Author Topic: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread  (Read 847968 times)

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Shoo

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6915 on: February 17, 2013, 11:42:32 AM »
Okay, stupid question time: I'm one of those people who rarely or never shift (and never learned how to drive a manual transmission).  I also don't live somewhere I'm driving in a lot of mountains.

But still: which direction is which?  Do I shift to a smaller number going up a hill, or down?  How do I know when I should shift it?  Where does the normal "D" fit in?

We own Jeeps, and the only time we ever downshift is when we're passing through a school zone and want to make sure we don't speed!  Actually, I do downshift on the downward slopes in my hilly little town to make sure I don't speed there too (speed traps).  It keeps me from having to ride my brakes.

Driving in the mountains, even towing our trailer, we have never found the need to downshift.  Our automatic transmissions are very good at regulating themselves. They change gears as necessary. 


mmswm

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6916 on: February 17, 2013, 12:00:28 PM »
Oversimplification warning!!!

The lower the gear, the more power to the drive shaft. When you're hauling up a steep grade you want more power in your wheels, hence a lower gear.  When you're driving in snow, you want power to the wheels, but not too much, as too much power will cause them to spin.  In any event, you lose power to the drive shaft entirely during the time it takes to switch gears which could cause problems (note my story in a previous post).

ETA: And by "power", I mean torque.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 12:57:46 PM by mmswm »

Barney girl

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6917 on: February 17, 2013, 12:06:15 PM »
I've only occasionally driven an automatic and usually find they change gear at different time from when I would, so I dislike the feeling of the decision being taken away from me.
Similarly my current car has headlights which can be set to come on automatically if light conditions justify it, but the car and I have different views on when that should be.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6918 on: February 17, 2013, 12:50:33 PM »
An automatic will start in 1st gear and move it's way up through the gears as you speed up.  In icy/snowy conditions, in my manual car, I skip 1st gear all together and start in 2nd or 3rd, depending on how slippery it is.  It forces you to ease onto the gas more slowly and keeps you from sliding all over the place.

I do the same in an automatic - I'll switch it into normal drive (D) once I get going.

What I also do in my stick shift in ice conditions is downshift to a lower gear in order to avoid having to put on the brakes, either going down a hill or coming to a stop.  I don't usually go any lower than 2nd gear.  I haven't tried this in an automatic.

ETA a phrase so what I posted makes sense!
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 02:56:03 PM by Outdoor Girl »
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marcel

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6919 on: February 17, 2013, 02:53:42 PM »
Okay, stupid question time: I'm one of those people who rarely or never shift (and never learned how to drive a manual transmission).  I also don't live somewhere I'm driving in a lot of mountains.

But still: which direction is which?  Do I shift to a smaller number going up a hill, or down?  How do I know when I should shift it?  Where does the normal "D" fit in?
You actualy shift down both when going up and when going down a hill. If you are going downhill and continuously using your brake, it is probably better to downshift, and let the engine slow you down instead.
Wherever you go..... There you are.

Mental Magpie

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6920 on: February 17, 2013, 07:15:52 PM »
First gear has a lot of "power"; it is quite like doing a squat in weight lifting an is the initial push off you need to get momentum. Then you shift to second to keep going; once you get the car going it doesn't take as much to keep it going. You shift to third and that's where it becomes more like jogging than doing a squat, so on an so forth. For hills, think of down shifting going up a hill as needing to dig in to get up the hill. For going down hill, thinking of down shifting as deliberately slowing yourself without full on digging in your heals to keep yourself from gaining so much speed you any stop yourself, trip, and fall.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6921 on: February 17, 2013, 09:51:18 PM »
Stupid question: Why does "Dear Prudence" make every fourth post a video? The few videos I watched seemed to follow a consistent formula. 1) The letter to Prudence was read as a voice-over over an artist's interpretation of the situation. 2) Prudence sat at her desk looking straight into the camera and (slowly and clearly) read out her reply.

Is there supposed to be some benefit to the video format over text? Is Prudie trying to draw in the youngsters who are too "hip" to read text-based advice columns? Is she trying to fulfill a dream of being a TV star? Is it a clever ploy to keep people from noticing that every fourth post answers only one letter, instead of multiple letters in the text columns? Is she trying to make us better appreciate the text-based form of her witty remarks by demonstrating how painfully stilted and scripted they sound in video?  >:D

I just can't figure out what the appeal of turning a text-based advice column into a video is supposed to be.

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6922 on: February 17, 2013, 09:56:35 PM »
When it comes to blogs, news sites, and such, I automatically skip over any video that would work just fine as text.
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Luci45

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6923 on: February 18, 2013, 10:56:04 AM »
When it comes to blogs, news sites, and such, I automatically skip over any video that would work just fine as text.

I do, too. I read so much faster than narrators talk, usually, and I like to skim over parts I'm not interested in.
 
Those lists of Top Ten......., like ways we unknowingly throw away money, cities with high crime, etc. that appear in the headlines of Home Page for Yahoo! and Comcast are never turned on if a slide show or video. I would rarely check out an online advice video.

Virg

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6924 on: February 18, 2013, 11:44:14 AM »
Slartibartfast wrote:

"But still: which direction is which?  Do I shift to a smaller number going up a hill, or down?  How do I know when I should shift it?  Where does the normal "D" fit in?"

Many others have covered what to do when, but I always found the explanation of the mechanics to give me the most information.  In a vehicle with an automatic transmission, D means normal drive, which will use all of the available gears.  The 3, 2 and 1 indicate that you're restricting the gearbox to just that top gear, so choosing 3 will allow it to use first, second and third gear but it won't shift into the top gear.  Lower gears mean lower ratio, and that means more power to turn the wheels but a lower limit on how fast they'll turn (at a given engine speed).  So, shifting down forces the car to go slower in general unless you step on the gas pedal.  That means that going down a long hill, you don't have to use your brake because the engine will top out and keep the car from going faster (as long as you don't accelerate).  In bad weather, it keeps the car from going too fast and gives a more constant pressure on the drive train which can help with traction.

So to answer your question, when you need more control, you downshift.  Normally when using an automatic transmission, you should never need to downshift for power unless you're towing something pretty heavy since the transmission will downshift when you need it and unless the vehicle is heavily loaded or climbing a very steep grade it'll be able to shift smoothly.  Given that, you'd want to downshift on long downhills so that you don't have to ride your brakes, and you'd consider downshifting in snowy weather if you find that you're having trouble handling in normal drive.  How far down is a matter of feel and the particular vehicle, so you'd have to try it out, starting with the highest number below "D" that you have and working downward.  Most cars will be almost inoperably slow in 1 so you'll probably never use that but again, it's a matter of experience and preference.

Virg

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6925 on: February 18, 2013, 11:57:57 AM »
When it comes to blogs, news sites, and such, I automatically skip over any video that would work just fine as text.

I do, too. I read so much faster than narrators talk, usually, and I like to skim over parts I'm not interested in.
 
Those lists of Top Ten......., like ways we unknowingly throw away money, cities with high crime, etc. that appear in the headlines of Home Page for Yahoo! and Comcast are never turned on if a slide show or video. I would rarely check out an online advice video.

Slide shows... ugh.  A pox on their creator!
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CakeBeret

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6926 on: February 18, 2013, 02:25:09 PM »
Is it normal to wake up quite disoriented in the morning?

Some days I wake up and have no idea what day it is. I have to think about it for a few seconds.

Yesterday--Sunday--I woke up to DH's alarm going off and began getting everyone up and ready as though it were Monday. I was picking out what shoes DS should wear that day before my brain said "Wait a minute, are we really sure it's Monday?" DH's alarm doesn't normally go off on Sundays, so I guess the alarm gave my brain the Monday cue.

Occasionally I will wake up in the night and think it's morning and time to get up. Again, I feel uncomfortably disoriented when this happens.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

Dazi

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6927 on: February 18, 2013, 02:42:36 PM »
Re: cakeberet

Yes, it's fairly common.  I've heard that the disorentation date/time/surroundings happens when you are woken in the middle of your sleep cycle.

I once had a cw call me in a panic because she thought she was going to be late for 8am...we had a laugh when I told her it was still the night before...she had dosed off on her sofa.
Meditate. Live purely. Quiet the mind. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine. ---Gautama Buddah





Outdoor Girl

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6928 on: February 18, 2013, 02:46:32 PM »
I've had it happen to me, too, occasionally.  Often when I haven't slept well the night before so I think there is something to Dazi's sleep cycle theory.  If I get to sleep normally and don't wake during the night, I generally wake just before my alarm goes off.  When I don't, the alarm wakes me and sometimes I have to figure out what day it is.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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Diane AKA Traska

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6929 on: February 18, 2013, 04:08:15 PM »
Monday is garbage pickup day around here.  M had to work all weekend, so it threw me off, and I panicked when I realized it was Monday.

Then I mentally slapped myself upside the head when I remembered that today was President's Day.
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