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Does anyone else drive a manual - Parkbrake clutch confusion. :o

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by uart, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    I did something really embarrassing in the Prius today and I've got to admit I felt like a total goose for doing it. :oops:

    The Prius is my wife's car, and I normally drive a 5 speed manual (Mazda). Anyway today I was in the Prius and coming up behind a line of traffic that was moving a bit slowly, so I needed to decelerate just a little. It was at the bottom of a large hill and the battery charge was already at full 8 green bars, so just on the spur of the moment I took a split second decision to throw it into "B" instead of just braking like I normally would.

    The next second the whole car locked up and started sliding out of control. It was on a bend and in the rain, with oncoming traffic on one side and a row of parked cars on the other. Man was the #%&@er hard to control, but miraculously I managed to stay somewhat in control and miss everything.

    It wasn't until the car slide to a complete stop that I actually figured out what had happened. I know this sounds lame, but seriously when you're sliding out of control like that with near misses on either side of you it's really hard to troubleshoot! Anyway, it turned out that in that split second decision to change into "B" mode that the old manual driver "instinct" kicked in, and I stood on the "clutch" while shifting. Arrrh! :eek:

    Of course the park brake on the Prius is exactly where the clutch would be on a manual, so it's easier than you might think to make this mistake, especially if you often drive a manual. Also, unlike a regular brake pedal where if you made some kind of pedal mistake it would release as soon as you released the pedal, the park brake latches on which makes the situation a lot worse. I actually realized something (though I still didn't know what at the time) was wrong and released the "rogue" pedal almost instantly, but obviously being the park brake it had locked on so releasing the pedal made no difference.

    I know that the foot park brake position has some advantages, but honestly after today's experience I really wish it had a regular old handbrake. :cry:
     
    #1 uart, Mar 18, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
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  2. ozmatt

    ozmatt Active Member

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    That's a shocker! good old Torana handbrake lol
     
  3. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Yep. It was basically a good ol' bogan Torana handbrake slide. Except I did even know I was doing it until it was over. :p
     
  4. ozmatt

    ozmatt Active Member

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    lol at least you didn't mash it up! 9946476.jpg
     
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  5. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Yep, but unfortunately my wife was in the car with me at the time, so now I'm not going to be able to live this down for like at least a year or more. I'm never going to be able to criticize her driving again without this little episode coming up. :LOL:
     
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  6. ozmatt

    ozmatt Active Member

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    haha gold! call it a lesson in defensive driving
     
  7. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    I have momentary "goose" (love that expression) moments either way around between manuals (stick-shift) and autos.

    In a manual, I either almost stall it by "forgetting" to press the clutch in; or in an auto, punching in the fictitious clutch in between the emergency brake and the brake pedal.

    Normally it is only in the short change over period between the two. :ROFLMAO::D:)
     
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  8. Stevewoods

    Stevewoods Senior Member

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    In the same situation as Uart.

    I drive a 5-speed manual tranny Camry. I have never slammed down the parking brake by mistake, but I find the actual brake pedal of the Prius to be much more sensitive than other vehicles I drive -- and I typically drive a number of different rigs each week for work from passenger cars to cargo vans, dump trucks to 15-passenger vans -- some manual and some automatic.

    So, when I do -- rarely -- drive the Prius, I nearly always "slam" on the brakes, upsetting passengers, drinks and anything else not cinched down in the Prius. Touchy pedal on the Prius.
     
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  9. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I feel your pain. The Prius is the only non-manual transmission in my household's fleet of three, so crossover mistakes do happen. But not this particular one, yet, as the Prius parking brake is not really lined up with the clutches of the others.

    I'm more prone to forget the clutch in the manual. My spouse is more prone to go for the fictitious clutch and hit the regular service brake, both in the Prius and in rental cars.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    great story u!:p i used to look for the clutch in my wife's minivan before starting, when i was driving a miata.:oops:
     
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  11. Sfcyclist

    Sfcyclist Senior Member

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    Brave of you to share but we're all human.

    I recall I did the clutch pedal stomp when I got into my other cars when I owners my BMW wagon! It's the default, hold the brake and clutch I'm used to so that's what I did when I got in. It's been a few years and now I just bought a weekend car, a 911S 6 speed manual.. wonder if I will start doing that mistake again? I doubt it since it's what you're used to driving on a regular basis.
     
  12. tanglefoot

    tanglefoot Whee!

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    I can completely see that happening. Driving a vehicle with a gearbox is one of those subconscious skill sets. I guess we have to make sure our brain knows which programming to use. I've certainly faux-pas'ed in the past when switching vehicles but now, I think the two are so different that my brain just knows. When driving the old trucklet in winter boots, the brake pedal sometimes ends up under the boot when trying to stab the clutch in, though.
     
  13. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Thats a stunt car driver move there. Slam on the parking brake and whip the wheel a little and you'll do a perfect 180 and be headed the other way.
     
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  14. valde3

    valde3 Senior Member

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    When I drove automatic and manual back and forth every day, including parking one into the spot of the other (requiring going back and forth between the two), I never did make any mistake.

    But with both Prius I test drove at first stop I slammed the brake pedal with left foot.
     
  15. Data Daedalus

    Data Daedalus Senior Member

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    Goodness! I thought I was the only one suffering from the temporary transitional faux pax, when switching from my Prius to a manual transmission car. Last Saturday, I had to drop my wife's 2003 Vauxhall Corsa off at a garage 6 miles away, for urgent repairs. Somehow, she'd broken one of the front coil springs. Don't ask! I'd been dreading driving her car because I'd not driven a manual for at least 18 months! She'd flown off to Norway for the weekend, so, I couldn't wriggle out of driving her car. Sure enough, in the first 2 miles, I'd managed to stall it twice, repeatedly forgotten to press the clutch when coming to a halt in traffic, and struggled with choosing gears. Don't get me started on the jerky ride quality of the vehicle, and the complete lack of regenerative "electromagnetic" braking that I have come so much to rely upon! I was like a learner driver all over again. Fortunately, after 2 miles, my driving skills in this "primitive car" improved dramatically, and soon, I didn't have to think about what I was doing anymore. I feel your pain! Conversely, recently, I started using a different detour home on my commute, that I haven't used since I had my old manual transmission Mazda MX-3. Coming up to a tight roundabout, I kept dropping my hand from the steering to a now non existent manual gear stick, to drop back a gear and swing through the roundabout before powering away as I would do in my MX-3. Happened 3 times at least, recently. I realised that some operational info is permanently encoded into our brains, when we drive!


    iPhone 6s +
     
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  16. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Well I've been driving the Prius for about 6 years now, and it's the first time I've done it. It's weird how the error just came "out of the blue" like that.

    I was a little bit over tired at the time. And also a bit distracted (thinking about the battery SOC and wondering why the car in front had decided to travel 20 km/hr under the limit and if he was going to miraculously work out where his accelerator pedal was any time soon. Lol that was a rant I know).
     
  17. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I have not really had 'clutch' issues lately, but my wife laughs when every time I come to a stop I shift 'back' into D. It has been 7 years and I still do it. I had driven manuals since '69.
     
  18. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Before owning the Prius I had once or twice "air clutched" an automatic (gone for the clutch while coming to stop) after switching back and forth between a manual and auto. The "air clutch" scenario is way less of a problem, just a bit embarrassing when you suddenly stomp the floor for no apparent reason, but no harm done. The lock up with the park brake on the other hand was a much bigger deal. Really frightening to be honest.
     
  19. Previus

    Previus New Member

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    I wonder why they use a '60s American car style foot brake? I keep grabbing for the hand brake that's not there.
     
  20. RRxing

    RRxing Senior Member

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    Just stick your "clutch" foot out of the window while driving- problem solved!