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Discussion Starter #1
I am a 3-month new owner (loaded '13) & am utilizing L range more & more for braking in all driving conditions as it is a really effective battery range extender, as you veterans all know, but I have a special request for Chevy: Design brake lights io illuminate when in L and regen braking without touching brake pedal.
My Volt is awesome, an engineering masterpiece and flawless in its first 3,600 mi.
Tim Shevlin. Anaheim, CA
 

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That has been a common and sensible recco. However, as in the case of conventional down shifting ...no joy. Consequently, tap the brake for safety.
 

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I don't think you understand how many time it would be going on and off.

To get an idea put the display in the picture mode and note the regeneration icon.

A (G) meter display on the back of the car would give more information that a red light.

I would get the law changed first then the engineering will follow.
 

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I am a 3-month new owner (loaded '13) & am utilizing L range more & more for braking in all driving conditions as it is a really effective battery range extender, as you veterans all know
Glad you like your Volt. I love mine, and mine has been flawless in it's first 51,533 miles. In fact, I like mine so much that I'm not going to take a chance of some idiot rear-ending me. I almost never use "L" - okay, I will use it for the cruise to hold me at 25 MPH where the road is not level.

Regen is also provided by the brake pedal (which says "Voltec" on it) as the controller seamlessly blends the regen with the friction brakes as needed, so if you are easy on the brakes and plan ahead (also reducing the possibility of someone slamming into your rear), you should get the same range whether driving in L or D. Try it - several times, preferably over your commute - there, are so many other variables, including temperature, humidity, traffic flow, hills, and climate control settings, that the difference between L and D will be insignificant.

At at Woodward Cruise event / Volt parade a while back, one Volt owner told me how someone pulled along side him, enraged, telling him his brake lights weren't working. The legalistic response "but I never touched my brake pedal" doesn't cut it. I know - I followed a Volt that was
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in L during the parade, and it was not fun - I didn't want to spoil the parade (and my Volt) by rear ending him. I would have passed and given him a wide berth if it wasn't a parade.

So think of your fellow drivers out there as well, including the distracted mom with yelling kids who is yakking on the cell phone, or the drunk driver, who could use a little more warning that you are slowing down.
 

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I followed a Volt that was in L during the parade, and it was not fun - I didn't want to spoil the parade (and my Volt) by rear ending him. I would have passed and given him a wide berth if it wasn't a parade.
I've discovered L-mode is great for encouraging tailgaters to do exactly that - either pass or back off, but either way to pay more attention.

But generally the lack of brake lights combined with aggressive slowing keeps me from using L. I'll pull it down when approaching a red traffic light and I use it in stop-n-go backed up traffic, but that's it. There are times I find myself wishing for an L2 mode with about half as much braking as L has, more similar to a stick shift in 4th gear.
 

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If you want the brake light to activate use D and lightly apply the brake pedal, the initial activation is all regen and you can get a similar regen result. You can gauge the regen by the energy flow display and the green ball.

Personally I like the one foot driving of L and I always look to see how the driver behind is reacting, sometimes tapping the brake pedal if needed. The L mode is much like driving on my CTS-V I sold to buy the Volt, with a 6 speed down shifting was just natural.
 
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We have the suggestion for the brake lights while in L notated. It has not gone unheard! =)

-Ian Chevrolet Volt Customer Service
 

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This may even be doable with the current hardware with software upgrades. All you need to monitor are sudden differences in speed while in L unless the Volt's main computer has direct access to all the accelerometer data. The tail lights are controllable by the system anyway.
 

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At at Woodward Cruise event / Volt parade a while back, one Volt owner told me how someone pulled along side him, enraged, telling him his brake lights weren't working. The legalistic response "but I never touched my brake pedal" doesn't cut it. I know - I followed a Volt that was
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in L during the parade, and it was not fun - I didn't want to spoil the parade (and my Volt) by rear ending him. I would have passed and given him a wide berth if it wasn't a parade.
I drove a stick shift car for almost ten years, with a similar behavior of slowing down w/o the brake light coming on.

It didn't bother me then, it doesn't bother me now. I'll tap the brake pedal if I think the person is being a moron, but otherwise I don't care.
 

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As long as you're not doing 60mph and suddenly pull your foot off the accelerator, I don't feel that you decelerating that fast. As zeede said, downshifting a manual transmission is no different.
 

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use your left foot to tap the brake pedal to signal cars behind you, if you want to keep your right foot on the accelerator pedal in "L".

Those of us who used to drive a stick remember when our left feet got a lot of action on the clutch pedal. Now I've been practicing tapping the brake pedal with my left foot and it works great. just swivel around without taking my left heel off the floor, just enough to tap the brake.
 

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We have the suggestion for the brake lights while in L notated. It has not gone unheard! =)

-Ian Chevrolet Volt Customer Service
I'm glad to hear it. I do what others here have mentioned which is tap the brake pedal if I think I need to wake up the person behind me and I'm not as nervous about it as I was at the beginning. I don't know if anyone noticed my comment yesterday about the tailgating Mercedes, LOL.

I actually bought an LED gizmo designed for motorcycles which flashes when you back off the throttle. It was bog simple, operating off a mercury switch. I ended up putting it on my Buell instead as the consequences of getting rear ended on a motorcycle are usually a bit more serious than in a car. But it just shows how easy it would be for someone with the engineering prowess of GM to come up with something similar.

It would be a good thing Ian. Please keep following up on it. Thank you.
 

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We have the suggestion for the brake lights while in L notated. It has not gone unheard! =)

-Ian Chevrolet Volt Customer Service
GAH! I don't want to be behind anyone with that enabled. I don't want them to be able to enable it. It's annoying to follow someone who repeatedly flashes the brake lights. Eventually it's the boy who cried wolf, and you ignore it.

It is not broken. Please don't fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Perhaps I was not clear in stating that it is in L with one's foot OFF the gas, that brake light illumination would be nice. No g meter required-the braking is robust, as you know. The whole point of this suggestion is to allow safe use of L in traffic, such as on
short freeway off ramps where there is insufficient runout to use a normal gliding stop in D. I believe that the Cadillac ELR, (a magnificent looking work of art, IMHO) with its paddle-shift controlled L Select, recognizes that this is a really useful feature when driving in traffic. It, too, should incorporate the brake light as described. Designing in additional levels of regen braking force would be nice, too. Just hope I don't wear out the shifter detent rowing around in So. Cal. traffic....
Tim Shevlin Anaheim, CA
 

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This subject has been discussed many times on this site...

Basically two opinions have emerged:

1. It is the same as "downshifting" in a vehicle with a manual transmission, which has been an issue for 100 years, but not a single auto manufacturer has added it as a feature in a vehicle with a manual transmission, nor has US DOT required it..

2. It is something GM should add. Can't think of a reason "not" to do it...



I am a 3-month new owner (loaded '13) & am utilizing L range more & more for braking in all driving conditions as it is a really effective battery range extender, as you veterans all know, but I have a special request for Chevy: Design brake lights io illuminate when in L and regen braking without touching brake pedal.
My Volt is awesome, an engineering masterpiece and flawless in its first 3,600 mi.
Tim Shevlin. Anaheim, CA
 

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This subject has been discussed many times on this site...

Basically two opinions have emerged:

1. It is the same as "downshifting" in a vehicle with a manual transmission, which has been an issue for 100 years, but not a single auto manufacturer has added it as a feature in a vehicle with a manual transmission, nor has US DOT required it..

2. It is something GM should add. Can't think of a reason "not" to do it...
Except the brake light is a method to show intent by the driver much the same as a turn signal, just imagine all those brake light flashes happening much like a left footer in an automatic trans car.

I don't need the car deciding this for me and if implemented I certainly would want a configuration option to turn it OFF!

Edit, google up assured clear distance, it is the followers responsibility to maintain a proper distance. Hang the cell phones up and drive.
 

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As I remember, in L with your foot off the gas the Volt decelerates at a rate that is right on the edge between "You MAY turn on the brake light" and "You CAN'T turn on the brake light". It's no where near the "You MUST turn on the brake light" requirement point. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if the L regen rate would have to be changed to put it reliably in one or the other range.
 

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As I remember, in L with your foot off the gas the Volt decelerates at a rate that is right on the edge between "You MAY turn on the brake light" and "You CAN'T turn on the brake light". It's no where near the "You MUST turn on the brake light" requirement point. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if the L regen rate would have to be changed to put it reliably in one or the other range.
Quite a few motorcyclists use aftermarket setups which begin flashing the brake light slowly at some level of brake application. The frequency increases with the increasing level of brake application and then goes solid red at a higher predetermined level. Many believe that this is a very good safety feature, drawing more attention to often overlooked and very vulnerable motorcycles. Something like this comes to my mind every time I pop my Volt into "L" and peer into the mirror to monitor the cars behind me.

My daughter-in-law got rear ended on the freeway last Friday in her Mini Cooper. As I understand it she had lifted off the gas in anticipation of slowing traffic ahead. She didn't have the brakes on and was traveling about 45 mph when the guy slammed into her.
 

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All the talk about having brake light on when in L is simply another way of saying, "I want my brake lights on whenever I am not not not accelerating or maintaining a constant speed". After all if it's not not accelerating or maintaining a constant speed, the car is decelerating.
 
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