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Autos - left foot braking query - matstro
Hopefully this won't be seen a dumbo question but is it normal to use left foot when braking on an auto? I've always used right foot as a habit of driving a manual vehicle. Reason I ask is I broke both bones in my right leg on 30 January this year and have yet another 6 weeks from today before I can put full weight - hence no right foot breaking. Was looking to buy an auto anyway. My experiences of using the left foot to brake are that you almost fly through the windscreen as your foot is used to clutch pressure. How viable is it to learn to use left foot?

Anyone here brake with their left foot when driving an auto?

Edited by Pugugly on 19/03/2009 at 17:09

Auto's - left foot braking query - craig-pd130
It comes very quickly with a little practice. I used to left-foot brake all the time until I started driving diesels, as they have fuel cut-outs when you brake
Auto's - left foot braking query - Hamsafar
I wouldn't bother, modern cars with electronic accelerators will cut power if the brake lights come on. It's a fail-safe in case the throttle pedal sensor fails.
Auto's - left foot braking query - Ubi
This doesn't answer your question - for which I apologise in advance - but I'm interested to share my experience of auto braking and learn from others about theirs too.

For 25 years my "main" cars have always been autos and I could not be persuaded to buy anything else.

However in the course of regular travel I have to hire cars and these are almost invariably manuals. So I have always avoided left foot braking in case I react incorrectly, with potentialy disastrous results. I can see from HJ's test reports that he uses left foot braking with autos and, presumably, right foot with manuals but I would not claim to be so skilled.

I never actually seem to forget how to operate a clutch but there is no doubt that my clutch technique is quite crude in the first few kilometres after leaving the airport and I do sometimes stall a manual car on steep hills if I don't use the handbrake.

I am pretty sure that in my last car - an Audi A6 Quattro - left foot braking, though I did not try it often, seemed pointless because depressing the brake pedal automatically reduced to idle levels the fuel flow to the engine even if the gas was floored. I'd be particularly interested to hear if that observation is correct.

And no doubt we will!
Auto's - left foot braking query - Alby Back
It used to be an accepted technique even in manual cars when the pedals were simply connected mechanically to the components they operated.

Blip the accelerator to match the revs with the right foot while braking with the left foot and downshift without using the clutch. This method when perfected, achieved super fast and smooth gearchanges.

Much more difficult to do on modern cars and sort of pointless anyway. As has been previously mentioned the electronics override the throttle blips when braking.

Having said that I do left foot brake in autos due to indolence more than anything.
Auto's - left foot braking query - Armitage Shanks {p}
I have read and understood HJ's views on this subject. My input is that if I am in a manual car I accel and brake with my right foot and use my left for the clutch. In an auto, where there is no clutch, I don't use my left foot. It seems logical to me and keeps things consistent and simple.
Auto's - left foot braking query - Happy Blue!
I'm the opposite.

I almost always left foot brake in an automatic, and frequently drive a manual car as well. It's what you get used to.

Its very handy when moving the car in tight spots, especially in car park or on a slope, and can be useful when pressing on, on a twisty road, when you want to slow down, but keep the wheels powered to maintain a line.

If you want to try - go to a large car park late in the evening and practice. Don't practice on the road; the accident will be your fault!
Auto's - left foot braking query - nick
I'm with Armitage, it seems natural to not use the left foot in an auto.
Auto's - left foot braking query - jc2
Any diesel cuts the fuel on the over-run,let alone brake.
Autos - left foot braking query - jbif
"Reason I ask is I broke both bones in my right leg on 30 January this year and have yet another 6 weeks from today before I can put full weight - hence no right foot breaking. " >>

in reply to matstro:

;-) Both bones already broken in right foot - no wonder you cannot break it again!

Seriously, though, see HJ's FAQ no. 29 [FAQ tab is at top right].
Also, this topic has been extensively discusse before, so to view a lot more responses, do a forum search [forum search button is on the right, right next to Log Out button] for "left foot braking".

Edited by jbif on 19/03/2009 at 10:31

Autos - left foot braking query - jc2
LFB is excellent if you regularly drive an auto;I have to switch regularly(also LHD to RHD) and I always tuck the left foot as far out of the way as possible and use one foot.If your car is working correctly,there will be no need to operate brake and accelerator at the same time!!!

Edited by jc2 on 19/03/2009 at 11:26

Autos - left foot braking query - Mapmaker
Switching between manual and auto, using LFB when appropriate, and using the clutch at other times has never caused me a moment's hesitation.

I confess sometimes I find LFB useful in a manual car: particularly if stick car in 2nd and drive between speed bumps, can speed up and slow far more effectively and less tiringly than if using RFB.
Autos - left foot braking query - redviper
its only recently, that i have had the opertunity to drive, a auto - having driven only manuals for all of my 13 years of driving history.

when driving the auto, I just use my right foot, i dont think im that much of a experienced "auto" driver to do the LFB.

Im happy with it, and as its not my car im extremely carefull when manovering and things so at the moment i dont think i can do LFB

Also when I was younger i went on some go carts that had one pedal on the left to brake and one on the right to stop , and, rather imbarraseingly (and still to this day) didnt get the concept that you had to remove your foot of one pedal to make the other "function" and subsqently over shot the finish line when on the track we all had to stop before the finsh line and i got a ticking off by the race marshall (i was the only about 14 at the time) I have been on simaler when I was older and used them ok, but if im honest i dont want that experience to haunt me again :-)

Edited by Honestjohn on 19/03/2009 at 13:36

Autos - left foot braking query - matstro
JBIF - thanks for the link - interesting, I never knew there was so much debate about this subject. Must admit whenever I've driven an auto (not often) I've ALWAYS used left foot braking when parking etc also always left foot stompted on the brake when selecting drive so at least I can choose when the car moves! Looks like not too much to worry about then. More of a worry is my missus doing it though!

Thanks for all the other replies also.....
Autos - left foot braking query - oilrag
Does it offend the Telegraph if people get the grammar wrong? I mean considering social inclusion and equality, some people struggle with basic spelling and its surely a slap in the face to their ability to pick them up on it - on an internet Forum of all places.

I mean, we could put the gowns on and write in Latin - but i thought it was about motoring and knowing your lead indium bronze overlays from your base over apex ;-)
Autos - left foot braking query - Manatee
Sloppy writing does irritate me, but that's a personal foible and an extension of my annoyance at some of the careless and lazy people I work with whose responsibility is to do it properly.

I don't think it's reasonable to extend that annoyance or criticism to contributions to an internet forum, though I suspect some who do know better are a little bit inconsiderate to the reader when they omit punctuation and proper case.

About the cleverest and most practical man I know holds numerous patents and can build you anything from a computer program to an oak framed barn, but he can't spell for toffee, so it doesn't do to be snooty.

Left foot braking? OK for manoeuvring, otherwise not-required-on-voyage except when drying brakes out.
Autos - left foot braking query - oilrag
Yes, apologies for my reaction.
It`s just that there are many people who just can`t do better regarding grammar. We were aware of people managing normal lives, but who, if formally assessed would fall (and be surprised) into the upper band of learning disability.

Struggling from school onwards with reading and writing and always dreading the shame of being exposed publicly - such as in needing to write in public. Noticeable too was the exhaustion in undertaking money management - with complex forms and having to spend longer in thinking to work out most situations.

The last thing someone with less ability needs is to have a problem - visit a Forum for help and to get a further crack across the face at their grammatical presentation - because that`s how it feels, how people have described it to me while working.

I`ve seen blocks of writing on Forums that have (speaking generally)been sneered at in a mean spirited petty minded way - that have with certainty been written by someone with less ability.

My own grammar is shot to pieces - but that`s from using a dictafone at work for decades and leaving typists to stick in the necessary.

IMHO there`s nothing worse than lacking the grace of compassion by picking on individuals.

Regarding left foot braking. only tried it once when I owned an auto - an emergency stop resulted. Never dared to try again ;-)
Autos - left foot braking query - Mapmaker
>>It' all about motoring, not grammar.

Au contraire. There's lots of forumes were ppl rite rubbish. Their unreedable.

This forum, by way of contrast, attracts a higher level of reader and poster on account of the quality of the postings here.

Bring in smilies LOL n some peeps'll go elsewhere.

It's not difficult to (1) read a post aloud after writing it; and (2) spell check it. If posters try this, then they might learn something and might become more employable afterwards.
Autos - left foot braking query - Sofa Spud
Quote:......""It used to be an accepted technique even in manual cars when the pedals were simply connected mechanically to the components they operated.
Blip the accelerator to match the revs with the right foot while braking with the left foot and downshift without using the clutch. This method when perfected, achieved super fast and smooth gearchanges.""

Never heard of that one! I've heard of 'heeling and toe-ing', where you twist the right foot so as to brake with the toe while blipping the throttle with the heel.
I used to drive lorries with non-synchromesh gearboxes, where it was necessary to double-declutch on all gearchanges, upward or downward. We were never taught to do use our feet on the 'wrong' pedals and that would have been totally unnecessary, not to say dangerous. We didn't so heeling and toe-ing either - it would probably have been almost impossible anyway.

As for left-foot braking on an automatic - if you only ever drive autos, like lots of Americans do, OK. If you drive manuals and autos, stick to right foot braking.

Edited by Sofa Spud on 23/03/2009 at 15:34

Autos - left foot braking query - the swiss tony
As for left-foot braking on an automatic - if you only ever drive autos like
lots of Americans do OK. If you drive manuals and autos stick to right foot

I drive both manual and autos, and normally dont have any problems swapping from one to the other, and I left foot brake autos....
In fact over the weekend I was moving cars around, and went from an auto, to a manual, and back again with no problems at all, I think its down to being used to different vehicles, and confidence.
Autos - left foot braking query - Adam {P}
When these threads came up, they'd often prompt me to try left foot braking (again); at the time I was driving a manual so a bit pointless but nevertheless, I gave it a go.

Alas, every time I tried, each attempt more gentle than the last, the car would lurch forward and I'd give up.

The last time I tried I was driving an S-Type and very nearly fishtailed the car into a very ornate looking gate. What did I conclude from all this?

Well, either I have very little control over my left leg, I'm an idiot, I'm incompetent, or I'm an incompetent idiot who has very little control over his left leg.

I'll be honest though, in the 40,000 miles I covered in an automatic in all sorts of weird and wonderful places, I never once had a problem maneuvering the car in tight spaces using my right foot to brake....and that Jag had a throttle which even the slightest blip of would send the car lurching away.

Autos - left foot braking query - The Melting Snowman
(Today's lesson in English Grammar: Do not use an apostrophe before the 's' when signifying a plural. Autos is the plural of auto, not auto's. Use an apostrophe to signify possession, eg Fred's, else's. But it's signifies it is, not it possessing something.)

Not necessarily. It comes down to whether one accepts the word Auto to be a new word in its own right. If one does then your stance is correct.
To some, the word Auto is quite clearly an abbreviation of Automobile or in the context of this thread - Automatic.
Therefore the inclusion of the apostrophe in this non-possessive example is correct as it indicates the missing letters.
Same as the word Phone which most people accept as a word although others insist on writing ?phone.
You've opened a right can of worms.

Anyway, back to LFB. My opinion is LFB is irrelevant on the road and only has relevance in rallying and similar where you might need to throttle and brake at the same time.
LFB is only faster if your foot is hovering over the pedal. I have driven many thousands of miles perfectly happily not deploying LFB and will continue to do so. And I regularly switch from manual to auto. The inference that LFB is necessary to retain control in an automatic whilst manoeuvring at relatively low speed is conjecture and opinion.

Autos - left foot braking query - captain chaos
Left foot braking is the only way to go when warming up the tyres at Santa Pod :-)
Autos - left foot braking query - barney100
This is an old chestnut and personally I can't make left foot braking seem natural. I tried it for a while but instinct puts the right boot down.

Value my car