Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Speaking of older vs newer cars

The electronic throttle control delay is about 1/2 of a second, a non issue, if you floor the accelerator the engine should respond appropriately. What you are describing is a common complaint about delayed down shifting. The transmission shifting is focused on fuel economy, they hold a higher gear to save fuel, some vehicles have software updates to address this sort of drivability issue. The lack of power is because of the gear selected, not the delay of the throttle.

@Nevada_545 Ah, I didn’t know that but it makes sense. It’s as if it gets caught trying to decide whether to finish downshifting from slowing speed or keep in that gear because I sped back up so for a second or two or three it revs the rpms but has no power until it chooses gear. Stop and go urban driving is where that shows up. I quickly learned to adapt to it but will never like it.

I’ve driven Toyotas with cable throttles and fuel injection and they both have lag compared to my scion xb with a manual. I think that’s how Toyota specifies its torque converters.

Try a BMW with its ZF 8 speed that locks up its torque converter right after shifting to 2nd gear.

Some vehicles have “sport/normal” selection buttons.
Response becomes very quick, fuel economy drops on the floor.
Still, used sparingly, works nicely

I test vehicles with electronic throttle actuation every week that have zero lag. Others do. It isn’t the throttle. As above have explained. Your sample size is too small.

I believe a lot of it may be lag by design. The manufacturers build in a delay or reduction in throttle opening to prevent damage to the drivetrain or loss of control. In other words, when you command 3/4 throttle opening from a stop with the cable throttle, that’s what you’ll get. If you do the same with drive by wire…I’m not sure if you’re guaranteed to get what you ask for unless the computer agrees.

And we pretty much know that computer tells “oh, my stupid human asks not for 3/4 open, but wants to go faster, let me give him what is appropriate for the current RPM and transmission gear”, then transmission computer tells “these two stupids want me to downshift? really??? ok, I will consider it after a cup of tee” :slight_smile:


My truck, as an example has drive by wire. I believe it has a built in “pedal numbness” for lack of a better term. Most evident in overdrive. If I’m in OD and I mash the throttle, it seems to take quite a bit of input to get it to downshift. More than I’m accustomed to. If I’m in cruise control, however, it’ll downshift to 3rd without dropping speed. It’s probably that way by design, to keep accidental throttle inputs (your foot mashing the gas a little when you hit a bump, for example) at bay.

I don’t notice the drive by wire much on my wife’s 2013 Toyota.

All in all, I think I’d just prefer the cable myself. The cable makes it easier to clean the throttle body too, since you can pop the hood and open the butterfly at will :grin:

You brought something I’ve also noticed before in Subarus I owned.
If you mush the pedal or if you press it slowly, but quite far in, it will NOT downshift, while if you tap it fast to the roughly same distance - it eagerly downshifted.
Looks like drive-by-wire computer takes the speed of pedal angle change into consideration.

management by a committee of solid state chips might be worse than a committee of egotistical airhead humans. Letting Flo check and critique my strip chart just results in my ignoring Flo. Who needs her anyway?

BTW, which state will be first to authorize LEOs to tap into the ECU of a car and record recent data to use in court?

That has been going on in Nevada for years. I know of a case 15 years ago where a co-worker was involved in a collision resulting in a death, the Highway Patrol checked the data in the Airbag control module and found that the driver was travelling at 73 MPH in a 45 MPH zone.

1 Like

Yes, you kill someone, all the evidence SHOULD be collected!

This is where actually the CVT or the dual clutch transmission might work better.
With the CVT, you always know you have to floor it for it to go. I have to drive my daughter’s Prius once in a while and I know what to expect.
I have test driven quite a few dual clutch sporty cars. They all do well in sports mode, not so great in the regular mode.

And computers are never wrong so if the black box says 73, that must be irrefutable evidence? They get by with it because the data is supposedly not owned by the car owner, otherwise seems to me it would be testifying against oneself. Some of these things are not so simple.

I guess I know there are innocent people locked up based on irrefutable evidence. The details escape me but some years ago in St. Paul, a guy was convicted claiming the accelerator stuck and brakes were pressed as hard as possible. Toyota I think. Slam dunk case until it turned out this was a proven issue and he was let out.