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Discussion Starter #1
Since the upper rear reflectors (on the black area of the rear hatch) don't light up for anything else, how about having orange LEDs under them that light up whenever the throttle is lifted in Low gear? I think this would be a very useful/cool feature that the Volt really needs. (before one of us gets rear-ended, hopefully). Hmmm, is there any law against this???? I don't know.

All that would be needed is to run an extra wire through to the hatch to power those lights, and to find the point in the wiring harness where the switch/relay is that turns on the Low gear regenerative braking, have that trip a separate relay that runs 12 volts to the safety lights in the hatch.

The hardest part would be to figure out how to put LEDs behind the area where the reflectors are, without messing up the looks of it when off. I might get brave and see if I can order an extra set of the reflectors to experiment with, since I would not DARE to mess with the stock ones myself. I figure Chevy will have extras of these available for replacement in collisions, and they might not be TOO expensive.

Anybody got any ideas, thoughts on this?

Jerry, #536
 

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I have thought about this for a wile and the best answer would be a slow flash of the break lights, similar to some one tapping the break peddle.

for those who say why it is like down shifting, yes it is, but most people dont down shift to slow down,execpt in ye mountians, even I have had cars not realize tha I had and come close to running into me.

may be for now the best answer is to tap your break when you see some one close behind or approaching quickly, as a curtisy like using your turn signals to pass.
 

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One thing to remember is that brake lights come on before you actually have moved the brake pedal far enough to start slowing much, if at all. You can tap your brake light without slowing the car or wasting juice.
 

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One thing to remember is that brake lights come on before you actually have moved the brake pedal far enough to start slowing much, if at all. You can tap your brake light without slowing the car or wasting juice.
You could tap the brakes with out wasting much juice. But at that point wouldn't it be like a history report? "I'm tapping the brakes to engage the brake lights to signal the point where a second ago regen kicked in and you almost hit me because you thought I would be accelerating."
 

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but most people don't down shift to slow down
No, we downshift to GET them to back off. Nothing better than slowing down with no brake lights. Been doing it for over 20 years to people who tailgate. 5th to 4th always gets them to back off or pass you. Has been happening as long as people have been driving. Obviously you don't tailgate other drivers.

Really don't think this needs to be done to the Volt.
 

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Tappng the break almost always works, only once in over 40 years of driving have I had to resort to something like that.

Lets not encurage road rage.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
"Putting orange (amber) lights to indicate that you are slowing down is cool but I think you might have problems as it is in violation of Federal regulations (see below), and probably a lot of state regulations."

That is what I was afraid of, thanks for finding that for me.

In that case maybe I would just use red LEDs and wire them to the regular brake wire in the hatch. That would still be a cool modification, and a lot easier hookup.

Jerry, #536
 

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What about a red light that comes on based on an inertia switch (mercury or the like concept)?? ie. if you let off the accelerator peddle while in L then the car will slow down the but inertia switch will swing forward and turn the break light on.

Just thinking out loud.

[edit]
OK a quick google search shows this idea and pros/cons thought of:
i.e.
http://forums.off-road.com/jeep-short-wheelbase/202140-why-not-inertia-brake-light-switch.html
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5712617.html

http://orlando.ebayclassifieds.com/parts-accessories/kissimmee/motorcycle-led-brake-light-inertia-controlled/?ad=4554440
Description
Do you ever ride your motorcycle in a group where you slow down by downshifting and you're not using their rear brake at all? Protect yourself with the SafeRide Safety Alert system. This 6 inch Motorcycle LED Light Kit w/ Module can help make everyone more visible. Features:

Microprocessor, g-force activated
Easy Installation
Works with ANY reduction of speed by detecting inertia change
Downshifting or sudden throttle reduction
Easy to install
Designed to last
Encapsulated circuitry
Strobes for maximum attention
This is different than the Back Off light because it works whether you hit your rear brake, or simply let off the throttle/downshift. This augments your existing brake light system
 

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What about a red light that comes on based on an inertia switch (mercury or the like concept)??
A mercury switch (or any other detector doomed to fail by inclination) would be bad. An accelerometer (your Wii controller has a nice cheap multi-axis accelerometer) might work for this purpose.

Wouldn't like it myself (I'm perfectly happy slowing down in low without brake lights). But some might like the option. And having a multi-axis sub G accelerometer in the car might prove useful for other purposes as well (cars already have a high G accelerometer in them for their air bags, right?).
 

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A mercury switch (or any other detector doomed to fail by inclination) would be bad. An accelerometer (your Wii controller has a nice cheap multi-axis accelerometer) might work for this purpose.

Wouldn't like it myself (I'm perfectly happy slowing down in low without brake lights). But some might like the option. And having a multi-axis sub G accelerometer in the car might prove useful for other purposes as well (cars already have a high G accelerometer in them for their air bags, right?).
Did you see the [edit] part of my post?

http://orlando.ebayclassifieds.com/parts-accessories/kissimmee/motorcycle-led-brake-light-inertia-controlled/?ad=4554440

Microprocessor, g-force activated
Easy Installation
Works with ANY reduction of speed by detecting inertia change
Downshifting or sudden throttle reduction
 

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I agreed with the sentiment that L "gear" does not provide enough drag for brake lights to be needed.

Yet....Should we be looking into what BMW calls adapative Brake Lights. They use two sets of brake lights and the the second set (brighter set) are activated when the brakes are strongly activated (I believe when ABS kicks in), I am sure that this can be doing without extra brake light segments and just use a variable resistor.

An alternate way is to actually flash the brake lights when the brakes two to three times (as someone earlier mentioned) when the brakes are stomped on before going to a steady red. But when the brakes are normally pressed just going to a steady red.

Hopefully this would overcome the normality of traditional brakelights, and hopefully the attention of the person following you...
 

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Regenerative braking and rear stop light activation

Hi!
Do the tail stop lights come on while regenerative braking?
Otherwise brain dead driver following may not know you are slowing down :mad: until you apply the brake.

If anyone knows from practicle experiance would appreciate.:)
 

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It depends mainly on if you are drivind in "D" or "L", and how much regen breaking ypu are concerned about.

Driving in "D" will only result in a normal amount of slowing when you take your foot off of the gas, with more regen happening the more the break is applied (turning on the break lights).

Driving in "L" will result in slowing similar to a down shift when the gas peddle is released (with no break lights lit).
 

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Driving in "L" will result in slowing similar to a down shift when the gas peddle is released (with no break lights lit).
As well it is very similar to driving a car (or motorcycle) with a manual transmission and you just let off the gas peddle. The engine will slow you down.

It took my wife virtually no time to get used to what "L" does for you (modest braking).

I absolutely love "L" and find it works perfectly for slowing down for off ramps, red stoplights (that all drives around you see), corners in suburbs, etc, etc. After a week of using it it is starting to become natural.

The missing brake light aspect has been talked about various times. Probably several before I came around these neck of the woods. Personally, it causes me NO concern at all when I use it. Here is one good previous thread.

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?6766-Safety-rear-lights-for-Low-gear-throttle-lift

Also note at the bottom of almost all threads is a section called "Similar Threads" and these may have more info as well.
 

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It's no different than downshifting a manual transmission car, you slow down without brakes or lights.
I'm still here and I did that several times this morning while driving to work.

You can't design for the (5%?) of drivers who shouldn't BE drivers...

A non issue in my opinion.
 

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Curious if the amount of deceleration caused by regeneration is dependent on battery SOC? It was so with my 2004 Civic Hybrid.
 

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Even in Drive, you get regenerative braking when you lift your foot off the throttle.

At what point in stepping on the brake pedal do the wheel friction brakes engage?
 
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