Everytime there’s a runaway car on a TV show or movie, with a terrified, helpless driver, my husband says: “all they have to do is turn off the engine with the key.” Is that true?
Fun question. After the engine is off and the power steering and power brakes stop working do you think the end result will be a good one? What about after the steering lock engages? What does hubby say? Bumping the automatic into neutral is my thought. If it’s a manual, simply depress the clutch. In the real world, most unintended acceleration cases are over before the person in the driver’s seat can cognitively react correctly.
I would switch the ignition “off”, on a straight stretch of road, until the engine dies, shift to neutral, and then back to “on.”
Locking momentarily on a straightaway isn’t too bad.
The power assist for the brakes and steering will cease functioning, but the steering and brakes will still function in the “Armstrong” and “Legstrong” mode with applied effort.
It works. Don’t ask how I know this.
What about newer cars with push button start and the keys located in pocket or purse?
pressing that button for 5 seconds will shut engine off, even when moving
I wouldn’t know anything about those…
I don’t go in for that type of thing.
Throw the “keys” out the window?
Key word: runaway.
Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
I’m afraid I can’t do that, Dave.
Pull the fuel pump fuse
I had my push-button to fail and had “never-stopping” car issue, not a run-away.
It happened 2 miles from the dealer, still under warranty.
They pulled the fuse, then updated the firmware, it never happened again.
Still, transmission control level was working, although it is also purely virtual in modern cars.
That’s a good one. I like that idea better, but talk about distracted driving at high speed in traffic…
Hopefully that fuse isn’t in the under-hood fuse/relay box.
I hope you’re joking . . .
It won’t shut off the engine, in any case
Once the car is started, it will remain running, until you shut it off with the start/stop button
You could even start the car, run back in the house with the car running, leave the key fob in the kitchen, return to the car and drive away
It will not shut off unless you push the start/stop button
But the car will typically warn you that the key fob isn’t detected
And if you do shut it off and the key’s lost or back at the house 25 miles away, better call the wife to come bring the/a key
My brother and his wife have gotten themselves into that situation . . . quite a few times
Does the steering wheel also lock then - or is it “smart” enough to wait until the car is stopped?
By federal regulation there must be enough power assist for 2 applies AFTER the engine is turned off for just this sort of occurrence.
Steering, no such reg, soooo Muscle up!
having a push-button car, I did not notice it to lock a steering… ever
In a life on the line panic situation shove the gearshift lever into PARK and hang on. The car will stop PDQ…
I have yet to experience unintended acceleration. I did experience the opposite with my 1971 4 speed M/T Chevrolet Vega. Cruising on the local Interstate at 55mph there was a bang, puff of smoke, and rear wheel lock-up! I pushed the clutch pedal to the floor and an exit was about 100 yards ahead, I don’t think the Vega had power steering or brakes. I coasted up the exit ramp and turned into a Chevron station parking lot. For modern vehicles with an electronic rev limiter I would use the shift to neutral or depress the clutch pedal method which retains power steering and brakes. From my observations Many “drivers” are barely able to perform basic driving skills much less properly react to an unexpected emergency. They panic! This morning we had dense fog. I drove to the corner store which is a few blocks at 25mph. Half the idiots on the road had no lights on! Why? Headlights are required by law from sunset to sunrise. Why should they turn them on at 10:30AM?
I’ve read somewhere that you’re supposed to put it in neutral, stop quick and safe then turn key off and then see if your engine blew from over revving. Putting in park will be just like nuetral until you get to about 5 mph, then it will probably damage tranny.
Granted, shoving the transmission into PARK MAY damage the transmission but the parking pawls are pretty strong in them.
A friend of mine with a '67 RS Camaro did this twice (just for laughs) at 40 MPH. The car stopped on a dime.
While doing this is not the preferred method of stopping, it might be the best option if the other options involve a Wile E. Coyote going over the cliff move or ramming a stopped semi per the late Jayne Mansfield.
When switching off the ignition with the gear selector in any position other than park the steering should not lock.
Even my 1970 Dodge has linkage connecting the floor shift lever to the steering column to prevent the ignition from being locked and the key removed while the shift lever is any gear position except park.
When switching off a smart key ignition vehicle while on the alignment rack the steering is always remains unlocked.
5 seconds is an ETERNITY in and emergency. Just shift into neutral, you can still easily steer and brake normally and on any modern computer controlled car, the computer will keep the rpms low enough to not harm the engine.
Going with oldtimer_11 on this one, shifting into neutral so you still have steering and brakes, modern cars have a rev limiter to limit RPM’s to 3000 or less when in park or neutral.