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Author Topic: Your current car!  (Read 16094 times)

J N Winkler

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #200 on: September 03, 2018, 03:16:43 PM »

The only roadway in the Sierras that I'm aware of that absolutely requires 2nd or 1st gear is Mineral King Road.  Most of the other roadways in the Sierras that have high grades don't have them sustained for very long but Mineral King lasts around 15-20% for several miles between 5,500 feet and 2,700 feet.  Mineral King Road actually has signage telling drivers which gear to select whereas State Highways in California only have such restrictions for truckers.  I found Ebbetts Pass on CA 4 to be probably the most difficult State Highway grade by a large margin, CA 108 was slightly higher at 26% but doesn't last very long.

I was very nervous about Ebbetts Pass before I drove it (in the Saturn, west to east) and ended up finding it somewhat anticlimactic.  There are actually three summits along the one-lane section, and the only drop I found worrisome was the sequence of hairpins from the third summit down to near Markleeville.  Mostly I stayed in 2 range and there were maybe just two or three places where the car was trying to run away from me.

My gold standard for difficult hill descent in California is Marin Avenue in Berkeley (between Grizzly Peak Boulevard and the Arlington circle).  Grade is not posted, but is probably around 25%.  I have only ever attempted it in the 1986 Nissan Maxima, which came close to holding speed in 2nd on a cold engine (I had a friend who lived nearby on Grizzly Peak Blvd., so I ended up tackling the hill several times right after a cold start--in retrospect, not great for the bearings) but came close to running away in 1st on a warm engine.

To that end using low gear in the Sonic would yield about 15 MPH at 3,500 RPM in 1st and 25 MPH in 2nd.  Usually the roadways that would require 1st or 2nd weren't an issue given they were generally one or one and half lanes somewhere up in the Sierras.  3rd gear was a bigger issue because because it would easily go all the way up to red line if I let it due to the gear ratios and had minimal effect on engine braking the car.

All of the cars I have tackled hills with have been automatics, with four or five forward gears, and I never felt any of them offered much "bite" in terms of engine braking in 3rd gear.  Mountain roads designed for high operating speeds (~50 MPH) are more difficult anyway because there is less margin for error and also less tolerance of high side friction demand.

I warped the brakes (which were obviously unvented) both times on a 8% grades which were on CA 63 south from CA 180 (which I suspect wasn't helped by the fact I had built up heat coming down CA 180) and CA 190 heading west down Towne Pass.

I have done the SR 63 "drop" down to Visalia as well as SR 190 over Towne Pass both ways, in the Saturn.  I think I dropped down all the way to 2 range for both.  I don't remember having to use the brakes to any significant extent.  My preference, if I have to choose, is to coast down in the highest gear that allows the car to hold a legal speed through engine braking alone, even if this results in the car settling down to a speed that is slightly less than the speed limit or the speed that would be chosen by following drivers with greater knowledge of the road or comfort with higher speeds.  (I try to turn out to allow such drivers to pass.)  When a car's transmission has fixed gear ratios and the driver is set on not using the brakes at all, there are inevitably some combinations of downhill grade and operating speed that are more inconvenient than others.

So in that regard the Impreza does have a low gear selector but I found it kind of lacking when I was doing a test drive.  Given I was using the low gear selector on a flat grade in a parking lot I'll be curious to see how it handles something like the Generals Highway if i can get out there this week.  If I were to compare I would say the low gear selector had a similar feel to 2nd gear in the Sonic, but again I'll have to try it in the real world to determine a feel better.

On downhill grades I suspect it will feel a lot like the 2009 Honda Fit, given the similar weight/displacement ratio (~1500 lb/L for the Subaru).  But much will depend on how the CVT is programmed to implement engine braking.  I gather you have six "manual gears" that are selectable through paddle shifters.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #201 on: September 03, 2018, 04:44:53 PM »

Its actually just the standard shift over from D to L with no selectable gears.  To that end the engine starts to tug at 2,500 RPM when it hits about 20 MPH.  Ill see how it does hopefully this week, the Generals Highway at 8% downhill at 25 MPH should be a good analog. 

Really at the end of the day picking a car to pile 20,000-30,000 miles on a year that was on the affordable side but is somewhat capable will generally require a compromise somewhere.  To that end I plan on tackling some of the high grade Eastern Sierra roadways next summer, the vehicle at home I use is presently up in the air. 

Thats interesting to see your accessment on Ebbetts, I always thought the third drop was the easiest and the drop Pacific Grade Summit was the worst. 

Speaking of the Bay Area there is a huge dip on Conzelman Road in the Marin Headlands that was way steeper than it looks.  There is a sign posted for 18%, its actually featured on several car commercials.  The Bay Area in general has some massive grades, really the only other metro areas I recall being like that were Seattle, Duluth, and Pittsburg. 
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 04:49:40 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #202 on: September 03, 2018, 10:05:52 PM »

Just got back from a 70 mile drive up California State Route 168 and Auberry Road.  CA 168 from Academy to Prather has a bunch of curves whereas Auberry Road has a brief 10% grade.  Here on my observations on the Impreza after spending some time in it mountain driving:

-  In regards to "L" selector on mountain grades it seems to kick down to the next ratio.  No matter the speed I was traveling it seemed like dropping from D to L would kick down to whatever was effective for engine braking.  Really my concerns were abated given I made the shifts at 20, 30, 35, and 40 MPH.  With 7 speeds on the CVT it seems like there is a lot to work with.

-  Holy crap the chassis is neutral.  I'm not sure how things were being aided by the AWD but I was able to pretty much take sharp curves any way I wanted.  I noticed there is hardly any body roll which is a substantial difference from the Sonic or even the Forester.  My Fiance's niece usually gets motion sick on 168 in the Sonic or Forester but was fine today.  I'd be interested to see a weight distribution chart on the Impreza, I haven't see one yet. 

-  Power is a little underwhelming heading up big grades which is a common complaint I've heard about the 2.0 flat four.  The torque curve seem to be pretty low in the rev band but rapidly disappears by 3,500 RPM comes around.  I'd be curious to see a dyno pull if I could find one online.  I did like the low end torque on the dirt roads in the Mono lands which really pushed well over rough terrain. 

-  The brakes were really solid with minimal input to stop the car or pivoting into a quick turn.  The vented front discs were very apparent on down hill grades as they didn't really heat up all much.

Throckmorton

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #203 on: September 12, 2018, 01:54:45 PM »


I'm a little late for the party but, hey...you asked.

So, if it's not obvious, the car in these pictures is not mine. But my car looks exactly like this one except it has beige interior and license plates.






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jakeroot

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #204 on: September 13, 2018, 01:05:31 AM »

👍👍

Nothing better than a Volvo wagon!
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riiga

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #205 on: September 13, 2018, 11:32:27 AM »

👍👍

Nothing better than a Volvo wagon!
Seconded! 👍
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lordsutch

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #206 on: September 13, 2018, 03:19:43 PM »

Last month I traded in my 2009 Nissan Altima for a brand-new 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid (full model information).

I've been getting 45-50 miles on electric-only, and I can do most of my weekly driving on electric so my visits to the gas station have become pretty rare except on long trips: I've put just over 7 gallons in the car since August 20, and have gone over 1,000 miles in that time. I wouldn't even have needed that gas if there was a charging station at or near the campus I commute to twice a week.

I do need to stop every 3-4 hours on the Interstate to fill up (the tank only holds 7 gallons, and I get about 40 mpg on the highway when the batteries are "empty") but at my advancing age I really can't drive much further without needing a restroom break anyway.
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Thing 342

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #207 on: September 14, 2018, 01:16:50 PM »


I'm a little late for the party but, hey...you asked.

So, if it's not obvious, the car in these pictures is not mine. But my car looks exactly like this one except it has beige interior and license plates.





Nice! I've been looking at Volvo wagons recently, and was wondering how they drive, as well as reliability.
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Takumi

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #208 on: September 14, 2018, 08:15:34 PM »


I'm a little late for the party but, hey...you asked.

So, if it's not obvious, the car in these pictures is not mine. But my car looks exactly like this one except it has beige interior and license plates.







With your username I would have assumed a skateboard as your primary transportation.
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Throckmorton

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #209 on: September 14, 2018, 10:08:08 PM »



With your username I would have assumed a skateboard as your primary transportation.

Perhaps I should have researched that before using it here. I just thought it was a geeky sounding name. Is there some embarrassing connotation connected with it? The skateboarders I see on YouTube are pretty sophomoric.

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Takumi

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #210 on: September 15, 2018, 03:18:40 PM »



With your username I would have assumed a skateboard as your primary transportation.

Perhaps I should have researched that before using it here. I just thought it was a geeky sounding name. Is there some embarrassing connotation connected with it? The skateboarders I see on YouTube are pretty sophomoric.


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MikieTimT

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #211 on: October 13, 2018, 11:37:22 PM »

http://shiftinglanes.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/2013-WRX-Hatch-1-1024x713.jpg
Not my car, but looks the same except for no driving lights and sunroof.

Mine is a 2013 WRX base model with only the short throw shifter and factory cat back exhaust.  Don't really need anything else anyway.  Just adds weight and complexity and detracts from the driving experience.  Pretty fun to drive on twisty and hilly Arkansas 2-lanes.

Other vehicle is a 2000 Dodge 3500 4x4 extended cab diesel 6-speed manual.  Had a Lance 1161 camper that sat in the truck bed and made it look tiny and had a 4 ft. receiver extension so that I could pull the boat behind that as well.  Had Jacobs brake and running boards installed as well as spray on bed liner.  That setup held me, my wife, 2 dogs, and went all over pretty much every state west of the Mississippi and up into British Columbia, not to mention along all of the Gulf Coast states.  29 state stickers affixed to the back in all.  Camper died a tragic death in a tornado with me, my wife, 2 dogs, and newborn son 11PM one night, but we all made it out with some cuts and my newborn son taking a cabinet door across an eye when the camper collapsed from a tree falling on it while we were just turning in for bed.  We were starting to outgrow a truck camper as a family despite it being the nicest one available at the time.  Even had a slideout, which was unusual back then.

Wife has a 2006 Honda Odyssey.  I consider it her vehicle since it's an automatic and has no soul.  It is useful for road trips with the family and in-laws pulling a box trailer, though.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 11:40:41 PM by MikieTimT »
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corco

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #212 on: October 13, 2018, 11:53:01 PM »

http://shiftinglanes.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/2013-WRX-Hatch-1-1024x713.jpg
Not my car, but looks the same except for no driving lights and sunroof.

Mine is a 2013 WRX base model with only the short throw shifter and factory cat back exhaust.  Don't really need anything else anyway.  Just adds weight and complexity and detracts from the driving experience.  Pretty fun to drive on twisty and hilly Arkansas 2-lanes.

Other vehicle is a 2000 Dodge 3500 4x4 extended cab diesel 6-speed manual.  Had a Lance 1161 camper that sat in the truck bed and made it look tiny and had a 4 ft. receiver extension so that I could pull the boat behind that as well.  Had Jacobs brake and running boards installed as well as spray on bed liner.  That setup held me, my wife, 2 dogs, and went all over pretty much every state west of the Mississippi and up into British Columbia, not to mention along all of the Gulf Coast states.  29 state stickers affixed to the back in all.  Camper died a tragic death in a tornado with me, my wife, 2 dogs, and newborn son 11PM one night, but we all made it out with some cuts and my newborn son taking a cabinet door across an eye when the camper collapsed from a tree falling on it while we were just turning in for bed.  We were starting to outgrow a truck camper as a family despite it being the nicest one available at the time.  Even had a slideout, which was unusual back then.

Wife has a 2006 Honda Odyssey.  I consider it her vehicle since it's an automatic and has no soul.  It is useful for road trips with the family and in-laws pulling a box trailer, though.

You have excellent taste in automobiles

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #213 on: October 14, 2018, 02:19:12 PM »

You have excellent taste in automobiles

Thanks!  I prefer to row my own and love to drive.  We're binge watching Dukes of Hazzard on Prime Video right now so that my kids can learn why daddy straightens the curves.  Not much hill flattening, but we do occasionally almost catch air on some of the Arkansas backroad tickle belly hills just to liven things up.

Do quite a bit of driving in my IT consulting business, but don't live up to the WRX stereotype since I don't vape.

The truck is for hauling large loads of household goods helping church families move around the area and also for hauling deer carcasses when I actually do get a chance to hunt these days.  The van is for hauling large quantities of humans, and the car is just for hauling ass.
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jakeroot

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #214 on: October 14, 2018, 02:29:12 PM »

God bless you, sir. #savethemanuals

Drove a 6-speed Cummins Ram a few years back. I've never felt more American. Fuck it was cool
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MikieTimT

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #215 on: October 14, 2018, 02:44:30 PM »

God bless you, sir. #savethemanuals

Drove a 6-speed Cummins Ram a few years back. I've never felt more American. Fuck it was cool

First gear is hardly used as on my truck with its gearing would redline at 15MPH.  4-Low it would redline at 7MPH.  Just used to get 6 tons worth of trailer moving.  Since I didn't have one, but had 4200 lbs. worth of truck camper in the bed, just really needed it to start up hills.  Even starting in 2nd gear on level ground without a load doesn't require giving it any gas to get things moving.  It is useful for ripping stumps out of the ground and leveling the occasional old barn, though.  Truck needs a new rear fender, paint job, steering wheel cover, dashboard, and seat cover, but the Cummins and New Venture Gear tranny still are rock solid.  Wife keeps asking me when we're going to stop spending money on keeping it going, but I just tell her that I could spend $10,000 on that truck to keep it going and not lose sleep.  The only new vehicle I ever bought in my life, only because you couldn't find a used diesel back in 2000.  That was 4 years before diesel got more expensive than gas.  A new replacement for that truck now would be just south of $70,000, twice what I paid for it back in the day.  I'd still trust it to go cross country, and one day we'll get a travel trailer to go behind it once I have a place to park one and the budget to swing it again.  Dang, 3 kids sure are expensive!  Sure will be glad when they start making a hand around here.
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kphoger

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #216 on: October 14, 2018, 04:38:36 PM »

2006 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4WD
approx. 191k miles



This picture is from our 2017 summer vacation.  Monarch Pass, after having driven the last 570 miles with no pressure cap on the cooling system.  Oops.
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jakeroot

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #217 on: October 14, 2018, 05:29:42 PM »

God bless you, sir. #savethemanuals

Drove a 6-speed Cummins Ram a few years back. I've never felt more American. Fuck it was cool

First gear is hardly used as on my truck with its gearing would redline at 15MPH.  4-Low it would redline at 7MPH.  Just used to get 6 tons worth of trailer moving.  Since I didn't have one, but had 4200 lbs. worth of truck camper in the bed, just really needed it to start up hills.  Even starting in 2nd gear on level ground without a load doesn't require giving it any gas to get things moving.  It is useful for ripping stumps out of the ground and leveling the occasional old barn, though.  Truck needs a new rear fender, paint job, steering wheel cover, dashboard, and seat cover, but the Cummins and New Venture Gear tranny still are rock solid.  Wife keeps asking me when we're going to stop spending money on keeping it going, but I just tell her that I could spend $10,000 on that truck to keep it going and not lose sleep.  The only new vehicle I ever bought in my life, only because you couldn't find a used diesel back in 2000.  That was 4 years before diesel got more expensive than gas.  A new replacement for that truck now would be just south of $70,000, twice what I paid for it back in the day.  I'd still trust it to go cross country, and one day we'll get a travel trailer to go behind it once I have a place to park one and the budget to swing it again.  Dang, 3 kids sure are expensive!  Sure will be glad when they start making a hand around here.

I noticed the same behavior when I drove the Ram. Tried first gear the first time, realized it lasts for about half a second...never bothered again.

Diesel is still pretty cheap here in WA (same price at many stations at the moment). I have a Golf TDI, and made up the extra cost of the diesel engine within a year. Now I'm flying around with mid to upper 40s MPG. Too bad VW had to shoot themselves in the foot. I'd buy another VW diesel in a second. I mostly start in second when driving with others. Plenty of torque.

Keep it going! Alternatively, if you decide to abandon ship, at least you can still get a 3/4+ ton Ram with a manual these days. Obviously left over from the last refresh, but given it's class exclusivity, it might stick around for the next redesign. I couldn't possible afford such a truck myself (sounds like you couldn't either), so maybe the new half ton ecodiesel will give me my need-for-clatter, should I ever need a truck. Then again, I really only need something the size of the Colorado, so maybe its diesel would be sufficient.
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kphoger

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #218 on: October 15, 2018, 01:26:23 PM »

God bless you, sir. #savethemanuals

Drove a 6-speed Cummins Ram a few years back. I've never felt more American. Fuck it was cool

First gear is hardly used as on my truck with its gearing would redline at 15MPH.  4-Low it would redline at 7MPH.  Just used to get 6 tons worth of trailer moving.  Since I didn't have one, but had 4200 lbs. worth of truck camper in the bed, just really needed it to start up hills.  Even starting in 2nd gear on level ground without a load doesn't require giving it any gas to get things moving.  It is useful for ripping stumps out of the ground and leveling the occasional old barn, though.  Truck needs a new rear fender, paint job, steering wheel cover, dashboard, and seat cover, but the Cummins and New Venture Gear tranny still are rock solid.  Wife keeps asking me when we're going to stop spending money on keeping it going, but I just tell her that I could spend $10,000 on that truck to keep it going and not lose sleep.  The only new vehicle I ever bought in my life, only because you couldn't find a used diesel back in 2000.  That was 4 years before diesel got more expensive than gas.  A new replacement for that truck now would be just south of $70,000, twice what I paid for it back in the day.  I'd still trust it to go cross country, and one day we'll get a travel trailer to go behind it once I have a place to park one and the budget to swing it again.  Dang, 3 kids sure are expensive!  Sure will be glad when they start making a hand around here.

I noticed the same behavior when I drove the Ram. Tried first gear the first time, realized it lasts for about half a second...never bothered again.

Diesel is still pretty cheap here in WA (same price at many stations at the moment). I have a Golf TDI, and made up the extra cost of the diesel engine within a year. Now I'm flying around with mid to upper 40s MPG. Too bad VW had to shoot themselves in the foot. I'd buy another VW diesel in a second. I mostly start in second when driving with others. Plenty of torque.

Keep it going! Alternatively, if you decide to abandon ship, at least you can still get a 3/4+ ton Ram with a manual these days. Obviously left over from the last refresh, but given it's class exclusivity, it might stick around for the next redesign. I couldn't possible afford such a truck myself (sounds like you couldn't either), so maybe the new half ton ecodiesel will give me my need-for-clatter, should I ever need a truck. Then again, I really only need something the size of the Colorado, so maybe its diesel would be sufficient.

I first learned about the unused low gear when I borrowed my friend's pickup to grab something from home during a track meet in high school.  He asked if I could drive stickshift, and I said yes.  He owned a 1971 Dodge Ram, and I learned stick in a Toyota Camry.  Not at ALL the same!  Took me about five minutes to back out of the parking space, too.
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MikieTimT

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #219 on: October 15, 2018, 09:54:38 PM »

I first learned about the unused low gear when I borrowed my friend's pickup to grab something from home during a track meet in high school.  He asked if I could drive stickshift, and I said yes.  He owned a 1971 Dodge Ram, and I learned stick in a Toyota Camry.  Not at ALL the same!  Took me about five minutes to back out of the parking space, too.

The amount of gas applied and when and how much clutch release is completely different between a Cummins 6-speed and a WRX 5-speed.  Comes down to the prodigious torque of the Cummins.  Unloaded, you can't really kill the truck with poor footwork, but you sure can with a gas 4-cylinder.
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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #221 on: October 16, 2018, 03:41:15 PM »

#savethemanuals

#savethemanuals

I don't understand why anyone would throw the manual away.
I read my car's manual from cover to cover when I bought it.
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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #222 on: October 16, 2018, 03:43:36 PM »

the Saturn ... lacks a selectable 1 range.

This is probably the most annoying feature an automatic can have, in my opinion.  I'd say 70% of the time I need to select a gear other than 'D', I need low gear only.  20% would be selecting '2', and the remaining 10% would be selecting something higher.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #223 on: October 16, 2018, 03:50:18 PM »

I don't understand why anyone would throw the manual away.  I read my car's manual from cover to cover when I bought it.

#SaveThePDFFactoryServiceManuals

the Saturn ... lacks a selectable 1 range.

This is probably the most annoying feature an automatic can have, in my opinion.  I'd say 70% of the time I need to select a gear other than 'D', I need low gear only.  20% would be selecting '2', and the remaining 10% would be selecting something higher.

I think the mix for me would be more like 34% 3 range, 65% 2 range, and 1% 1 range in the vehicles I have driven that were equipped with ranges selectable all the way down to first gear.  But I drive almost exclusively on paved roads and use lower gear ranges primarily to avoid pedal input (either brakes or accelerator) while descending hills.  I hardly ever downshift for launch on slick surfaces, for example.
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kphoger

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Re: Your current car!
« Reply #224 on: October 16, 2018, 03:57:01 PM »

the Saturn ... lacks a selectable 1 range.

This is probably the most annoying feature an automatic can have, in my opinion.  I'd say 70% of the time I need to select a gear other than 'D', I need low gear only.  20% would be selecting '2', and the remaining 10% would be selecting something higher.

I think the mix for me would be more like 34% 3 range, 65% 2 range, and 1% 1 range in the vehicles I have driven that were equipped with ranges selectable all the way down to first gear.  But I drive almost exclusively on paved roads and use lower gear ranges primarily to avoid pedal input (either brakes or accelerator) while descending hills.  I hardly ever downshift for launch on slick surfaces, for example.

For me... if it's not pure ice or a downgrade steep enough to burn up my brakes, then I generally just leave it in 'D'.
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