Free Wheeling - picnic
I was a passanger in a car of a relative of mine yesterday adn they had a habit of putting the car into neutral when ever the speed or oppotunity took.

On one stretch of the journey, it seemed that we covered a number of miles on a long downhill stretch in neutral, with speeds upto about 60 mph.

His argument was that it saved him fuel....

Apart from that reason, what sort of wear and tear damage can he do that would give him repair bills that outway the fuel savings?

Free Wheeling - Xileno {P}
None, except having to use the brakes a bit more but even this may not occur if he 'reads' the road ahead well.
Free Wheeling - Adam {P}
Illegal though...
Free Wheeling - jc2
Why??
Free Wheeling - Adam {P}
Pass.

Always been told it was although I bet they were winding me up!

At a guess it would be because you've not got proper control of the car. No engine braking and no throttle in case of emergency.


Free Wheeling - Pugugly {P}
Adam,
It's not illegal in itself, may be a factor in ither offences though. Having you brain in neutral should be though. (I would have to plead guilty to that)
Free Wheeling - Adam {P}
Me too! Like I said, I've only done it once when I really would have run out of petrol (the light had been on for about 40 miles) but other than that, I wouldn't do it. Petrol or no petrol, if my finances got that bad (and they are pretty appalling!) that I needed to engage neutral to save money, then I'd give up driving!
Free Wheeling - Robin Reliant
My ex father-in-law used to do that when he was coming to a junction. A lot of people over a certain age have strange money saving obsessions when it comes to cars. He was also terrified of wearing clutches and wouldn't even briefly slip it at a junction, going through the full stop and handbrake routine every time.
Free Wheeling - tr7v8
Funnily enough I've got a lot more focused on clutch use & abuse since having the Porsche! Something to do with it being £750-£1000 to do a clutch replacement! Not quite that anal though!
Free Wheeling - T Lucas
Its amazing how much fuel you can save though.
Free Wheeling - Adam {P}
I thought when coasting up to a junction at least, leaving it in gear until the last possible second saved more fuel? Something to do with overrun or something.

I'll confess, when I've been in dire need of petrol on a motorway I've had to coast to get there!
Free Wheeling - Hamsafar
It uses more fuel on fuel injected cars, as when coasting they shut off all fuel, whereas in neutral, it has to fuel the engine to keep it idling.
Free Wheeling - Adam {P}
I knew it was something like that ;-)
Free Wheeling - stevied
I like the old pennypinchers, they amuse me.

My dad is obsessed with engine braking, despite me telling him that gearbox parts are usually more expensive tham pads and discs.

Saying that, at least he DOES use engine braking where you DO need it, unlike a lot of young drivers who wouldn't survive long in Switzerland or similar.
Free Wheeling - Civic8
>>It uses more fuel on fuel injected cars, as when coasting they shut off all fuel, whereas in neutral, it has to fuel the engine to keep it idling.

Coasting is in neutral,ie clutch disengaged,no drive from engine.

engine is ticking over,it also has no effect on braking or power steering as its all running on tickover driven by engine,So where is the problem?
--
Steve
Free Wheeling - moonshine {P}

Without getting into an argument over the legal and safety issues, I often free wheel in my car and have managed to get some impressive mpg figures. Car is an A4 1.8. Normal commute is normally in the range 28 - 33mpg. Useing free wheeling and careful use of the throttle I can get 40mpg quite easily on the same commute. If i really go for it I can even get up to 50mpg.

The downside is that it takes a lot of concentration, you have to be prepared to quickly get back into gear when needed and reading the road ahead is ever so important.

Intresting point is that even though I can save a lot of money on my fuel bill I don't use this method that often. I guess that like most people I'm too lazy. If fuel was expensive then I'm sure more people would use the technique.
Free Wheeling - moonshine {P}

Fuel injected engines -

The issue of fuel injected engines isn't as straight forward as you may think.

If you leave the car in gear and coast then less fuel is injected into the engine. BUT, the fricton of turning the engine slows the car down, meaning you need to put your foot on the gas to get moving again.

From real life experience in my own fuel injected car I can confidently say that you get the best results by free wheeling in neutral.
Free Wheeling - moonshine {P}

Missed this from the earlier post -

If you are coming up to a junction and need to stop anyway then yes, best to leave it in gear.

Free Wheeling - helicopter
I once coasted a hire car around 4 miles down from the top to bottom of the Sierra Nevada mountain range when I forgot to fill with petrol before leaving Granada . Great Fun but needs concentration.....some pretty nasty ravines on the way down, quite often with shrines on the nastier bends...
Free Wheeling - Group B
A good road for it is Ringinglow Road going from the Peak District down into Sheffield (where Prince Naseem crashed), dead straight with few junctions, nearly 3 miles of undulating road where your momentum takes you over the crests, and you gradually pick up speed. Used to feel a lot further than 3 miles in Dad's Mk2 Escort when I was a kid!
My Dad used to do it for fun, not to save fuel. Can be quite surprising though the extra braking force required when there is no engine braking.
Free Wheeling - Roger Jones
From:

www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.htm

"102: Coasting. This term describes a vehicle travelling in neutral or with the clutch pressed down. Do not coast, whatever the driving conditions. It reduces driver control because

* engine braking is eliminated

* vehicle speed downhill will increase quickly

* increased use of the footbrake can reduce its effectiveness

* steering response will be affected particularly on bends and corners

* it may be more difficult to select the appropriate gear when needed."

That's good enough for me.
Free Wheeling - mike hannon
Many automatics freewheel when off the throttle. It only needs a little thought on the part of the driver to a: drive safely and b: use the system to advantage.
Free Wheeling - Big Bad Dave
"Many automatics freewheel when off the throttle."

Mine seems to, on gentle downward incline on a b-road the trip computer reads 999.9 mpg.
Free Wheeling - aaflyer
True, but as a driver of an auto, you have to be really careful on wet roads when the discs have been exposed to moisture and are that little bit less effective; in any case, it's probably the main reason why autos eat their pads that little bit faster and their drivers know a good bit about brake fade!

AA
Free Wheeling - buzbee
Now we have power steering I avoid coasting for fear of losing the power steering due to the engine cutting out and then not driving the pump. Yes, I know, the engine dash light should/will come on, but I still don't like the idea. Perhaps less of a risk with electrically assisted steering ---(?).
Free Wheeling - jc2
Most Saabs had them in the past but as they could be locked out,I bet most owners did not know they were fitted.
Free Wheeling - 659FBE
Ahem! Most SAAB owners including me were well aware of the virtues of this device and used it all the time, other than for long steep descents. Clutchless gearchanges were another trick easily performed when the freewheel clutch was disengaged on the overrun - taking up the drive smoothly required pracice though. I remember my old SAABs with great affection.

659.
Free Wheeling - L'escargot
A lot of people over a certain age
have strange money saving obsessions


It comes from having a low pension instead of a high salary!
--
L\'escargot.
Free Wheeling - Xileno {P}
I think it's those old people who have lived through the War. Some elderly people I know are impossibly penny pinching and yet are quite comfortably off. My grandmother used to screw her toothpaste tube into the most extraordinary shapes in attempt to get the last molecule out, there was no need for her to engage in this odd behaviour.
Free Wheeling - Sofa Spud
I don't make a habit of freewheeling but I did so during the fuel strike when I was running a petrol-engined Land Rover 90!!!

I don't see there's a problem on a straightish gentle downhill stretch of road, especially as automatics freewheel anyway.

Good advice is never to freewheel with the engine turned off, for instance, in a downhill traffic queue, because the power assistance to the steering ceases and that to the brakes disappears after a couple of applications.

Up until the 1960's some manual cars, e.g. the Rover P4, were fitted with freewheel devices too.
Free Wheeling - sine
>>Good advice is never to freewheel with the engine turned off, for instance, in a downhill traffic queue, because the power assistance to the steering ceases and that to the brakes disappears after a couple of applications.


How is this different to being towed?

I'm guilty of having done it once before. Moved about 1 mile in 20 minutes down gentle slope not exceeding 5 mph. If you pump the brakes first you won't get a shock when the servo assistance disappears and leave the ignition in a position that operates the brake lights there shouldn't be a problem.
Free Wheeling - Lud
Freewheeling can't be illegal, because Saabs and Rovers both used to have a freewheel as standard equipment, and as has been pointed out most automatics virtually freewheel on the overrun in top. It simply isn't recommended by driving instructors, for reasons of car control given above.

Before there were many motorways, when HGVs were governed at 38mph, the more sporting truck drivers used to freewheel down any decent incline, sometimes reaching 60 or 70 in suitable places. Great fun and sometimes even a bit hair-raising.
Free Wheeling - bell boy
i used to freewheel a lot, but think todays roads are too busy so you need to have greater control of your vehicle.
Like going round a corner in the appropiate gear so if the unexpected happens you can drive out of trouble rather than using kinetic energy (you may not have time to put it into the right gear) to get you out of trouble
Free Wheeling - mjm
The SAAB freewheel wasn't a true freewheel, more a one way clutch. The 2 stroke 96 I had had virtually no engine braking because it was a 2 stroke. Engaging the freewheel device in the footwell gave no braking effect but applying throttle re-engaged drive when the revs matched up. Changing gear up and down was possible without using the clutch but pulling away from rest wasn't. It was a slow process changing gear because the revs only died away slowly and the synchro was very effective.

In effect the braking was largely unaffected but if the situation demanded a quick application of throttle, all you had to do was apply right foot and away you went. No fumbling for clutch pedal and gear lever.
Free Wheeling - Manatee
>The SAAB freewheel wasn't a true freewheel, more a one way clutch.

Isn't that a definition of a freewheel? Think bicycle freewheel.

I had a 96, albeit a 4 stroke in Kermit Green, with freewheel, but it never occurred to me to try changing gear clutchlessly!
Free Wheeling - Wales Forester
In my bus driving days a colleague was sacked after free wheeling half a mile down a hill. He was unaware that a plain clothes inspector was aboard. It was deemed to be unsafe as he wasn't 'in full control' of the vehicle.
Free Wheeling - Lud
In my bus driving days a colleague was sacked after free
wheeling half a mile down a hill. He was unaware that
a plain clothes inspector was aboard. It was deemed to be
unsafe as he wasn't 'in full control' of the vehicle.


I wd imagine he was doing a fair old lick for a bus by the bottom of the hill, too.
Free Wheeling - Tomo
Various two strokes, eg DKW, had freewheel. The idea seemingly was that the engine seized if driven at speed by the road wheels whilst only receiving a closed throttle dose of oil.

As for old peoples' notions, my father never used the freewheel on his Rover on the grounds that the brakes would pack up.He could have been right; he also believed if once you opened a sliding roof it would rattle for ever more, and if you turned on a heater it would leak.
Free Wheeling - mike hannon
I suppose I'm a bit biased about freewheeling because not only do I drive automatics of various kinds, I used to have a Wartburg, complete with 991cc 3-pot 2-stroke engine and freewheel transmission. I wouldn't admit that to just anybody!
The point of a freewheel with a 2-stroke engine is to ensure it does not work hard on the over-run when it getting very little fuel and, hence, lubricating oil. Anyone who drove with the freewheel locked up all the time just had very little real engine braking and wore the motor out quickly at the same time.
Actually, I was quite fond of that Wartburg (a 353 Knight). If anybody knows of one for sale...
Free Wheeling - PhilW
"Wartburg (a 353 Knight). If anybody knows of one for sale..."
Coincidentally, I saw a beauty being driven in Loughborough the other day - first one for years. Light blue, perfect condition -and it wasn't smoking! Not for sale though!
--
Phil
 

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