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Old 10-06-2008, 01:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
Sean T.
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lake Orion, MI
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Taurusaurus Rex - '97 Ford Taurus GL (Sedan)
90 day: 19.39 mpg (US)

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Coasting in Neutral... what if you can't come to a full stop after?

So... today I was traveling down my all-time favorite road.

They just repaved it last weekend... omg. so nice.

And it is huge up and down hills. The first hill you can coast down for forever, and then a sharp incline to a stop light. I coast down, but can't shift to neutral because I know I can't make it to the top. (I've tried)

After that, there are some short hills followed by a HUGE valley. I can start coasting way back, reach the decline without losing any speed, then increase speed as I go down and retain 80% of that on the way back up. I can make it far enough to get to the stoplight about 1/4 mile after it starts to level back out.

Today, for the first time, I decided to try going down this hill in neutral because I noticed the light on the other side of the valley had just turned red... bad idea. I was about 10 car lengths away when the light turned green.

While this experience has turned me into a huge believer in Neutral Coasting (as soon as I shifted into N, I sped up by 5mpg, with no change in grade)... it also made me think... because I had heard that you should come to a complete stop before shifting into drive, I found myself abruptly coming to a full stop, so I could hurry up and shift into drive without the cars behind me catching up.

So I supposed my conundrum is... what is the best plan of action when you are coasting in neutral and find yourself in a position that doesn't favor you stopping and shifting back into drive?

My thoughts are put on the hazards and pull off onto the shoulder, shift, then merge back into traffic... well, what if there is a curb on each side of the road? Anybody have any thoughts or suggestions on any of this?

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