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Old 28th October 2011, 10:03   #31
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

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All along, I was under the impression that RHS traffic gets the first right of way in a rotary-junction only in right hand drive countries like India, Australia and UK. For left hand drive cars in the US, France, Swedan, etc., LHS traffic get the first right of way. Isn't Swedan left hand drive country? Please enlighten me.
It depends on whether traffic on the roundabout has priority or traffic entering the roundabout has priority. The the commonwealth it is the traffic on the roundabout. In the 1970's in Germany it was the former and France the latter. I think then somewhere down the line the French changed their rules. Also, in France on unmarked roads traffic entering the road from the right had priority, Serrez a droit as it was called.

Of course in India it is a free for all!!!
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Old 28th October 2011, 11:40   #32
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

Sorry, it was Priorite a droit and not serrez a droid. The latter means keep to the right.
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Old 31st October 2011, 20:34   #33
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Thanks for the 5-star rating guys, much appreciated!

------
Hill Starts

Sweden is quite a mountainous country, and hills are aplenty. Knowing how to start from standstill on a hill is a must! It’s all also one of those things that they *always* ask you to do on the driving test.

A crucial lesson in other words.

For the day's lesson J drove us to a nearby residential neighborhood. Calm and empty with hardly a soul in sight. Plenty of hills, though. J chose a hill (mountain?) of epic proportions and halted on the side of the street.

We swapped seats. J asked me what I knew about hill starts.

‘Well... You press the clutch and brake firmly down and then release the handbrake. Slot into first and then quickly let go of the brake, accelerate and ease of the clutch, all at the same time.’

‘Okay... and what happens during that short period where you move your foot off the brake and onto the accelerator?’

‘The car rolls back!’ I felt proud. I knew that answer

‘And that’s exactly what we’re trying to avoid.’

‘I guess you have to do it really fast so the car barely rolls back at all.’ I had no other clue about how else we could start off the hill.

‘Okay. Give it a shot.’ J ordered.

Clutch down. Brake down. I fired up the Golf’s engine. Released the handbrake. Shifted to first. Did a quick check of the mirrors and threw a glance back at the blind spot (a must J says). All clear.

Mentally I counted down to three. One, two, three. My right foot leaped of the brake pedal and mashed the accelerator down a fair bit, while my left foot tried to coax the clutch into engaging. While I thought I’d done all this footwork with Usain Bolt kind of speed, reality was a little different. The car had rolled back. A few meters. The size of this mountain wasn’t helping. Finally first gear engaged and the Golf lurched forward.

J told me to bring the car to a halt again.

‘As you saw the car rolled back.’

I nodded.

‘It rolled back a lot. If there was another car there, what would have happened? Or worse, a pedestrian?’

J had a point. Rolling back has to be avoided.

‘While your method is basically right, it requires a lot of practice to do hill starts that way. This you can do later - there is no need to waste lessons on that. Instead, I’m going to show you a method that always works. And the car won’t roll back AT ALL!’

It sounded great. I was all ears.

‘Okay. So first, clutch down and start the car up. Then, slot into first. Make sure the handbrake is engaged. Now I want you to start accelerating and easing of the clutch to the biting point - the point where you feel the car trying to move forward. The handbrake is of course stopping it from moving! Now keep your feet *fixed* at this point and carefully release the handbrake. And voila! The car is standing completely still, without any brakes at all! Finally accelerate some more and release the clutch and your on your way! Without rolling back at all!’

J sounded exited about all this and commanded me to try it at once.

I tried it, and boy was I impressed! The car really didn’t roll back at all, and the method was so easy to grasp!

We did this a few more times and then J made me do reverse-hill-starts; exactly the same method but with reverse gear.

Before leaving, J mentioned that many a student failed their driving test for trying to start the way I had done in the beginning and inevitably rolling back. The method taught to me today was however quite fool proof and easy to master, and that I should remember it for my test.

And with that, the lesson was concluded, and hill starts covered with a simple method - great lesson!

Last edited by anekho : 23rd January 2013 at 05:01.
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Old 31st October 2011, 20:47   #34
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

My father taught my mother to do hill starts by putting her favourite hat behind the back wheel.

(ok... after many years, he admitted to have hidden it, not put it by the wheel at all, but she didn't know that at the time --- my mum was pretty good at hill starts )
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Old 1st November 2011, 00:35   #35
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
My father taught my mother to do hill starts by putting her favourite hat behind the back wheel.

(ok... after many years, he admitted to have hidden it, not put it by the wheel at all, but she didn't know that at the time --- my mum was pretty good at hill starts )
Haha! That sounds like quite an effective teaching method
Must have been nerve-wrecking for your mother!

Last edited by anekho : 1st November 2011 at 00:36.
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Old 1st November 2011, 03:28   #36
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

... A strong woman. And a better driver than I have ever been

Still enjoying the ongoing tale of your lessons. Yes, that is how I do hill starts, but this is one detail only: I think I'd find that Swedish licence a heap harder to get than the British one was, and they are not exactly easy!
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Old 1st November 2011, 10:16   #37
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I have always wanted to ask this. If you engage the handbreak and accelerate a little before releasing it ( as done in this technique), doesn't it damage your breaks somehow? I am sorry I am not aware of how the hand break does its job. But I have always believed that pressing the accelerator at the time when you are also technically pressing the handbreak will lead to to faster wear and tear of your break pads/shoes right? Can anyone clarify on how this works?
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Old 1st November 2011, 10:30   #38
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

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I have always wanted to ask this. If you engage the handbreak and accelerate a little before releasing it ( as done in this technique), doesn't it damage your breaks somehow? I am sorry I am not aware of how the hand break does its job. But I have always believed that pressing the accelerator at the time when you are also technically pressing the handbreak will lead to to faster wear and tear of your break pads/shoes right? Can anyone clarify on how this works?
The wear will happen whenever the brake is applied with a moving wheel\wheel with force being applied on it. This also happens to be what a brake is normally used for! Brakes are essentially consumable parts and one cannot afford to not use them simply because it will cause wear.

The alternative is to crash into something or increase clutch wear by using only the clutch to start moving on an upslope. IINM a clutch replacement is more expensive than that for brakes.
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Old 1st November 2011, 12:26   #39
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

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I have always wanted to ask this. If you engage the handbreak and accelerate a little before releasing it ( as done in this technique), doesn't it damage your breaks somehow?
No, it doesn't: the stress is taken by the clutch.

Doesn't it damage the clutch then? If you spend too long at that "biting point," perhaps using the clutch to hold the car stationary on a hill, without using the brake, then yes it does. A moment at biting point, though, before you release the brake and move forwards, is all part of what your clutch is for: don't worry about it!
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Old 1st November 2011, 13:55   #40
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

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No, it doesn't: the stress is taken by the clutch.

Doesn't it damage the clutch then? If you spend too long at that "biting point," perhaps using the clutch to hold the car stationary on a hill, without using the brake, then yes it does. A moment at biting point, though, before you release the brake and move forwards, is all part of what your clutch is for: don't worry about it!
Why I asked was because I had got the break shoe/pad ( whats the difference?) replaced for my Innova some months back. On general chit chatting the mechanic said that one of the common reasons for them to wear out soon is when you are standing on the signal and engage the handbreak to give a break to your right leg. Then during that time many a times subconsciously some people go on giving slight acceleration to the car while the signal is still red. This leads to the excessive wear. I didn't get him totally as according to me if the wheel is not moving ( obviously the car being in neutral) then if I press the race how does it effect my breaks. Sorry if I sound confused. Anyways this is way off topic and not meant to be discussed on this lovely thread.

Regards,
mohit
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Old 1st November 2011, 14:21   #41
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

What a wonderfull read that was, Anekho! Please continue.
Man, reading about getting a license in Sweden, I am thinking - getting my Australian driving license (Victoria state at that! Toughest in Australia) was a pretty easy walk through!

Loved your way of writing and getting into the details. Please continue.
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Old 1st November 2011, 14:41   #42
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...the mechanic said that one of the common reasons for them to wear out soon is when you are standing on the signal and engage the handbreak to give a break to your right leg. Then during that time many a times subconsciously some people go on giving slight acceleration to the car while the signal is still red. This leads to the excessive wear. I didn't get him totally as according to me if the wheel is not moving ( obviously the car being in neutral) then if I press the race how does it effect my breaks. Sorry if I sound confused.
You are not confused: the mechanic is!
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Old 1st November 2011, 15:22   #43
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

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Originally Posted by anekho
So first, clutch down and start the car up. Then, slot into first. Make sure the handbrake is engaged. Now I want you to start accelerating and easing of the clutch to the biting point - the point where you feel the car trying to move forward. The handbrake is of course stopping it from moving! Now keep your feet *fixed* at this point and carefully release the handbrake. And voila! The car is standing completely still, without any brakes at all!
Couple of questions about this method :
1) How much of handbrake should be engaged ? Do we pull the lever all the way up to the last notch ? Or is it enough to just pull it up a couple of notches ?

2) Regarding the part in bold above, till you release the handbrake, the car is standing still because the forward motion is checked by the brake. But when you release the handbrake, there is no check. So, should the car not go/lurch forward ? How does it stay still ? Or do you modulate the clutch as you release the handbrake ? But you also mention "keep your feet fixed at this point", which seems to indicate no modulation.

BTW, I prefer & find easy the initial method you tried (which J mentioned needs lots of practice). I did try the handbrake method couple of times - but did not feel comfy - maybe I was not doing it right.

Knowing the licensing procedure in Sweden, I would not even waste time trying. And if the public transportation system there is as efficient / punctual as in say Belgium, I would prefer that anyday.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 1st November 2011 at 15:24.
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Old 1st November 2011, 16:43   #44
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

(If you don't mind the British answers ...)

1. Pull up handbrake and press button --- so it is full on, but ready to release instantly.

2. Depress Clutch, then accelerate a little.

3. Raise clutch to biting point, and adjust acceleration not to stall, but to be giving the impression that the car bonnet is rising off the ground!

4. Release brake and Wheeee ... we're away!

There should be no lurch, but to achieve neither lurch nor stall, you have to think of co-ordinating all three controls, rather than as a 1 - 2 - 3 - 4.
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Old 1st November 2011, 16:46   #45
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Interesting thread, this! I'm absolutely glued to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom
My father taught my mother to do hill starts by putting her favourite hat behind the back wheel.

(ok... after many years, he admitted to have hidden it, not put it by the wheel at all, but she didn't know that at the time --- my mum was pretty good at hill starts )
Lovely story! My Dad did something similar when I was learning to drive on the old 800 back in '99 (and this was *after* I got an LL, mind!). He said no more driving lessons if the car rolls back!

That was good enough for me to be careful but because we weren't using the handbrake technique (I picked that up only a few years later after a friend suggested it) success wasn't guaranteed.

Regards,
spadix
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