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Johnaldo

Automatic Gearbox

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I’ve been driving for over 50 years, but that’s always been in a vehicle with a manual gearbox.

 

However, my new (to me) XC60 is automatic, and I’m trying to find the answer to this question … what is Neutral used for ?

 

 

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I’ve looked in the manual and done some googling … but all I can find is that ‘P’ locks the gearbox when parked and ‘N’ doesn’t.

 

So, when (if ever) do I select ‘N’ ?

 

TIA, John.

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I have never used it but I suppose if you needed to push the car, it would be useful

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BTW "R" is not for Race!  :D

 

Do you want to go straight from Reverse into Drive?  I sometimes use neutral if we are going to be stationary for awhile but need the air con running.  Always use your handbrake in addition to selecting park when parking the vehicle.

Just now, SamD said:

I have never used it but I suppose if you needed to push the car, it would be useful

Vehicle being towed?

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When stopped at traffic lights or queuing traffic I always pop it in neutral and apply the handbrake. Sitting with your clog on the brakes especially if you’ve just slowed down from high speed is a recipe for brake disc warping. Also can’t see the point in leaving the transmission engaged for any length of time while stationary. 

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I have never used N. If I want take my foot of the brake I used P.

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Separates Reverse and Drive.   Also you need to be in neutral to select low ratio in my experience.  

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I drop into neutral if I’m stationary for more than a few seconds. And, as above, need N to select low range, although that won’t apply on your car. 

 

If you you ever need to be winched onto a recovery truck or similar short unpowered movement, you’ll need to be in neutral. 

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At Traffic Lights I stick it in neutral and always use "Auto Hold" so I don't have to stit there with my foot on the brake pedal

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Similar to Fireman Iain.

N being next to D with handbrake on enables a simple, quick routine no different really to using a manual box.

Much less aggravating to the driver behind you than sitting with your foot on the brake - especially in the wet.  

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, CJ1149 said:

Similar to Fireman Iain.

N being next to D with handbrake on enables a simple, quick routine no different really to using a manual box.

Much less aggravating to the driver behind you than sitting with your foot on the brake - especially in the wet.  

 

Spot on sir!!

 

It REALLY grips me when, when stationary at traffic lights or similar, at night, in the rain, my retina’s get burnt by the brake lights of the car in front (especially on some SUV’s because they are at eye level) because the driver is too bone idle to set the handbrake and take their foot OFF the brake pedal. 

 

On MOST automatics there is a safety feature whereby you have to leave them in P in order to get the engine to shut down and you cannot get it out of P unless the engine is running AND your foot is on the brake. 

 

Personally I wouldn’t even consider any car now unless it was an automatic, SO much better/easier/more relaxed for towing 

 

Andy

Edited by Mr Plodd
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I've got 'auto hold' on mine, which applies the handbrake automatically when I stop.  Stupid thing is it applies the brake lights as well, bad design in my opinion.  

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9 minutes ago, Trek said:

I've got 'auto hold' on mine, which applies the handbrake automatically when I stop.  Stupid thing is it applies the brake lights as well, bad design in my opinion.  

Beat me to it!! another daft feature on our ‘orrible Tiguan. 

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Thanks for the quick replies so far.

 

2 hours ago, SamD said:

I have never used it but I suppose if you needed to push the car, it would be useful

 

2 hours ago, Durbanite said:

Vehicle being towed?

 

1 hour ago, Fireman Iain said:

If you you ever need to be winched onto a recovery truck or similar short unpowered movement, you’ll need to be in neutral. 


Probably the most likely explanations.

 

1 hour ago, Sea&Sand said:

 

As I said, I did google it, but nothing made much practical sense.

 

1 hour ago, Tuningdrew said:

When stopped at traffic lights or queuing traffic I always pop it in neutral and apply the handbrake. Sitting with your clog on the brakes especially if you’ve just slowed down from high speed is a recipe for brake disc warping. 


The car has an auto handbrake.

 

18 minutes ago, Trek said:

I've got 'auto hold' on mine, which applies the handbrake automatically when I stop.  Stupid thing is it applies the brake lights as well, bad design in my opinion.  


Don’t know if mine does this - I’ll check later.

 

John

 

 

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It used to be a fail on your driving test not to put the handbrake on and gearbox in neutral.  It's very rude to wait at the lights with your brake light dazzling the driver behind you when its dark or wet.

 

My car will hold the brakes on for you (hill hold) but only for a few seconds.  Time to take your foot off the brake and add throttle after a brief stop.

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5 minutes ago, kelper said:

It used to be a fail on your driving test not to put the handbrake on and gearbox in neutral.  It's very rude to wait at the lights with your brake light dazzling the driver behind you when its dark or wet.

 

My car will hold the brakes on for you (hill hold) but only for a few seconds.  Time to take your foot off the brake and add throttle after a brief stop.

 

..but do not most cars now show the brake lights when using handbrake?

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4 minutes ago, SamD said:

 

..but do not most cars now show the brake lights when using handbrake?

Do you mean when the brakes are held on automatically?  That function uses the hydraulic brakes, not the manual hand brake.  My car will use the brakes to limit speed in 'offroad' mode without illuminating the brake lights.  Not sure what it does on hill start assist.   

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1 minute ago, kelper said:

Do you mean when the brakes are held on automatically?  That function uses the hydraulic brakes, not the manual hand brake.  My car will use the brakes to limit speed in 'offroad' mode without illuminating the brake lights.  Not sure what it does on hill start assist.   

 

 

Either, I think, when the engine is running and in gear, the brake lights show.  

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, SamD said:

 

..but do not most cars now show the brake lights when using handbrake?

 

Dont think so because.........

 

These days you don’t need the ignition to be on for the brake lights to work (try it!)  The brake lights are these days usually operated by a mechanical switch on the brake pedal. If there is a secondary feed from the handbrake one will interfere with the other., and then leave the brake lights on overnight when parked. 

 

On my car (Mazda 6 2017 vintage) the brake lights ONLY operate via the brake pedal   (I have just checked with engine running and in D P & N) 

 

Andy

Edited by Mr Plodd

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6 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

Dont think so because.........

 

These days you don’t need the ignition to be on for the brake lights to work (try it!)  The brake lights are these days usually operated by a mechanical switch on the brake pedal. If there is a secondary feed from the handbrake one will interfere with the other., and then leave the brake lights on overnight when parked. 

 

On my car (Mazda 6 2017 vintage) the brake lights ONLY operate via the brake pedal   (I have just checked with engine running and in D P & N) 

 

Andy

 

...so I was wrong (perhaps) on MOST cars but certainly my last 2 cars activated the brake lights.

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3 minutes ago, SamD said:

 

...so I was wrong (perhaps) on MOST cars but certainly my last 2 cars activated the brake lights.

Please state make and model.  Perhaps someone can verify by testing.

 

Some cars have electric automatic handbrakes which complicates the issue.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, kelper said:

Please state make and model.  Perhaps someone can verify by testing.

 

Some cars have electric automatic handbrakes which complicates the issue.

 

 

My previous RRS and Towrag.

 

Just a quick google gave a a couple of quotes, such as:

 

When the auto handbrake engages the brake lights stay on even when I take my foot off the brake pedal.

Edited by SamD

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But, as I said, that is not the HAND brake.

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jonaldo, when all else fails read the instruction book, :blink:

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Posted (edited)

 Never had these arguments when there was a PROPER handbrake that was applied by pulling a lever. Apparently it’s called “progress” 

 

Well I have physically checked mine and the results is detailed above, has anyone else carried out a similar physical check? 

 

Andy

Edited by Mr Plodd
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