What to do when your car runs out of control.

There have been a lot of safe car concerns about “cars running out of control”. This can be caused by a lot of things: sticking cables or throttle linkages, or electronic defects in the case of sticking cruise controls, or “drive by wire” automobiles. (Drive by wire systems control the throttle by an electronic servo via the computer. The gas pedal isn’t directly connected to the throttle. The pedal give input to the computer, the computer operates the throttle. That’s drive by wire. Other designs (so far non-mainstream, mostly experimental) operate the steering and brakes in a similar fashion.)


Any car which has stuff like a “one touch push button start” feature is likely to have some sort of drive by wire also.


Safe driving is a matter of knowing what to do in a un safe situation!


If your throttle sticks, here’s how to come to a safe stop 1) Pull back on the gas pedal with your right foot, step on the brakes with your left foot. Many sticking gas pedals have been from shifting floor mats, so look at your floor mats and keep them clear of the pedals. Floormat or whatever, pulling back on the pedal with your toe might “unstick” it.




Press the brake pedal first thing: it will often turn off cruise controls or drive by wire systems.


3) As you are pressing the brake, be ready to do two things: put the car in neutral, and turn off the ignition switch. If it is a manual, press in the clutch.




When you put the car in neutral the engine may rev up to a scary level, and may even burn up! But a blown motor is a small price to pay compared to a wreck! That’s why you should be prepared to turn off the engine, which brings me to




When you turn off the key switch, only turn it off one click! This should avoid locking the steering wheel.

ALSO: When the engine stops, you may lose power steering and power brakes. This does not mean you will lose ALL steering and brakes, just that the pedal will be harder to press, and the steering harder to turn.


The very second you experience a runaway situation, the safe thing is to begin stopping. If you have to shut off the engine, try not to release the brake pedal once you shut it off. On most vehicles this means you will have power brakes for your stop.


Drive by wire stuff might not let you shut the motor off going down the road, but even a drive by wire car should let you shift into neutral. The newer cars have a rev limiter built in, so the motor is less likely to blow up on a drive by wire car thrown into neutral than a regular car with, say, a sticking throttle cable.

Source: Automedics

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