Brake or neutral when idling at the stop lights? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum
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#1 Old 07-28-2013
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Brake or neutral when idling at the stop lights?

Hi

I've never been too sure as what is best to do and have never seen a definitive answer.

Natural thing for me to do is to slip the car into N and apply handbrake rather than keep it in D with foot on brake stopping the car from creeping forward. It feels like it might be unnecessarily waring out the 'clutch' and brake light bulb although I'm sure its not.

Any thought as to what Mercedes might recommend?

Thanks
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#2 Old 07-28-2013
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One of the features included in the 2012, is the brake hold(not sure what year it started) At a light, if you press the brake all the way in after stopping, the brake hold engages and you can take your foot of the brake at that time. It disaegages when you press the gas pedal. So it seems to be the best way according to MB, is to hold the brake. If it looks like it will be a long stop, I usually shift to neutral as a habit any way.


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#3 Old 07-28-2013
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Originally Posted by Dsr207 View Post
One of the features included in the 2012, is the brake hold(not sure what year it started) At a light, if you press the brake all the way in after stopping, the brake hold engages and you can take your foot of the brake at that time. It disaegages when you press the gas pedal. So it seems to be the best way according to MB, is to hold the brake. If it looks like it will be a long stop, I usually shift to neutral as a habit any way.

I've heard that shifting to N can cause more wear that leaving it in D, that's one of the reasons I've asked.

As for the brake hold feature in the 2012, I remember my fathers Mk 10 Jaguar having that feature back in 1963 over 50 years ago.

Steve
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#4 Old 07-28-2013
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I think this is a hold-over from manual transmissions, and from automated manual boxes as there is wear taking place on the clutch throw out bearing if it is not put into neutral, but this isn't a factor in a torque converter auto.

http://www.rospa.com/roadsafety/advi...gearboxes.aspx

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When stationary in traffic, even for many minutes, it is not necessary to move the gear lever into neutral because the torque converter absorbs the engine’s propulsion force but does not transmit it all to the gearbox. No wear is taking place. In fact, more wear will take place if you engage neutral then engage a drive gear when it is possible to move off. Most gearboxes will automatically select first gear when the vehicle becomes stationary.

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#5 Old 07-28-2013
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I think it depends on manual or automatic..When driving a manual, I always shift to neutral at long stops, not saying that is good or bad, just my habit , never did any harm in my case.

Edit.. By the time I usually respond, I miss another input..didn't see the last one


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#6 Old 07-28-2013
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Are you driving a manual or an automatic?
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#7 Old 07-28-2013
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It has always been apparent to me that the only purpose for a stop light, stop sign, or any stop for that matter, is to provide an opportunity to perfect your 0-60 (or for that matter 0 to whatever you fancy) times.

Therefore logic dictates that the car must remain in gear to expedite the departure. This requires one foot on the brake. This factor provides an advantage to the automatic transmission. A manual transmission requires one foot for the clutch and one for the brake. For nearly all drivers, this exhausts the foot supply. However with the automatic, the left foot can be used for the brake, while the right foot is free to maintain the absolute optimum RPM for maximum off the line acceleration.

It is possible to hold the car in position with the hand brake. However since even the boldest of us would agree that one hand should be reserved for the steering wheel, the hand normally used to express one's opinion of the nearby drivers' reactions to your departure techniques is tied up with releasing the hand brake.


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#8 Old 07-28-2013
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Will, Here is your answer Steve..


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#9 Old 07-28-2013
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I've always used the hand brake and putting the gear in neutral in an auto gearbox when stopping in traffic lights. I grew accustomed to it because my foot gets tired depressing the brake especially if the stop lights would show longer seconds before it would change. I do this out of convenience while waiting for the light to change. The problem I've experienced with this is that in time the hand brake would need adjustment. When the car was bought brand new the handbrake would produce 3-4 clicks when pulled, the mercedes dealer told me that when you hear more than 4 clicks when you pull the hand brake, you need to bring it back to have it adjusted again. The hand brake loses its default adjustment through time and use.

Using the handbrake and depressing your foot in the brake does not overly bring about damage in any components, it is designed to be used in normal car operations. What you should be thinking about is the convenience. If you put your gear into neutral and using the handbrake you'll have a bit longer time to accelerate out of the stop light which would result in someone honking behind you or be a little late for your schedule, but it would be a good feeling to relax your foot for a bit. Using your foot to hold the brake would give you a faster time to get out of the stop but it will tire your foot.
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#10 Old 07-29-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsr207 View Post
?.........It disaegages when you press the gas pedal. So it seems to be the best way according to MB, is to hold the brake.........

Does the same if you forget to release the parking brake.
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#11 Old 07-29-2013
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Quote:
Does the same if you forget to release the parking brake.
Why would you go to the trouble of releasing the parking brake when it automatically disengages by design?
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#12 Old 07-29-2013
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I used to sit at stop lights with the clutch in and foot off brake on level ground until I got hit from behind after I let off the brake. The driver behind wasn't paying attention and started to move when my brake lights went off. Brake lights don't stop the driver behind from hitting you, but I try to do everything I can to protect the space behind me. A driver class I took recommended keeping the brakes well engaged so a minor collision from the rear didn't push you into the cross traffic at the intersection.
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#13 Old 07-29-2013
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Speaking as someone who was hit from behind in my other car over the weekend, I can really appreciate the logic of having the brake lights on to catch the attention of other drivers.

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#14 Old 07-29-2013
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Manual - shift to neutral, let the clutch out, maintain pressure on brake pedal.

Automatic (torque converter) - leave it in gear, maintain pressure on brake pedal.

A torque converter is designed to slip at idle speeds with zero damage to the system. The built in slippage is one of the main differences in "feel" that people notice vs a clutch that locks up with no slip. It's also why your automatic transmission equipped car doesn't stall at idle speeds.
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#15 Old 08-01-2013
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So being new to automatic boxes after 20 years of stick change cars... Mine is pretty eager to be away when left in drive and it is all that the foot brake can do to hold her back - is this normal ?
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#16 Old 08-01-2013
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Note for what it is worth. The hand brake works off brake shoes in the hub of rear wheels only. Where foot brake is pads on all four disk brakes. Therefore the foot brake has more holding power. Hand brake is more for use when the car is parked and auto trans in park or for manual trans in 1st or second gear and engine off.
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#17 Old 08-01-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dolau View Post
So being new to automatic boxes after 20 years of stick change cars... Mine is pretty eager to be away when left in drive and it is all that the foot brake can do to hold her back - is this normal ?
No, not normal. What is your idle speed? Torque converters are speed dependent. Are your brakes severely worn? Weak right leg? At an idle speed of 600-700 rpm, your brakes should have no trouble overcoming the small amount of torque being transmitted through your transmission with light pressure on the brake pedal. The SLK200 isn't exactly a torque monster.

My SLK55 idles at about 600 rpm and a light press of the brake pedal is all that's needed to hold the car at a stop. While we're on the subject, this SLK55 has about the lowest idle speed of any car I've ever owned. I assume it's normal as the car seems happy at that engine speed.
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#18 Old 08-02-2013
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I was under the impression that a hand brake was only for hill starts and when parked
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#19 Old 08-02-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CT_SLK View Post
No, not normal. What is your idle speed? Torque converters are speed dependent. Are your brakes severely worn? Weak right leg? At an idle speed of 600-700 rpm, your brakes should have no trouble overcoming the small amount of torque being transmitted through your transmission with light pressure on the brake pedal. The SLK200 isn't exactly a torque monster.

My SLK55 idles at about 600 rpm and a light press of the brake pedal is all that's needed to hold the car at a stop. While we're on the subject, this SLK55 has about the lowest idle speed of any car I've ever owned. I assume it's normal as the car seems happy at that engine speed.
My BMW V8 idles at about 550rpm in drive and 600 in neutral, so I think it's quite normal.
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#20 Old 08-02-2013
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I think mine idles on 'choke' nearer 1000 and then drops to 5/700 when in drive not sure that low down what the bottom rev reading is.

I will be sure to watch it next trip but once the beast is warm it is not so bad.

My brakes are good and just been cleaned and freed off by my mechanic
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