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Old 06-21-2009, 02:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Engine braking and stop lights

With all of the tailgaters here I've been weary of engine braking, since it makes the car slow down but doesn't inform the drivers behind me about that. Sometimes I delicately push the brake pedal while engine braking to make sure they notice. I'm thinking about a button on the steering wheel, allowing me to manually turn on my red stop lights when I'd like the drivers behind me to know I'm slowing down.
Would this be a good idea? Could it be illegal? Has anyone had this idea/tried it?

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Old 06-21-2009, 04:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If they can't tell you're going slower than them, it's their own fault. I'm sure the police would want you to either touch the brakes as you have been doing, or not worry about it. I engine brake all the time, and we have very impatient people here too. It doesn't bother me because I am either going the speed limit, or they can go around.
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Since I can't kick the clutch off on my bike, I have to engine brake down to 15mph before I can start coasting.

I just shut the kill switch off, open the throttle wide, (I removed the snorkel tube from my airbox), and it sounds like a small diesel hitting the jake-brake. It also decelerates rather rapidly, so I see a lot of cars dipping their front ends behind me.

Sure, one of these days some inattentive non-driver is going to slam into my Ass, but it'll be their fault anyway for tailgating.
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
Would this be a good idea? Could it be illegal? Has anyone had this idea/tried it?
I can't speak for Polish law, of course, but I can't imagine it would be illegal.

And anything that catches the attention of the blind/deaf/dumb drivers out there is usually a good thing. Best add a taillight flasher and alarm, as well.
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Old 06-21-2009, 08:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't think that it could be illegal, they have these things, which are of course different but still...
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah, I'm sure those things are illegal as well.

I don't think it's illegal to modify your brake light setup so you can manually activate them, the illegal part would be using them irresponsibly. Then again, I've gotten a fix-it for having manual reverse lights.

Either way, it's nice that you want to make yourself more obvious to other drivers, but then there's always the quote:
"Make it more idiot proof, I'll make more idiots."

No matter how obvious you make yourself, someone inevitably could be not paying attention, so you might be better off focusing your modding elsewhere.

I don't think your brakelights shining makes much of a difference anyway... I don't pay attention to brake lights, I use depth perception to gauge distance vs. speed. (There are lots of people around with at least one bad brake light, or the sun is in the wrong place, etc.) It works for me.
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post
I don't think your brakelights shining makes much of a difference anyway... I don't pay attention to brake lights, I use depth perception to gauge distance vs. speed. (There are lots of people around with at least one bad brake light, or the sun is in the wrong place, etc.) It works for me.
Ah, but you don't sleep behind the wheel.
I know that if someone rams my rear it's their fault, but I'll be the one without a bumper in the back, and maybe with a hurt neck. Most drivers look for differences in relative velocity between them and the cars in front, assuming the next car's speed is not changing. They probably aren't staring at the next car, analyzing speed differentials, but just glancing every few seconds to see how far it is and going back to text messaging. Sudden red lights will get their attention.
Of course, the stop lights would still be rigged to the brakes.
Now, I have to figure out how complicated it will be to tap into the brakelight circuit. Knowing Peugeot engineers, every time I press the brakes, the signal probably goes through the computer and wirelessly links to Peugeot HQ asking if it should turn on the "Go-to-authorised-service-station-and-pay-lots-of-$$$" lamp in the cockpit.
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e·co·mod·ding: the art of turning vehicles into what they should be

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Old 06-22-2009, 10:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi,

If you are still getting some braking effect from the engine, then using the brakes lightly doesn't take away from the FE -- and you get the brakes lights to come on and warn the drivers behind you.
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, you should be able to activate the brake lights with just a slight pressure on the pedal.

I don't think I've seen a VW built in the last 12 years older than 6 months that has had all its lights working, many without any taillights at all (though they do light up very well when they happen to catch fire on the side of the road) and I always wonder how long it will be before they get rear-ended, but have yet to see a rear-ended car with intact, non-functioning brake lights. Could be that they get rear ended and fixed or junked, but I'm not sure if the lights really make a huge difference. I think most people don't look more than 10 feet ahead of their car and use the relative size of the gap between them and the next car to adjust their speeds. NHTSA studies done on the CHMSL after introduction in the '80's showed a marked improvement in incidents of rear-end collisions involving cars so equipped, but when the study was repeated about five years after (I forget the exact amount of time), they found the incidents rear-end collisions had reverted to pre-CHMSL days due to driver familiarity.

But I wonder how many people even look through the windshield at all anymore. I was rear ended at an on-ramp while under full acceleration in the 2.3 Mazda3 by an Audi 2.7T that was puling out behind me. The Mazda's no dragster, but it's not slow, the Audi is surely faster, but what the hell was the woman looking at to hit me? All she could say was, like a stupid child, "I don't know." $3000 in damage and whiplash. They might as well just hand out licenses in vending machines.
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I would just use the pedal very lightly, enough to turn on the lights. You may be able to tie an LED into the circuit to help you know when they actually come on, then you can get used to where they come on, and don't have to push any farther than that.

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