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Has anyone put thought into adding a manual, finger-controlled, switch to immediately put the car into "L" mode and back to "D" when needed? I'm asking because I used to own a 2000 Honda Insight (one of the best cars ever made) and there was a mod we forum members with tons of electronics experience used to "trick" the car into thinking that the brakes were engaged, so the car would go into full regen without having to actuate the brake pads (effectively using ALL available momentum for regen). We would use a spring loaded switch, so that it would default back to normal-op.

Can the same thing be done with our Volts? (mine's a 2013) and I've been actuating the shifter nob on demand to "L" when I want some hard regen (like coming off the freeway). Obviously using "L" all the time isn't desirable and I envision wearing out the shifter, so having a finger-triggered option sounds cool and easy to use.

Aside from any smart-a$$ warranty comments, is the wiring in the shifter something that could be amended to accomplish this? Or have I completely misunderstood how to drive the car effectively between modes? I get 51 miles consistently, so I think I'm doing something right in that area. :)

Thanks!

-Kazam
 

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It's already installed. Leave it in "D" use the foot activated "L" on the brake pedal. It does exactly what you want. Only difference is that you need to use your "foot" appendage instead of your "hand" appendage.
 

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Or Leave it in "L" all the time. That is what most of us do, in case you hadn't been paying attention. :)

And there is an extra benefit from leaving it in "L". Since all of the regenerative braking is done when lifting off the accelerator pedal, there is no "funny" change in braking force as you come to a stop, which a lot of reviewers and new owners have commented on. Your brake pedal will only apply brakes, in addition to whatever amount of regeneration the car is already doing. That makes the brakes feel much more "solid" and responsive to the driver.

You soon learn how to ease up on the pedal slightly when you want to coast without losing too much speed.

And, if you intend to de-accelerate a significant amount, you can move your foot over and lightly "touch" the brake pedal to warn distracted tailgaters.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ah, this makes a lot of sense...didn't know there was a little "grace" when easing up in "L". Thanks!

>>You soon learn how to ease up on the pedal slightly when you want to coast without losing too much speed
 

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And there is an extra benefit from leaving it in "L". Since all of the regenerative braking is done when lifting off the accelerator pedal, there is no "funny" change in braking force as you come to a stop, which a lot of reviewers and new owners have commented on. Your brake pedal will only apply brakes, in addition to whatever amount of regeneration the car is already doing. That makes the brakes feel much more "solid" and responsive to the driver.

You soon learn how to ease up on the pedal slightly when you want to coast without losing too much speed.
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This is incorrect. L provides about .3G of braking force. The friction brakes do not activate until .5G. So pushing the brake pedal while in L can add about .2G of regen before the friction brakes come into play.

It's easy to tell. The green ball turns yellow when you are braking hard enough to apply the friction brakes.
 

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Has anyone put thought into adding a manual, finger-controlled, switch to immediately put the car into "L" mode and back to "D" when needed? I'm asking because I used to own a 2000 Honda Insight (one of the best cars ever made) and there was a mod we forum members with tons of electronics experience used to "trick" the car into thinking that the brakes were engaged, so the car would go into full regen without having to actuate the brake pads (effectively using ALL available momentum for regen). We would use a spring loaded switch, so that it would default back to normal-op.

Can the same thing be done with our Volts? (mine's a 2013) and I've been actuating the shifter nob on demand to "L" when I want some hard regen (like coming off the freeway). Obviously using "L" all the time isn't desirable and I envision wearing out the shifter, so having a finger-triggered option sounds cool and easy to use.

Aside from any smart-a$$ warranty comments, is the wiring in the shifter something that could be amended to accomplish this? Or have I completely misunderstood how to drive the car effectively between modes? I get 51 miles consistently, so I think I'm doing something right in that area. :)

Thanks!

-Kazam
I am sure it can be done, it is a matter of finding a proper placement for the actuator, ideally on the steering wheel. I think the electrical connection is a fairy straightforward affair, just tapping into the shifter mechanism.
 

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I have thought about doing this, but never got very far. When I looked at diagrams of the shift lever assembly I saw that there is a mechanical linkage that attaches the shifter to another device - possibly a TCM?? I was unsure if there is something mechanical being changed when shifting from D to L or if only an electrical switch is actuated. If it is the latter, then I see no reason why installing a second switch of some kind - say on a steering wheel paddle - could not be used to "trick" the car that it is in L while the shift lever is still in drive. I assume that it would behave like the regen paddle on the ELR - though I haven't driven one.

I use L often when approaching intersections but I don't like constantly driving in L because it makes releasing the accelerator pedal too sensitive and I end up over-decelerating. I tire of using the clunky shifter and would prefer a hand control located near the steering column. Hope someone with more skills than me decides to pursue this and share the details.
 

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It's already installed. Leave it in "D" use the foot activated "L" on the brake pedal. It does exactly what you want. Only difference is that you need to use your "foot" appendage instead of your "hand" appendage.
+1 million points to Fulgerite. I just don't get why people are so intent on increasing regen and wanting to add their own regen switch when you can just tap the brakes. The friction brakes don't engage unless you are panic stopping or you are at the very tail end of slowing down to a stop sign where regen disengages. Driving in sport L only encourages jackrabbit starts and holding off regen until the right moment, which is not as efficient as gently coasting. So other than having an additional gadget to fiddle with using your right hand, I don't see the point.
 

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Try leaving it in L for a day or two. Most of us are addicted. There is nothing better (safer, more efficient, more relaxing, etc, etc) than one-pedal driving.
 

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+1 million points to Fulgerite. I just don't get why people are so intent on increasing regen and wanting to add their own regen switch when you can just tap the brakes. The friction brakes don't engage unless you are panic stopping or you are at the very tail end of slowing down to a stop sign where regen disengages. Driving in sport L only encourages jackrabbit starts and holding off regen until the right moment, which is not as efficient as gently coasting. So other than having an additional gadget to fiddle with using your right hand, I don't see the point.
If have the opportunity to try the regen paddles on an ELR, you will see that there is a difference. Basically you use your finger instead of your foot; it is a matter of convenience.
 

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Try leaving it in L for a day or two. Most of us are addicted. There is nothing better (safer, more efficient, more relaxing, etc, etc) than one-pedal driving.
I don't know about safer. A distracted driver won't see any brake lights and might not notice the narrowing following distance. For that reason, and because the brake pedal can provide at least as much regen without engaging the friction brakes, I never use L.

KNS
 

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I've had my Volt for nearly 26 months. My first year, it was L all the time, around 41 psi all around. Since then, I'm in D 90+% of the time, 45 psi or higher, and switched out the stubby OEM shifter with ergonomic MOMO shift knob. I shift to L when I need extra regen coming to a stop, but I've learned to make momentum my new best friend. My Voltstats handle is blackvolt1234. I have one of the best all around stats.
 

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Try leaving it in L for a day or two. Most of us are addicted. There is nothing better (safer, more efficient, more relaxing, etc, etc) than one-pedal driving.
I did. Not addicted. And I prefer driving manual transmissions and enjoy downshifting, so I thought I would like the additional control. But I guess longer range via coasting prevails over fun. I've been getting 50-52 miles of range every day for the last two weeks except the one or two days where it was too hot to not turn on the AC
 

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I've had my Volt for nearly 26 months. My first year, it was L all the time, around 41 psi all around. Since then, I'm in D 90+% of the time, 45 psi or higher, and switched out the stubby OEM shifter with ergonomic MOMO shift knob. I shift to L when I need extra regen coming to a stop, but I've learned to make momentum my new best friend. My Voltstats handle is blackvolt1234. I have one of the best all around stats.
I contend there is no extra regen from being in L. If you brake to achieve the same stopping force, I think the regen would be the same. Does anyone know for sure?
 

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I've wanted to add a button to the shifter for a long time to accomplish exactly this.
Yes, I know the brake pedal does the same thing.
Yes, I know that leaving the car in L and easing off the gas slowly or quickly does the same thing.

BUT I LIKE BUTTONS!
And something about this forum...a LOT of people get all *GASP* whenever someone mentions doing something to their car. I just don't get it. Answer the question and move along. Or if you don't agree or don't know, skip step 1 and move straight to step 2...move along.
 

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You need one of those buttons from hitchhiker guide that when you push it a sign come on that said "don't do that"

coming up on 3 years in L- I will post a special message if I ever have to use D

-----------------
 

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Ringo,
Are you asking for a switch that immediately engages full 'L' regen (which is less than 'D' and brake pedal regen)?
Wouldn't that be kind of annoying, at least to the passengers? (and once again,,, No Brake Lights)

I suspect what you'd want is a spring-back variable pot/switch to allow variable amounts of regen.
Do you really want it on the shifter?
That would require more movement than moving your toe the 3" to the brake pedal, and the distraction of one handed driving when going for this new switch.

Note: "Most of us" do not adopt this new "Driving in L style", which requires constant foot on the Go pedal and driver attention.

ps. I had a Gen 1 Insight and I know about the mods for that amazing car!!!
 

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There are two issues with L

1. If you drive an ICE vehicle on occasion, you tend to forget to brake and then end up in more panic brake situations due to the Volt conditioning.
2. If you have passengers in your Volt when in L, they could get a dose of motion sickness or at the very least complain of nausea.

L if fun if you drive alone and your Volt is the only vehicle you drive. If not, I would avoid L based on #1 and #2 above!

Just my experience.
 

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And something about this forum...a LOT of people get all *GASP* whenever someone mentions doing something to their car. I just don't get it.
GM has a baby if you touch anything electrical. My service guy confirmed this when I asked if he'd install switchback LEDs in my turn signals, with a "will void your warranty" warning. I declined to discuss my LED headlight strips at that point.

Note: "Most of us" do not adopt this new "Driving in L style", which requires constant foot on the Go pedal and driver attention.
First I've heard of it.

2. If you have passengers in your Volt when in L, they could get a dose of motion sickness or at the very least complain of nausea.
The wife had this problem on our first test drive and it was in "D". Maybe the ride was too smooth.
 

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GM has a baby if you touch anything electrical. My service guy confirmed this when I asked if he'd install switchback LEDs in my turn signals, with a "will void your warranty" warning. I declined to discuss my LED headlight strips at that point.
I can't really blame him. As a friend of mine used to proclaim, "Everything is deeply intertwingled" :)
 
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