Love having an auto but...

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Dave K, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Dave K

    Dave K Funster

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    We recently changed the van and now have a Pilote which has the fiat comfortmatic gearbox on a 150hp engine, it's fantastic to drive and have no issues when on the open road but I find it difficult trying to edge back or forward particularly if I'm trying to go up levelling ramps, I think psychologically I'm worried about overshooting the ramps but it needs a certain amount of power to get it up there, it's probably just me getting used to it but just wondered if any of you fellow automatic drivers have any tips please.
    Dave
     
  2. Pausim

    Pausim Funster

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    Keep your left foot hovering over the brake as you go up the ramps. If you feel you are going too far your left foot should react quickly enough, just like punching the clutch down. With traditional automatics you can also apply a liittle bit of brake and accelerator at the same time and gently balance the two to ease it up but not sure how this would work with comformatic, which I believe has an electronic clutch/gearbox. Either way I am sure you will soon get used to it with a bit of practice.
     
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  3. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    They are a bit iffy at first but once the van has done 500-1000 miles much easier to control. I can reverse up to within an inch of the gutter on my garage without any problem, ramps no problem.
     
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  4. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

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    Dave the Comfortmatic isn't a "true" automatic, it's actually / technically a robotised manual gearbox.
    Which means that you can just slip it into manual for all those fiddly bits. Like 5 mph on a campsite. Or ramps.
     
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  5. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    You might find it helpful to hold the handbrake, lift the revs until you feel the vehicle wants to move, then ease the handbrake to allow it to do so. When it reaches the required position pull the handbrake on hard. You can do all this on a constant throttle with perhaps a slight increase in revs as the van starts to climb. I don't advocate any attempt at left foot braking unless you are well-practised at it during normal driving. It's too easy to engage the wrong foot when you try to stop :Eeek:.
     
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  6. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster Life Member

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    Martin won't do ramps with the auto gearbox. That's a pink job.
     
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  7. denisejoe

    denisejoe Funster Life Member

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    Exactly what I was going to say. I've had "semi automatics" for years on my cars. Not as good as a true auto but that's what all "auto" cars now.

    Denise
     
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  8. denisejoe

    denisejoe Funster Life Member

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    Except mercedes
    Joe
     
  9. Dave K

    Dave K Funster

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    I get that but reverse is still reverse without clutch control, same for first gear, that's where the difficulty is, knowing the amount of revs to end up where you want to without going too far
     
  10. Dave K

    Dave K Funster

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    That's also a worry for me, I'll try the handbrake thechnique I think!
     
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  11. Pausim

    Pausim Funster

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    I thought this until my wife bought an Audi A1 with DSG auto box, it is absolutely brilliant. Fast, smooth and responsive. The Citroen and Smart automatics I had were not as good as a traditional automatic but the DSG is right up there and beyond. The Mercedes automatic in our motorhome is very good and feels just right for the job it does.
     
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  12. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    The double-clutch robotised manual (auto) box, which AFAIK includes the Audi DSG, has changed everything. The next gear required is anticipated and pre-engaged then brought into used by disengaging the clutch in current use then engaging the other. It happens smoothly and with almost no delay.
     
  13. campa cola

    campa cola

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    Are you pushing the van up ????:Eeek:
     
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  14. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Left foot braking is really awkward with a Comformatic as you only have the standard manual brake peddle, something I really miss after having auto cars with a nice big peddle.
     
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  15. TheDogMan

    TheDogMan Funster

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    I have a VW T5 with a brilliant full auto box, my moho is an Iveco with a Agile box which is a comformatic by another name and there is no comparison, took me a long time to get used it but it did get a better when they plugged it in and updated the software, mines a 7 ton chassis so do have make use of the manual option on a regular basis, wish I could afford a new one with the 7 speed full auto !!!
     
  16. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster Life Member

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    Only with the help of the engine !!
     
  17. mikebeaches

    mikebeaches Funster

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    I have an arthritic right knee - not too bad using the accelerator (only requires a soft touch). But constant braking with my right foot is a complete pain... literally. But with the comfortmatic, and the auto box on the car, no need to ever use the right foot for braking - always now use the left. It has become second nature when driving and no knee pain. :)

    Hill starts, and driving up ramps etc, no problem - right foot on accelerator while left foot on the brake. Can stop in a nano-second, if needed when manoeuvring. (y)

    I think it was Honest John, in the Daily Telegraph, always used to advocate left foot should always be used for braking when driving automatics, to provide greater control.
     
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  18. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    I've tried left foot braking and have the steering wheel impressions on my forehead to prove it.
    Not a natural action.
     
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  19. joka250

    joka250 Funster

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    I too have a Comfortmatic gearbox and while not a true auto I tend to treat it as such and find it problem free. True the brake pedal isn't wide enough but I always left foot brake as I do with all autos, less chance of mistakes particularly when manouvering. As suggested by others a little practice even for tight manouvering you soon feel comfortable. I wouldn't be without it on any vehicle we have the Fiat plus a Toyota with CBT auto and a Volvo with torque converter auto, to me they all feel much the same once you are used to them.
     
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  20. mikebeaches

    mikebeaches Funster

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    It takes some time to get the hang of it after a lifetime of right foot braking.

    But for me it's become completely instinctive. I know what you mean however, pappajohn - when you first try it.
     
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