Automatic boxes and hill starts.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Another Lesley, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. Another Lesley

    Another Lesley Read Only Funster

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    Before I actually ask the question.......yes I know I probably should know the answer, but OK I am a numpty and I don't. Be nice to me...it's been a trying day. :cry: But that's another story.

    My MH has an automatic gear box....automatics are something I am used to driving having driven automatic cars, 4 x 4's and yep the good old Chelsea tractors since Adam was a lad. Without fail when stationery on a hill I can simply let the vehicle sit in gear, without the handbrake and the thing will sit as still as still can be. It doesn't creep forward or roll back. The Motorhome though is another animal..........it rolls back....and at speed so I have to sit with my foot on the brake. This I can do, but for the life of me I cannot prevent it rolling back when moving my foot from the brake to the accelerator and then have to almost floor the accelerator to get the beastie to counteract the backwards momentum and move forward. I have had it checked out at the garage and I am informed that everything is working as it should. Am I doing something really silly and wrong :Doh:............or is it just a failing of automatic gears in a larger vehicle?
     
  2. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    correct use of the handbrake will solve that no problem at all.
     
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  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    To perform a hill start with an auto box is basically the same as a manual..

    When you stop on a hill, pull handbrake on, and gear into N .. Handbrake should hold without footbrake.. if not then it needs to be looked at.

    When ready to go, put gear into Drive , gently accelerate until you feel the van pulling, then gently release handbrake. Accelerate as required to pull up hill.
     
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  4. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    Yep, that's what the handbrake is for.
     
  5. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Thats the nature of the beast, rolling back, did you never do hill starts for the driving test, use your handbrake!

    Peter
     
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  6. Another Lesley

    Another Lesley Read Only Funster

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    Hmmmm.......that's the thing, the handbrake doesn't hold it....It too was checked and the vehicle has last month passed its MOT and I am told that everything is fine. I feel the need to return to the garage when this holiday is over and give someone some serious grief, 'cos I thought I was doing something wrong :Sad:
     
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  7. Bellini

    Bellini Funster

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    Or hold it on the foot brake with your left foot. The pedal should be wide enough for your left to 'take the strain' with your right on there. Then move your right foot to the accelerator.

    Udo can roll back, but I hold him on the foot brake, select drive and give him a few seconds to make sure it's fully there and then it's a quick step to the accelerator.
     
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  8. Another Lesley

    Another Lesley Read Only Funster

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    Sure did....and yes I do
     
  9. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Well, I have to report that mine holds pretty well. However, I make a point of not leaving the drive engaged if I have to wait for any longer than a brief pause. I tend to hold the vehicle on the footbrake, but then selecting D and moving the foot from brake to accelerator does not result in the moho falling backwards unless it's steep.
    I guess that the heavier vehicle is bound to overcome the friction in the torque converter at some point.

    My setup is a 5-speed full auto Merc box with torque converter. Yours isn't a Sprintshift by chance is it? They work differently.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
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  10. maz

    maz Funster

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    You have a tag axle van like me. The handbrakes on these are frequently poor because they are incorrectly adjusted. They have to be balanced between the two rear axles - something that seems to be beyond many garages. Find yourself a truck garage where the mechanics actually understand how to adjust the handbrake properly. I can recommend one in the High Wycombe area but that's a bit of a way from the northeast. :Smile:

    Also if your van is Fiat-based with the 'Comfortmatic' gearbox, that is not a true automatic gearbox but a robotised manual. It will roll back on hills if you don't use the handbrake.
     
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  11. makems

    makems Funster Life Member

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    As Maz says, if it's based on a Fiat it IS NOT a true automatic. It has a clutch operated by a computer.
    You have to get your foot off the brake and onto the accelerator as quick as you can to minimise roll back.
    On a very steep hill or where somebody has pulled up very close behind you the only option is to use your left foot on the brake and take it off when you get enough revs with your right foot on the accelerator.
    We have the fiat Comfortmatic and it's not a patch on the Mercedes with a PROPER automatic box. But then Our Motorhome doesn't come with a Mercedes option :cry:
     
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  12. RS_rob

    RS_rob Funster

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    You should try getting a stupid 44 foot 44 ton automatic lorry going on hill, gotta hold the park brake & give it the beans before letting go.

    I would suggest until you get it fixed holding it on a hill using both the foot brake & handbrake the when you wish to pull of simply remove you foot from the brake & apply the gas & then apply some more gas before releasing the handbrake.

    Simples :Laughing:
     
  13. mariner

    mariner Funster Life Member

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    The Sprintshifts that I had, all had a brake delay system, whereby the brakes stayed on for a second or so to give you time to hit the gas peddle.

    I never once had to use the hand brake on hill starts.

    I understood that this was a feature of all auto and semi auto vehicles.

    It is also an option on some manual vehicles. Unfortunately my manual Pug. does not have this option, but it was available when ordered, from new.

    PS.
    Apparently this is for Semi auto and manual only, great bit of kit though.


    The hill-start assist is a variant of hill-holder used by some semi-automatic, clutchless transmissions as well as newer manual transmissions. The system prevents the car from rolling away when trying to pull away on an up or down gradient, simulating a "handbrake hill start" manual drivers will be familiar with. The system engages automatically when a gradient of 3% or more is detected; it then acts to hold the car stationary for two seconds after the brake is released giving the driver time to apply the throttle.


    :Cool:
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
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  14. mikebeaches

    mikebeaches Funster

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    There is a school of thought that suggests the best and safest way to drive an automatic is to always use the left foot for braking. I think Honest John in the Daily Telegraph is an advocate.

    Initially it takes some serious getting used to after a lifetime of using your right foot for braking - and needs care whilst getting the hang of it. But with practice it can soon become second nature. As an added bonus, you've no difficulty with hill starts. :thumb:

    I've got an arthritic right knee and it's a life-saver in my automatic car. I now just need to get a van with an auto box... :Doh:

    Mike
     
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  15. Phill D

    Phill D

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    i use left foot on hills if needed in our automatic have done for years, but as said above... most automatics these days are not " as we know them" and are technically a manual with assistance of some form of mechanical double clutch system. which i assume can be damaged by certain uses.
     
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  16. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    never really been a problem for me on all but pretty steep hills
    Leave in drive, feet off pedals and it just sits there......all 7500kg of it.

    If it should roll back just a few more revs holds it and, for the little time needed, it wont hurt the torque converter.
     
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  17. cmcardle75

    cmcardle75 Read Only Funster

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    It isn't just semi-autos. Even a relatively slight hill will cause mine to roll back and that is with a 5.7 litre Chevy small block on an ancient TH400 3 speed non lock-up torque converter. Your handbrake (actually a foot actuated, hand release thingie) is your friend.
     
  18. makems

    makems Funster Life Member

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    Hill assist is an option on Fiat as is ESP which stops wheel spin. In my opinion both should be standard on all comfortmatic specd motorhomes. Of course dealers don't normally spec it for stock vehicles because of cost. The only way to get these features normally is to order your vehicle and wait for it to be built.
    Unless you are lucky enough to find a used model where the original owner was savvy enough to spec these features.
     
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  19. Wildbill

    Wildbill Funster

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    go and re sit your driving test :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1: and if you haven't sat one it would be a good idea :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  20. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    i had to drive a 3.5t box van recently with an auto box. a while since i drove a very heavy loaded auto. my old brain quickly remembered the old tricks though, hold on handbrake and if its only a pause for a short while pick up revs to the bite point to resist creeping back. handbrake stops you shooting forward and it just holds there. if waiting at lights, put it iin park and handbrake on. then as lights change, left foot on brake, into drive, accelerate as letting off handbrake

    these automated manual boxes really aren't a patch on real autos
     
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