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Driving in Low

6647 Views 33 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  mazda3-turncoat
I was trying to find a discussion on the advantages /disadvantages of driving on Low (as opposed to "D" in the shifter) and came up with nothing on my search results. So in the unlikely event that this issue has not been thoroughly discussed I'm taking the risk of bringing it up to see whether or not there's some feedback regarding it.
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Always use it in the mountains, ....
Why is this???

I came down Pikes Peak just using the Brake pedal in D, like the dumb tourist in front of me. Her brakes STUNK.
At the Park Ranger Safety Stop they measure your brake temps. Mine was 75°F on a 65° day.
Biggest regen charge that Volt battery ever got by the time I was at the bottom!!

If you like the feel of driving in L, go for it! But there are NO performance advantages.
The Volt does blended braking so it will use a mix of regen and friction braking when you use the pedal, however you have no idea what it's using because it doesn't provide an indicator..... On a steep mountain road, where you braking all of the time, the L mode is more comfortable plus you know ......
The IR temp reader knows I was not using friction brakes coming down Pikes Peak. It's very steep!

Why more comfortable? You are either feathering the throttle with your foot constantly on the Go pedal,
or you are applying Brakes when you need to, with an added 'Coast' function at no extra cost!
With Brand T you don't get 'Coast'.:p
One convenient use of L is that it usually enables you to use Cruise Control and leave your foot off the brake while driving downhill without speeding up,.....
Right! That is the one definite use of driving in L.
The Volt seems to have a two mode CC, for some strange reason.
In D it will let you break the speed limit you set for the car on downhills.
In L it will lock onto that speed on the downhills.

But then when you disengage the CC it goes into a powerful regen. You have to be ready for that.

The Spark EV does that 'lock' in D with the CC set.
I use it in deep snow and ice. The controlled deceleration and smoother starts help keep traction.
But that's exactly the same thing as you do if you were in D, no?
In fact you really have to be careful not to let off the Go pedal in L in slick conditions or it will dump all regen if the fronts start sliding.
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