Dodge Caliber Forums banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read in another thread that this is better for the car. So I know this will sound really dumb, but do I just switch it into N as I'm rolling to a stop and then keep it in N until I hit the gas again?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,707 Posts
You can put the car in nuetral anytime you want when coming to a stop, and just shift back into drive before you hit the gas. It will help slightly, but how much depends ona lot of factors. You'll get better results totally shutting the car off if you are going to be stopped for longer than 30 seconds. Problem with that is, the time it takes to start the car and get moving after the light changes coudl piss off the people behind you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
683 Posts
I dont bother doing so with an automatic. However, with a manual I always shift to nuetral while at a light. Holding the clutch in is tough on the throw out bearing and tough on the clutch for people who feather it at lights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So I could possibly switch to N 10-20 times in a 15 min. drive when I am coasting to a light, to a stop sign, slowing for traffic in front of me, slowing to turn a corner, etc. It's not bad for the car to keep switching back and forth? I'm a complete dummie when it comes to car stuff but want to take care of this car and try to up my mpg avg. so sorry if the questions I'm asking are sounding really dense :confused: :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
Hi emmsmama...We have talked about shifting to N (neutral) & also using the L(low) set of gears on another Caliber forum. We came to the conclusion that continual shifting to N & the use of L in the long run may not be the best for the CVT tranny. If you're not faced with an unending line of stoplights, I would use the N setting on really long lasting stoplights. If you feel that your stop will be brief, then just keep the CVT tranny in D(Drive).

The same(& more surely) could be said for the use of L. If you will be slowing a lot in heavy traffic, you really don't want to over shift the CVT tranny into & out of L a lot. However, if you are descending a hill of good length, you can use L for the extended descent instead of continually using your brakes on the hill descent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,707 Posts
So this "we" who came to those conclusions has run enough miles on thier CVT to make this assupmtion?? these tranny's are way to new to know how they will handle this type of use. Since there are belts, the worste that could happen is the belts stretch and need replaced. I usualy switch to nuetral while sitting at stop lights. And as far as shifting to L during long downhill stretches, that woudl probably be harder on the tranny than not. And brakes are a hell of a lot cheaper and easier to fix than transmissions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,041 Posts
One thing to consider; it's something that I used to teach in motorcycle safety classes and still teach in tactical protective services driver training.

Personally, when I drive a vehicle with a manual tranny, I'd never put it in neutral until at least one other vehicle is STOPPED behind me.

The reason: If a vehicle is for some reason approaching from behind and obviously not going to stop - posing a certain rear-end collision, you at least have immediate control (by being in gear) to take evasive action if possible. This is another reason to leave a "cushion" distance between you and an intersection when you are the front vehicle, or between you and any vehicle stopped in front of you.

This is really critical when in a smaller vehicle; a motorcycle and it's rider(s), of course, are most exposed to the threat and consequences from such an event.

There are other factors and possibilities to consider (such as chain-reaction impact, drag factor from being in gear versus none when in neutral, etc), but overall it means you can lower chances of being really creamed by maintaining immediate control of your vehicle when it's most vulnerable while stopped in traffic - the point when there is nothing else stopped behind you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,707 Posts
Unless you are the first vehicle, or happen to be in the outside lane where you can head to the shoulder, there's really not much you can do to avoid being rear ended should someone come flying up when stopped at a stop light. The best you can do is have your brakes on hard and hope to hell you don't get pushed into the car in front of you. With an auto, or even a manual, if your foot should happen to slip off the brake and/or clutch when you get rearended, and you are in gear, there's nothing to keep you from lunging forward just under your own power.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
683 Posts
HSKR said:
Since there are belts, the worste that could happen is the belts stretch and need replaced.
The belt works in compression (push), not tension (pull) so it would not stretch. If the belt were damaged the transmission would most likely be scrapped. At least for now Dodge dealers do not work on the CVT. They send it to the manufacture.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
I've been waiting for a reliable CVT for 16 years. The rubberized CVT of the Subaru Justy got me interested in the concept but not the durability.
The Jatco CVT for Caliber & Nissan vehicles uses carbon fiber graphite, 4 times stronger than steel. Aircraft makers use it in increasing percentages on their planes. Boeing's 787 uses it the most & will be widely more efficient than the competition. Strength should not be a problem. So far other carbon fiber graphite problems haven't arisen in quantity.

Jatco supplies L(Low) for compression braking. Manual tranny drivers use low gears to slow themselves in extensive mountain braking. Even auto tranny drivers with selectable gears use compression braking. Used sparingly, other CVT performance parameters should be of more concern than L compression braking. Jatco's concern with CVT durability has to do with hard acceleration at low speed. First, hard acceleration brings internal CVT hydraulic pressures near to 1000 pounds per square inch. Second, the CVT is most active at low speeds. To reduce the clash of actions, Jatco has computer limited engine power & rpms thru the CVT at low speeds. This is why acceleration at low speeds is bad. I believe a driver should nearly always feather foot the CVT Caliber & Nissans for most reliability(keeping the pressures down) & MPG.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
Harley has made a point that I have been through. Once I have gone over the curb(sustaining fascia damage and a flat, I floored it!) and twice to the left because of possible rear end collisions. Unfortunately for the cars in front of me they were not so lucky. All three were moving at a pretty good clip and all three were intoxicated with the last one completely passed out. One actually took off leaving her license plate embedded into the car she hit!

The people who were hit suffered car damage and personal injury and I have been witness to every one for the accident reports.

Luckily for my sake most of them have been very, very late at night and there has been NO traffic to my left when I have done this.

Even in stick shift cars I usually play "count the tree" and attempt a good reaction time. Guess it's the drag racing bug that won't let go of me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for enlightening me some more on this topic :) So if I am coming to a stop and I put it in N and then the light turns green before I come to a full stop can I just pop it back into D while the car is still rolling?

Also, are there any benefits to using N other than better gas mileage?

What exactly is the difference btwn. N and D as far as the motor goes. I know obviously in D you can accelerate, but I mean as far as the CVT motor works, what is the difference happening inside the motor?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,707 Posts
N, is nuetral, meaning the motor is just idling without trying to transfer any power into the trany. With the car in park or nuetral, the motor isn't working as hard. With the car in D(drive) then the motor is trying to spin the transmission. Even with the foot on the brake and not moving, the motor is working harder trying to trun the transmission and burning more gas. As far as shifting between nuetral and drive, you can do it even while rolling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
litesong- thank you for your reply of 5/9/07. Very informative. I assume that, by low speeds, you mean 30 mph or less. Say you're driving an SXT with 2.0, what would be a reasonable time to get to 30 mph while feathering the gas - 7 - 8 seconds? Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
671 Posts
I recommend switching to neutral if you come to a pretty hard stop , say at a stoplight or a stop sign or any panic stop situation. It will keep your rotors from warping, as compared to sitting their with the calipers compressed against a really hot rotor. That is when I recommend doing it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
Hi assadour...By low speeds I mean 0 to 25MPH. At those speeds Jatco(maker of the Caliber CVT) limits torque through the CVT by limiting revs.

I find a good measure to use to determine if you're effectively feather footing from a stop or not is the following:

My Caliber is a little jumpy from a start. By very vvveeerrrryyy carefully pressing on the gas pedal, you can control this 'jump'. If the first motion of the front of the Caliber is up on its suspension, you're NOT feather footing. The first motion has to be a true gentle motion FORWARD. If your first motion is forward, you are cutting thru the jumpiness of the Caliber. Its almost like the Caliber engine is breathing into life with a puff...Zen of the pedal.

If you have the CVT & the first motion is forward, the CVT will lead you, almost automatically( no pun intended) to continued gentle acceleration forward.

I have the SE Caliber & do not have a tach. But others I have taught, say I am talking of rpms no more than 2000rpms & probably lower. Yes, we are almost talking about touching the gas pedal with a feather. Gentle on the gas to avoid those pressures is mandatory for good Caliber MPG.

My own MPG is proof of feather footing. My overall average is for 1 year with a bad winter has been 31.4MPG. My average on trips over 4000 foot mountain passes has been 32.7MPG. Twice, my highway high has been 35.6 MPG.

To some who have had tanks over 30 MPG, you probably aren't impressed with my MPG. But that is my average over 50+tanks for 1 year with lots of mountain driving & passes as high as 5500 feet. Also, to some people who average 28 MPG, it may not sound like an impressive gain. But averaged over 300,000 miles, it would be 1000+gallons of gas. At today's gas prices, we are talking well over $3000. & over a lifetime of feather footing with different cars, 10% savings can mount up to $5000 to $10,000. If you only average 25 MPH, more than double those numbers. If you buy the 'lower' model cars like me, you are talking about 1 to 2 cars....free...

Of course, there are economy cars with even greater MPG. On Honda Fit & Toyota Yaris websites, feather footing reports of mid-40MPG is quite common. Don't know what their overall averages are, tho.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Thank you for the info Litesong. I've been practicing Standard driving in a 91 Ford Escort, where I have to give a fair amount of gas. Practicing the art of Zen Acceleration should be interesting :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
welshboi82 said:
Thank you for the info Litesong. I've been practicing Standard driving in a 91 Ford Escort, where I have to give a fair amount of gas. Practicing the art of Zen Acceleration should be interesting :)
In the DC area, featherfooting will get you a lot of annoyed drivers, horns, fingers, and maybe some road rage! Very agressive drivers around here!

Jim :cool:
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top