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#112 of 161 Re: Coasting in Neutral with AWD? [wwest]
by steve_ HOST
Jan 01, 2009 (4:05 pm)
Personal opinions are one thing. Blanket statements about safety without any independent verification don't hold a lot of water. I appreciate voices in the wilderness and you have my respect for propping your vehicles up on 2x4s and testing stuff, but surely you can find me just one or two links that support your theory?
I'd love to meet you at the Cracker Barrel (even if their ice box pie is kept frozen harder than a rock ). I'd even ride shotgun with you on the road - one of these years I'm going to remember to go watch the Bacchanalia. Or we can go skiing/riding up there (you can even drive my Outback).
#113 of 161 Re: Coasting in Neutral with AWD? [steve_]
Jan 01, 2009 (4:12 pm)
"..in 2nd gear rather than in neutral and burn up my brake pads...."
Well, first of all, brake pads are rather cheap to purchase and damnish easy to install vs transaxle clutch surfacing and install. But the more important point for me is your seeming willingness to put yourself, your passengers, and others on the road at risk only to conserve brake pads (and/or to make a point).
There is, of course, the issue of overheating the brake components and thereby losing almost all, or all, braking capability but that can be prevented by pulling over once in awhile to allow them to cool. Our '71 Ford Station Wagon (oft referred to as the "Queen Mary", HEAVY, she was) was quite subject to that problem but mostly only on the downhill run from Mission Ridge outside Wenatchee.
But think about ABS, what does it do, why is it so gold-darn important...??
ABS has the ability to release braking on the front wheels (where 70-80% of brake HP is applied/expended) so you can still maintain directional control while braking as heavily (almost..) as conditions allow.
How would you alleviate your van's 2nd gear engine compression braking to regain or maintain directional control on your FWD minivan should the need inadvertently arise...??
Quickly shift into neutral..??
That's why the AAA recommends practicing being able, and prepared, to quickly shift into neutral should the need inadvertently arise. (Hint: Knowing the "road", IT WILL...!!)
#115 of 161 Re: Coasting in Neutral with AWD? [wwest]
by steve_ HOST
Jan 01, 2009 (4:23 pm)
I looked and couldn't find anything from the AAA and putting a car into neutral, other than trying to get unstuck. Seems like you had something one other time from them though. [edit, thanks for the link - note that they talk about putting the car in neutral after you skid, not while going down the snowy hill].
As you may recall, Bogus Basin road is a narrow two lane road. There are lots of pull-outs but they are intended for letting people pass you, not for parking while your brakes cool down. I'll try to remember to snap a photo of the no parking signage next trip up.
In all my 20 winters in Anchorage driving almost exclusively a FWD sedan and FWD minivans, I never experienced the back end passing me coming down the hill from Arctic Valley or just cruising around the area. And I'm not that skilled a driver.
#116 of 161 Re: Coasting in Neutral with AWD? [steve_]
Jan 01, 2009 (5:59 pm)
Let's define "skid"...??!!
Does it simply mean yaw is out of whack, out of line, or could it mean that the vehicle is still moving in the desired direction, say straight ahead, but the wheels are "locked" (skidding..??) due to low roadbed traction and engine compression braking (you choose, front, rear, or all four).
Dangerous, potentially, either way, right...??
Back in my days in MT I would often get down a slippery downhill slope, steep slope, (RWD/Auto) by lightly applying the e-brake. There were two positive effects from that, slight braking and sort of an anchor at the rear helping to hold the car in line, the behind remaining behind the front.
Now think about why that may not work with FWD or F/AWD.
You might ask why I didn't simply downshift, as you do.
#118 of 161 Re: Coasting in Neutral with AWD? [steve_]
Jan 01, 2009 (6:12 pm)
I would, will ALWAYS, ignore the "No Parking" signs (or any "law") in favor of a life saving effort. If I got a ticket you better believe the judge would get an earfull.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure..."
Yes, the "shift into neutral is "after the fact", but the message is still quite clear.
Luckily my days in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Barrow were pre-FWD.
#119 of 161 Re: Coasting in Neutral with AWD? [tidester]
Jan 01, 2009 (7:40 pm)
"...Sorry, but you don't get to decide which laws are obsolete and can be neglected..."
Well, actually I do, as do you.
First, mostly, the law enforcement personnel typically do not attempt to enforce laws that are obsolete and are therefore unenforceable before a judge, at least a sensible judge. I have only been to court one time over one of these and the judge nearly laughed the prosecuting attorney out of the courtroom.
But then the officer "read me out" in the hallway for having the gual to question her "authority". But I'd bet she never wrote another ticket for that reason.
Can you really imagine any judge "validating" a parking ticket when a life saving decision was made adverse to the "law"...??
Personally I can't even imagine an officer writing such a ticket.
"..then switch to a higher gear.." "..be in compliance with the law"
#120 of 161 Re: Coasting in Neutral with AWD? [wwest]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jan 02, 2009 (2:15 pm)
I've raced cars on oval tracks and you know, severe compression braking will screw you up whether you are RWD or FWD. The only thing that's different is which way you hit the guard rails.
I'm guilty of coasting down long straight hills just for the fun of it (how far can I go?) but never on an icy or snowy roads. I have an AWD car right now, but drove Saabs for many years, and a Scion xA, both FWD-ers. Touching the brakes in neutral will put you into a skid just as easily as engine compression but with ABS now the dangers are much less IMO, as the brakes do not lock (nor do the wheels lock in engine compression unless you are doing something quite radical, like downshifting to 1st gear at 40 mph).
The trick of course on all slippery surfaces is "no sudden moves".
#121 of 161 Re: Coasting in Neutral with AWD? [Mr_Shiftright]
Jan 02, 2009 (2:44 pm)
Touching the brakes in neutral will put you into a skid just as easily as engine compression but with ABS now the dangers are much less IMO, as the brakes do not lock (nor do the wheels lock in engine compression unless you are doing something quite radical, like downshifting to 1st gear at 40 mph
That says it all, Shifty, on a long slippery hill it is much safer to rely on engine braking while descending than coasting in neutral. Unlike Mr. West my experience on slippery roads is not limited to the occassional ski trip as I have lived in Northern New England for 35 years and driven AWD, FWD as well as RWD cars.