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Honest John’s Motoring Agony Column 04-01-2020 Part 2

Published 02 January 2020

In Honest John’s Motoring Agony Column 04-01-2020 Part 2, HJ makes a lifesaving plea, PDG blasts battlewagons, JF seeks quieter tyres and there’s enough on top of that to stretch into Sunday. 

Click back to Honest John’s Motoring Agonies 04-01-2020 Part 1

Deadly dogma

With reference to your advice under the heading ‘Great British Brake Off’, as one never needs to accelerate and brake an automatic car at the same time, is it acceptable to just use the right foot only for both accelerating and braking, leaving the left foot at rest?

DF, via email

No. Because it kills people. Here are recent details of yet another tragic case: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-50646945 The Highway Code gives a 'Thinking Distance' and a 'Stopping Distance'. At just 20mph the thinking distance is 6 metres and the stopping distance is a further 6 metres. If your left foot is already poised over the brake pedal you eliminate the thinking distance and can stop the car in 6 metres rather than 12 and that might be enough to save you from running someone over. Also when emerging from a blind junction, if your left foot is posed over the brake pedal you can stop instantly to prevent a collision with an oncoming car. I demonstrated all of this to the instructors at Mercedes Benz World in May.

Hyu Ix 35 4WD 700

Sitting comfortably

I have a 2015 Hyundai ix35 (with 4-wheel drive). The current tyres supplied with the car from new are: Hankook Optimo 225/60R17 99H. At 21,000 miles the tyres are getting worn and at the last MoT the (Hyundai) garage reported that they will need replacing this year. The ride on this car is rather harsh and the road noise is very high. My wife is disabled and finds the ride uncomfortable, and has to take her hearing aids out. Please would you recommend all weather replacement tyres that would be quieter and give a more comfortable ride?

JF, via email

Michelin Cross Climate + (I checked the size and the noise rating is 069dB), Continental AllSeason Contact, Goodyear Vector 4 Seasons, Pirelli Scorpion Verde all season. As well as being safer in winter, these tyres are more compliant so give a better ride, give better steering feel and are quieter.

Ssangyong Rexton Gearlever And 4WD Controls 

Something borrowed…

I know you have specific preferences on types of automatic. Have you any thoughts on the Mercedes sourced automatic transmission in the new SsangYong Rexton.

BC, via email

It's okay. Basically MB’s old 7-speed torque converter automatic. We went to Korea in 2017 to test it: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/ssangyong/ssangyong-rexton-g4-2017-road-test/ Luxuriously trimmed inside with pleated leather upholstery. But the 4-wheel drive cannot be used at high speed on the road. It's off road type 4WD, not for tarmac.

Peugeot 5008 2015 F34 Road

Thoroughly rattled

I have 2016/66 Peugeot 5008 1,560cc Blue HDI S/S Auto. Recently it seems to have become quite noisy when I first start the engine or when I leave it idling in Park. The noise seems to diminish when I put it into gear, and when I’m actually driving everything seems fine. Fluids levels all check out okay. My dilemma is that I am awaiting delivery of a new 3008 for which I have agreed a part-exchange of my 5008. I am using the same dealer I bought the 5008 from, it still has a few months outstanding warranty and so I could ask them to investigate the noise under warranty. However, this would alert the dealer to any potential fault and presumably might impact the part exchange. Any clues on what the noise might indicate and how would I stand  re the part exchange agreement?

AF, via email

I'd be upfront about it with the dealer. It's under warranty. And the noise may be something very simple. You can look forward to your 3008 1.5BlueHDI 130 EAT8. Terrific car. I ran one for 6 months: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/our-cars/peugeot-3008-1/

Ford Kuga 66 Reg F34

Clearance sale

We have a Ford Kuga 1.5 petrol on a 38-month Ford PCP contract. The price of the car was £20,906.45. To date, we have paid £9,048.29 (deposit of £960.17 plus 27 monthly payments of £299.56). The outstanding balance is £11,558.60 (10 monthly payments, plus an OFP of £8,563). At the end of the PCP agreement we were minded to pay the OFP and keep the car for a couple of years. Recently, the Ford dealer we bought the car from has offered to settle the outstanding finance and change it for a brand new one. We would have to take out a new PCP, which would be over 38 months, the monthly payments would be the same (£299.56) but the OFP would be £10,008). Do you think this is something we should consider?

AP, Penarth

The reason he is making this offer is that a new Ford Kuga is about to arrive and he and Ford need to clear stocks of the current model: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/ford/kuga-2020/

Ford S-Max 2017 Nice Bodykit Side

Maxed out

I have a 2013/63 Ford S-Max 2.0TDCI automatic diesel that I would like to replace with a more up to date vehicle. My mileage of 25,000 over 3 years of includes regular long trips to the South Coast and Scotland, so I'd guess another diesel would suit? But, in today's world, I'm very open to petrol/hybrid. I've read reviews saying the Peugeot 5008 7-seater is a strong contender, but your list of "SUVs under £30k" doesn't mention it? There's a nice (leather, glass roof) 2017 5008 1.6 BlueHDI Allure for around £15k with leather and glass roof. Do you think this would be a good value replacement for the S-Max?

AC, via email

I'd stick with S-Max and go for the 2.0SCTI Ecoboost with 8-speed torque converter auto or earlier 6-sped torque converter auto. The Peugeot 5008 you have seen will be the old model. They are 1.5Blue HDIs now with an 8-speed torque converter auto and over £30k.

SEAT Cupra Ateca Limited R34

His Cupra runneth over

We currently drive a SEAT Ateca 1.4TSI. Having had it 3 years I’m thinking of upgrading to the Cupra Ateca. This only comes with a 2.0 TSI DSG-auto 7-speed 4-Drive 300PS petrol engine. I’d read there had been problems with some DSG transmissions. I’d value your opinion about my impending upgrade?

SP, via email

This has the twin wet clutch DQ500 7-speed DSG which is not the world's best automatic transmission but is not weak and troublesome like the DQ200 7-speed dry clutch DSG. Test of the Golf TCR with similar engine and transmission here: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/volkswagen/volkswagen-golf-gti-tcr-2019-road-test/  VAG has also just done a 300HP T-Roc, mentioned here: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/volkswagen/t-roc-2018/history/ (Expensive, though.)

BMW X2 Side Facing Right Blue

X-Factor

A friend is looking at a small petrol, automatic crossover SUV of 2.0 litres, and has a shortlist of an Audi Q2 and a BMW X2. Which would you recommend?

JD, via email

The X2 all day long. The Q2 is simply over-priced and not really very special. https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/audi/q2-2016/ and https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/bmw/x2-2018/ Add the VW T-Roc: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/volkswagen/t-roc-2018/ And the Peugeot 3008: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/peugeot/3008-2017/

Cover note

Until I retired I had driven fleet cars for over 30 years. On leaving employment, I purchased the fleet car I was then allocated. As part of the sale it came with a 6-month warranty. Unfortunately, the car has developed a minor defect that I have tried to get repaired under the warranty. This process has been unsatisfactory to put it mildly.  Any tips with dealing with these institutions as I have drafted, but not yet sent, a letter of complaint that already has twenty points for them to consider and I have still not got to the end of this problem?

GO, via email

What type of "6-month warranty"? Is it the balance of the manufacturer's warranty (in which case, read the service and warranty book that tells you what is covered and what is not). Or is it an aftermarket 'insured' warranty (in which case, read the warranty document to find out what is covered). That will help to prevent you from making claims for items that are not covered.

Mercedes SL W129 Series Blank Plate

Classic dilemma

It is 8 years since I bought a red Mercedes SL from my friend who moved to Africa to live. Now I need to sell it. Please advise how best to sell the car. I want to keep the cherished registration of RUX 7.

RN, via email

The first thing to do is get a retention certificate for RUX 7 from the DVLA. Here's what you need to do to retain the cherished reg: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-to-transfer-or-retain-a-vehicle-registration-number Presuming an older SL, then your best route for disposal is probably a classic car auction. I like http://www.historics.co.uk and http://www.brightwells.com / There are also http://www.handh.co.uk and http://www.classiccarautions.co.uk 

FIAT 500 Jump Start

Jumping to conclusion

In one of Katie Morley's investigations reported in the "Money" section of the Telegraph) there was an instance where a jump start was used by an RAC mechanic to get a customer's car started. This damaged the engine beyond repair. Is this a danger for all car engines now or does it affect only certain types of engine?


MC, Caldicot

A couple of things could have happened. The correct way to jump start a car is, with the engine of the starter car running, connect the positive terminal of the starter car battery to the positive terminal of the battery of the car to be started and the negative terminal of the starter car battery to the negative earth underbonnet metal bodywork of the car to be started. Once the dead car has started DO NOT SWITCH OFF THE STARTER CAR WITH THE LEADS STILL CONNECTED or you will blow the systems. Remove both leads first.

Jaguar XE 2015 F34 Blue

E Number

Regarding an enquiry from a Jaguar XF owner. Advise him not to buy an XE after owning an XF. He will be very disappointed. I made the mistake two years ago. After 1 month, I exchanged it for another XF. In comparison the XE is like driving a poorly constructed old banger. I maybe not environmentally friendly but, with China and India destroying the planet, I don't think my XF Premier 3-litre diesel is going kill off many whales in the near future. Go for the XF again. You can get an excellent petrol model for less than £20k. A diesel will cost a little less. So don’t go for an XE. They are in reality regurgitated Ford Mondeos. Get another XF.

WBW, via email

I like the XE: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/jaguar/jaguar-xe-2015-range-road-test/ Your statement " They are in reality regurgitated Ford Mondeos" is completely ridiculous. They have no resemblance to a Mondeo whatsoever. The XE is rear wheel drive. The Mondeo is front wheel drive. The only part the two cars ever shared was the excellent 2.0SCTI Ecoboost petrol engine in early XE production.

Vauxhall Corsa D 1.4SE 2011 Side 700

Steering in the right direction

We bought our grand-daughter a 2012 registered Vauxhall Corsa D ECOFLEX 1.0 with 89,000 miles, when she passed her driving test earlier in the year. After a few hundred trouble-free miles, the power steering failed without warning and she had to drive with the car in this condition until she could find somewhere safe to stop. After turning off the engine and re-starting, the power steering returned and she was able to safely complete her journey. This fault has occurred intermittently ever since. The car has been into the local Vauxhall dealers on 3 occasions. On the second visit a fault with the battery was identified and we paid for a new one to be fitted. For a while, that seemed to resolve the problem but then, out of the blue, and without warning, the power steering failed again. As has usually been the case, it came back on when the engine was stopped and restarted. The car was returned to the dealer but as their diagnostic check showed no fault they were unable to offer anything more. The car has since been checked out by an experienced independent engineer who was unable to confirm any definite cause for the problem. It could be something like the alternator, but as he said you could spend good money replacing it and find that the problem has still not been resolved. The car, which cost £2,900 is now not fit for purpose and is only being driven for short journeys around our grand-daughter's home. Clearly, we can't sell the car privately with this fault WeBuyAnyCar.Com is only offering around a £1,000. Is there a cost-effective solution or are we better to cut our losses, get rid of the car and gamble with another cheap second hand motor? 

AH, via email

A Corsa has Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) that works by means of an electric motor directly on the steering. It will be supplied with power via a relay (like a fuse, but a contact that opens and shuts). So I think what must be happening is that the relay is opening because it is encountering too much physical resistance from the steering rack, possibly because she is holding the steering on full lock, possibly because the rack has lost its fluid, or possibly because the rack is damaged. Alternatively there may be a problem with the earth lead from the battery to the car body, but I think the former is more likely.

Mercedes E400d Estate 2018 Side Horizon 2

Supercar station wagon

I want to replace my 2015 Skoda Octavia VRs TSi estate with an E-Class. Mid-week it's mainly runs about Greater Manchester, otherwise it gets plenty of long runs. My head says get the hybrid. My heart; the oil burning V6. Can you help make some sense of it all? 

MH, via email

The Mercedes-Benz E400d estate is a truly phenomenal machine: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/mercedes-benz/mercedes-benz-e400d-4matic-estate-2018-road-test/ But no one really needs that sort of performance that is increasingly being legislated against, so it makes much more sense to go for the E300DE hybrid.

VW Golf VI Bbsh Red Retouched

Distressed repurchase

I currently have a 2012 VW Golf 1.6TDI, owned from new. It broke down on the motorway recently and I had to ring for a recovery vehicle. As I am in my seventies it was a fairly distressing experience. One injector was replaced at the local VW garage and I am assured it is unlikely to happen again (contrary to reports I have read online). As I am now considering changing the car, I would appreciate advice on a reliable and economical replacement. We live about 15 miles from the nearest town and I take a longer journey once a month of about 200 miles return. My husband uses a four-wheel walking aid and I would need to consider transporting this on journeys with him for hospital checks etc. I have driven an automatic Toyota Yaris hybrid on holiday recently  - not sure if this would meet our needs. Any suggestions.

JF, via email

If it’s a Mk VI Golf, your car will have the EA189 diesel engine that was the subject of the NOx emissions recall and was subsequently covered by a warranty against "consequential damage" for 2 years or up to 160,000 miles. In simple terms the NOx fix involves making the injectors work harder by introducing an additional injection cycle and that is why they can fail. If the failure occurred within 2 years of the NOx fix it should have been covered by VW. As long as you can get all of your equipment into a Toyota Yaris hybrid then that would be a sensible, reliable and economical replacement. https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/toyota/toyota-yaris-2017-range-road-test/ You don't say how much you are prepared to pay? There will be a new Honda Jazz hybrid very soon and Jazz are generally more spacious and versatile inside for carrying awkwardly shaped equipment but, as yet, we have no details of the new car. If buying used, this is the current Honda Jazz: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/honda/honda-jazz-15ivtec-sport-2018-road-test/

MINI Coop D Side 700 

MINI mum outlay 

On 6th August my 2007 MINI One went into the BMW dealership. I suspected an oxygen sensor problem as the car was displaying similar problems to those 4 years ago when the same dealer replaced the lambda sensor. They called me to discuss the work required and I agreed to a £450 cost to fix it. A week later after very little communication from them, I was sent an invoice which, I paid, and expected to get my car back the next day. I then received a phone call saying there was still a problem which would incur a further cost of £350. I agreed to this work being carried out. I said in this conversation that I was not prepared for total costs to be above £1,500. At this point, not knowing how long the work would take, they agreed to provide me with a courtesy car, which I picked up on 14th August. I phoned a few times each week after that to get an update. Often, I couldn’t get through. If I did get through and left a message, I never got a reply to my messages. Last Friday a recorded message was left to say they hadn’t yet found the problem, but they said I should continue to enjoy the use of the courtesy car. Today, customer services called to say the car had been repaired and the bill comes to £880 for parts and £1,200 for labour, plus VAT. I never authorised and wasn’t forewarned that the cost of repair would be anything like this. Can I contest it in any way? The car is 12 years old and even though it has only done 41,000 miles, I would never have agreed to spending £2,500 on it. They will not release the car unless I pay the full amount.

HH, via email

That's mad. You should not have entrusted a 12-year old car to a franchised dealer. Should have gone to a MINI specialist. But you laid down ground rules and the dealer broke them. So I think you can contest the bill. They are holding the car under their right of Lien. If you want it back you have to pay, then use Moneyclaim to try to recover the excess of the invoice from them later: https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim 

Click back to Honest John’s Motoring Agonies 04-01-2020 Part 1

 

 

Comments

groaver    on 2 January 2020

Re:Deadly dogma
Interestingly, the paper talks about re-testing older motorists' capability to drive.
I think that's the greater issue here.

Captain-Cretin    on 3 January 2020

Just a few days ago I sat in my first automatic car for several years; the pedals were offset so far to the right, it was an uncomfortable stretch and twist to get my left foot over the brake pedal, although the rest of the car suited me perfectly.

(Which, at 2 metres tall is pretty rare).

Yes, I could do it, but is also squashed my baby making equipment a bit more than was comfortable.

Heidfirst    on 3 January 2020

re. Deadly dogma

Full Disclosure - I will be pedantic.

There is no mention of automatic transmission so of course this is what the vast majority of UK drivers who drive manuals do ... (Googling "Great British Brake Off" produced nothing).

Does HJ honestly drive for long periods (e.g. 3 hrs on a motorway/dual carriageway) with his left foot poised over the brake?

You cannot eliminate the thinking distance. You could, however, minimise the time that it takes you to implement the braking phase but the only way to have a thinking distance of zero would be if the car was not moving ... .

Scot5    on 3 January 2020

Yet again HJ gives advice which in my opinion is even more dangerous.

I'm not familiar with that case HJ has provided a link to, but the article says the woman was knocked down by an open door. Who tries to hit the foot brake when the door's open? If anyone is daft enough to do that, then they're daft enough to hit both the brake with their left foot and the accelerator with their right.

I've said it before in response to the left foot brake issue before and I'll say it again - you cannot prevent an idiot from causing an accident.

If it was a manual car, does HJ also suggest they left foot brake - comes down to the same thing, in fact given it's a smaller brake pedal than an auto, I'd have thought there's more chance of missing it?

I was witness today to a parking accident, some old lady trying to drive in to a parking bay hit the rear of the car already parked. What did she do? She kept trying to drive forward! When her car was stuck, she reversed a few feet and then drove in to the parked car again! She reversed, and for a third time drove in to the car again!!!! She finally squared up her car and drove in to the parking bay, got out, closed the door, and walked in to M&S with her friend for a coffee without as much as battering an eye lid. And yes I did leave my name and details with the poor old couple who came back to find their car with dirty large scrapes down the side of it.

Bottom line - you can't teach an old dog new tricks, in fact if you were to as HJ wishes then I'd suggest we'd see a higher number of accidents.

Should older people have to undergo a driving test when they reach a certain age? In my opinion definitely. In fact I think we should all have to sit our driving tests after a set period.

DaveWK    on 7 January 2020

Reminds me of a visit to Figueres in Spain years ago. Narrow streets with cars parked almost bumper to bumper. Saw a mini (Spanish registered) with miniature bull bars over the front and rear side lights. Seems like a good idea I thought. Certainly was. The driver came from a shop, climbed aboard and drove backwards-crash into the car behind with much tinkling of glass and plastic, then forwards with the same effect to the car ahead. Full lock steering and a couple more thumps extricated him from the difficulty and off he went rejoicing.

bodywork    on 12 January 2020

That last bit about taking another test, I absolutely agree with, there is no way on earth that people can be trusted to self regulate themselves and voluntarily take responsibility for their actions, if no ones looking they will walk away, moral obligation is redundant, always.

Nathan Fox    on 3 January 2020

Referring to the BBC link, this from the Newcastle Chronicle: "When Patricia Tulip pulled up outside lifelong friend Joyce Nainby's home in Gosforth, Newcastle, she left her automatic car in reverse instead of neutral and didn't apply the handbrake sufficiently. As the 82-year-old driver and her 80-year-old passenger got out, the car began to roll backwards and Tulip got back in to try to stop it. But instead of pressing the brake, as she intended, she hit the accelerator, causing the car to shoot backwards."

This incident holds out zero support for the (extremely dangerous) proposition that we should accelerate and brake automatic vehicles using two different legs. The woman panicked when faced with a roll-away car and the evidence points strongly to the use of her left foot. We don't know whether the car was RHD but let's not speculate too hard over a simple problem. It's the UK, there's a 99.999% chance that it was RHD. She's no spring chicken and she was trying to stop the vehicle as rapidly as she could. In these circumstances her left foot would have been closest to the pedals. Close your eyes and picture it. Her backside goes on the seat, left leg swings inside right leg probably still dangling over the sill. She pokes out her left foot and vrooooom! Ten grand to a penny says she left foot braked and hit the accelerator by mistake.

Unless someone knows for certain something to the contrary this is the most likely cause of death. The proposal in favour of left foot braking is badly mistaken and contrary to the advice of the AA and RAC (just for starters...). This case proves how dangerous the left foot is when it goes anywhere near the accelerator or brake pedal - in any type of car.

Edited by Nathan Fox on 03/01/2020 at 20:42

veryoldbear    on 4 January 2020

I have exactly the same problem as Captain Cretin, except that I have two similar Saab 9-5's one manual, one automatic. The pedal positions for accelerator and brake are in the same position in both. To left foot brake requires one to sit skewed in the seat in a most uncomfortable manner. I can see some point in left foot braking "American" cars which were only available as autos and had a big brake pedal. In that case one can sit properly in the seat. But even those cars usually had a noggin to park the left foot on. I always remember my first time in an auto (hired car, LAX airport, circa 1972). I started off left-foot braking and had a very interesting nose / steering wheel episode

Edited by veryoldbear on 04/01/2020 at 08:03

   on 4 January 2020

Please can we have an end to this left foot breaking debate , been going on so long it’s getting boring.

GingerTom    on 4 January 2020

It is boring but those who can't do it keep telling others they shouldn't instead of just accepting the fact they are unable or unwilling to learn.

Silas Marner    on 4 January 2020

Please can we have an end to this left foot breaking debate , been going on so long it’s getting boring.

As this is one of HJ's favourite hobby-horses, I think he'll take every opportunity to ride it. Just don't rise to the bait and keep your blood pressure down, folks.

doi209    on 4 January 2020

Such a favourite topic, it has been mentioned in both of the first articles.

Can I just say: HJ - we know what you think. I believe in the Santa, but I don't bleat on about it at every opportunity. I am a 65 year old driving a M140i automatic and have had no problems driving with one foot on the throttle/brake and the other adjusting the ICE.

( I don't believe in Santa, but...)

Engineer Andy    on 5 January 2020

Please can we have an end to this left foot breaking debate , been going on so long it’s getting boring.

As this is one of HJ's favourite hobby-horses, I think he'll take every opportunity to ride it. Just don't rise to the bait and keep your blood pressure down, folks.

I don't think it helps when so many people (both Telegraph readers and people who frequent this site) keep writing to/emailing him with essentially the same question, week-in, week-out, not bothering to read his collumn from essentially one to two weeks ago that (in his eyes) answered exactly the same question as they are now asking.

The same could easily be said for drivers of VAG cars with DSG 'auto' gearboxes. It's not as though his previous columns aren't available any more - search of less than 5 minutes brings at least the last 2 months' worth up. People are just lazy and ignorant these days, despite so much more information being easily available.

GingerTom    on 4 January 2020

Ha ha the usual "I can't do it so no-one else should" rubbish. As HJ correctly says how do you think racing car and go-kart drivers do it?

FYI I am a manual gearbox driver and have been for over 40 years. I get into my mothers automatic and immediately left foot brake with no problem at all. Am I super human? No of course not. I just have the physical and mental agility to do it. Not everyone has or even wants to to. They just rubbish it as if everyone else is stupid. I have heard about many accidents involving pedal mix up where the driver (usually elderly) thinks they are pressing the brake and when the car speeds up they press harder resulting in a bad accident. One customer of ours managed to run his new Fiesta into a wall so hard he wrote it off.

So please stop telling people they shouldn't be doing what you can't do yourself.

Heidfirst    on 4 January 2020

So please stop telling people they shouldn't be doing what you can't do yourself.

I am perfectly capable of left foot braking - I used to rally*. However. HJ's premise that you can eliminate thinking distance entirely is 100% wrong. As I said earlier, the only way that is possible is if the vehicle is not moving.

* in motorsports you usually have very peaky power delivery & "falling off the cam" can be very costly in time - left foot braking is as much about keeping the revs up & in the power zone as anything else. Plenty of things that are common practice in motorsports are not safe on the public road.

will86    on 4 January 2020

Surely this left foot braking debate is missing the more fundamental issue - if you can't work out which pedal is the brake then you shouldn't be driving. As for the concept of left foot braking, I can see the benefits at low speed in an auto, but trying to learn to brake with your left foot after many years of right foot braking could easily lead to confusion. Plus the brake in many cars is offset to the right making it physically difficult if not impossible to use your left foot.

Patrickbzh    on 4 January 2020

The newspaper report shown says that he reversed 100 feet into the victim. How far do you have to go to realise you're going in the wrong direction and try your left foot, your right foot, steering, or turning the engine off.
Maybe, at 87 some people need to not be driving any more.

stojom    on 5 January 2020

Right foot or left foot , it doesn’t matter. It’s the brain not being in gear is the problem and that occurs at any age not just the over 70’s.

jchinuk    on 5 January 2020

Re : Deadly Dogma, "If your left foot is already poised over the brake pedal you eliminate the thinking distance..." That is nonsense, the "thinking distance" includes the time your eyes register the problem, send that information to the brain, the brain works out you need to brake and sends the instructions to your foot. There might be a slight difference because you don't need to move your left foot, but all the 'internal messaging' is the same, it cannot "eliminate" thinking distance.

Of course the careful driver is aware of the possible problem and covers the brake in anticipation, regardless of transmission type.

The examples of deaths caused by drivers of automatic cars are invariably because they press the accelerator thinking it is the brake, a confusion that can still occur whether you use the 'one foot' or 'two foot' method of driving an automatic.

jchinuk    on 5 January 2020

Re : Big problem, Do I detect more than a bit of class envy? I don't drive an SUV, but I used have a Ford Ecosport, basically a high-rise Fiesta, not exactly a 'tank', but regarded as an SUV.

I feel the rise (literally I suppose) of the SUV is just the fashion in car styling, what are now regarded as SUVs will just be cars in the future.

jchinuk    on 5 January 2020

Re : Jumping to conclusion
I assumed that the need to connect to a 'running' engine was one of the reasons jump leads have insulated clips these days? I can recall sets with glorified metal bulldog clips on the end.

MP98    on 5 January 2020

Re left foot braking; as many have said, the issue isn’t right foot braking, it’s being too old to drive. HJ’s dogma on this though ignores this and fails to address the real issue. .

To settle it once and for all though I plan to amputate my left foot, staple it to my right foot as a matter of record, and then brake and accelerate with both feet at the same time. I’ll update Mercedes on the results.

Lofty20    on 5 January 2020

Big Problem
I think PDG Lymington has a problem...his comments about the “young girls “ charging about,possibly having visited their lovers beds etc. etc. Are the most offensive comments I have ever read on here and I have been reading this for years ! I don’t even think it should have been published because of those remarks. For the record I am a very non PC male !
M W Norwich

davemac42    on 7 January 2020

Not saying it is so but I have read in reputable magazines, a Ford designed suspension used on the Mondeo was also used on a Jaguar. I think Ford designed suspensions have been used on smaller Land Rovers?

Penumbra    on 7 January 2020

Ref; PDG, Lymington and Big SUVs

I second Lofty's comment - a really offensive post and should be removed. If this was on the forum it wouldn't have lasted 5 minutes before being pulled. PDG obviously only has a small .... garage
As regards the accident he mentions; I imagine any accident that involves a vehicle loosing control, crossing the carriageway and ploughing into pedestrians will result in deaths.

   on 7 January 2020

Left foot braking. If HJ is suggesting that people should be taught to drive that way from the beginning then that would require the motoring/licensing regulation to be changed and might be an acceptable campaign for him to promote.
However, what are the risks of encouraging experienced drivers to completely change the way they control their vehicles when they are at or approaching that age when it becomes more difficult to learn and assimilate new things? Without doing any technical study I would plump for it leading to more accidents and not fewer.
It is true that left foot braking can be a safe way to drive a vehicle and is especially important for off road/circuit performance where you are wanting to drive at, near or even over the limit of maximum. However, to suggest that it is, by definition, the safest and ONLY way to drive is patent rubbish.
In the tragic case most recently linked the attempt to quickly enter the car and brake would lead to a completely off balance body position. This would increase the risk of hitting the throttle regardless of left foot braking. If the left leg went in first then the body balance and position would make it almost impossible to use the left foot with any certainty before the right. The car was moving don't forget so all the body weight would be on that left leg. It is much more likely that as the poor woman was elderly she was not as nimble, strong or flexible. A much more significant factor in my opinion.
On the question of testing drivers of a certain age. No evidence to support that they should be singled out from all other drivers. Just look at the stats in detail. I am, however, positively in favour of mandatory refresher training for ALL drivers within set periods throughout their driving lives. The ultimate penalty being the cancellation of licences in proscribed situations.

Slow Eddie    on 7 January 2020

Without doing any technical study I would plump for it leading to more accidents and not fewer.

My sentiments entirely, and I imagine they're shared by a majority of readers. Don't hold your breath for a reasoned response from HJ, though.

Mino    on 8 January 2020

I disagree with HJ that lefy foot braking an automatic is the only "safe" way... and it's a pity that so many people who do left foot brake seem to assume that anybody who doesn't do it is "incapable" of doing it.

When I drive an auto' I use my right foot on the throttle and for braking. I dunno why the left-footers can't also manage it.

Maybe their reaction times are too slow to shift their foot from the right pedal to the left pedal in less time than it takes to move it from the floor/foot rest to the pedal?

If they are just "Nervous Nancies" who like the re-assurance of feeling the pedal under their left foot, then maybe they need to take further or advanced driving lessons to get their confidence up. Also, learning to read the road ahead, anticiapting events and driving within ones capabilities might also help them... bless!


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