Opening door while in reverse, and some other questions

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Hoon, Aug 29, 2019.

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  1. Hoon

    Hoon Member

    While I was reversing, I opened my door to take a look at the ground just to check whether I'm going straight or not. The gear automatically went in to Park while moving, making the car stop very harshly. In my head I'm imagining grinding gears. I understand there are some built-in anti-dummy measures so that people don't just walk out of their car while in D or R, but this sudden stopping was unexpected. Does this happen to you all? Sometimes it doesn't do this so I'm able to look at the floor while reversing.

    While driving slowly at 5 mph, if somebody (wife/kid) accidentally presses the P button or R button in the gear, would the car ignore this? The car should be smart enough to know to ignore these, but just curious if anyone knows for sure.
    Daniel M W likes this.
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  3. petteyg359

    petteyg359 Well-Known Member

    Um, there's a camera for that...

    Yes. You cannot change "gears" without the brake pedal depressed and the car stopped, except when the car forces it into park (either because you opened a door or powered it off).
    MPower and fotomoto like this.
  4. David in TN

    David in TN Well-Known Member

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  5. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    Yes which allows 100% coasting that people have often wished for on this forum.

    In terms of being parked and having someone inadvertently push buttons the brake pedal needs to be depressed.
    Even if the car is stopped in Brake Hold (love that feature) after some length of time it will switch to Park and set the emergency brake.
  6. fotomoto

    fotomoto Active Member

    Yes, it happens more frequently than one may think but most cases don't get heavily reported. In this case, the deceased was more newsworthy than most:

    "Anton Yelchin, who was best known for playing Chekov in the new Star Trek films, has been killed by his own car at his home in Los Angeles, police say.
    It struck him after rolling backwards down the steep drive at his Studio City home, pinning him against a brick postbox pillar and a security fence.

    Police also told the broadcaster the vehicle involved was a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee and it appeared Yelchin had not properly put the car in park mode."
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  8. fotomoto

    fotomoto Active Member

    I do this often at the carwash when I'm wiping down the interior and dash and have the car on so I can enjoy the a/c.
  9. Hoon

    Hoon Member

    There's no camera on the left looking at the tires. I usually look with doors open to avoid rubbing my tires on the curb.

    Can you put gear in N while driving on highway and then put it back to D? Or would this require pressing the Brakes to do so?
  10. petteyg359

    petteyg359 Well-Known Member

    There is, however, a camera on the rear that paints virtual lines on the screen. Those lines are actually a bit wider than the car's footprint, as they included extra horizontal space for the mirrors. If the line isn't on top of the curb, your tires are fine.

    Using a dime to turn screws because the awl wasn't working isn't solving the problem. Use the screwdriver.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
  11. JCA

    JCA Active Member

    Having experimented with this a bit:

    - At slow speeds, if in D and you press R without the car will slow and go to reverse, and vice versa if you then press D. No braking required. This allows you to "rock" the car like you might want to in a snowdrift. Try it in your driveway. I suspect pressing P will just stop, but haven't tried it.

    - At higher speeds, pressing R (or P) when going forward will just shift to Neutral and you coast, with a warning on the dash. You can press D to get back in gear without having to stop. I haven't tried pressing D while reversing at high speed :)

    - I haven't played with the door open scenarios; I wonder if you can open the door a bit *then* shift to reverse and have it go?

    The car will automatically shift to Park when you turn it off...but I don't like to rely on that since our other cars (with physical shift levers) don't. And incidents like what happened to Yelchin (and a high school classmate years ago) are why I *always* set the parking brake, even if I'm "sure" it's in Park. A car can develop an awful lot of energy on an almost imperceptible slope, why risk it?
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  13. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    It's wide enough even to see the lines in your parking space, I use that all the time when pulling front end into a spot and not wanting to hit the curb with the front bumper, I switch momentarily into reverse and if I can see the white lines on either side I know I am far enough in and also centered in the spot, in which case I don't pull any farther forward I just shut it off.
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  14. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    And one more datum not mentioned in the manual. Brake Hold does not work in reverse.
  15. Hoon

    Hoon Member

    Thanks for the replies:)

    JCA, you got the nerves to test it out. Thanks for explanation on the rare scenarios.

    petteyg, on relying on the backup camera, that doesn’t work well (for me) if the parking spot is tight, or I park at the end spot where I want my wheels to be exactly 1cm away from the curb. Visually looking at it with my door open is the best way to get it as close as possible. This is only if the curb is on my left. I don’t want any door dings so I try to park right all the time.

    I’m aware of the backup camera drawing virtual lines, straight lines, and there are three virtual view mode which is basically just a crop-and-stretch. I’m still learning things on this car. Only had it for 2 months. I was curious on ev range, last time I got estimated 10 ev miles remaining + actual 55 used ev miles :) Had to not use the AC though. I was sweating in 90F. I like experimenting, data collection, analysis.
  16. Olive

    Olive New Member

    I always use the side mirrors (both right and left) to park and not hitting the curb. You can ajust them or just lift your head a little and you can then see the curb, the ground and the rear tire.
    Paddy likes this.
  17. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    I have also experienced the surprise of not being able back this car up with a door open. And I agree it’s an annoyance at times. If there is a workaround I don’t know it. It’s easier to just shut the dang door than it is to figure out a workaround.

    So I shut the door. Works great then.
  18. r1ptide64

    r1ptide64 New Member

    Brilliant, thank you! I've only had my Clarity a few months, and am still adjusting to the larger footprint coming from an '06 Accord. I often leave my butt sticking out of perpendicular parking spots because I'm leery of underestimating how much room I have in front.
  19. JCA

    JCA Active Member

    I just did some more experiments because hey, why not:

    - Main thing: If your seatbelt is on, the car will stay in Drive or Reverse even if you open the door. That's the main workaround here.

    - If the seatbelt is off and you're in D or R, it will automatically go to Park when you open the door. If you open the door first, *then* press D or R with your foot on the brake, it will go into that gear -- and stay in gear as long as you only lift your foot partially off the brake, so you can crawl slowly forward or backward. If your foot comes all the way off the brake, it auto-shifts to P and stops.

    - At low speed, shifting to P or having it auto-shift to P because you open the door *is* pretty jarring and you probably don't want to do that on purpose. On the other hand, shifting back and forth between D and R (to rock the car) is a much more gentle slow/reverse direction operation that doesn't seem like it's harming the car.

    This seems like a reasonable safety feature -- the button shifter is a lot less intuitive by "feel" than a big lever that you can see and feel where it is, and stepping out of the car with it accidentally in gear could be pretty bad. Or, another way to think about it -- this would be a required safety feature for all cars but the cost of making a mechanical lever move a transmission to P automatically would be very high, while with a button shifter that's going to a computer anyway it's almost "free" to add this fail-safe.
    insightman, 2002, Hoon and 1 other person like this.
  20. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    This all reminds me of a story from about 10 years ago. When I was claim adjusting for a high risk insurer in my prior career, I received a large number of auto claims on one day, all neighbors on the same street, and I was to appraise the damage on every car. This is odd, absent hail storms, but these were collision claims, not hail claims. Turns out our insured driver, drunk as a skunk but taking back roads to “be safe”, caught the attention of a pair of officers who followed and observed from a distance. Seeing swerving they turned their lights on to pull him over. As a cooperative citizen he decided to get out of his car and walk back to the cop car calmly in an attempt to talk his way out of this quandary. He carefully pulled to the curb, but Upon stepping out of his car, he discovered that he had completely forgotten to put his car in park first. So as the car rolled forward he fell flat on his face, his legs extended under the car, and his back tire ran over both of his knees. Then his car carried on driverless down the narrow residential street, gently bouncing off parked cars on both sides of the road until it hit something solid and came to a stop. Thus all the claims. As I met with all these neighbors, they indicated the police officers pretty much had the giggles while trying to call for an ambulance for our poor drunken fool who was writhing in the gutter with two crushed knees.

    If only our insured has been driving a Clarity...his car may have safely gone into park automatically in his drunken stupor...saving himself a very large insurance claim, and self-induced severe bodily injury.

    And yes this is a true story. I have a bunch of them after working 13 years for a high risk insurance company. Our customers were real peaches.
    MPower and Hoon like this.
  21. rodeknyt

    rodeknyt Active Member

    Even cars with lever shifters COULD have this as a safety feature. The lever doesn't have a mechanical connection to the transmission in cars anymore. It just activates various switches in the shift gater (depending on its position) to tell the computer what to make the transmission do. The auto shifting to Park could be done without the lever having to be moved. Afterward, it would require the driver to move the lever to P or some other gear to reset the system and get things back to normal.
  22. Geor99

    Geor99 Active Member

    Also if you are driving in acc (cruise control) without your seatbelts & it stops due to a car in front of you stopping; it will automatically go into park in a somewhat rough way.

    Learned this today.
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  23. Geor99

    Geor99 Active Member

    I believe that some insurers dont pay if you are liquored up. I guess that this isn't the case for your former employer.

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