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Re: Two "I want to meet the engineer" foibles for my 2013 Leaf!

Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:35 pm

I never thought of either until reading your post. The shifter is a little weird, it seems disconnected from reality because it kind of is. We're all used to shifters that are hooked with cables or linkage to a notchy automatic or even better a lovely manual transmission. Both are positive reminders that you're in 'control' of something. The LEAF shifter is a bit underwhelming because you're just giving the car a suggestion of the direction you'd like to take and it makes the magic happen from there. The directional orientation never really gave me any pause, but I get it.

As for the cruise control switch, help me with why this is bothersome. When you hit the switch it lights up the cruise control indicator which I don't really want to stare at all the time, are you proposing to just hit the 'set / accel' button and be done with it? I think I've had a bunch of cars with some way to turn on/off the cruise control but don't remember if any just had 'set/accel' and 'coast'.

Interesting points both though.
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Re: Two "I want to meet the engineer" foibles for my 2013 Leaf!

Mon May 29, 2017 9:30 pm

This (reverse/forward setting) bothered me a couple times and for about 30mins before I got the hang of it. My previous beater car had the ignition insert to the right of the steering wheel and the weekend driver takes the key to the left of the steering wheel. It took me a couple days and a few swaps to adjust to the different sides of the steering wheel.

What took me a couple more days with the beater was how I'd try to clutch in when I started a car and the left foot had this "sinking feeling" as the clutch was nowhere to be found on the beater. On the Leaf though, the parking brake is very annoyingly placed imho. That's the thing I'm going to spend some time getting over. Why not make an electric parking brake for crying out loud?

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Re: Two "I want to meet the engineer" foibles for my 2013 Leaf!

Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:17 pm

The 2011 and 2012 Leafs had a perfectly good electric parking brake that they replaced with the stupid press to apply and press to release foot pedal starting in 2013. I had no issues in 3-1/2 years and 50k miles on the 2011, but the 2015 has required repair/adjustment several times so far. I always miss the electric parking brake every time I park or start the 2015.
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Re: Two "I want to meet the engineer" foibles for my 2013 Leaf!

Sun Jun 04, 2017 2:51 pm

This talk of which way the shifter goes reminds me of trying to teach my dad how to use a computer. I'd tell him to scroll down and he'd say he can only get the page to scroll up. I'd tell him that he's moving it in the right direction but it's called scrolling down. He'd say then why do they call it scrolling down if the page is moving up? :?

I remember the first time I drove an automatic. It was a 1973 Chevy Malibu. I stomped on the extra-wide brake pedal thinking it was the clutch and simultaneously shifted into park. The good thing was that the wheels were locked solid before it went into park. :shock:

If they made a six speed manual Leaf I'd be all over it! :P

I've often thought cruise control should be just one button. Push it to set the speed. Push it or tap the brakes to unset the speed.
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Re: Two "I want to meet the engineer" foibles for my 2013 Leaf!

Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:18 pm

I've often thought cruise control should be just one button. Push it to set the speed. Push it or tap the brakes to unset the speed.
Not a bad idea. As long as it defaulted to Off when the car was off and the display showed it coming on, that should be fine.

I loved the pushbutton transmission (and strong power steering and brakes) in my parents' '64 Plymouth Fury wagon. It was so easy for a ten year old to drive at 3:00am on country roads! I even managed a three or so point turn my first time out. My Father's 4 speed 122S was vastly harder, and it was just loud enough that I had to push the car down the street before I started it.
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Re: Two "I want to meet the engineer" foibles for my 2013 Leaf!

Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:39 pm

I'm an engineer:

Shifter: If we have to use forward/backward directions then they have to be reversed with vehicle moving
direction due to sudden possible G-forces in the same position.
Shifter design itself is very good. I would be better to have shifter next to steering wheel (like Tesla/Merc solution)
but that is another topic. It's hardly possible to make shifter better. Except D/B memory.. or rather lack of it.
Cruise control enable: Theoretically might be possible for US Leafs though in EU we have two systems
(same button position, two functions, one on the left one on the right). Therefore not even possible in EU.
Though there must be an "OFF" switch that is not brake pedal for safety.
If there were no "speed limit" function anywhere in the world, I would (If I had to design buttons) have the
Enable/Disable button integrated into up/down speed selection (same button as change source for radio).

Parking brake - electric parking brake made more problems. And it is more expensive. To fix and even to service.
Though new design has another issue with brake pads getting misaligned too fast. They changed something else
beside the button/pedal and screwed that up. Pedal is very reliable and it works with catastrophic electric fault.
Which is actually the second most important function of parking brake - works as a backup.
Electric parking brake is not a backup. Especially when primary brakes are also electric - doesn't make sense.
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