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Not a question. Just a reminder about cars:

Discussion in 'The Material World' started by Grandliseur, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Grandliseur

    Grandliseur Well-Known Member

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    While everyone might, or should know, about the problems of stuck accelerators in cars, I thought to provide those of you on this website with knowledge that should be, or must be, common.

    When a car's accelerator gets stuck. The best option is to turn off the engine, turn off the key.

    Warning
    Be aware that if turned totally off, the steering column locks up.
    Be aware that if turned totally off, the steering column locks up.
    Be aware that if turned totally off, the steering column locks up.

    Thus,
    turning the key off to the 'listen to radio mode' should be used. Please test how the steering column locks in your car while engine is turned off and car at a standstill so as to have in your mind a manner of dealing with such emergencies.

    In a manual transmission, you can put the car in neutral, however, if the engine hasn't been turned off, it may cause it to be destroyed when it over-revs.

    If you have plenty of driving room, and have a passenger, you might be able to get the passenger to pull the accelerator off the floor. However, I would not recommend this. This sounds like an invitation to trouble to me.

    This is my personal opinion. If you have better alternatives, please post these.
     
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  2. Enoch07

    Enoch07 Theistic Rationalist and Libertarian
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    The best option as you noted is to bump it into neutral. Then you coast to a safe stop on the side of the road with just the brakes. Engine is still on the brakes and steering will still work. Once at a safe and complete stop, engage emergency parking break. At that point you can take your foot off the brake pedal and jam the accelerator to try and free it. If that does not work cut the engine off, put the car in park, and call a tow truck. This will work on either manual or automatic transmissions.
     
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  3. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    I think this is the most random thread topic I've ever seen on RF :D

    Next: what should you do when you get your head stuck in some railings?
     
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  4. sandy whitelinger

    sandy whitelinger Veteran Member

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    You had that happen to?
     
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  5. Grandliseur

    Grandliseur Well-Known Member

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    I'll take the subject under consideration. :D

    I have seen the problem of stuck accelerators a few times in the news. People tend to panic when their car accelerates to top speed, and seemingly cannot be slowed down. I was witness to one person who mistook the brake and accelerator and it was educational how that person was frozen in panic mode, hanging on for dear life as the car bounced around and against all kinds of objects, bikes, and finally one person.

    It is good for people to be prepared mentally when this happens. I just wanted to post something that might save a few lives though it seems few are interested. The one in the news with the BMW clearly was unprepared for this to happen to him. I don't understand why the dispatchers talking to him didn't tell him what to do! Like: Turn. your. engine. off. now.

    When people panic, their minds seem to turn off. Maybe I shouldn't care and instead post religious or scientific posts about subjects that matter little to most.
     
    #5 Grandliseur, Feb 14, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
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  6. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Heathen Libertarian Capitalist
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    I like random safety advisories.
    Even issued a few of my own here & there.
    Going on a trip?
    - Check tire pressure. It matters for fuel economy, handling, & safety.
    - Check lug nut torque. If any are loose, you can lose a wheel at highway speeds. That's an exciting experience, especially when towing a loaded trailer.
    - Don't speed. The risk & consequences of an accident decrease with speed.
    - Find methods to maintain full altertness while driving. Feeling sleepy....do not drive.
     
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  7. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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  8. Grandliseur

    Grandliseur Well-Known Member

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    I usually have made it a habit to check tire pressure about once every two months; however, my tires do get a casual inspection when I go around the car.
    The lug nuts, a small hammer permits you to hear their torque, kind of. This makes an inspection easy.
    I usually get better mileage than most think they can achieve with a given car. If you like high acceleration, you have to pay for it.

    I posted this material since so many panic when caught with such a unique problem, but they do happen for a variety of reasons. I just thought it something that we all need to be ready for.
     
  9. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    @Enoch07 is right: the much better approach in these situations is just to shift into neutral. If you turn your engine off, you'll lose power steering and power brakes, potentially making it more difficult to safely get to the shoulder and stop.
     
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  10. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Heathen Libertarian Capitalist
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    I carry a torque wrench set to 150 ft lbs.
    With a trailer this means 64 measurements.
    So I sometimes make someone assist.

    I also use a fancy thermometer with a laser pointer
    to check hub & tire temperatures when on the road.
    And I check my loads & strap tension at every stop.

    Trailer tire warning!
    Tires lose about a third of their load carrying capacity
    in just 3 years. Even if they have lots'o tread, check
    the manufacture date on the sidewall, & replace tires
    based upon age, not tread wear.
    Since I started doing this, I no longer have tread separation
    on the highway. The smoke, sparks, & mangled fenders
    were exciting, but I don't miss them.
     
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  11. Grandliseur

    Grandliseur Well-Known Member

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    It would be nice if some expert could advise people somewhere.

    Let me give you a little feedback on your comments. IMO, if the engine is on full power and brought into neutral it might cause:
    1.
    Quoting: What happens to a car engine when giving max throttle while not in gear
    The RPM's would certainly increase but the mechanical components would be prevented from exceeding maximum RPM's by a rev-limiter.

    Rev-limiters are built into the ECU (computer) of the car. When an engine is spinning at it's maximum RPM set by the manufacturer the ECU will not send a spark to particular cylinders to prevent the engine from spinning faster and potentially damaging itself.

    If a rev-limiter were not in place the engine would have a high likely-hood of experiencing valve to piston contact. Valve to piston contact occurs when the valve cannot close quickly enough to get out of the way of the piston on an upstroke. The result is catastrophic with a hole being punched in the top of the piston by the lingering valve. Results of this type of failure will vary. Imagine loose bits of aluminum and steel flying around inside of an engine at or beyond it's maximum RPM's and you get the idea.

    This applies to modern cars with rev-limiters. Older vehicles will not have this self-protection device. I defer to an expert with more information regarding when rev-limiters began to be implemented by the manufacturers to edit this answer with some of that information and remove this paragraph. Thanks​
    Thus, in some cases putting a car in neutral at full power could actually be dangerous.​

    2.
    If an engine is turned off while at high speed, while still not locking the steering column (as mentioned earlier), because the engine is in gear, and now slowing down, the parts that pump the steering fluid would still function, as far as I know, the brake will continue to have some power for a limited time, but even when the power assists is empty, one just needs to apply more foot power for the brakes to work.
    https://www.quora.com/Will-brakes-work-in-a-car-if-suddenly-while-running-the-engine-stops
    A typical car has hydraulic brakes, but the force a driver applies to the brake pedal is augmented by a vacuum brake booster. The vacuum brake booster relies on engine vacuum (from a throttled engine) to create a large amount of force because of the difference between atmospheric pressure and the vacuum. The brake booster generally is able to store enough vacuum to assist with one or two stops when the engine is not providing vacuum. You can test this for yourself with the engine off. The first time or two that you push down on the brake pedal the brakes will have the typical firmness, and then they will get harder as the vacuum is gone from the brake booster. As soon as you start your car the vacuum in the brake booster will be restored and your brakes will feel normal again.

    You may also notice if your car is idling and you pump the brakes rapidly the engine might start running a little faster as the vacuum brake booster is providing additional air into the engine because the engine is trying to pull a vacuum for the brake booster and you're using that vacuum when you push down on the brakes.

    If for some reason the vacuum brake booster fails, or your engine stops and you pump the brakes several times so you lose the vacuum assist, you WILL be able to stop your car, but you'll have to apply a lot more force to your brake pedal.
    ------------------------
    https://www.quora.com/What-happens-when-an-engine-dies-while-driving
    Everything that is power assisted by belt or gear drive from the engine will cease to work, hydraulic brakes, air brakes and steering, aircon, etc.(not forgetting vacuum assisted brakes from the intake manifold vacuum) If the engine is turned by the momentum of the vehicle driven by the wheels you will still have those devices until the vehicle pretty much stops, not long on a flat road. But in a manual transmission only.
     
  12. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Heathen Libertarian Capitalist
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    It's always better to lose an engine than get into a collision.
     
  13. Grandliseur

    Grandliseur Well-Known Member

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    You are obviously good at it and take safety seriously. You should try having fun with a small hammer though and see how this actually gives a sound that can be heard to be good or bad. It would speed up such safety checks. You could try loosening one bolt a little and compare the sound with one that has the proper torque to verify if this works as well as it should. Some experts here use this method for inspections.

    If you have old style tire rims, you also need to make sure that no explosive decompression can occur due to improper installed tire rims, or having gotten loose when low pressure. I'm not an expert on this, but have seen bad videos of it.
     
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  14. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Heathen Libertarian Capitalist
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    I like the idea (cuz I'm lazy).
    It would be useful to check torque in between quantitative readings.
     
  15. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Heathen Libertarian Capitalist
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    I find that most people don't pay active attention to vehicle safety.
    A little paranoia is useful to stay on top of potential problems.

    Some tree workers I know never inspected their trailer hitch
    receivers or ball mounts. I did it, & found that one receiver
    was so worn & corroded that it was about to fail. People
    have died from trailers coming loose & going ballistic.
     
  16. Grandliseur

    Grandliseur Well-Known Member

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    Anything that can make life easier while being safe is good in my book. Checking 64 bolts with a meter is a bit time consuming. I'm not sure how quantitative sounds you get from the small hammer sound method. But, when properly tightened they should have a ping that tells you it is OK. Now, most of my work is done by shops. However, I used to repair hydraulic systems and what not myself, including all inspection work with a large personal truck. (Not the truly large trucks) That work was a bit hard doing it by myself.
     
  17. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Heathen Libertarian Capitalist
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    When I had a contract to design a new air brake control system for
    semi-trucks at GM Truck & Bus, safety was absolutely paramount.
    I considered every failure mode I could think of, & designed with
    this in mind. I worked on a lot of deadly stuff over the years.
     
  18. Grandliseur

    Grandliseur Well-Known Member

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    I have seen some such accidents.

    Mechanical things must be inspected every so often. Once in a while I hear a car passing me that sounds as if it has a nut rattling around within the hubcap, but there is nothing I can do in those cases. When I hear e.g. the whine of metal on metal with disk-brakes, I tell such car owners if I can, but that too is most of the time impossible. Other times, one sees a car that uses a lot of oil in the exhaust while driving normally, this too, if I can, I tell the owner to watch out for the car running out of oil and catching fire.

    Back in 1976 perhaps, I bought a very cheap car. It needed several repairs, fairly big ones - don't remember it all, but, new kingpins and the gearbox had a problem that meant it needed to be dismantled. I think the part for the gearbox was about 1 or 5 dollars, while the work took me a while. Well, after that I had a cheap car for a few years. I like cars, but now I find that having a new car gives me less trouble. :D
     
  19. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Heathen Libertarian Capitalist
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    The requirements for a Class A commercial driver license are good
    to know because of the checklist to complete before driving.
     
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  20. Grandliseur

    Grandliseur Well-Known Member

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    Wow, you're the one we need to help us with advice.
    I would be the one test driving your rigs to check if they were safe or dangerous. :D
    If I were to come back carrying my head under my arm, I think the unit could be declared unsafe. :D:D Otherwise, OK.
     
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