Honest John’s Motoring Agony Column 25-05-2019 Part 2

Published 24 May 2019

Click Back to Honest John’s Motoring Agonies 25-05-2019 Part 1 

Breakdown of communication 

I joined the RAC in 1964 when I bought my first MG. Over the years I have had to call them out on a number of occasions for different motor cars. They used to be able to compete with National Breakdown who had a claim of turning out within the hour. On Saturday 23rd February, they were called out at 16.25 and in the following 2 hours several other breakdown trucks went past on the A350, but no sign of AA or RAC on the road and the RAC had promised to be with me by 6 o'clock. It seems that the RAC does not have live information on where all its service engineers are unlike, say, a well-run swimming pool company which will know exactly where its vehicles are so as to send the nearest person to a breakdown.

HG, Sherborne

Let me give you a potential scenario. There are 6 RAC patrols in the area. One is called out to a puncture, has to fit an emergency spare wheel, then accompany the car and driver to a tyre depot to retrieve the RAC's emergency spare. Can take a couple of hours. Another is called out to a roadside breakdown that takes longer to fix than anticipated. Say 3 hours. Another finds that the car needs a new battery, but the RAC van does not carry that battery, so the van has to drive to a retailer who has it, then go back to fit it. 2 - 3 hours. Another is called out to a breakdown that requires a small, supposedly readily available part that the van does not contain. The RAC man ends up having to visit a parts factors to find it. Maybe 3 hours. The 5th is caught trapped on a motorway between junctions due to a crash. Hours and hours. The 6th who was scheduled to come to you is diverted to rescue an elderly driver with a puncture on the hard shoulder of the M25. 

Nissan Qashqai 2019 Model Blue

Loose change? 

My 2014 Nissan Qashqai 1.6 Tekna diesel Xtronic auto has just turned 50,000 trouble-free miles (although the front tyres don’t last more than 15,000 miles). Is it time for a replacement, or will the problems you often refer to now begin to emerge?

GB, Aylesbury

I'd get out of this before the CVT starts to play up: /carbycar/nissan/qashqai-2014/good/ Replace with the new 1,332cc petrol model Qashqai, available with Renault's EDC instead of the CVT, or the similar Renault Kadjar 1,332cc EDC: /road-tests/renault/renault-kadjar-ii-2019-range-road-tes/


Personal natter

My son’s car was involved in a collision on Thursday and is almost certainly going to be a write off. If it is, will he be able to retain his private registration to put on his replacement vehicle?

KW, Harlow

You need to transfer the registration from the crashed car to a retention certificate IMMEDIATELY while it is still insured, MoTd and taxed. Must be BEFORE the crashed car is written off, or it becomes non-transferable. See: https://www.gov.uk/personalised-vehicle-registration-numbers/take-private-number-off/ And: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-to-transfer-or-retain-a-vehicle-registration-number/

Mazda 3 2019 Hatch Side F34 Red Sea Low Res 

Hardship allowance

I have a Motability car and am due to change in September. Currently I have a KIA Sportage, but its suspension belongs in the stone age. I am looking for a car that has decent suspension that won’t jar my injured spine. A maximum of £30k. Any suggestions: petrol, automatic and a ground to sill height of less than 400mm.  I was considering a Mazda but hear there is a new version of the 3 due out later this year.

NJ, via email

The outstanding new Mazda 3 has already arrived and the 2.0 petrol engine has a clever 12-volt mild hybrid system that smooths out the drivetrain. It is the Honest John Compact Car of the Year. Has 6-speed manual or 6-speed torque converter auto: /road-tests/mazda/mazda-3-2019-road-test/ If you want an SUV, consider the revamped Renault Kadjar with 1,332cc engine shared with Mercedes and an EDC automatic transmission: /road-tests/renault/renault-kadjar-ii-2019-range-road-tes/ Just make sure it comes on 17-inch wheels with 60 profile tyres.

Honda CRV 2012 62 Reg F34 Low Res

Can I Alp?

We have a 2013 Honda CRV 2.2 Diesel. We love the car, don’t use it off road, but will take it skiing in France this Easter. It needs a new set of tyres. The size is 225/65 R17. What tyres would you recommend? 

MB, via email

Happily you can get Michelin Cross Climate tyres in 225/65 R17 106 V XL and that is what I would do. They carry the mountains and snowflake symbol so are approved winter tyres for the Alps.

BMW G30 530d Graffiti Lead Pic Low Res

Getting a grip

Currently, the BMW 540i seems only available here with xDrive, while readily available as RWD only in European and other markets. Seems a bit unhelpful to deprive UK buyers of the choice. The 530i is a big step down in performance. Other BMWs are available here with this 6-cylinder engine, in RWD format: M240i, 440i, etc. My local dealer can't/won't help, even to contact BMW UK. Given BMW build this model for other RHD markets, is it possible to order RHD from who can import one from South Africa, Australa, New Zealand, Japan or Thailand? If not, what have you heard about xDrive reliability and does it require 4 tyres replaced at once to prevent problems, amongst other extra-cost maintenance items? 

FS, via email

BMW is simply being sensible and it makes no sense to build a car as powerful as the 540i for sale in Northern Europe without xDrive. Makes a significant improvement to the front-end grip when cornering. Bit all four tyres have to be maintained within 3mm of each other to prevent the disparity being interpreted as slippage and over-work the xDrive system. Not all that much hardship because it is actually quite rare to write off a tyre at 4mm, requiring all four to be replaced. They all need to be replaced at 3mm anyway.

Automatic Brake Pedal Ford Thunderbird (1) 

Fatal at traction

After a bit of gap I thought I would return to the subject of driving an automatic using only the right foot. Our American daughter-in-law came over for Christmas and asked how my discussion with you was going? I told her that you cited a case of a 92-year-old killing people and she questioned as to whether he should have been driving at all.  She also reiterated that driving schools in the USA teach you to use the right foot only. I have taken up the subject with the Institute of Advanced Motoring and got this reply: “I would teach and advocate the use of the right foot to operate the accelerator and brake pedals – with a bit of common sense we can figure out quite quickly we will not want to go slower and faster at the same time so will not be operating both pedals at the same time. A planned drive will make for a sensible bit of acceleration sense so we will be off the accelerator some time before we need to brake.” I then mentioned the case you cited of the 92-year old and he replied: “In the material I wrote, the only time I advocated left foot braking was in slow manoeuvring in an automatic. If that is where he is limiting his suggestion to then I would agree. Not for driving normally but acceptable when reversing or very slow manoeuvres. So his statement fits in with our teaching. I apologise if I was misleading but thought the original question related to normal driving (this is a practice which is creeping in).” So perhaps it is the case that it is Right foot only in normal driving and Left/Right foot when reversing. Is this taught?

PC, via email

There was another case on the radio this morning of ‘pedal confusion’ leading another elderly gent driving down a road to wipe out a young mum on the footpath. The idealistic, dogmatic IAM advice you received continues to kill people. In a real-world scenario, the fact is, if you have your left foot over the brake you can stop in a far shorter distance than you can if you have to move your right foot from accelerator to brake. Can make the difference between running someone over and not hitting them at all.


Drip freed

From 1st March 2018 when I took delivery of my Mercedes A180 I found that whenever it rains or I wash the car, small puddles of water collect along the 4 door sills and the bottom of all 4 doors are also wet. I took the car straight back to the Mercedes dealer in Ascot who assured me that there was nothing wrong as there was no water entering into the footwells. So, whenever it rains I have to remind myself to go out and dry off the 4 sills and doors of my new expensive motor car. I expected to have to do this in my old original Mini Cooper, but surely not in a brand-new expensive Mercedes. I would be very interested to know if you have heard of this issue before? Is it a design fault or maybe I got a “Friday afternoon” car?

JM, via email

Rainwater flows through all doors on all cars that have opening windows. The seal against the glass simply cannot prevent this. The rainwater exits through drains in the door bottoms and if the door seals are at the inner edge then the idea is that the rainwater flows out over the sills.

Hon Acc Coupe 94M Side Low Res

Curate’s egg 

I thought I would let you know that I finally managed to obtain a new genuine Honda SRS module for my 1995 Honda Accord Coupe. This was ordered from JP Parts.com in Japan and delivered by Fed-Ex within about 4 days. It was sourced from Honda Japan and has been fitted with no issues. I would recommend this company to your other readers. It is unfortunate that Honda UK cannot obtain parts from Honda Japan and that customers have to use a different company.

ME, via email

Very, very many thanks for that. Invaluable information that hopefully will save some otherwise excellent cars from the scrapyard and save their owners a lot of grief. https://jp-carparts.com/ Now lodged in my useful websites directory: /useful-websites/parts-accessories-car-care-tools-tyres/


Tank-you letter

Just a follow up to explain the outcome of my leaky petrol tank in my ageing KIA Venga. I had the car inspected at Stoneacre Grimsby on Wednesday February 20th. They immediately agreed to replace the tank free of charge and waived the usual £45 inspection fee. They ordered a tank (from Europe) and fitted it on Friday March 1st. I thank you for your involvement.  There does seem to be some discrepancy between what my local garage was told and that of the main KIA dealer with regard to availability of the part but I have had a successful outcome. Thank you.

SJ, via email


Hon Jazz II Seats Down 700

All-in favourite

I am looking to replace my wife's 4-year old 40,000-mile Ford Fiesta 1.0  EcoBoost. We've had some reliability issues with it: a new brake master cylinder and rear coil springs. I also read in your column in the Telegraph that some models had an issue with a pipe connection in the engine? We have grandchildren and would like to be able to get a child's buggy in the boot parallel to the bumper. We would like 4 doors for ease of getting children in/out of the car. My wife likes the ease of parking the Fiesta, so something easy to park, and maybe slightly larger. Are petrol hybrids worth considering? We do about 11,000 miles per year: a mixture of town and motorway driving. Looking to spend up to about £10,000. Your suggestions would be welcome.

JS, Preston

The most commodious, practical and versatile small car is a Honda Jazz. The back seats fold flat and low, or the squabs fold upwards to make space in the centre of the car.



I am a regular reader of your column in The Daily Telegraph and I wonder if you could throw any light on an issue I am experiencing since renewing the road tax for my car in August 2018, which was done online. For this service I was charged 0.50p and £1.00 for vehicle information checks. So far, so good. However, I have subsequently received a charge of £1.00 every month since which also states VEHICLE INFORMATION.UK CHECK-VEHICLE GB. There would appear to be something wrong here. Any thoughts?

NS, Northampton

I think you must have used an imposter site posing as the .gov site. There is no charge for renewing VED online. See: https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/vehicleinformation.uk (96% bad reviews) Google tries to weed these out.

Renault Captur R34 Orange Copy

Slip showing?

Have you heard of any problems with Renault Captur clutches failing at relatively low mileages? I have had to have it replaced in my 2015 model at only 33,150 miles.

GW, via email

Just one previous report: 27-7-2017: Slipping clutch on new 1,000-mile Renault Captur 90TCe found to be due to leaking clutch slave cylinder. All reports on the Captur here: /carbycar/renault/captur-2013/good/ (That's actually quite a clean slate for 5 years production.)

LR Fldr SD4 Sport 2011 700

Check, mate

Some weeks ago in the Telegraph you replied to a reader, who was considering buying a Freelander, that it had “quirks”!  What are the “quirks”? I have a 2013 Freelander 2 SD4 GS automatic that has done 45,000 trouble free miles since new (my 2nd  Freelander). Am I therefore now driving it on borrowed time? I have been considering a replacement for some time and was originally waiting for the new Ingenium engined Discovery Sport replacement but have been hesitant due to odd reports.  I have read some of your comments advising against Land Rovers until they have sorted their engines (I assume this also applies to the 2.0L Ingenium diesel engined Jaguar F Pace?) and the new Volvo XC I believe you said is a poor car to drive!  The new BMW X3 does not appear to offer even a space saver spare wheel. I believe I still need a 4x4 diesel automatic as I tow a 1.7-ton boat with trailer. I also only require standard wheels (fattest tyres possible) to get a softer ride. I would appreciate to know what replacement car you would recommend

DP, via email

My editor used the word "quirks". These are the reported problems: /carbycar/land-rover/freelander-2-2006/good/ These are the problems readers have been having with the Discovery Sport: /carbycar/land-rover/discovery-sport-2015/good/ I criticised the steering of the XC60. But loved the XC40: /road-tests/volvo/volvo-xc40-t5-2018-road-test/? And, according to the information I was given, that has a braked towing weight of 2,200kg (though not for caravans).


Dog to drive

In 2010 I bought a new Skoda Octavia DSG, since that time I have had a slow speed rear end shunt and several near misses, caused by the necessity of bringing the car to a sudden stop before being allowed to select ‘Drive’. Also at high speeds it is possible for an erratic passenger, or in my case the family dog, to easily disengage ‘Drive’ and cause sudden loss of power at a critical moment. All this is because Volkswagen AG have removed the hand operate gate between ‘Drive’ and ‘Neutral’ and replaced it with a footbrake operated interlocking solenoid. Is it possible to restore the original essential safety features and give full control back to the driver?

RV, Berkhamsted

It's the first time I have heard this complaint. I agree, it is annoying to have to press the brake pedal to release the selector so it can be moved from ‘N’ to ‘D’. The reason is a problem Audi has with ‘runaway automatics’ in the USA. Lots of cars don't have this annoyance. Mazdas, Hondas to name two. But a car manufacturer cannot guard against a passenger knocking the gearlever out of Drive. And dogs should not be allowed to romp around loose inside a car anyway. That’s extremely dangerous. (Rule 57 Highway Code.)

Jaguar XE F34 Close

Comfort zone

I'm looking for primarily a really comfortable ride, along with 250+HP, 4/5 doors, and ideally 4-wheel drive, with a budget of up to £20k. Appreciate your thoughts / views.

RH, via email

Jaguar XE 2.0 with the original Ford 2.0 Ecoboost petrol engine. You can always change the wheels and tyres to 17-inch with 205/55 R17s to get a better ride, but it basically rides better than anything German that hasn't got Air Ride suspension. 4WD is not an option for £20k but all-weather tyres are.

Honda Civic 1.6 I DTEC C Side

Let off the lease

My lease deal on my Skoda Octavia vRS is sadly coming to an end, and I’m faced with the prospect of buying my first used car for a while. I’m after something of at least supermini size, with less than 50,000 miles and preferably no more than 5 years old. I’d rather something that wasn’t painfully slow, and economy is quite high up on my priorities too, as I average around 15,000 miles a year back and fore to work. I feel the interior quality of some Japanese cars you normally seem to favour may frustrate in comparison to my VAG Skoda, and a previous Volvo V50. What could you recommend at around £5,000?

AW, via email

I favour Japanese and Korean cars simply because they are more reliable than German cars. If in any doubt about that, check the good/bad sections for each model in http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/ If you don't have to visit cities, you might get away with a diesel and the most economical for its size is a previous shape Honda Civic 1.6iDTEC: /used-prices/Honda/Civic/2013/?q=1.6+i-DTEC+Manual / Maybe a KIA cee'd or Hyundai i30 1.6CRDI, but none come up on our system. Avoid Ford, VAG, Citroen, Peugeot, Mazda, Volvo 1.6 diesels. Mitsubishi Colt and Smart FourFour 1.5 3-cylinder diesels weren't bad.

Nis Micra SR Side 700

Automatic fearbox?

Regarding your recent advice on the Nissan Note auto, I have a 2010 Micra auto with 25,000miles. Is this a similar gearbox? It has been no trouble but what maintenance do you advise?

DS, via email

If it's the 2003 - 2010 Micra it has a reasonably reliable 4-speed torque converter auto: /carbycar/nissan/micra-k12-2003/history/ If it's the 2010 - 2016 Micra (/carbycar/nissan/micra-k13-2010/) it has the same potentially troublesome CVT as the 2013 - 2016 Note: /carbycar/nissan/note-2013/good/

Click Back to Honest John’s Motoring Agonies 25-05-2019 Part 1 




DrTeeth    on 25 May 2019

I wish HJ would stop banging on about left-foot braking, amongst other things. By his logic, manual car drivers must be lethal yet we never hear of such a case. It is just a case of old people driving automatics who should not be driving.

Mr Dave    on 25 May 2019

Left foot breaking again? Why does HJ keep recommending this nonsense? I have a lot of respect for HJ but just like with our politicians, just cus HJ says it's the right thing to do, doesn't make it so. My car has both accelerate by wire AND brake by wire and if there is even a hint of a suggestion that both pedals are pressed at the same time, the cars brain gets very confused and goes into limp mode for a few seconds. THIS is what could be lethal if your trying to pull out of a busy junction. Left foot breaking should be reserved for slow speed manoeuvres or the race track.

Edited by Mr Dave on 25/05/2019 at 07:16

GingerTom    on 25 May 2019

Keep burying your head in the sand and refusing to learn new skills if you wish. He knows what he is talking about and so do skilled professional drivers who wish to drive properly. Watch any rally driver and ask yourself why they use both feet in a 2 pedalled car.

Mr Dave    on 25 May 2019

I am a professional HGV driver of 25 years and have passed the IAM advanced test with a First. I safely drive around 80,000 miles a year. I've never had any points on my licence or made any own fault insurance claims in over 30 years driving.

I believe that qualifies me as a skilled professional driver.

Just because I don't agree with the opinion of one person on one subject, does not mean I'm burying my head in the sand. As I clearly stated, I have a lot of respect for HJ. He is entitled to his opinion, as am I. What concerns me is that others will take what he and any other "experts" say as gospel just because he has a website or YouTube channel.

Craig_    on 25 May 2019

Rally drivers are not left foot braking for safety.

Scot5    on 25 May 2019

HJ knows what he's talking about?

And North Americans, those folk who almost exclusively learn in and drive automatics don't. Our driving instructers don't. The IOM don't know either.

You say he knows what he's talking about. Last week HJ said it takes several seconds to brake with your right foot. Do you agree with him on that too? He says 50 people per year in the UK killed by driver mixing up pedals. Do you agre with that too? Perhaps you can provide the evidence of this because HJ can't - and neither can I.

You'll note HJ has changed his stance a little. In this weeks rant he says it quicker stopping the car when the left foot is over the brake pedal. I've never heard him say that before. Perhaps my reply last week had something to do with it?

The fact is, nobody drives with their left foot over the brake pedal.The left foor is on the floor or on the foot rest. It takes longer to stop the car.

As for the rally driver argument. True - when they're racing. But do you know for a fact that rally drivers use left foot braking when driving normally? When a rally driver pops down to Tesco, does he/she use left foot braking?

This of course bring up another issue HJ fails to contemplate. A rally driver uses left foot braking to slide around corners - i.e. while the left foot is on the brake, the right is on the accelerator. Now if an incompetent driver can mix up the pedals, is it not true that if left foot braking, they are also free to use the accelerator with their right? How on earth is the car ever going to stop if the right foot is pressing on the accelerator?

There is not a scap of evidence anywhere that left-foot braking is safer. And if you disagree with that, then it's time to put up or shut up. Can either you or HJ show us the evidence that left foor braking is safer?

I'll say it's more dangerous and the reason I say it is because you're suggesting people start trying left-foot braking - people who have been comfortable all their lives braking with their right foot, now have to brake with their left. It's irresponsible advice at best and could lead to an accident at worst.

Edited by Scot5 on 25/05/2019 at 15:27

brambobb    on 25 May 2019

I always reverse really slowly anyway (lesson learned in my youth when | reversed into a lamp post when going backwards too quickly). I drive both manual and automatic cars now and really appreciate being in an auto when reversing as I find that it creeps backwards at just the right speed without any need to press the accelerator, meaning that my right foot is covering the brake at all times during the manouvre.

Drive a real auto    on 26 May 2019

I've driven petrol automatics from fairly warm to very powerful for over twenty years and have used my left foot to brake for most of that. Quicker reaction time as I don't have to reverse the 'push' of my foot into a 'pull' to reach the brake pedal and I know which pedal I am on. Never driven into anybody or anything in all that time.

One drive in a golf buggy where I had to right foot brake due to the abysmal pedal layout. Accelerated into a tree when I wanted to stop.

I drive manuals too. Left foot for the clutch - what's the problem? In fact using my left foot to brake an automatic means I probably push harder when I need to stop quickly as that is my 'heavy' clutch foot and not my 'gentle' throttle foot.

That's my view after trying both braking methods. I've got mine and you've got yours.

Honestjohn    on 27 May 2019

As long as people continue to be killed by drivers right-foot braking automatics who either don't brake quickly enough or hit the wrong pedal, I will continue with my two feet two pedals campaign. It actually started when I heard of a driving instructor who had taught his pupils to drive automatics right-footed killing himself when he drove his MINI automatic into a wall.


Leif    on 1 June 2019

As long as people continue to be killed by drivers right-foot braking automatics who either don't brake quickly enough or hit the wrong pedal, I will continue with my two feet two pedals campaign. It actually started when I heard of a driving instructor who had taught his pupils to drive automatics right-footed killing himself when he drove his MINI automatic into a wall.


Where is the evidence for this nonsense? I drove an auto once, left foot braked, and had an accident because instead of slowing a bit, I stopped. My left foot control is nowhere near that of my right foot control. This is normal for right handed people.

CarolinaStates    on 26 May 2019

"Left foot breaking again? Why does HJ keep recommending this nonsense?"

I still dont know what 'breaking' has to do with braking?

Wait for it....I agree I'm a pedant!!

Edited by CarolinaStates on 26/05/2019 at 14:44

GingerTom    on 25 May 2019

I never understand why people fall for these scam tax websites. The tax reminder has a clear link to the proper website and putting "tax your car" into Google clearly shows the correct gov.uk site at the top of list.

Engineer Andy    on 25 May 2019

I never understand why people fall for these scam tax websites. The tax reminder has a clear link to the proper website and putting "tax your car" into Google clearly shows the correct gov.uk site at the top of list.

Because a LOT of people (mainly older, but not always) aren't that computer/internet literate and just assume that a link that says 'Renew my VED' or somesuch is ONLY the government website.

Even more computer literate people like ourselves have to keep their wits about them, for example dodgy emails which show the email address as something genuine looking, but a quick hover over with the mouse or occasionally If the hacker is really sneaky) a check on the 'source' of the email will show that it isn't geneuine and would take you to a likely fake, spam or malware-ridden website.

All it takes is for us to be in a hurry or distracted just once for a mistake like this to be made. This site is only breaking the law if they either pretend they are the .gov site or do not state that they are including ongoing and/or hidden charges, or obviously use a card details to make fraudulent use thereafter. It would be easy to preclude this if the government passed a law stating that X or Y can ONLY be purchased from a governemnt website and not via third parties. Policing the law, however...

ACX    on 25 May 2019

"Fatal at traction": I can't understand all these people who bash left-foot braking.

When I started driving automatics I taught myself this technique and it's been excellent both around town for instant stopping, AND on the twisties, where I can really let go: one foot on the accelerator, one on the brake (both carefully modulated), and two hands on the wheel with the paddle override.

I could never be as fast in a manual car with the same engine as I am in an automatic.

Nevertheless, when I switch back to my wife's Abarth (manual), old habits come back and I never find myself seeking the brake with my left foot. So why the discussion? Presumably the people who bash the technique have never tried it?

Edited by ACX on 25/05/2019 at 12:39

doi209    on 25 May 2019

Dog to drive.
At last, something I can agree on.
Dogs should not be allowed in a vehicle without some sort of restraining device ( e.g. seatbelt or cage).
A sudden vehicle stop at 30 mph leaves a dog still travelling at 30 mph potentially into the windscreen or the back of your neck. We wouldn't do that with a toddler, so why a dog.

Captain-Cretin    on 25 May 2019

Totally agree, I was going to write and ask if this guy had children; because if he doesnt, when his dog kills him he will qualify for a Darwin Award.

Stupidity and a lack of police patrols willing to do anything are to blame; I have seen drivers with dogs (or toddlers) on their laps, and one with the dog prowling back and forth across the dashboard!!!

lordwoody    on 27 May 2019

Amazing anyone survived before seat belts and Health and Safety.

stojom    on 25 May 2019

Completely agree with comments about dogs. Behind a car recently where one was jumping all over the place including the driver, this at 50 mph. Perhaps the police should highlight the dangers of this as well as mobile phone use.

glidermania    on 25 May 2019

I wish HJ would stop banging on about left-foot braking, amongst other things. By his logic, manual car drivers must be lethal yet we never hear of such a case. It is just a case of old people driving automatics who should not be driving.

No, you and others are missing the point. He's talking mainly about drivers converting from manual to auto. In a manual, you frequently control the slow speed of the car when parking and reversing using the clutch not the brake. Clearly you dont do this excessively else you wear the clutch out.

Also, you only have to watch You Tube to see drivers of autos wrecking other cars in a car park because they have hit the accelerator and kept their foot on it while their car careers into cars and over walls.

In my auto, I ALWAYS use my left foot to brake when parking or reversing. I also drive a manual and have no problem driving either.

VengaPete    on 25 May 2019

On the subject of left braking (LFB) in an automatic....
I drive a Kia Venga Auto and have tried left braking and maybe its just me having size 11 feet or how the seat is set or how the pedal box is designed but for me, its physically impossible to LFB safely as the angles mean my left foot interferes with my right foot.
I do appreciate all the for and against arguments, and I'd be interested in seeing evidence but I thought I'd add my 2p'th, as for me, I'd be more likely to lose control by left foot blocking the right foot.
I'd also be very interested if a specific type of auto has more incident rates ie: does a torque converter box like mine induce more likelihood due to creep or less likelihood. Does DSG / Dual Clutch / MMT have more likelihood due to its more instant pick up etc
As a cyclist, the LFB discussion seems to be a bit like the Helmet discussion.And some recorded evidence does exist to support they can make things worse due to neck rotational injuries when the helmet hits the ground.
But back to LFB, I'd be happy to learn to use it if such a thing as an MOT legal brake pedal extension was available for a Venga so my foot could be on it without interference, but until then, I will RFB, as for me, it is physically the only way that works safely.
Incidentally a nephew is about to start auto lessons and I specifically asked the instructor if they teach LFB. The answer was a resounding no as instructors feel single foot usage is easier to learn and safer as it stops confusion. So maybe accident evidence needs to also consider if the driver was a manual "convert" or had been driving auto long enough to forget muscle memory?
No doubt this discussion will run and run, but as in my case, it isn't a black and white choice for some people, and maybe manufacturers need to consider pedal box design to accommodate LFB if a person wishes to use that method

TQ    on 25 May 2019

Driven autos since 1995 and always drive with left foot resting on the brake pedal, ready to push instantly! The exception is when driving on long stretches of empty roads.

But stick to one mode of driving as change can be unsafe.

Silas Marner    on 26 May 2019

Left or right foot braking has become so tedious now. I vote to start another topic to dispute endlessly: should indicator stalks be on the left or right side of the steering column?

IrishNeil    on 26 May 2019

Left or right foot braking has become so tedious now. I vote to start another topic to dispute endlessly: should indicator stalks be on the left or right side of the steering column?

Good point.
Indicator stalks should be where the mobile phone is sitting, in the hands of the idiots.
Or do what BMW do, disregard indicators all together.

groaver    on 26 May 2019

Left or right foot braking has become so tedious now. I vote to start another topic to dispute endlessly: should indicator stalks be on the left or right side of the steering column?

On the right as they used to come to the UK from Japan.

It allows you to change down a gear as you indicate.

Mind you, most people don't seem to use the indicators now anyway.

Honestjohn    on 27 May 2019

In response to groaver, he's right for a RHD car. And siting the indicators on the left is equally right for a LHD car. But there is a pan-European convention (or maybe a Directive) to site the indicators on the same side throughout Europe whether the cars are LHD or RHD, and the UK is the country that suffers.


aufdermaur    on 28 May 2019

Left or right foot braking has become so tedious now. I vote to start another topic to dispute endlessly: should indicator stalks be on the left or right side of the steering column?

On the right as they used to come to the UK from Japan.

It allows you to change down a gear as you indicate.

Mind you, most people don't seem to use the indicators now anyway

Driving my old MR2 with the indicator on the right was a hoot, could indicate on roundabouts with my right hand while the left hand managed the gears. The same for shifting down and indicating right to overtake. My first car, a Suzuki Baleno, also had indicators on the right.

jchinuk    on 26 May 2019

Re : Breakdown of communication.
I'm cynical enough to thinking some play the system, claiming children, hospital visits, threats of aliens, to get 'bumped' up the RAC schedule.

jchinuk    on 26 May 2019

RE : Interconned
I'm guessing the correspondent is not taxed either?

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