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If you must stop a speeding Toyota (Public Service)

I own a 2001 Camry, so it is not a problem. My friend owns a 2008 RAV4, which should be OK. Just in case, what is the best way to stop a stuck-pedal Toyota ?

1) Shifting to Neutral should work. Engine will likely protect itself. Hit the brakes.

2) Shift to Neutral and Turn Key to Accessory ? Should not lock the steering ?

Power Brakes and Steering would be less effective.

3) Just turn the key to Accessory ?

Kills the engine while still in Drive ?

4) anything better ?

"4) anything better ? "

I might see how well the ABS brakes worked…

There have been numerous posts on this and my suggestion following the sage advice offered in so many threads, search if you wish! is if it happens shift into neutral, to heck with the engine, pull off the roadway then turn off the engine.
I believe it is best because:

  1. You do not risk depleting vacuum assist for the brakes, as without it it would be like trying to press your foot through concrete in comparison.
  2. You do not loose power steering, heck you have enough going on.
  3. It is one move vs multiple moves, you will need every bit of attention to driving instead of worrying about what position the key is in.
    Here is one story,

Just put it in neutral. You don’t want to lose power steering and brakes by turning the engine off and you definitely don’t want to overshoot the accessory position by mistake and lock the steering!

  1. After you have it in neutral, steer to a safe place. Press the brakes, do not pump. Toyota has apparently said if you hold the brakes down without pumping, they will stop the car at full throttle. However, my opinion, get it into neutral.

Make all drivers of relevant cars (is yours on the list?) learn how to put the car into neutral. Practice until they can do it in their sleep. (Just kidding, but that is the idea.)

Frankly, some people say that anyone who doesn’t already know how to put a car in neutral is not qualified to drive any car. That is a bit harsh, but I can’t say they are wrong. Of course, with a manual transmission, all you need to do is depress the clutch.

At even 1/2 throttle mashing the brakes as hard as you can will have little effect. Try it on your Cadillac. I’d vote for simply turning off the key. Just don’t turn it to “lock”. (You can’t when it’s in any gear but park anyway.) You can still steer to the side of the road, and the brakes will still have vacuum for one or two applications.

With all due respect, this is very dangerous advice. DO NOT TURN OFF THE KEY AND LOSE STEERING POWER AND HAVE ONLY RESTRICTED BRAKING POWER. The correct response has been widely disseminated. Put it in neutral.

Toyota is recommending turning the key to accessory. They are worried about engine damage under warranty, we are recommending shifting into neutral because we are worried about you.

Let’s get real. The way most people will respond, when the gas pedal sticks to the floor, is a panic reaction to jump on the brake and steer. That’s OK. And then, comes a calmer moment (for a normal person). This would be the moment to put the gear shift into neutral, safely (calmly) steer to the side of the road, stop, and turn the engine off. Then, call for a tow.
Let’s have some tests, not urban assumptions, of whether the brakes are effective enough to safely slow a car at full power. Try YOUR car. At some speed, hold the gas pedal to the floor, and get hard on the brakes, and pull over to the side of the road. Can it be done?

Maybe Toyota will pay for your blown engine, maybe they won’t. I’m turning mine off.

My understanding is that some Toyotas have push button starts. There is no key to turn to the accessory position. I heard on the radio that to turn off a push button start, you press and hold the button for a couple of seconds. That would be a very long two seconds.

This is pure speculation on my part, but we are talking about FWD Toyotas, not RWD 12 cyl Jaguars or BMWs. I would expect that the brakes would stop those cars just fine even at wide open throttle. It would be very easy theory to test.

Although high RPM free-wheeling is never good, I would further assume that these cars are governed such that engine damage due to over-revving would be unlikely.

Do Toyotas not have rev limiters?

Yes, of course they do. There is no engine damage to worry about when shifting to neutral.

Latest C&D has an article testing this, I think it took something like 3.5 seconds to get the engine to shut off by pushing the button, so the ‘shift to neutral, pull over, and then stop’ option seems best. They did find that the brakes would stop the car at wide open throttle, but when folks panic, maybe they pump the brakes and lose the vacuum boost.

As “whitey” remarked in another post; buy only manual Toyotas…it’s natural to immediately depress the clutch, roll to a stop, then turn off the car. If you have Toyota manual already, don’t over think it. If you don’t, Toyota could use the business and trade.
It’s really worthwhile to practice shifting into neutral while moving with an auto once and a while instead we just talking about it and thinking we will react correctly.

I would put it in neutral and retain the power steering and brakes. Modern engines will not overspeed and destroy themselves.

As someone pointed out, part of basic driver training should be how to disengage the negine from the drivetrain when the car is in motion.

I wonder if these are actually getting stuck at full throttle. Few people mash the throttle very often, so I would guess that this is happening at less than full throttle. In any case, I don’t think even the most powerful (road) cars have an engine that is anywhere near capable of over powering the brakes. I remember a test was done by a magazine some years ago where a Corvette was braked to a stop at full throttle without much problem. You would want to shut it off after getting stopped as your tranny fluid would overheat quickly.

That said, modern engine do have rev limiters but one would need to keep in mind that the throttle being open might affect the power brake booster somewhat.

MG McAnick, is your engine worth more than your life?

Your engine would be fine, but I thought I would ask anyway.

If you happen to die because you weren’t able to steer your vehicle out of the path of a semi, I will make sure you get nominated for a Darwin Award, which are always awarded posthumously.

Turn the key 1 click counterclockwise. I showed this to my wife at 75 mph. Leave the car in gear. As long as the clutch is not depressed, the engine keeps turning, and both the power brakes and power steering keep working.