Join Date: Jan 2011
Thanked 72 Times in 53 Posts
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OP, sounds like some excitement. Sorry you learned the hard way how to use the autostick. My autostick is on my trusty '08 Caliber so I wasn't sure if my instructions would be the same, but others here confirm it is, just hold the shifter to the side. While never having your experience, I did once change passenger seat to drivers seat in an old Caravan with my wife, going down the road at 65 mph when the accelerator stuck on her. Just so happens, we did the seat switch precisely to AVOID freewheeling the automatic at 65, which is dangerous on several accounts.
For some of the posts here on freewheeling (coasting in neutral), did any of you ever yell at your kids when they did something really careless, not because you were that mad at them, but sometimes you sense they are going to remember a particular lesson better when you sound half-crazed? NEVER DRIVE WITH YOUR VEHICLE DISCONNECTED FROM YOUR DRIVE TRAIN. EVER. Wow, sometimes I realize how lucky I am to have learned so many things from my Father, who is just an average guy, except that he learned to do just about everything the correct way, because he is that interested in it, and continued to learn throughout his life.
For anyone on here who freewheels, either for hypermiling or any other freakin' reason, my wife and kids are on the road; please don't. Other than being disconnected from acceleration and notably hindering your braking ability, let's see...what else is there; I guess steering. Oh no, wait, here is what Popular Mechanics had to say about the lack of wisdom in coasting downhill or to a stop in neutral, "cars don't handle well in neutral during sharp cornering maneuvers when the engine isn't connected to the drivetrain". So that marks off acceleration, braking, and steering. I don't think coasting affects the airbag functions or safety glass though.
Thanks Yahooligan for the technical info to back up the pointlessness of coasting. Even in old carb cars where the gas use is different, the brakes are not as good!