RCTurner
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:30 am

Driving in "L" when it is slippery

Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:46 pm

In a word, don't. I live in the frozen north and although it has been cold with some snow to date, it has just started to be slippery due to roads not clearing because of a lack of sunshine.

In "L" the front wheels want to slide on deceleration and control is pretty much lost. Use "D" on slippery roads and you will be much safer. :o

SeanNelson
Posts: 1434
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:43 am
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: Driving in "L" when it is slippery

Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:32 pm

I use "L" all the time, slippery conditions or not. We've just gone through a snowfall where over the course of a week or so my back lane started with crisp, fresh snow and then degraded to compacted snow and then ice. Every day I depart down the lane I test my traction because it's always worst-case compared to the city streets. I've never had a problem with "L" mode.

Yes, if you take your foot completely off the accelerator pedal the wheels can slide, but the car modulates the amount of regen and the car still comes to a controlled stop. But you shouldn't be taking your foot completely off the pedal in those kinds of conditions! In "L" mode removing your foot from the pedal is the same thing as applying too much braking force, and you'll slide if you do that too!

A lot of people seem to have this "all or nothing" attitude to "L" mode, but you can modulate the amount of regen in "L" just like you modulate the amount of braking force using "D" and the brake pedal. There's no reason to slam the brakes on every time you hit the brake pedal, and there's no reason to just pop your foot right off the accelerator every time you slow down in "L" mode.

The only potential benefit I can see of "D" mode is that use of the brake pedal can engage the rear brakes as well as the front ones. But here's the thing - light application of the brake pedal in "D" mode engages regen first anyway - so you still slow down using only the front wheels. By the time you've gotten to the point where you're using the actual hydraulic brakes in low traction conditions you're probably already sliding anyway, and shouldn't be pressing that hard. And if it's an emergency stop then just stomp on the brakes and let the anti-skid braking do it's work - that works the same in "L" or "D" modes. But if you find yourself doing emergency stops more than once in a blue moon then it means you're in the habit driving too fast or too close for conditions.

WetEV
Moderator
Posts: 390
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:26 pm
Location: Near Seattle

Re: Driving in "L" when it is slippery

Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:41 pm

SeanNelson wrote:The only potential benefit I can see of "D" mode is that use of the brake pedal can engage the rear brakes as well as the front ones. But here's the thing - light application of the brake pedal in "D" mode engages regen first anyway - so you still slow down using only the front wheels. By the time you've gotten to the point where you're using the actual hydraulic brakes in low traction conditions you're probably already sliding anyway, and shouldn't be pressing that hard.


Would you please check something? In a safe situation: put the car in "D" and push on the brake pedal until the tires slide. With the brake petal still pressed, check what happens to regen.

With the LEAF, any brief tire slide causes the braking to switch from regen to frictional only braking. And it stays there until the brake pedal is fully released, ie no regen only frictional braking.
#49 on the LEAF 100 mile club.
Most everything around here is wet during the rainy season. And the rainy season is long.
2012 Leaf SL Red
2014 Leaf SL Red
Can't sit in a Bolt seat, hoping for better soon.
Or perhaps a Buick version? Buick Electra 225???

SeanNelson
Posts: 1434
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:43 am
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: Driving in "L" when it is slippery

Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:37 am

WetEV wrote:
SeanNelson wrote:The only potential benefit I can see of "D" mode is that use of the brake pedal can engage the rear brakes as well as the front ones. But here's the thing - light application of the brake pedal in "D" mode engages regen first anyway - so you still slow down using only the front wheels. By the time you've gotten to the point where you're using the actual hydraulic brakes in low traction conditions you're probably already sliding anyway, and shouldn't be pressing that hard.

Would you please check something? In a safe situation: put the car in "D" and push on the brake pedal until the tires slide. With the brake petal still pressed, check what happens to regen.

Right now the snow has melted down here - if I get a chance I'll go up to Grouse Mountain some early morning and give it a try in their parking lot.

RCTurner
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:30 am

Re: Driving in "L" when it is slippery

Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:41 pm

SeanNelson wrote:But you shouldn't be taking your foot completely off the pedal in those kinds of conditions!


What you are saying is technically true but, I don't know of anyone who drives any kind of a vehicle that doesn't take their foot off of the foot feed at some point when stopping. And, when conditions are bad I don't think anyone cares about region. As long as you have the range to get where you want to go and home again, life is good.

SeanNelson
Posts: 1434
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:43 am
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: Driving in "L" when it is slippery

Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:28 am

RCTurner wrote:
SeanNelson wrote:But you shouldn't be taking your foot completely off the pedal in those kinds of conditions!

What you are saying is technically true but, I don't know of anyone who drives any kind of a vehicle that doesn't take their foot off of the foot feed at some point when stopping.

But this is the whole point of "L" mode in the Bolt! I literally do not remove my foot from the accelerator pedal until after the car has stopped. And even then, I only put it on the brake pedal so that the brake lights come on while I'm stationary. And I'm sure that I'm not the only Bolt driver to do this.

I probably only have to resort to the brake pedal to actually help stop the car perhaps once or twice a month when something unexpected intrudes into the buffer zone I try to maintain in front of me.

Telek
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:11 am

Re: Driving in "L" when it is slippery

Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:45 am

I have mixed feelings with this.

I have repeatedly been able to have the car activate ABS (or something similar, traction control at the very least) when driving in slippery snow and letting full L regen kick in.

However, others (on the facebook group) have video proven that L on ice will just cause the front wheels to lock up, and the stopping distance is greater than D.

So, YMMV. It's technically safer to drive in D at low speeds if you don't feel like using the brake :lol:

Pigwich
Posts: 238
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:01 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: Driving in "L" when it is slippery

Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:50 pm

Yeah I personally get a little skeezed out driving on snow and ice in L in the Bolt. While I'm sure GM 'thought of this' my fear is that the increased regen will allow the tires to break free the moment I lift off the accelerator, and how do I then recover from this is an unknown re-apply throttle? Shift in to N or D? I grew up driving awful cars in awful weather with no traction control, ABS, or anything else, so coasting and correct brake application technique was the name of the game. On dry pavement I ride exclusively in L, but up in the mountains in the crap weather, it's D, just because it's what I'm used to.
(´・(oo)・`)

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