

The hill assist is what I call automatic variable L.  It changes in regen strength based on the hill so the car remains at the same speed.

 

L is about 90% regen all the time, no matter the grade so the car is always slowing down with it unless the grade is too steep.

 

L + light braking is 100% regen, any more than very light braking with L you dig into the friction pads.

 

The brake pedal is manual regen, from 0 to 100% depending on pressure and into the friction pads if you exceed 100% regen.

 

D is low regen to simulate an ICE engine with the foot off the gas coasting.

 

Based on the first line above, hill assist will do nothing different than D on a level road.

 

-=>Raja.



#7 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 07:24 AM

Paul,

 

The hill assist is what I call automatic variable L.  It changes in regen strength based on the hill so the car remains at the same speed.

 

L is about 90% regen all the time, no matter the grade so the car is always slowing down with it unless the grade is too steep.

 

L + light braking is 100% regen, any more than very light braking with L you dig into the friction pads.

 

The brake pedal is manual regen, from 0 to 100% depending on pressure and into the friction pads if you exceed 100% regen.

 

D is low regen to simulate an ICE engine with the foot off the gas coasting.

 

Based on the first line above, hill assist will do nothing different than D on a level road.

 

-=>Raja.

That seems right, I only use it on steep down hills. Some members use it all time, D works most of the time for all of my driving with occasional Grade Assist( What OM calls it).  I'm pretty good at braking and have 98% Life Time braking score. :smile2:  Thinking about it IIRC I have only used L a few times when HVB was full.

 

Paul



#8 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 07:31 AM

 

 

 I'm pretty good at braking and have 98% Life Time braking score.

 

That's pretty damn good, I was like that for a while but last year I think I graduated to 99% lifetime brake score  :smile2:   If you keep hitting 100% you should get there eventually.

 

Just FYI, you can't use L with the HVB full as it will trigger the ICE to start when you least want or expect it to be running.  Have to wait just a little bit for the charge level to drop to 99% at least before using L to slow down otherwise there is no room in the battery and the ICE will start to slow you down.

 

I never noticed any strange behavior in L with the HVB empty.  I guess in thinking about it I don't drive in L anyway with the ICE running and if it was running if I'm slowing down it shuts off already when you take your foot off the gas then you can shift and regen all you want in L shouldn't be any different.

 

-=>Raja.



#9 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 07:42 AM

I stopped using L during the summer months as the aggressive regen causes heat to build up quicker in the HVB. As the weather starts to cool down I will resume the use or time when I need to slow down quickly. 

 

Tom


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#10 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 07:52 AM

Hey Tom:

 

I would expect that to be true because you regen more than necessary with L, i.e. slow down too much and use the accelerator to speed back up the speed lost that you didn't want to lose in the first place, a lose lose situation and more heat in the battery from regen and acceleration.

 

Otherwise if you compare apples to apples so to speak, stopping with L or stopping with the brake pedal should be equal or very close, maybe the only difference is longer regen with the brake pedal at lower rates (if you choose to do it that way) versus high regen with L for shorter times.  I would presume though if you are "pefect" you could regen the same amount of time and intensity with the brake pedal if you are good enough to time it and match the L regen without hitting the friction pads.

 

I have had my right rear passenger seat down and the HVB disconnect hatch open all summer long to let the heat out during charging.  I think it helps to not let the heat from the charger build and fester in there next to the HVB.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 21 October 2016 - 07:53 AM.


#11 OFFLINE   bdginmo

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 01:59 PM

I don't use L either. No brake lights and increased thermal stress on the HVB are the main reasons. I do use the button on the gear shift occasionally to prevent acceleration down hills though.


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#12 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 05:51 AM

Just FYI, you can't use L with the HVB full as it will trigger the ICE to start when you least want or expect it to be running.  Have to wait just a little bit for the charge level to drop to 99% at least before using L to slow down otherwise there is no room in the battery and the ICE will start to slow you down.

 

I never noticed any strange behavior in L with the HVB empty.  I guess in thinking about it I don't drive in L anyway with the ICE running and if it was running if I'm slowing down it shuts off already when you take your foot off the gas then you can shift and regen all you want in L shouldn't be any different.

 

-=>Raja.

 

Hill Descent I think might be worse than L if you're going down a hill with a just about full battery.  I tried that the other day.  At least with a cold engine, the battery was at 100%, hill descent control on and then poof, nothing was slowing the car down at all and the ICE was fired up.  As far as I recall in L mode, there's still some slowing of the car if you max out the battery and the ICE starts.

 

I agree though, I don't think I've ever noticed L mode to behave differently in hybrid mode.  Either way, it can be easier to do one foot braking but it shouldn't generally be more energy efficient to use.I really wish they had a mode with NO regen.  After playing with shifting to N on my commute I'm realizing for my drives there is a TON of wasted energy there.  

If you're stuck in stop and go traffic for your commute I can see L being easier to use.  But for my drive I've got about 13 miles with hills, mostly 55mph limits, limited traffic and only about 3 or so stops.  So every time I'm going down a hill and not coming to a stop at the bottom and not in N I'm wasting energy.


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#13 OFFLINE   ecraigsmit

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 09:52 AM

I occasionally use L to stow/stop (when no-one is behind). I am now limiting its use as it may be a factor in my deteriorating battery life. However I also have had some bad experiences using L on rough/wet surfaces (or when hitting the unexpected pot-hole). I found that in these situations L mode can regen brake hard enough to cause wheel slip which then forces the anti-lock braking system (ABS) to kick on. When this happens, the computer disables the L regen braking effect and the car will surge.  The result feels like an acceleration even though it's just a lack of deceleration.

 

It happens like this; you shift to L in order to slow/stop in an certain distance, during this decel period you happen to hit a rough/wet surface or pot-hole and one of the tires slips. The computer notices the tire slippage and will kick the ABS system on even-though the brake pedal isn't being pressed. The computer decides you shouldn't be regen braking when the ABS system is on so it disables regen (or severely limits its effectiveness).  With the L gear regen braking off and you not pressing the brake pedal you are no longer slowing but rather coasting in L and that stop sign/corner/rear bumper of car in front of you is now coming up much faster than you expected. Only a quick reaction and a decent press on the brake pedal will get you decelerating again.  Had a couple of near misses because of this on curving off-ramps.


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#14 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 05:03 PM

 When this happens, the computer disables the L regen braking effect and the car will surge.  The result feels like an acceleration even though it's just a lack of deceleration.

 

This phenomenon happens too in D in most (all?) hybrids when the brakes are applied suddenly or hard while over bumps or holes.  

 

I use L almost exclusively because I love the one pedal driving experience.  I have no issues with following traffic and brake lights as I've been a manual transmission driver/rider for decades.  Folks can perceive the difference in deceleration rates.  Sad to say but inattentive drivers run into cars with brake lights applied every day; just ask any freeway commuter.   :drop:


Edited by fotomoto, 16 March 2017 - 06:23 AM.


#15 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 04:08 AM

I'm not sure you get as good FE in L.  I like to shift into N when I have a good opportunity which saves gas/energy, switching from L to N isn't convenient, switching from D to N to D is. IMO :smile2: 

 

Paul 



#16 OFFLINE   NedB

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 06:53 PM

I work in the trucking industry , and safety is a Major concern (especially when the company gets a reputation for unsafe drivers, which to be honest is justified all too frequently), one thing which we monitor for is COOG or Coasting Out Of Gear. While fuel economy is vitally important, especially with an 80,000lb vehicle... and we all want the highest score we can get, COOG can take away control of the vehicle at a critical moment. It is better to ease up on the accelerator than shift to N, in case you need to power out of a situation.

Be efficient in your overall style and you'll more than make up for the momentary gain from N. I don't mean to preach, just want to keep reading about your achievements!

#17 OFFLINE   Ely94

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 05:44 AM

This phenomenon happens too in D in most (all?) hybrids when the brakes are applied suddenly or hard while over bumps or holes.  

 

I use L almost exclusively because I love the one pedal driving experience.  I have no issues with following traffic and brake lights as I've been a manual transmission driver/rider for decades.  Folks can perceive the difference in deceleration rates.  Sad to say but inattentive drivers run into cars with brake lights applied every day; just ask any freeway commuter.   :drop:

 This is what I do as well. I see how many days I can go without putting the pads to the rotors. 










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