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How to drive an auto?

Discussion in 'General Mercedes-Benz Related Discussion' started by thespirit3, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. thespirit3

    thespirit3 Senior Member

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    Quick question. The Coupe I had a deposit on has fallen through - so today I'm picking up a C220 saloon. Should be more comfortable for long journeys anyway.

    Anyway:- Driving an auto. Everyone I speak to has different advice.

    Can someone answer me this question...

    Pull up at traffic lights (anticipating a long wait). Use the handbrake (well, footbrake - but you know what I mean!).
    Should I leave the car in 'Drive', or move it to 'Neutral' or 'Park'?

    Coming from driving a manual, the combination of handbrake and 'drive' doesn't seem all that healthy. But I've read elsewhere that moving from D to N/P causes unnecessary wear on the linkage, and in some cases can cause extra wear on the box - due to oil not getting circulated properly.

    However, most sites are not Mercedes specific - so ... help!

    A Mercedes driver in work has said "never use the handbrake - keep your foot on the footbrake. Leave it in Drive." - but if shunted, this seems like a very bad plan. He also commented that 'Park' should only be used when I plan to get out of the vehicle.

    I'm picking the car up this afternoon, so some quick advice would be great :)

    Thanks again.


    Steve
     
  2. Slaphead

    Slaphead Senior Member

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    If I was at lights and expecting to move off fairly soon I'd leave it in D but I'd have a heavy foot on the brake, if the traffic isn't going anywhere (all too common!) I'd probably put it in P. I never use N, why would I? I'd have to have a brake on anyway.
    I only ever use the parking brake when I'm turning the car off and getting out.
     
  3. OP
    thespirit3

    thespirit3 Senior Member

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    The online manual states:

    Stopping

    If you are only stopping briefly:

    Leave the selector lever in the drive position.

    Prevent the vehicle from rolling away by applying the parking brake

    But ... define briefly ... what do people do at lights?
     
  4. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Your Mercedes:
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    there are different views here on some points.
    Leave it in gear (D) that's what 99% here say, and also our handbooks.

    The parking brake and N has different opinions, some say that if you sit with your foot on the brake it blinds the drivers behind, most of us agree that you do not have to look at the parking brakes of the car in front when stoped at lights
    For me with autos since 1960 I always leave in D with foot brake.

    Malcolm
     
  5. OP
    thespirit3

    thespirit3 Senior Member

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  6. mercdriver

    mercdriver Active Member

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    When the shift is in P, there is no way that car is gonna move, so why have a handbrake? I understand it would be required if using N, but when is N ever used? I simply use D for moving and P when not moving. Perhaps I've got it wrong, could someone enlighten me? Thanks

    Mark
     
  7. OmniCognateNeutronRangler

    OmniCognateNeutronRangler Senior Member

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    steep hills. In a normal car i.e. one with a handbreak, you hold the car on the handbreak if you are sittingin traffic on a hill. If the hill is steep enough my C-Class WILL roll back if you just have it in drive, so you have to have one foot on the break and one on the accellerator when you pull away, which is not ideal. Alternatively you use the foot break, but at that is pretty much on or off that is not ideal either
     
  8. maldon

    maldon Senior Member

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    I'm an in drive all the time and no handbrake when parked punter.
     
  9. daveenty

    daveenty Senior Member

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    That's always been my style as well...parking brake usually once a year for MoT, though I do keep it greased up.
     
  10. davidsl500

    davidsl500 Senior Member

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    As I understand it "P" is a transmission lock brake - if someone shunts you up the rear at the lights then exit one auto gearbox......
     
  11. Myros

    Myros Senior Member

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    didn't we all decide that

    D, parking brake on, footbrake covered and used to warn approaching traffic from the rear. Except when we could see we'd be there for ever, when N, or engine off would be more appropriate.
    or was that just me?
     
  12. OP
    thespirit3

    thespirit3 Senior Member

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    I had a feeling this would cause some debate!

    I did look for previous discussions on this subject - but couldn't see anything recent/obvious. Apologies if I've covered old ground here.

    Thanks again for everyones responses - always good to get different opinions. I think I'll leave it in D, and then see how I feel about the parking brake.

    Ta :)

    Steve
     
  13. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

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    Me too - haven't used handbrakes for years (threw me for a moment when I took the car for service and they left it with the brake on!).

    If it looks like I'll be stopped at lights etc for a while *and there's already traffic stopped behind me* I'll pop it into Park. I've read the horror stories about being punted up the rear and it wiping out the auto box (no idea if they're true, though).
     
  14. Doyle

    Doyle Senior Member

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    exactly same is mine :)
     
  15. mercdriver

    mercdriver Active Member

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    But if somebody shunts you from behind, and the gearbox is kaput, then you claim on their insurance? (provided they are insured)

    Mark
     
  16. Tony

    Tony Senior Member

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    I remember reading that warped discs are a characteristic problem of auto cars because people leave them in D with their foot on the brake. WIth a manual it's second nature to apply the handbrake and put it in neutral.
     
  17. maldon

    maldon Senior Member

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    The Mrs always uses the hand(foot)brake on our MB autos - it really bugs me - when the cars are at home on the level drive in deep-ish pea shingle they aint going anywhere.

    I had a hired new Focus manual estate in Sardinian earlier this year. Thought it was complete gutless then after a mile realised h/b was on.....
     
  18. bitonw

    bitonw Senior Member

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    wraped discs

    Wraped discs is when you drive from the highway on high speed in to the petrol station full in the brakes, engine off and fill up...
     
  19. C220GJS

    C220GJS Senior Member

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    The problem is probably material transfer from pad to disc or vice-versa rather than warped discs, which is highly unlikely with ventilated discs.
    Read this if you have a few minutes to spare; http://www.stoptech.com/tech_info/wp_warped_brakedisk.shtml.
    Geo.
     
  20. jberks

    jberks Senior Member

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    ok - IMHO
    In normal traffic, you are very rarely stuck for more than 30 secs or so, before moving, however slowly.
    1) shifting in and out of D puts considerable wear on the auto box so don't do it. People get paranoid leaving in D because they assume it's like holding on the clutch with a manual and will wear something out (like a clutch plate). The clutch on an auto is a fluid arrangement so no wear takes place, hence the least stressful thing for your auto gearbox is to leave in D. The most stressful is shifting in and out- even to N.
    2) The handbrake is not that effective. There is no real world harm in leaving your foot on the pedal (or using SBC hold if available) but D and handbrake is a dodgy idea. The handbrake is all in, resisting the pull from the engine. There is little left for shunts, inclines etc. All you'd need is for someone to shunt you, the handbrake wouldn't hold and you'll roll, partially under power, into the car in front.
    So, the only time I shift into P is if I know I'm not going anywhere for several mins at a minimum. I almost never use the handbrake.
     

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