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#1 21-03-12 18:53:43

SlowGlen
Member
Registered: 01-03-12
Posts: 9

Diesel cars and the need for an intermediate gear

Having had 25 or so lessons I am having difficulty with the following situation:

I am on a dual carriageway with a 50mph limit. I am in G4 or G5. Traffic lights are in the distance and are turning red. Normal rule is brake down to required speed for G2 and then change down. However, if you know from the sequencing of the lights that you will need to stop, I know the car will stall in a high gear below 20mph. Therefore, question is do I take an intermediate gear before stopping? Given the high gearing in the car I think you need to as I do not think putting the clutch down at 20 mph and coasting in addition to the application of the brakes in order to stop is correct as you do not have a gear ready to utilise should the lights change.

Is taking an intermediate gear acceptable to a DE on test?

Thanks

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21-03-12 18:53:43

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Re: Diesel cars and the need for an intermediate gear




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#2 21-03-12 19:04:40

kaf
Verified Member
From: Wiltshire
Registered: 05-08-07
Posts: 3,328
Website

Re: Diesel cars and the need for an intermediate gear

Either is fine, intermediate gear or putting the clutch down early.

It is not coasting to depress the clutch under the influence of braking in order to prevent the car stalling.

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#3 21-03-12 19:05:49

martin Williams
Verified Member
Registered: 26-06-09
Posts: 1,144

Re: Diesel cars and the need for an intermediate gear

YES

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#4 22-03-12 08:32:44

(ROG)
Verified Member
From: LEICESTER
Registered: 23-08-10
Posts: 1,551

Re: Diesel cars and the need for an intermediate gear

SlowGlen wrote:

I do not think putting the clutch down at 20 mph and coasting in addition to the application of the brakes in order to stop is correct as you do not have a gear ready to utilise should the lights change.

Using that thinking you would need to be in 4th in case they changed then slowing a further you would need to be in 3rd then slowing further you need 2nd .....

As going down through the gears when slowing is not the best way for control or eco driving then use the controls for what they are designed to do which is to brake and then dip the clutch pedal only as much as necessary to prevent the vehicle stalling
You will feel a 'shudder' if it is not dipped enough

If coming to a complete stop that clutch pedal will end up depressed all the way down

Do not be afraid to use the clutch this way as I bet you use the clutch to control the vehicle when reversing so .... no difference

If at any time when braking the situation changes so you can proceed then fully dip clutch pedal and select the right gear for the speed you are currently doing

Someone correct me if I made any errors in that....

Last edited by (ROG) (22-03-12 08:33:55)


IAM Observer
Leicester group of advanced motorists
LGV instructor from 2005 to 2008

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#5 22-03-12 18:41:55

SlowGlen
Member
Registered: 01-03-12
Posts: 9

Re: Diesel cars and the need for an intermediate gear

Thanks for the comments and advice.

I have thought about the advice from ROG. I think using intermediate gears for a pre-planned approach for reasons of safety must be preferable to the use of the clutch in the way specified. I think that using the clutch in this way will inevitable mean you will need to replace it far sooner but leaving this mechanical sympathy point aside and the ECO arguments, I thought driving techniques such as using the clutch in the manner prescribed as akin to BGOL and cannot be justified on the grounds of making the drive smoother or more progressive ie its use is contrary to system and can only be justified as part of a pre-planned approach on the grounds of safety. Or another way of saying the same thing is that safety has priority over system including ECO arguments. My ADI's view is that slipping the clutch in higher gears to prevent stalling is to be avoided and in the modern common rail diesel cars, this may mean that the occassional use of an intermediate gear will be justified.

Perhaps, I have got this all confused but I cannot get my head around the idea of using the clutch to prevent the car from stalling in higher gears rather than just changing down.

Just as a side note - Matters are not helped when dear old dad drives old school as standard and brakes lightly, rev matches and holds lower gears higher in the rev range  lol his position is that you have more control in the slowing down phase and you will be in the optimum gear sooner. This has the following results/benefits a) gives continued engine braking, b) you can concentrate more on the obs / LADA (less multi-tasking = another form of separation), and c) you have acceleration immediately available at any time ie safety over system.

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#6 22-03-12 19:15:16

(ROG)
Verified Member
From: LEICESTER
Registered: 23-08-10
Posts: 1,551

Re: Diesel cars and the need for an intermediate gear

I will sometimes use an intermediate gear if I think the situation will be able to allow me to progress in that gear

EXAMPLE
Approaching a large open roundabout from a dual carriageway in 5th gear - start slowing and when at 20ish I see it is clear for me to go although still a little way from the give way line I select 2nd - stay in 2nd and proceed if still clear but being prepared to slow down or stop if the situation changes

Its not always this or that but taking the right option for the situation presented


IAM Observer
Leicester group of advanced motorists
LGV instructor from 2005 to 2008

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#7 22-03-12 22:06:50

Billinghamdrivingschool
Member
From: Billingham
Registered: 19-03-12
Posts: 8
Website

Re: Diesel cars and the need for an intermediate gear

I teach my pupis to slow the car down using the brakes and around 40m from the roundabout select 2nd gear, smoothly clutch up and if it's clear then your ready to accelerate away. If it's not clear then clutch and 1st the last 10m and gently roll to the line still looking for a gap that may appear. If not clear gently roll to a stop, if a gap appears then you're ready to accelerate away. That's my method and it works for me. It's tricky in a diesel to go from 5th to 1st as the car starts to rumble much earlier than a petrol car.

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#8 23-03-12 17:55:52

SlowGlen
Member
Registered: 01-03-12
Posts: 9

Re: Diesel cars and the need for an intermediate gear

Thank you to everyone for your comments and guidance.

I am starting to realise that the rules [system] need to sometimes be interpreted slightly differently depending on the individual car and all the circumstances to ensure that the number one priority is always maintained, namely safety.

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#9 23-03-12 18:26:08

Driver99
Member
Registered: 21-01-11
Posts: 264

Re: Diesel cars and the need for an intermediate gear

Billinghamdrivingschool wrote:

I teach my pupis to slow the car down using the brakes and around 40m from the roundabout select 2nd gear, smoothly clutch up and if it's clear then your ready to accelerate away. If it's not clear then clutch and 1st the last 10m and gently roll to the line still looking for a gap that may appear. If not clear gently roll to a stop, if a gap appears then you're ready to accelerate away. That's my method and it works for me. It's tricky in a diesel to go from 5th to 1st as the car starts to rumble much earlier than a petrol car.

How would an Examiner treat the following:
At say 40m, (whether having taken an intermediate gear or not), as you are braking to be able to stop at the give way line if necessary, you simply de-clutch.  As your view onto the roundabout opens up, you see it is safe to carry on, you select 2nd or 1st gear as appropriate for the speed (from whatever gear you were in), and drive on.  If you see there is traffic, you come to a stop at the give way line, and then take first gear preparing to move?

I can see a benefit of having learners in 2nd "just in case" they can enter the roundabout (or emerge from an openish junction), but would an Examiner be able to find fault with waiting to see what gear was actually required, and then selecting it?

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#10 23-03-12 19:13:32

kaf
Verified Member
From: Wiltshire
Registered: 05-08-07
Posts: 3,328
Website

Re: Diesel cars and the need for an intermediate gear

Nope, no loss of control, no fault to be marked.

SlowGen, you have learned your first lesson, beware 'rules' consider many as 'guidance'

Driving has few black and whites (apart from zebra crossings)  but MANY shades of grey.

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#11 24-03-12 16:10:09

Billinghamdrivingschool
Member
From: Billingham
Registered: 19-03-12
Posts: 8
Website

Re: Diesel cars and the need for an intermediate gear

Driver99 wrote:
Billinghamdrivingschool wrote:

I teach my pupis to slow the car down using the brakes and around 40m from the roundabout select 2nd gear, smoothly clutch up and if it's clear then your ready to accelerate away. If it's not clear then clutch and 1st the last 10m and gently roll to the line still looking for a gap that may appear. If not clear gently roll to a stop, if a gap appears then you're ready to accelerate away. That's my method and it works for me. It's tricky in a diesel to go from 5th to 1st as the car starts to rumble much earlier than a petrol car.

How would an Examiner treat the following:
At say 40m, (whether having taken an intermediate gear or not), as you are braking to be able to stop at the give way line if necessary, you simply de-clutch.  As your view onto the roundabout opens up, you see it is safe to carry on, you select 2nd or 1st gear as appropriate for the speed (from whatever gear you were in), and drive on.  If you see there is traffic, you come to a stop at the give way line, and then take first gear preparing to move?

I can see a benefit of having learners in 2nd "just in case" they can enter the roundabout (or emerge from an openish junction), but would an Examiner be able to find fault with waiting to see what gear was actually required, and then selecting it?

This is how I teach my pupils to approach roundabout, selecting 2nd gear around 40m away. There is never a problem however some examiners do say that they should select the "appropriate" gear for the roudabout, however I have never had anyone fail for erhaps the occasional minor mark usually because they slow to early and select 2nd too early. I am also aware of the "correct" method of slowing using the brake until you are close enough to make a decision and then "quickly" select the appropriate gear for your speed. This is how I was taught to do it when I first became an instructor, however I found that most pupils struggle with that quick decision of deciding what is the appropriate gear. Tis easy for us lot who have been driving for many years to think that quickly and execute the gear change quickly but not easy for most pupils.

The reason I teach pupils to select 2nd around 40m away is that if it is clear when they get around 15 to 20m away from the roundabout (which is in most times the distance you could possibly make a decision) then they are able to simply accelerate away. If it's not clear around 10m away then clutch and 1st and gently roll to the line with gentle braking whilst still looking for a gap so that they have the option still to get gas and bite and accelerate away.

It's a simple sloution that I find fits all and it's nice and simple for learners.

Last edited by Billinghamdrivingschool (24-03-12 16:11:34)

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#12 24-03-12 17:51:05

kaf
Verified Member
From: Wiltshire
Registered: 05-08-07
Posts: 3,328
Website

Re: Diesel cars and the need for an intermediate gear

If it suits you personally then fine.

Me.....I prefer to teach them that visibility of safety determines speed and speed determines gear.

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#13 24-03-12 22:08:39

Promanade
Guest

Re: Diesel cars and the need for an intermediate gear

Fast cross country driving will mean full use of the gearbox to maintain a diesel engine within it's power band.

For cross country driving i would suggest a four wheel drive especially when the fields are wet lol


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#14 08-07-12 17:23:54

kinghamssom
Member
From: Bournemouth Dorset
Registered: 06-07-12
Posts: 16
Website

Re: Diesel cars and the need for an intermediate gear

Hi. I think the simplest way to determine whether an intermediate gear is required when slowing down depends on the rate of deceleration and whether there is time to change the gear, engage it by bringing the clutch pedal up, and whether that gear can be maintained for a reasonable period to benefit engine braking. If the reduction in speed is prompt then it is considered better practice to slow down and change down when you know which gear you need.

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