Oops. Accidentally shifted Clarity to neutral on freeway.

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by TomL, Dec 13, 2019.

  1. TomL

    TomL Member

    In case you ever wondered whether you can shift into neutral with impunity while driving at freeway speed, you can and it will result in an urgent message to stop doing it. I accidentally hit the neutral button while driving and the car shifted to neutral as it would if stopped. I got a warning message that said something like "Take your foot off the accelerator and [something something]". I was a bit panicked, so I didn't decipher the entire message. I pulled over and stopped to shift back to drive, no harm done.
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  2. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    You can shift from D to N and back with impunity and with no warnings as long as your foot is off either pedal.
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  3. TomL

    TomL Member

    Hmm. Not sure whether to conclude that I am not a bad driver for shifting into N on the freeway or that Honda engineers are far-sighted enough to plan for drivers to do dumb stuff like that.
  4. JCA

    JCA Active Member

    You're not, and they are. The shifter's behavior is designed to account for the fact that it's easier to accidentally press a button than to shift a lever (although it's possible to accidentally knock a lever into neutral also, which is why lever shifters have some other sort of interlock, button, or gate before you can get to Reverse, which could ruin in a purely physical transmission at highway speed).

    From my experiments, at very low speeds you can actually go between Drive and Reverse without being stopped or having your foot on the brake -- the car will gracefully reverse directions. This is probably to support "rocking" the car in snow. "Neutral" will let it coast. And if you press "Park" the car will jerk to a stop -- again from a very low speed but not really a good idea. I don't know what the cutoff speed is for this behavior.

    At high speeds pressing Neutral will indeed put it in neutral with warnings because you might not have meant to, but you should be able to just press "D" to re-engage without stopping. Pressing Reverse (and I presume Park but didn't try it) just puts up warnings -- I'm not sure if it goes to neutral also. Bottom line, while not a good idea to play with the buttons intentionally, there are some pretty robust fail-safe's built in.

    There are other things worth noting, like if you don't have your seatbelt on and open the door the car will jerk to a "Park" stop (or just move to Park if you're stopped), at least at low speed; I haven't tried it at higher speeds! That's to protect you against opening the door to step out, foot on brake, not realizing it's still in D because it's silent, and having the car start moving as you release the brake and are halfway out. If you need to open the door to look down at a parking line or something, just have your belt on and it'll work.
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  5. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    I'm going on the assumption that selecting Reverse at highway speeds would gracefully handle that problem, but I'm not about to try it. Has anyone actually done that accidentally?
  6. Someone I know very, very well did hit PARK once at speed when aiming for the SPORT button and nothing untoward happened.

    Or so he tells me. ;)
  7. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Since there are no gears that are disconnected or shifted when going from D to R I doubt if you can do much damage. We'd have to imagine what the program does when you shift from D to R. Likely it simply sends no power to the motor, and eliminates all regen. Then when you switch back to D, even at full speed, all it does is reapply power and regen.

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