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novaderrik
novaderrik Dork
5/25/11 7:57 a.m.
calteg wrote: Whatever happened to putting a "runaway" car in neutral?

i think some of them don't even have any sort of a mechanical linkage from the shifter to the trans- the shifter just sort of kindly asks the pcm if it would mind very much to please shift into neutral whenever it feels like it. the pcm might not feel like shifting into neutral when it's stuck in WFO mode...

racerdave600
racerdave600 HalfDork
5/25/11 8:27 a.m.

You can still get a stuck linkage in older cars. I've had it happen at least twice that i can remember. The difference is, you can just shut the car off and come to a stop.

Part of the issues I see with newer stuff is that so much of this technology is recent, that it's almost impossible to debug it all. We do some similar stuff with mining equipment and we have to have multiple backup systems. It's very difficult to get electronics completely bug free. I can certainly see why some of these things happen, especially if you are on the leading edge.

Scott
Scott Dork
5/25/11 8:53 a.m.

In reply to racerdave600:

Yeah. One thing I learned when I was 17 - bent up coat hanger does not make good throttle linkage for a 1978 VW Scirocco.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury SuperDork
5/25/11 11:04 a.m.
calteg wrote: Whatever happened to putting a "runaway" car in neutral?

sweet jesus, are we really going to have this discussion for the eleventy-thirteenth time?

Raze
Raze Dork
5/25/11 11:07 a.m.
Scott wrote: In reply to racerdave600: Yeah. One thing I learned when I was 17 - bent up coat hanger does not make good throttle linkage for a 1978 VW Scirocco.

You were just using the wrong gauge coat hangar, I'm sure Macy's would have had the right one in stock

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH SuperDork
5/25/11 1:50 p.m.

Automatic push-button starters are just a bad idea. The old system was a good one, all undone because manufacturers wanted to copy a silly gizmo for its 5 seconds of novelty value.

TRoglodyte
TRoglodyte HalfDork
5/25/11 1:59 p.m.

Artificial intelligence killing off the weakest of the humans first?

Vigo
Vigo Dork
5/25/11 2:44 p.m.
I am absolutely convinced that nearly every actual unintential acceleration claim on Toyota has at least some blame on driver error.

fo sheezy

car that is likely already on worn pads and rotors that squeal, and have the same person panic and slam the brakes on and off, they WILL fail.

As long as the hydraulics are working, a car with ANY kind of pads and rotors between brand new and metal-to-metal will outstop itself. Ive used brakes on cars that were metal to metal, even some that had worn the rotor face all the way through to the cooling fins. They would still stop, perhaps even better than if there were actual brake pads involved.

Whatever happened to putting a "runaway" car in neutral?

Some people are too stupid to do it. It still works.

You can still get a stuck linkage in older cars. I've had it happen at least twice that i can remember. The difference is, you can just shut the car off and come to a stop.

There is no difference, you can still shut the car off if you arent spazzing out to the point of not being mentally able to figure out one berkeleying button.

Ive had stuck throttles MANY times. Luckily i had two things going for me: I know what to do, and i didnt have the motor from a Lotus Evora. Unlike your average Camry driver..

sweet jesus, are we really going to have this discussion for the eleventy-thirteenth time?

I hope not.

Automatic push-button starters are just a bad idea. The old system was a good one, all undone because manufacturers wanted to copy a silly gizmo for its 5 seconds of novelty value.

Anyone who cant bother themselves to learn how to operate one god damn button should not operate a vehicle.

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
5/25/11 3:38 p.m.
Vigo wrote:
I am absolutely convinced that nearly every actual unintential acceleration claim on Toyota has at least some blame on driver error.
fo sheezy
car that is likely already on worn pads and rotors that squeal, and have the same person panic and slam the brakes on and off, they WILL fail.
As long as the hydraulics are working, a car with ANY kind of pads and rotors between brand new and metal-to-metal will outstop itself. Ive used brakes on cars that were metal to metal, even some that had worn the rotor face all the way through to the cooling fins. They would still stop, perhaps even better than if there were actual brake pads involved.
Whatever happened to putting a "runaway" car in neutral?
Some people are too stupid to do it. It still works.
You can still get a stuck linkage in older cars. I've had it happen at least twice that i can remember. The difference is, you can just shut the car off and come to a stop.
There is no difference, you can still shut the car off if you arent spazzing out to the point of not being mentally able to figure out one berkeleying button. Ive had stuck throttles MANY times. Luckily i had two things going for me: I know what to do, and i didnt have the motor from a Lotus Evora. Unlike your average Camry driver..
sweet jesus, are we really going to have this discussion for the eleventy-thirteenth time?
I hope not.
Automatic push-button starters are just a bad idea. The old system was a good one, all undone because manufacturers wanted to copy a silly gizmo for its 5 seconds of novelty value.
Anyone who cant bother themselves to learn how to operate one god damn button should not operate a vehicle.

Just to clarify, as you took my brakes portion out of context, that I stated that the brakes will fail after being mis-applied by the driver by pulsing them on and off for miles thus boiling the fluid, etc.

Also, on the Neutral bit, I totally agree but please again be aware that we are not talking K-Cars here. Some of the new stuff has idiotic things like electronic shifters that won't actually engage Neutral while pinned at WOT. So if the driver actually had enough brains to try it, it won't always work (which is stupid).

And for the button, which I agree is a stupid novelty, to be fair the manufacturers don't have a clue what to do with them, so some you have to hold down for 5-10 seconds, others you push 5 times while turning left, etc, etc. I do agree that the owners need to RTFM though so they know how their particular car works.

So, again, 75% of what I just said was operator error.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury SuperDork
5/25/11 4:23 p.m.
Vigo wrote:
Whatever happened to putting a "runaway" car in neutral?
Some people are too stupid to do it. It still works.

when PRNDL looks like this:

and there is no linkage aside from the ECU requesting the trans to shift, and youre trying desperately to avoid smashing into something at WOT, shifting to neutral isnt always so easy. I agree, RTFM, Learn how to operate your item, practice what to do when the SHTF, etc etc...aoperator error is a big factor, but overcomplicating a simple device for no practical purpose is a stupid (and apparently effective) way to kill someone.

novaderrik
novaderrik Dork
5/25/11 7:06 p.m.

which expensive European car has the rotary knob that pops out of the center console in place of a shifter? it was on Top Gear within the last couple of seasons. you just know there isn't a mechanical linkage between that and the transmission and in a panic situation you would bel ikely to just crank the damn thing as far as it will go and not just one "click" for neutral...

none of this would even be an issue if they'd just keep a mechanical linkage for all the crucial safety items- shifter, throttle, etc- and an actual key that is hooked to a switch that physically breaks the electrical connection to the engine. yeah, mechanical stuff can hang up or fail, but at least there'd be a backup to fall back on if the throttle stuck..

if they don't want to have the key any more for whatever reason, then a kill switch in the form of a big red button in the center of the dash with a picture that represents someone crapping their pants would also work- as long as it's an actual switch that kills power to the engine, fuel pump, and ecm and not something that sends a request to the ecm asking it to please shut off..

Bobzilla
Bobzilla Dork
5/26/11 10:23 a.m.
TRoglodyte wrote: Artificial intelligence killing off the weakest of the humans first?

Skynet has gone mobile.

Schmidlap
Schmidlap HalfDork
5/26/11 1:50 p.m.
novaderrik wrote: none of this would even be an issue if they'd just keep a mechanical linkage for all the crucial safety items- shifter, throttle, etc- and an actual key that is hooked to a switch that physically breaks the electrical connection to the engine. yeah, mechanical stuff can hang up or fail, but at least there'd be a backup to fall back on if the throttle stuck..

Can you imagine if airplanes had ditched mechanical controls and gone to fly-by-wire? There'd be planes falling out of the sky all over the place. Or power plants or elevators? There'd be death and destruction everywhere! If only Toyota had used mechanical floormats instead of the electronic ones that hung up the gas pedals.

There's nothing wrong with electronic controls of mechanical systems. It's done all the time in safety critical situations. As far as I know, even with this scare-mongering article, there has been no proof that Toyota's electronic controls had anything to do with these accidents.

Bob

Vigo
Vigo Dork
5/26/11 2:12 p.m.
Just to clarify, as you took my brakes portion out of context, that I stated that the brakes will fail after being mis-applied by the driver by pulsing them on and off for miles thus boiling the fluid, etc.

How many MILES of pulsing does it take before we declare this person a lost cause? Still not the brakes' fault.

Also, on the Neutral bit, I totally agree but please again be aware that we are not talking K-Cars here.

Drrrp drrp. Are we also not talking the hundreds of different models ive worked on as an ASE master tech? Gimme a berkeleying break, with that comment.

Oh E36 M3 im in drive and at WOT!!! WHAT DO I DO!!??!

PUSH FORWARD. Thats it. Dont look. Dont jiggle it in random directions. Push forward. AMAZING!

Im not generally a pro-business and berkeley the proles kind of person, but it is seriously mis-guided to try to force manufacturers to make it their job to defeat darwinism by dumbing down their products to be safe for our dumbest few.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury SuperDork
5/26/11 3:34 p.m.

what on gods green earth makes this:

better for a manufacturer than this:

Answer that please.

true, to anyone with more than 11 functioning neurons to string together, the craptarded manumatic looking piece of stupid overengineering is no big deal. But why is it needed? Some jackass design-gineer got a bonus for making a cool picture one day, and an exec put his stamp on it. It serves no real purpose. I will give you that it SHOULDNT be a big deal to move that shifter to neutral in an emergency, but never having been in a WOT sphincter puckering event, I cant say it WOULDNT be a problem either. The issue is that in a panic situation, its hard to determine what may or may not be possible to figure out. It is not hard to determine though that simple = better in almost all cases besides door locks and sudoku. Car makers are fixing things that arent broken, while paying almost no attention to the points that need it (longevity, fuel economy being at the top of the list).

ransom
ransom Reader
5/26/11 3:44 p.m.

Operating the shifter is barely part of driving an automatic; you do it when you start out, when you back into a spot, and when you park. I know there are a lot of people who can drive the crap out of a stick but would rather not spend their commute de-and-re-clutching...

But it remains that moving the shifter of an automatic is barely part of driving it. So I can see where an automatic and proficient response to a WOT situation wouldn't trigger an automatic and correct reaction from even an experienced driver.

What happens if you overshoot N and inadvertently try for R or P while trying to get a rabidly accelerating vehicle out of D? Is there a lockout there? I never drive an automatic except every couple of years when I wind up in a rental...

turbojunker
turbojunker HalfDork
5/26/11 4:25 p.m.

Yes there is a lockout. Just push on the shifter without using the button

ransom
ransom Reader
5/26/11 4:28 p.m.

In reply to turbojunker:

Wow... My ignorance of automatics is even more thorough than I imagined...

Vigo
Vigo Dork
5/26/11 4:55 p.m.
Answer that please.

Because one of them looks a hell of a lot better. Thats a big deal on a new car.

Yes there is a lockout. Just push on the shifter without using the button

...but since some cars dont have a cable, than by extension there must be a conspiracy for the car to not do what you want because it's trying to kill you, so maybe the fact that you can get a car into neutral without hitting reverse or park with NO mental activity required is just to lull you into a false sense of security.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury SuperDork
5/26/11 5:30 p.m.

looks? really? overengineer the easiest part of a car to get right, into a ridiculous monstrosity that has no apparent function, for no apparent reason, other than aesthetics? Thats your reason? Thats not an answer.

kthnxbai

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
5/26/11 6:29 p.m.
Vigo wrote:
Just to clarify, as you took my brakes portion out of context, that I stated that the brakes will fail after being mis-applied by the driver by pulsing them on and off for miles thus boiling the fluid, etc.
How many MILES of pulsing does it take before we declare this person a lost cause? Still not the brakes' fault.

I never said it was the brakes fault. Please stop assuming things or putting words into my mouth. It's pretty well known that abused brakes, used improperly, will fail. Just like any other mechanical or electrical item.

Vigo wrote:
Also, on the Neutral bit, I totally agree but please again be aware that we are not talking K-Cars here.
Drrrp drrp. Are we also not talking the hundreds of different models ive worked on as an ASE master tech? Gimme a berkeleying break, with that comment. Oh E36 M3 im in drive and at WOT!!! WHAT DO I DO!!??! PUSH FORWARD. Thats it. Dont look. Dont jiggle it in random directions. Push forward. AMAZING! Im not generally a pro-business and berkeley the proles kind of person, but it is seriously mis-guided to try to force manufacturers to make it their job to defeat darwinism by dumbing down their products to be safe for our dumbest few.

Wow. You have totally just showed your complete and utter ignorance of just how berkeleyed car controls have become in the last 5 years. Examples:

Toyota Prius Gen2 (one of the recalled cars):

You have to go up & right simultaneously, then left. It's also 100% electronic and the computer will lock you out of neutral above a certain threshold (I don't know the exact MPH).

Jaguar XJ shifter:

Note that the control wheel pops down flush with the console when you are moving. So when your car is running away, you have to figure out how to get that adjustment wheel up, then move it N, and hope the electrons will actually allow the trans to do it's job.

Jaguar XF is the same way:

Ferrari 458 Italia:

Can you even figure that one out? Some of the flappies make you pull back on both paddles, others have a button buried in the center console, like on the F430:

Sometimes the stuff is just designed into complete idiocy, like this 2011 Lexus LS shifter:

Notice how the N and the + are both printed next to each other on the panel? So where is N on the gate? The top of the far left track or one of the dog-legs? Now figure it out while coping with an emergency situation and trying not to hit anything.

Try Mercedes S-Class:

Are you going to signal a left turn with it, break it off, or get it into neutral?

Speaking of, check out the last-gen 7-series BMW shifter:

So is Neutral the up or down arrow? Both?

It's okay though, the new generation fixed it:

It doesn't even have gates! You just have to figure out where in the electrons it's supposed to be, the whole shifter just kind of flops about.

The Volt's shifter actually hides in the console. Check out GM's completely idiotic pre-production idea versus the still criminally insane production version:

Hell, your teenager ought to be able to figure out the Leaf's, it's just a mouse!

So, as you can clearly see, modern shifters are not all sunshine-and-gravy easy like you claimed, and even a non-derpping person can struggle with them. You still totally ignored the fact that many shifters are 100% electronic and will not shift the transmission into neutral, even if you do get it right. So please step off of your horse and join the rest of us in sensible-land.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua SuperDork
5/26/11 6:38 p.m.

If any of you want to see how it feels to have your body betray your logical mind when driving a car try this: press the clutch with your right foot while you are going above 20mph and wanting to stop. Your logical brain says-that's not the brake, let up the foot, move it to the brake, and press that! What really happens is years of conditioning cause your right foot to try to push that stupid clutch pedal through the floorboard in a desperate attempt to get it to act like a brake pedal.

PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS IN A SITUATION WHERE YOU REALLY NEED TO STOP! FIND AN EMPTY PARKING LOT OR FIELD OR ABANDONED AIRPORT OR SOMETHING!

novaderrik
novaderrik Dork
5/26/11 7:33 p.m.
Schmidlap wrote:
novaderrik wrote: none of this would even be an issue if they'd just keep a mechanical linkage for all the crucial safety items- shifter, throttle, etc- and an actual key that is hooked to a switch that physically breaks the electrical connection to the engine. yeah, mechanical stuff can hang up or fail, but at least there'd be a backup to fall back on if the throttle stuck..

Can you imagine if airplanes had ditched mechanical controls and gone to fly-by-wire? There'd be planes falling out of the sky all over the place. Or power plants or elevators? There'd be death and destruction everywhere! If only Toyota had used mechanical floormats instead of the electronic ones that hung up the gas pedals.

There's nothing wrong with electronic controls of mechanical systems. It's done all the time in safety critical situations. As far as I know, even with this scare-mongering article, there has been no proof that Toyota's electronic controls had anything to do with these accidents.

Bob

in all of those examples you cited of places where "fly by wire" systems are used,the operators are highly trained and the parts used and the systems that control them have redundant secondary systems in case the primary one fails.

they also don't make millions of planes or power plants a year that are built to a price point that allows a maximum amount of average people to buy them. they are also very well maintained with rigorous maintenance and inspection schedules.

they are operated by people who's job it is to operate them, where cars are appliances used by people to get to and from their jobs. cars should be simple, but the manufacturers are tripping over each other in a race to add as many high tech features as they can and trying to make their car look and feel different than the other cars out there- in that respect, they are kind of stepping back in time to when every car manufacturer had their own arrangement of pedals, levers, and buttons that made their cars operate. that's a bad thing- one of the best things to ever happen to cars to make them more appealing to the masses was the standardization of the controls. you know where the gas, brake and clutch pedals are and how to operate the shifter regardless of what kind of a car you jump into.

alfadriver
alfadriver SuperDork
5/26/11 7:40 p.m.

I'm not going to re-get into an argument about electronic controls, since there's no real point since some of you are so convinced that you are right.

But.

There's a lot more to it than you are all posting about.

Just because it's electronic does not mean that every single version of it does or does not allow whatever (say shift into neutral, or turn the car off while moving). Cables are not always better- sometimes are worse. And failure rates...

Style DOES mean a lot. Shifter, interior, steering wheel, etc- it's all part of the character of the car that people buy.

Now, IF there is a failure, shouldn't there be some kind of responsibility to the manufacturer to make sure there is a way out? Not everyone out on the street is as gifted as drivers seem to think they are here. Few drivers out there are used to putting everything they have in the brakes, ever. So even that it's a fact that the brakes can always out do the engine, that does not mean that it's very easy to stop the car at WOT without any braking assistance to the normal driver. People are so quick to condem.

Anyway, have fun arguing about it again. But, seriously, the industry needs good engineers. Question some of the whys.

novaderrik
novaderrik Dork
5/26/11 11:20 p.m.

i have nothing against electronics in any way- but i start to have a problem when all the critical electronics systems are all tied into the same master controller. yeah, cables and other mechanical linkages can bind and fail- but with separate mechanical linkages for the shifter and throttle, you have a backup when one of them fails. having the ignition switch integrated into the system electronically is a bad idea for all those same reasons.. there should be a physical connection that cuts off power to the ignition if things start to go bad- you know, like that clearly marked and easy to reach battery cutoff switch that you hopefully have in your racecar that kills the car when you operate it.

a few years back, i got to idle around the MN state fairgrounds in a new Z06 Corvette with one of the head Corvette engineers. i asked him why they thought it was a good idea to have door handles that were merely buttons that asked a computer if it would please open the door.. he looked at me like i was crazy for asking such a silly question. i asked how someone was supposed to get out of or into the car in a hurry in some sort of an emergency that killed power to the car.. again, blank stare..

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