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(Jalopnik)   It's called "buttoning," a new trend where passengers activate the emergency cutoff   (jalopnik.com) divider line 173
    More: Stupid, automotive lighting, emergency cutoff, Onstar, passengers  
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15560 clicks; posted to Geek » on 13 Jun 2012 at 2:14 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-13 05:49:28 PM  

justtray: CSB time.

Driving down a 45 MPH road. This road is notorious for people driving 30 MPH, well under the speed limit, so I usually just pass them.

Green light ahead of me, guy in front of me SLAMS on the breaks right in front of the greenlight. I barely avoid rear ending him.

He apparently stopped because there were pedestrians waiting at the median on bikes, entirely ignoring the "right of way" and inadvertently almost causing a multi-car pile up.

The worst part, I lay on the horn, the indication he should not be stopping, and he actually sticks his head out the window to say something in rage to me, to which I respond, "ITS A GREEN LIGHT IDIOT."

Please, please, please, do NOT stop obeying the rules of the road because you want to be "courteous." If you are one of these people, please stop driving forever, and when you do cause an accident, please at least realize you were being a farking moron, and take the blame.

This goes for people who don't understand Yield signs, hard brake when merging, and those who feel entitled to drive in the left lane blocking faster moving traffic.

I really wish th President would one day lay out a code of ethics for driving, because people in this country are farking retarded.


that was you? If I had known that, I would have plowed into them.

/jk
 
2012-06-13 06:00:53 PM  

InfamousBLT: rohar: randroid: rohar: Girion47: Not everyone is meant to drive, just because the US has foolishly allowed it, doesn't mean its a good thing.

Agreed. I'll be doing competition training again this weekend. The washout rate is about 70%. You're welcome to give it a shot if you wish.

Oh, and I do have a kill switch on the passenger side. That's where I sit when people who think they know how to drive are driving.

The same rules apply here as apply on the track. If you can achieve your goal with fewer inputs you will be more effective. One big red button requires fewer inputs that any other solution. The author has a major point here.

Now, you can accept that or ignore efficiency and turn it into a dick waving contest. No matter how impressive you think your dick is, it won't save lives.


So last week you were a software engineer, and this week you're a competition racing driving instructor. Riiiight...

No, I've been doing both for 20 years. Cars came first as a teen. Then I had to support myself. You see how this goes. Strangely it's possible to do a couple of things with your life.

I also own a small farm full of breading stock and fabricate stuffs for quite a bit of money from time to time.

/your life sounds boring
//woulda responded earlier but I was in the shop pressing out frames for portable livestock fences.
///seriously

Ladies and gentlemen, here he is: The biggest douche in the thread!

/keep up the good work
//shouldn't be a hard title for you to hold on to


Just for kicks, you saying more inputs = safer car or less inputs = safer car.

/your dick ever saved a life?
 
2012-06-13 06:04:06 PM  

Rent Party: Is there something wrong with this one? It's been standard on every car I've ever owned.

[www.ignitionswitchproblems.com image 390x273]


Yeah, the steering lock can be a bit of a problem.
 
2012-06-13 06:04:22 PM  

Splinshints: hinten: No, there is exactly one cause for unintentional acceleration and to eliminate that one cause we would have to eliminate all stupid people which has proven quite difficult in the past.

ShawnDoc: If the person is too stupid to remove their foot from the accelerator, they're probably too stupid to slap the engine cut-off button.

So, basically, the two of you don't have any idea how a modern car works and you think that gives you free reign to act like other people are dumb?


Ah, joy of joys. An intelligence-related insult containing a popular misspelling.
 
2012-06-13 06:04:46 PM  
This isn't a big enough problem to warrant a solution. It's the voter fraud of automobiles.
 
2012-06-13 06:11:29 PM  
I'm just here to mention that bikers occasionally do this to each other as a prank at stop lights.

It's a real asshole thing to do, which is why certain individuals do so.

/light turns green, reach over and slap your buddy's kill switch
//motor off cackling madly
///real larf
 
2012-06-13 06:19:54 PM  

SWGlassPit: Something to keep in mind: modern gas-driven cars have vacuum-assisted brakes. That vacuum comes from the engine cylinders drawing air through a closed throttle. If you have a wide-open throttle, you have no engine vacuum, and once your vacuum reservoir bleeds dry, no vacuum assist. Next time you get in your car, pump the brake a few times with the engine off and see just how hard it is to depress the brake pedal once the vacuum assist is gone.



You sure about that? My last car was a VW Toureg. You had to depress the brake to even start the car, and it felt no different.
 
2012-06-13 06:25:43 PM  
Stuck throttle? Gee, good thing I got this here pedal under my left foot that mechanically separates engine and gearbox.

/1st Automotive Commandment: Thou shalt shift thine own gears.
 
zez
2012-06-13 06:29:54 PM  
Back in the late 80s I used to ride home from college with this girl who had a total POS late 60s ford (bottom of trunk rusted out, on one trip some small coolant hose came off and we had to keep stopping every 20 miles or so to quickly pour more water in the radiator)

Anyway on one trip she mentions how the car is coasting really well, I ask her what she means by that and she says that she hasn't had to use the gas in a while. I ask her for how long and she says, "oh, the last hour or so"

The throttle was stuck and we were doing around 70 and getting ready to exit the highway to drop me off at a Burger King. She whips into the lot and starts doing loops around the place squealing tires and everything (my waiting parents were thinking "WTF???").

After 3 or so laps I reached over and put it in neutral, told her to hit the brakes then I turned off the car.

I think she kept that car for another 4 years. It was her dead grandma's car or something and was willed to her.
 
2012-06-13 06:34:38 PM  

downstairs: SWGlassPit: Something to keep in mind: modern gas-driven cars have vacuum-assisted brakes. That vacuum comes from the engine cylinders drawing air through a closed throttle. If you have a wide-open throttle, you have no engine vacuum, and once your vacuum reservoir bleeds dry, no vacuum assist. Next time you get in your car, pump the brake a few times with the engine off and see just how hard it is to depress the brake pedal once the vacuum assist is gone.


You sure about that? My last car was a VW Toureg. You had to depress the brake to even start the car, and it felt no different.


Yes, we're pretty sure about that. Manual brakes haven't been produced in anything since the mid '70s.
 
2012-06-13 06:41:31 PM  

rohar: downstairs: SWGlassPit: Something to keep in mind: modern gas-driven cars have vacuum-assisted brakes. That vacuum comes from the engine cylinders drawing air through a closed throttle. If you have a wide-open throttle, you have no engine vacuum, and once your vacuum reservoir bleeds dry, no vacuum assist. Next time you get in your car, pump the brake a few times with the engine off and see just how hard it is to depress the brake pedal once the vacuum assist is gone.


You sure about that? My last car was a VW Toureg. You had to depress the brake to even start the car, and it felt no different.

Yes, we're pretty sure about that. Manual brakes haven't been produced in anything since the mid '70s.


Wait, I think I misread his original comment. I only depressed once to start, I've never tried pumping without the car on.
 
2012-06-13 06:44:47 PM  

Mongo No.5: xbook: farming cars

tractors?


Makes more sense than a 'stuck fuel pump' what ever the fark that is.
 
2012-06-13 06:45:05 PM  
I just want to say thanks to paranoia on this issue, I was able to get a Toyota Avalon XLS for $5k* what it goes for even now during the Congressional hearings. The value of the car has gone up like 33% over 2 years, it's amazing. If old people are going to be that incompetent at everything, I might as well make some money off of it. I never get pulled over in that thing, either.

/* not an exaggeration, I just checked blue book
 
2012-06-13 06:54:56 PM  

downstairs: rohar: downstairs: SWGlassPit: Something to keep in mind: modern gas-driven cars have vacuum-assisted brakes. That vacuum comes from the engine cylinders drawing air through a closed throttle. If you have a wide-open throttle, you have no engine vacuum, and once your vacuum reservoir bleeds dry, no vacuum assist. Next time you get in your car, pump the brake a few times with the engine off and see just how hard it is to depress the brake pedal once the vacuum assist is gone.


You sure about that? My last car was a VW Toureg. You had to depress the brake to even start the car, and it felt no different.

Yes, we're pretty sure about that. Manual brakes haven't been produced in anything since the mid '70s.

Wait, I think I misread his original comment. I only depressed once to start, I've never tried pumping without the car on.


No worries, wasn't trying to be critical just pressed for time and this is a bit of a safety issue. I own a car with manual brakes and LOVE it. It's about 3000lbs lighter than the Toureg though. If you lose engine power you will definately have braking issues.

If you're bored sometime take it out to an empty parking lot on a Sunday when nobody's parked there and you've got plenty of run out. Then try it. Bring it up to about 30 mph then cut the ignition and try and stop it. Seriously, it's better to try it in a completely controlled environment before you're forced to do it because of mechanical failure.
 
2012-06-13 06:57:08 PM  

NBSV: There were no computer or wiring problems. The news having people build boxes that "simulated" the problem were simply providing the input to the computer that told it to open the throttle. Same idea as tying a string to the throttle on an older car and demonstrating how pulling the string makes the car take off.

They had problems with old carborated cars too. I believe it was a GM car that would break the motor mount which allowed engine to twist and pull the throttle rod. It would just stick at full throttle until it was shut down.

I think the only solution is better driver training and not allowing everyone to drive. I've seen far to many people that do not need to be driving.


WRONG.

First off, "Cannot Recreate" is not the same as disproving a problem exists. In many cases, it's a matter of poor troubleshooting, but I digress. Having worked for many years in automotive, working closely on various modules and several different communication buses, I find it quite plausible that if a critical module is missing a critical failure mode (and it happens more often then you think), that a simple communication error can lead to catastrophe. I've seen these thing happen on a bench, where the condition is more likely to happen (thanks to suppliers with iffy prototypes and buggy code). The wrong resistor on a CAN bus can take the entire bus down, put as spotty RoHS solder connection that's marginal to begin with, and you have a recipe for intermittent, almost IMPOSSIBLE to catch problem.

You can hypothesize the issue, which is what happened in the Toyota case... people suspected network collisions and recreated the problem on purpose. The controller lacked a failure mode and thought it was getting repeated accelerate messages. Toyota engineers, Japanese to the core (and I worked very closely with this engineering culture, including Toyota engineers), would simply not accept responsibility for these bugs.

I suspect there is one hell of a kludge in place, instead of a more graceful solution. To acknowledge blame for the problem leads to a whole Pandora's box full of legal and engineering issues for Toyota.

Modern vehicles are fly-by-wire, and based on algorithms that are often over 30~40 years old. Most of the time, this works pretty well... sometimes, however...

Of course, who the hell am I to speak on the subject? My tools are used by countless engineers around the world in debugging, calibrating, and building firmware for automotive controllers, and I've written simulation software that's being used to engineer on benches and in quality control processes. I should probably defer to armchair experts on automotive systems that want to defend Toyota against such unreasonable, amateur attacks.
 
2012-06-13 07:08:25 PM  

rolladuck: mjjt: So need some way of getting drivers to do that - maybe when car is being certified each year they could watch a video? Or whatever works.

In a former unit I was in, we had several incidents involving people commuting along desert highways over-correcting when their cars hit the edge of the highway and causing a rollover or just some kind of collision. We had a guy from another safety shop provide a training course to instruct people to gradually allow the car to completely get to the side of the road and slow down before returning to the roadway. (Among many other topics.) As we were returning to town with the instructor, HE allowed the car to drift to the rumble strip and over-corrected by jerking the wheel to the left.

Moral of the story: if you don't practice it, talking about it all day does nothing.


Sure you're correct - lot of situations where need active training to overcome instinctive-but-wrong response. Here we do it to train kids to get out of skids in wet weather.

Ideally you'd want to treat all new drivers the way airline pilots are trained -put them in a simulator and train them to recover from every known disaster (and then give them periodic refresher courses)

But since that's not yet feasible, visualising recovery strategies, especially when you have a little bit of time to think, at least improves your chances (and I think would be relevant in case of unexpected acceleration)
 
2012-06-13 07:09:44 PM  

Tillmaster: Rent Party: Is there something wrong with this one? It's been standard on every car I've ever owned.

[www.ignitionswitchproblems.com image 390x273]

Yeah, the steering lock can be a bit of a problem.


Go out to your car, start the engine, put it into a gear of your choice that is not park, now turn off the key. Is your steering wheel locked?
 
2012-06-13 07:11:28 PM  

Elliott1787: Tillmaster: Rent Party: Is there something wrong with this one? It's been standard on every car I've ever owned.

[www.ignitionswitchproblems.com image 390x273]

Yeah, the steering lock can be a bit of a problem.

Go out to your car, start the engine, put it into a gear of your choice that is not park, now turn off the key. Is your steering wheel locked?


Uh, yeah, pretty much.

How does that help anything?
 
2012-06-13 07:22:50 PM  

rohar: Elliott1787: Tillmaster: Rent Party: Is there something wrong with this one? It's been standard on every car I've ever owned.

[www.ignitionswitchproblems.com image 390x273]

Yeah, the steering lock can be a bit of a problem.

Go out to your car, start the engine, put it into a gear of your choice that is not park, now turn off the key. Is your steering wheel locked?

Uh, yeah, pretty much.

How does that help anything?


So my 1975 AMC Gremlin has a safety feature that is unheard of in all other automatic cars? The steering can't lock unless the car is in park and only park, the key won't turn to the lock position. I was under the impression that this was a common sense thing for manufacturers to do. My 1988 Pontiac Fiero is a 5 speed, it has this wonderful little lever that won't allow the key to go all the way back to the lock position unless you depress it first, so the steering won't lock if you quickly turn the switch off.
 
2012-06-13 07:26:02 PM  

Elliott1787: rohar: Elliott1787: Tillmaster: Rent Party: Is there something wrong with this one? It's been standard on every car I've ever owned.

[www.ignitionswitchproblems.com image 390x273]

Yeah, the steering lock can be a bit of a problem.

Go out to your car, start the engine, put it into a gear of your choice that is not park, now turn off the key. Is your steering wheel locked?

Uh, yeah, pretty much.

How does that help anything?

So my 1975 AMC Gremlin has a safety feature that is unheard of in all other automatic cars? The steering can't lock unless the car is in park and only park, the key won't turn to the lock position. I was under the impression that this was a common sense thing for manufacturers to do. My 1988 Pontiac Fiero is a 5 speed, it has this wonderful little lever that won't allow the key to go all the way back to the lock position unless you depress it first, so the steering won't lock if you quickly turn the switch off.


That probably won't work on my '83 944. A lot of cars aren't automatic.

Seems nitpicky, but you designed the challenge

/4th isn't park
 
2012-06-13 07:30:55 PM  

rohar: Elliott1787: rohar: Elliott1787: Tillmaster: Rent Party: Is there something wrong with this one? It's been standard on every car I've ever owned.

[www.ignitionswitchproblems.com image 390x273]

Yeah, the steering lock can be a bit of a problem.

Go out to your car, start the engine, put it into a gear of your choice that is not park, now turn off the key. Is your steering wheel locked?

Uh, yeah, pretty much.

How does that help anything?

So my 1975 AMC Gremlin has a safety feature that is unheard of in all other automatic cars? The steering can't lock unless the car is in park and only park, the key won't turn to the lock position. I was under the impression that this was a common sense thing for manufacturers to do. My 1988 Pontiac Fiero is a 5 speed, it has this wonderful little lever that won't allow the key to go all the way back to the lock position unless you depress it first, so the steering won't lock if you quickly turn the switch off.

That probably won't work on my '83 944. A lot of cars aren't automatic.

Seems nitpicky, but you designed the challenge

/4th isn't park


You don't have the lever either? I can't think of a manual transmission car with a steering lock that doesn't have the lever to keep the steering from locking if you turn the switch off without depressing the lever.
 
2012-06-13 07:40:52 PM  

Elliott1787: rohar: Elliott1787: rohar: Elliott1787: Tillmaster: Rent Party: Is there something wrong with this one? It's been standard on every car I've ever owned.

[www.ignitionswitchproblems.com image 390x273]

Yeah, the steering lock can be a bit of a problem.

Go out to your car, start the engine, put it into a gear of your choice that is not park, now turn off the key. Is your steering wheel locked?

Uh, yeah, pretty much.

How does that help anything?

So my 1975 AMC Gremlin has a safety feature that is unheard of in all other automatic cars? The steering can't lock unless the car is in park and only park, the key won't turn to the lock position. I was under the impression that this was a common sense thing for manufacturers to do. My 1988 Pontiac Fiero is a 5 speed, it has this wonderful little lever that won't allow the key to go all the way back to the lock position unless you depress it first, so the steering won't lock if you quickly turn the switch off.

That probably won't work on my '83 944. A lot of cars aren't automatic.

Seems nitpicky, but you designed the challenge

/4th isn't park

You don't have the lever either? I can't think of a manual transmission car with a steering lock that doesn't have the lever to keep the steering from locking if you turn the switch off without depressing the lever.


Wait, there's a lever? 20 years of driving the snot out of these things and tearing them down/rebuilding them I haven't found that lever.

I'm totally razzing ya. Here's the thing, reaching for the key and turning it is two inputs. The system would be more efficient with 1 input. Big red button where the driver's side air vent is would be 1 input.

Yeah, I know, no power brakes or power steering. They're not gonna help you much when the engine's in gear and accelerating. Cut the main electricals and the engine starts compression braking.

It's so simple it just might work. Better than what we've got now.
 
2012-06-13 07:50:39 PM  

rohar: Elliott1787: rohar: Elliott1787: rohar: Elliott1787: Tillmaster: Rent Party: Is there something wrong with this one? It's been standard on every car I've ever owned.

[www.ignitionswitchproblems.com image 390x273]

Yeah, the steering lock can be a bit of a problem.

Go out to your car, start the engine, put it into a gear of your choice that is not park, now turn off the key. Is your steering wheel locked?

Uh, yeah, pretty much.

How does that help anything?

So my 1975 AMC Gremlin has a safety feature that is unheard of in all other automatic cars? The steering can't lock unless the car is in park and only park, the key won't turn to the lock position. I was under the impression that this was a common sense thing for manufacturers to do. My 1988 Pontiac Fiero is a 5 speed, it has this wonderful little lever that won't allow the key to go all the way back to the lock position unless you depress it first, so the steering won't lock if you quickly turn the switch off.

That probably won't work on my '83 944. A lot of cars aren't automatic.

Seems nitpicky, but you designed the challenge

/4th isn't park

You don't have the lever either? I can't think of a manual transmission car with a steering lock that doesn't have the lever to keep the steering from locking if you turn the switch off without depressing the lever.

Wait, there's a lever? 20 years of driving the snot out of these things and tearing them down/rebuilding them I haven't found that lever.

Does the 944 really not have any safety in place to keep you from locking the steering wheel if you were to turn off the key in a panic situation? That is a pretty bad design, is there at least a position where the key is off but the wheel is not locked?
 
2012-06-13 08:14:22 PM  

Elliott1787: Wait, there's a lever? 20 years of driving the snot out of these things and tearing them down/rebuilding them I haven't found that lever.
Does the 944 really not have any safety in place to keep you from locking the steering wheel if you were to turn off the key in a panic situation? That is a pretty bad design, is there at least a position where the key is off but the wheel is not locked?


There is no "lever". Nor is there one on damned near any German car produced in the period or the decade that followed. You see, the Germans actually train their drivers. It's not poor design given the audience.

Maybe, just maybe, we should take the lead from them.
 
2012-06-13 08:17:25 PM  
Unintended deceleration, by accidentally hitting the cutoff button will cause problems too like getting hit from the rear by other vehicles. In the picture that button looks like it's near the turn signal. So it ends up just like accelerator brake confusion.
 
2012-06-13 08:21:23 PM  
If I am to understand this correctly (and from the posts above) Volkswagons have a solenoid that locks the brake pedal from being actuated with the key in the OFF position (or removed).

This is supposed to deter thieves.

As I mentioned in my post long, long ago, with the increased complexity and with input devices no longer being directly electromechanical (Stop/Start buttons talk to the CPUs and are code driven, same with drive-by-wire, and in a few awesome cases, the gear selector for computerized automatic transmissions), I'd personally want an absolute OFF switch in case of an emergency. Older cars physically shut off with the key; now with VW's nonsense locking the brake and other vehicles using input devices that give the CPU(s) the final say, not so much.

If you're racing, you are required to have an external shutoff switch. Most sanctioning bodies require one in the cockpit as well. FIA, SCCA, Formula 1, NHRA, IHRA, the list goes on.

Check out Jegs or Summit Racing. With one twist or pull, the battery is disconnected, as well as the alternator. In fact Here's one that is activated by pulling that someone wanted earlier in the thread.

In one fantastic case with a modern car with the start/stop button, the CPU decided that the voltage from the battery was too low to crank the engine over with the battery half depleted (lights were left on). The engine was still capable of turning over, the fuel pump was priming, but some codemonkey had decided that that value wasn't enough. The engine wanted to catch, but the code stopped the starter motor from cranking for more than two seconds. Instead of an annoyance and a slow start, now we had to jump the vehicle.

There's now more code in a modern car than most F/A-18s. I am of the opinion that nothing needs that much coding, it adds to potential future concatenations as LesserEvil mentioned above.

And before the horde starts frothing that I'm anti-computer and want to drive a wheeled stone, I'm anti-complexity, and I firmly believe the human should have the final say in an executable string of commands. If there's no such thing as an absolute OFF switch, then I'm happy to put one in.

/Races stuff like Rohar (I think it was Rohar)
//Built my own Westfield to take to the track (Lotus 7 Clone)
///Does stuff during weekdays, too
 
2012-06-13 08:24:48 PM  

rohar: Elliott1787: Wait, there's a lever? 20 years of driving the snot out of these things and tearing them down/rebuilding them I haven't found that lever.
Does the 944 really not have any safety in place to keep you from locking the steering wheel if you were to turn off the key in a panic situation? That is a pretty bad design, is there at least a position where the key is off but the wheel is not locked?

There is no "lever". Nor is there one on damned near any German car produced in the period or the decade that followed. You see, the Germans actually train their drivers. It's not poor design given the audience.

Maybe, just maybe, we should take the lead from them.


So they are trained to find that perfect point between ON and LOCK on the switch in a panic situation? That is some thorough driver's ed over there. Or is it just some general German manufacturer arrogance that their cars will never be in a position where this is necessary?

It is a common sense safety feature, the steering should never lock unless it is safe and the car is not moving. If the throttle sticks on my car, I just have to grab the key and turn, I don't have to worry about the steering lock because of this wonderful feature provided by GM. I know Ford does it too, I'm pretty sure most if not all of the Japanese manufacturers do it too. I was under the impression that it was some mandated safety feature since I see it on everything.
 
2012-06-13 08:35:28 PM  

Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: Stuck throttle? Gee, good thing I got this here pedal under my left foot that mechanically separates engine and gearbox.

/1st Automotive Commandment: Thou shalt shift thine own gears.


What happens if your throttle sticks, and your clutch master cylinder fails catastrophically at the same time?

/2nd Automotive Commandment: Carry a land anchor at all times for emergency braking.
//A GAU-8 Avenger cannon may be substituted in place of a land anchor.
///On second thought, put some muscle behind your arm and just pop it out of gear. to hell with the syncros and dog teeth at that point.
 
2012-06-13 08:37:36 PM  

Splinshints: So, basically, the two of you don't have any idea how a modern car works and you think that gives you free reign to act like other people are dumb?


They're probably referencing the fact that the magical fairy-driven acceleration that motivated the Toyota recall turned out to be people's brain skipping a gear while they weren't paying attention and them pressing the wrong pedal. There was no actual internal issue with the firmware acceleration controls.

They're probably making this reference because the person that wrote the article is an idiot and didn't bother to look that up before frontloading the blarney.

Elliott1787: It is a common sense safety feature, the steering should never lock unless it is safe and the car is not moving.


Typically speaking they wont, but obviously you're going to lose power steering with the engine off, which can make it damned near impossible to turn at highway speed.
 
2012-06-13 08:40:31 PM  

Elliott1787: rohar: Elliott1787: Wait, there's a lever? 20 years of driving the snot out of these things and tearing them down/rebuilding them I haven't found that lever.
Does the 944 really not have any safety in place to keep you from locking the steering wheel if you were to turn off the key in a panic situation? That is a pretty bad design, is there at least a position where the key is off but the wheel is not locked?

There is no "lever". Nor is there one on damned near any German car produced in the period or the decade that followed. You see, the Germans actually train their drivers. It's not poor design given the audience.

Maybe, just maybe, we should take the lead from them.

So they are trained to find that perfect point between ON and LOCK on the switch in a panic situation? That is some thorough driver's ed over there. Or is it just some general German manufacturer arrogance that their cars will never be in a position where this is necessary?

It is a common sense safety feature, the steering should never lock unless it is safe and the car is not moving. If the throttle sticks on my car, I just have to grab the key and turn, I don't have to worry about the steering lock because of this wonderful feature provided by GM. I know Ford does it too, I'm pretty sure most if not all of the Japanese manufacturers do it too. I was under the impression that it was some mandated safety feature since I see it on everything.


It's a common sense feature, when you first buy a classic German car you wrench the steering wheel hard against the lock breaking it. That way when it's 30 years old and the key falls out while you're going down the road you won't die.

I wish I was joking. They're amazing cars, but they've got issues. You don't want to know about my relationship with my wife, she's amazing.

/and she has issues
 
2012-06-13 08:41:46 PM  

Elliott1787: rohar: Elliott1787: Wait, there's a lever? 20 years of driving the snot out of these things and tearing them down/rebuilding them I haven't found that lever.
Does the 944 really not have any safety in place to keep you from locking the steering wheel if you were to turn off the key in a panic situation? That is a pretty bad design, is there at least a position where the key is off but the wheel is not locked?

There is no "lever". Nor is there one on damned near any German car produced in the period or the decade that followed. You see, the Germans actually train their drivers. It's not poor design given the audience.

Maybe, just maybe, we should take the lead from them.

So they are trained to find that perfect point between ON and LOCK on the switch in a panic situation? That is some thorough driver's ed over there. Or is it just some general German manufacturer arrogance that their cars will never be in a position where this is necessary?


In case of a stuck open throttle, German drivers are trained to hit the clutch pedal, physically disconnecting the engine from the transmission. They then shift to neutral, release the clutch, and coast to a stop with power brakes and steering, headlights, flashers, and all the other good stuff that comes with having a running engine. You see, in Germany, only the handicapped drive automatics. Even the automatic drivers are trained to drop the transmission to neutral.

There is almost no reason to ever kill the engine on a moving vehicle. There are a half dozen other emergency options you have before killing the ignition, which leads to the loss of power braking, steering, Gearing (in the case of automatics), and the possible locking of the steering column.
 
2012-06-13 08:44:42 PM  

fluffy2097: Elliott1787: rohar: Elliott1787: Wait, there's a lever? 20 years of driving the snot out of these things and tearing them down/rebuilding them I haven't found that lever.
Does the 944 really not have any safety in place to keep you from locking the steering wheel if you were to turn off the key in a panic situation? That is a pretty bad design, is there at least a position where the key is off but the wheel is not locked?

There is no "lever". Nor is there one on damned near any German car produced in the period or the decade that followed. You see, the Germans actually train their drivers. It's not poor design given the audience.

Maybe, just maybe, we should take the lead from them.

So they are trained to find that perfect point between ON and LOCK on the switch in a panic situation? That is some thorough driver's ed over there. Or is it just some general German manufacturer arrogance that their cars will never be in a position where this is necessary?


In case of a stuck open throttle, German drivers are trained to hit the clutch pedal, physically disconnecting the engine from the transmission. They then shift to neutral, release the clutch, and coast to a stop with power brakes and steering, headlights, flashers, and all the other good stuff that comes with having a running engine. You see, in Germany, only the handicapped drive automatics. Even the automatic drivers are trained to drop the transmission to neutral.

There is almost no reason to ever kill the engine on a moving vehicle. There are a half dozen other emergency options you have before killing the ignition, which leads to the loss of power braking, steering, Gearing (in the case of automatics), and the possible locking of the steering column.


Awesome! You didn't need that engine anyway because as soon as you disconnect it from the driveline it'll certainly turn in to a hand grenade.

This is where TFA is brilliant. At highway speeds you don't need to turn that much anyway, you'll barely notice the loss of power steering.
 
2012-06-13 08:49:17 PM  

ShawnDoc: If the person is too stupid to remove their foot from the accelerator, they're probably too stupid to slap the engine cut-off button.


The thing is it's usually a pedal confusion case--they think they're already on the brake and people are reluctant to see that it's operator error.

I do think his solution would help but I don't think it's warranted.

Znuh: There's nothing wrong with a proper killswitch. With drive-by-wire, start/stop buttons that are nothing more than codepushers to the car's CPU, with the CPU making the decision to act on the input, I'm more than happy having a switch that instantly terminates power if and when the code hiccups.

If it's good enough for Formula 1, Top Gear and the Stig, it's fine with me.


Actually, e-stops should *NOT* go through the computer any more than they absolutely must. One of the things they must guard against is a haywire computer.

DoBeDoBeDo: Call me insane but that button looks non mechanical. In that a simple button press would not move a lever that would act as a clutch and disengage the transmission.

So if the computer borks that button is going to be useless as fark.

If your car BSODs NONE of your shiat is going to work. That's why those videos of "see I can shift into neutral while at speed" are bunk. If your computer eats it you can shift your gear shift all you want, all inputs are going to do zippo. Next BSOD try to type or use your mouse, see how that doesn't do shiat? Same idea.


Which is why I said e-stops shouldn't go through the computer beyond what's essential.

I still say MOST of those are caused by bad code that sticks the throttle in "farking go!!!!" and that borks the shiat out of every thing else.

Of course no car company is going to come back with "oh yeah our shiat code killed a bunch of people"


Here I disagree--the runaways far too much select for middle-aged & elderly drivers. That says there is a major operator component to it.

The thing is, if the computer goes bonkers it's probably not going to do anything and thus whatever it was supposed to do will simply cease, or else stick at one value.

Giltric: People are too panicked to use the emergency cut off switch that comes with the car...ie the key....but will remember to hit this switch while panicked.


The problem is using the key means you lose your power steering and power brakes (a weaker driver likely won't be able to control the car anymore) and there is the steering wheel lock you don't want to engage, either.

SWGlassPit: Mongo No.5: or just put brakes on a car that are strong enough to slow you even at full throttle. I would say nearly every car on the road satisfies that condition save for a few supercars (and even those would still slow down to a point).

Something to keep in mind: modern gas-driven cars have vacuum-assisted brakes. That vacuum comes from the engine cylinders drawing air through a closed throttle. If you have a wide-open throttle, you have no engine vacuum, and once your vacuum reservoir bleeds dry, no vacuum assist. Next time you get in your car, pump the brake a few times with the engine off and see just how hard it is to depress the brake pedal once the vacuum assist is gone.


Yup. I had a mechanic put it together backwards once. It took every bit of my strength to get a little bit of braking. I was only going about 5mph when I discovered the problem and yet I barely avoided hitting something.

tillerman35: That stated, the button from TFA should not be a button. It should be a pull thingy like they use for ejection seats in jet fighters. A button is easy to slap accidentally. A pull thingy is just as easy to use but harder to use accidentally. Also, if you're trying to use the feature from outside the car, it would only require grabbing on and holding, whereas a button would require you to push on a surface that was already moving away from you.


Good point.
 
2012-06-13 08:52:53 PM  

rohar: Awesome! You didn't need that engine anyway because as soon as you disconnect it from the driveline it'll certainly turn in to a hand grenade.


You drive a car with a carburetor don't you?

Most modern cars are rev limited to prevent that. It will just bounce off the red line and make you cringe. I wouldn't do it all day, but I'd rather do that then try and pull off a highway knowing my ABS is dead, my power brake booster is no longer functioning, and I probably have 1 good press of the brake pedal left before all the power assist is gone from them.

Honestly, if it gets me to the side of the road safe, it can shoot a piston out the hood for all I care.


This is where TFA is brilliant. At highway speeds you don't need to turn that much anyway, you'll barely notice the loss of power steering.


Very true. Power steering is most handy at very slow speeds. ABS and power brakes, not so much.
 
2012-06-13 08:53:57 PM  

Loren: ShawnDoc: If the person is too stupid to remove their foot from the accelerator, they're probably too stupid to slap the engine cut-off button.

The thing is it's usually a pedal confusion case--they think they're already on the brake and people are reluctant to see that it's operator error.

I do think his solution would help but I don't think it's warranted.

Znuh: There's nothing wrong with a proper killswitch. With drive-by-wire, start/stop buttons that are nothing more than codepushers to the car's CPU, with the CPU making the decision to act on the input, I'm more than happy having a switch that instantly terminates power if and when the code hiccups.

If it's good enough for Formula 1, Top Gear and the Stig, it's fine with me.

Actually, e-stops should *NOT* go through the computer any more than they absolutely must. One of the things they must guard against is a haywire computer.


Exactly the point I was making - I want a killswitch that drops the electrical system dead, independent of the computer.
 
2012-06-13 08:54:12 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: Oh, and as synchronicity would have it, just came across a Cracked article from yesterday explaining how The Defective Toyota Cars That Were Speeding Out of Control Had Nothing Wrong With Them.

Turns out it was likely just old fashioned 'hitting the wrong pedal because i lack the brain activity to operate a motor vehicle'.


I'd love to get rid of my car. I hate driving. Where's my public transportation?
 
2012-06-13 08:59:49 PM  

fluffy2097: Elliott1787: rohar: Elliott1787: Wait, there's a lever? 20 years of driving the snot out of these things and tearing them down/rebuilding them I haven't found that lever.
Does the 944 really not have any safety in place to keep you from locking the steering wheel if you were to turn off the key in a panic situation? That is a pretty bad design, is there at least a position where the key is off but the wheel is not locked?

There is no "lever". Nor is there one on damned near any German car produced in the period or the decade that followed. You see, the Germans actually train their drivers. It's not poor design given the audience.

Maybe, just maybe, we should take the lead from them.

So they are trained to find that perfect point between ON and LOCK on the switch in a panic situation? That is some thorough driver's ed over there. Or is it just some general German manufacturer arrogance that their cars will never be in a position where this is necessary?


In case of a stuck open throttle, German drivers are trained to hit the clutch pedal, physically disconnecting the engine from the transmission. They then shift to neutral, release the clutch, and coast to a stop with power brakes and steering, headlights, flashers, and all the other good stuff that comes with having a running engine. You see, in Germany, only the handicapped drive automatics. Even the automatic drivers are trained to drop the transmission to neutral.

There is almost no reason to ever kill the engine on a moving vehicle. There are a half dozen other emergency options you have before killing the ignition, which leads to the loss of power braking, steering, Gearing (in the case of automatics), and the possible locking of the steering column.


So just let the engine rev until it blows? The car guy in me won't let that happen. I'd rather turn off the engine, in the Gremlin I'll lose power steering, but I don't have power brakes anyway, so steering is a little harder, but the stopping is fine. The Fiero is the opposite though, manual steering, power brakes, the car is plenty light enough that losing the power brakes is not an issue. I REALLY wouldn't want to just push in the clutch if the Fiero's throttle sticks, it is a 2.5L Iron Duke, those engines being over revved is what gave that car the reputation for fire.

Also, about that clutch pedal, there is an increasing trend in German cars, they have those fancy transmissions that don't have a clutch pedal, but have a clutch, sometimes two clutches. These are not always driven by the handicapped.
 
2012-06-13 09:01:36 PM  

Elliott1787: So just let the engine rev until it blows? The car guy in me won't let that happen.


Why? It sounds like you drive heaps anyways. Breaking them is just an excuse to get to take them apart and fix them.
 
2012-06-13 09:10:02 PM  

fluffy2097: rohar: Awesome! You didn't need that engine anyway because as soon as you disconnect it from the driveline it'll certainly turn in to a hand grenade.


You drive a car with a carburetor don't you?

Most modern cars are rev limited to prevent that. It will just bounce off the red line and make you cringe. I wouldn't do it all day, but I'd rather do that then try and pull off a highway knowing my ABS is dead, my power brake booster is no longer functioning, and I probably have 1 good press of the brake pedal left before all the power assist is gone from them.

Honestly, if it gets me to the side of the road safe, it can shoot a piston out the hood for all I care.


This is where TFA is brilliant. At highway speeds you don't need to turn that much anyway, you'll barely notice the loss of power steering.

Very true. Power steering is most handy at very slow speeds. ABS and power brakes, not so much.


Nah, I drive a 2 cars with DME. All elitist and shiat. You're on the right track though. Fewer inputs = achieving your goals. Big farking button is 1 input.
 
2012-06-13 09:13:23 PM  

fluffy2097: Elliott1787: So just let the engine rev until it blows? The car guy in me won't let that happen.

Why? It sounds like you drive heaps anyways. Breaking them is just an excuse to get to take them apart and fix them.


The Fiero is a "heap", I'll give you that one, the paint is faded, fender is cracked, the interior is a mess, but that little Iron Duke has survived for 210k miles and has at least another 100k in it. Can't expect much more from a free car. One day it will get another engine, but there is no need to speed up the process.

The Gremlin on the other hand is a very clean all original car with under 40k miles on it and is only going up in value.
 
2012-06-13 09:15:12 PM  
farm8.staticflickr.com
.
There, I fixtit.
.
/
...no, don't have pshop so all my 'shops are actually MSpaint
 
2012-06-13 09:21:46 PM  

Elliott1787: fluffy2097: Elliott1787: So just let the engine rev until it blows? The car guy in me won't let that happen.

Why? It sounds like you drive heaps anyways. Breaking them is just an excuse to get to take them apart and fix them.

The Fiero is a "heap", I'll give you that one, the paint is faded, fender is cracked, the interior is a mess, but that little Iron Duke has survived for 210k miles and has at least another 100k in it. Can't expect much more from a free car. One day it will get another engine, but there is no need to speed up the process.

The Gremlin on the other hand is a very clean all original car with under 40k miles on it and is only going up in value.


Sentimentality is a wasted emotion when you're heading towards a tree. I'm all for babying your cars, but in an emergency, I'm going to do whatever it takes to keep me alive, and worry about the hardware later. I need the engine to give me ABS and brakes, It's staying running till I'm on the hard shoulder.

I have a rotary engine. If my throttle stuck open and I had to coast to the side of the highway with it bouncing off the rev limiter, I'd probably just clean out some carbon deposits and not much more. If I left it doing that once the car stopped moving, It'd overheat, warp the block, and I'd need a total rebuild.
 
2012-06-13 09:33:54 PM  

fluffy2097: Elliott1787: fluffy2097: Elliott1787: So just let the engine rev until it blows? The car guy in me won't let that happen.

Why? It sounds like you drive heaps anyways. Breaking them is just an excuse to get to take them apart and fix them.

The Fiero is a "heap", I'll give you that one, the paint is faded, fender is cracked, the interior is a mess, but that little Iron Duke has survived for 210k miles and has at least another 100k in it. Can't expect much more from a free car. One day it will get another engine, but there is no need to speed up the process.

The Gremlin on the other hand is a very clean all original car with under 40k miles on it and is only going up in value.

Sentimentality is a wasted emotion when you're heading towards a tree. I'm all for babying your cars, but in an emergency, I'm going to do whatever it takes to keep me alive, and worry about the hardware later. I need the engine to give me ABS and brakes, It's staying running till I'm on the hard shoulder.

I have a rotary engine. If my throttle stuck open and I had to coast to the side of the highway with it bouncing off the rev limiter, I'd probably just clean out some carbon deposits and not much more. If I left it doing that once the car stopped moving, It'd overheat, warp the block, and I'd need a total rebuild.

You might not stay alive if you grenade the engine and throw oil everywhere causing a fire.

Your rev limiter might not save you engine either, my friend's '87 944 Turbo had the clutch slip at 140mph under full throttle and boost. The engine hit 8000rpm faster than he could blink and the car's rev limter is somewhere around 6500rpm, the engine was a total loss and he was worried there was going to be a fire because it split the oil pan and sprayed the turbo and exhaust with oil. Luckily it was a lot of smoke and no fire.

Another handy piece of advice, you do know at full throttle with no load you don't really have power brakes, right? No vacuum, no power brakes. Doesn't even have to be full throttle, without load, 1/4 throttle can be enough that the vacuum is too low to do any good. You're just running off the reserve in the booster.
 
2012-06-13 09:44:31 PM  
I have a car unintentionally accelerate on me before. A vacuum hose was connected to the carb and run in such a way that when you completely floored it the hose would bind between the carb and the throttle lever holding the lever wide open. It happened as I was trying to beat the yellow in a left turn lane so I wasn't even aware the throttle was stuck open until I lifted going into the corner. It was a manual so I stuffed the clutch and shut off the car like a boss but if there had been traffic ahead of me or wet/slippery/icy conditions during or after the turn it would have been all over no matter how fast my (or your) reaction time. Which I think is the problem with this idea. If somebody farks up pulling into a 7-11 or a farmer's market they are coming through the window or vendor stalls no matter what. Unintended acceleration on a freeway is a different story but not one I think we need a button for.

One other comment that's not really here nor there but something I remember from the experience; when the throttle is stuck wide open and the car is in neutral listing to the engine climb rapidly towards redline as you're trying to shut it off is a little unnerving to say the least. I can understand how somebody shuts down in that situation.
 
2012-06-13 09:48:08 PM  
Here's what the emergency cutoff switch needs to do in a regular passenger car:

• Disconnect the engine from the transmission.
• Drop engine revs to idle levels
• Activate hazard lights
• All hydraulic and electrical systems remain active
• Optionally, a distress call could be sent to a concierge service like OnStar or similar

And then

• Fire explosive bolts to jettison scary engine from car.
• Fire linear shape charges to cut scary roof from car. Kicker charges push it up into the air momentarily then rocket thrusters move it aside.
• arm ejection seat sequencing for all passenger seats.
• Illuminate the "fasten seatbelt" light on the dashboard and have it make that "Ding!" sound.
* Fire the ejection seats.

Once all cars are suitabily equiped, you have no need to fear losing track of the brake pedal ever again.
 
2012-06-13 09:50:37 PM  

tricycleracer: The answer is an emergency cutoff switch. Now, it's not one exactly like in racing cars, but the fundamental idea is the same. The switch needs to be big, obvious, and easy to activate. I'm thinking a nice big, red mushroom-type button that can be easily smacked with a panicked, flailing hand.

And there's absolutely no way your jackass drunk friends will think pressing this on the Interstate won't be hilarious.


Not to mention your thirteen-year-old. Hell, I know some people who absolutely cannot leave a button unpushed.
 
2012-06-13 10:00:33 PM  

Skyfrog: TheShavingofOccam123: It's the farking Chrysler brothers fault. They moved the starter from your left foot to the dash. What the hell kind of gew-gaw thinking was that?

Everything went downhill when they did away with crank starters.


about that...
 
2012-06-13 10:05:16 PM  

Girion47: I think German license requirements would reduce accidents immensely.

Also once you hit 65 you must recertify every 5 years.


Hell Yes! I would vote for any politician that made these statements part of their platform.
 
2012-06-13 10:06:49 PM  

studebaker hoch: Here's what the emergency cutoff switch needs to do in a regular passenger car:

• Disconnect the engine from the transmission.
• Drop engine revs to idle levels
• Activate hazard lights
• All hydraulic and electrical systems remain active
• Optionally, a distress call could be sent to a concierge service like OnStar or similar

And then

• Fire explosive bolts to jettison scary engine from car.
• Fire linear shape charges to cut scary roof from car. Kicker charges push it up into the air momentarily then rocket thrusters move it aside.
• arm ejection seat sequencing for all passenger seats.
• Illuminate the "fasten seatbelt" light on the dashboard and have it make that "Ding!" sound.
* Fire the ejection seats.

Once all cars are suitabily equiped, you have no need to fear losing track of the brake pedal ever again.


The current switch does none of these because it doesn't exist. Maybe any one of these would be an improvement?
 
2012-06-13 10:09:06 PM  

Jim_Callahan: Typically speaking they wont, but obviously you're going to lose power steering with the engine off, which can make it damned near impossible to turn at highway speed.


Uh, got that backwards. It's easier to turn non-assisted steering at highway speeds. Drove my S2000 for over 200 miles with no power steering because I didn't have time to fiddle with the harness until after my day was over. (electronic power steering - one wire comes loose and you're screwed)

Turning at a dead stop with R compounds takes some serious brawn though. Parking lots without power steering are torture.

/also spent lots of time in cars without any sort of power steering because they weren't built with it
 
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