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Old 1st November 2011, 18:14   #46
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
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.
1. Pull the handbrake lever all the way up.

2. I think the important part in his sentence is "clutch to the biting point - the point where you feel the car trying to move forward". Once there, the car won't roll back.

I have always felt much more comfortable using the handbrake technique than the traditional way. It eliminates the "two-feet-three-pedals" problem by moving one of the functionalities to the hand This was very important to me when I was not a very confident driver who was scared of inclines.

Once I bought my Punto, I have hardly ever used when handbrake technique. On most inclines I have encountered so far, just release the clutch slowly and it rolls (forward, not backward)
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Old 1st November 2011, 18:29   #47
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

Good read!
I will always recommend the old fashioned clutch/accelerator combination to get to a stand still position (not for long though) than the handbrake method. I mastered this art in my parking lot . I do this day in and day out as I have to keep the car still on an incline turn the steering the other way and then go little ahead and then reverse (Not sure I made it clear but thats not the point!)

Btw, anekho, you are lucky to have been in Goteborg for so long.. I had been there twice and recently was there in September. I really love this city and in general Sweden. Last time I had been to Vrango island and maan, that is a cool place. I loved Gothia Towers hotel as well...
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Old 1st November 2011, 18:59   #48
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

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Originally Posted by StarrySky
2. I think the important part in his sentence is "clutch to the biting point - the point where you feel the car trying to move forward". Once there, the car won't roll back.
True, it won't roll back. But my question was "won't it lurch forward, when the equilibrium at "biting point" is disturbed by releasing hand-brake"?
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Old 1st November 2011, 20:57   #49
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

Not if you do it properly!

No lurching at all.

I don't know about old-fashioned, traditional, and all that... The handbrake way is the old-fashioned, and correct way to do it. Anything is else is a short-cut, which, according to the gradient, we may be able to get away with. Nothing wrong with having good short-cut techniques in the driving-skill tool box along with the text book stuff.

It struck me today that I used the handbrake technique when the car was in a hole, or against a steep chunk of our rain-damaged road. It allows the car to get get momentum up before moving against the obstruction. So it is good for holes, as well as hills, but when you come out of a hole, the lurch is a danger.
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Old 1st November 2011, 21:32   #50
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

Thanks for the kind words, guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Figopian View Post
Good read!
I will always recommend the old fashioned clutch/accelerator combination to get to a stand still position (not for long though) than the handbrake method. I mastered this art in my parking lot . I do this day in and day out as I have to keep the car still on an incline turn the steering the other way and then go little ahead and then reverse (Not sure I made it clear but thats not the point!)
Thanks man! For newbies hill starts are quite tricky and the hand brake method works like a charm - now (after a year of driving), I find myself using just the clutch - accelerator combo for smaller inclines and the handbrake method for the steeper hills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Figopian View Post
Btw, anekho, you are lucky to have been in Goteborg for so long.. I had been there twice and recently was there in September. I really love this city and in general Sweden. Last time I had been to Vrango island and maan, that is a cool place. I loved Gothia Towers hotel as well...
Göteborg is a great place! A neat city with lots of natural beauty and some of the nicest people! The small islands off the coast are really scenic - best place to relax in during the summers! I guess you took the Ferry from Saltholmen to Vrångö, right? Was there just last weekend


Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
True, it won't roll back. But my question was "won't it lurch forward, when the equilibrium at "biting point" is disturbed by releasing hand-brake"?
Hmm I'm not very good at explaining but it's like this:

1) Your car is stationary on the hill. The handbrake is fully engaged.

2) You accelerate a bit and start releasing the clutch to the biting point. At this point, you can feel, as Thad explained, the front end of the car trying to lift off the ground. Remember at this point the car is 'fighting' against only the hand-brake.

3) When the hand-brake is released, the car is instead 'fighting' against the incline, which is trying to make it roll down the hill. It's like moving from one equilibrium (car-handbrake) to another (car-hill). And hence the car is stationary and doesn't really move forward. I guess you could say, the hill replaces the hand-brake?

Of course, if you accelerate quite hard in step 2 and then release the handbrake, the car will move forward immediately.

Hope this answers your doubt!
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Old 2nd November 2011, 00:12   #51
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

Thanks, anekho. Your "hill replaces the hand-brake" statement made it clear.

I also see why the handbrake-method did not appeal to me when I tried it couple of times - I missed step-2 (ie. did not accelerate and release the clutch till the biting-point).

What I did was 1) pull handbrake 2) Press clutch, slot into 1st gear and keep cluch pressed - keep right-leg over A-pedal without actually pressing it. 3) As I release the handbrake, I simultaneously release clutch slowly and also accelerate. Since this wrong method would need more coordination than using the "3-pedals with 2-legs" method to get it right, no wonder I felt the other method was better.

Should try the correct method of doing this, one of these days.
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Old 2nd November 2011, 14:06   #52
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

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Originally Posted by anekho View Post
Thanks for the kind words, guys!


Göteborg is a great place! A neat city with lots of natural beauty and some of the nicest people! The small islands off the coast are really scenic - best place to relax in during the summers! I guess you took the Ferry from Saltholmen to Vrångö, right? Was there just last weekend

Nice!
There is one good place up north Goteborg which I liked was Kosterhavet national park near Stromstaad on E6 that goes to Oslo. Very calm place.
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Old 4th November 2011, 02:42   #53
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

Turning. Properly.

About 9 lessons in J finally let me start driving right from the traffic school. The school is located on a hill in a fairly traffic heavy part of town, and the cars are always parallel parked on the street. I guess J wanted to be sure I knew my hill starts before he let me start driving from the School!

So when J tossed the the Golf’s keys into my hand, right there at the Traffic School, it was a small milestone - instead of him driving us first to a secluded spot, I’d get to drive right from the start! This was also, officially, the first lesson that would include some lighter ‘city’ driving.

All set, I used the spoken about hill start method and we were on our way. J was satisfied with my start and we proceeded.

Moving through the outskirts of the city, almost everything I’d learned so far was adapted. Right-Hand rules were adhered to and all mirrors and blind spots kept in check. We hit a few roundabouts, stopped at signals and between all this J also questioned me about various rules and signs.

With each turn of mine (especially the right-turns) J was getting more and more tense (irritated?). I didn’t know what was up?

The turns were the typical sharp, 90 degree, low speed turns that we find plenty off in the city’s. When approaching I’d coast, brake, downshift and keep the clutch in while turning and then release the clutch after turning and accelerate off.

Was I going too fast? Maybe not checking thoroughly enough for approaching cyclists?

No amount of craning my neck around and looking at all kinds of new spots was helping improve J’s mood and soon enough he asked me to pull over.

‘What are you doing?’

‘...’ I was honestly blank.

‘Did you do your homework?’

I nodded half-heatedly. This was turning into an ugly rerun of school

‘You must always be in CONTROL’

J’s way of emphasizing certain words was quite funny sometimes! But he seemed really bugged so I just kept quiet.

He pulled out his file from the glove-box and showed me the following picture:

The Swedish Driving License - My Experience-driving.jpg

Translation:
1) Indicate. Release the accelerator and start coasting.
2) Start braking.
3) Press in the clutch and downshift.
4) Release the clutch completely while braking.
5) Continue braking. (Till just before the turn)
6) Accelerate.

Admittedly I’d seen this diagram when reading through the book.

When I was taking the turns I had the clutch in. It was so comfortable and made for easy downshifts. But that’s not the way to do it, J said.

‘You have to be in CONTROL! You have to be in the correct gear while turning - you can’t just keep the clutch in and the release it once you’ve completed the turn.’

‘Why?’

‘So that you can complete the turn as soon as possible! When you turn and get on the new road you need to be in the right gear so you can immediately adapt to the pace of traffic on that road. Also, if need be, if you’re in gear while turning, you can accelerate if needed!’

I’ll be honest. For a new learner releasing the clutch while braking was *hard*! I had no issues releasing the clutch while accelerating but doing it while braking just didn’t go down well with me. Every time I tried releasing the clutch while braking, the Golf would jolt violently. I just couldn’t get it right, and several times absentmindedly rode the clutch while turning. And if there was one thing J hated, it was riding the clutch.

Every time I had the clutch in completely while turning or rode the clutch, J would ask me to pull over. He’d explain where I was going wrong. For quite a few turns he’d yell out the instructions, 1 to 6, in order, as I was approaching the turn. J drove it home hard that I needed to be in gear while turning.

And it paid off. My 10th lesson also focused heavily on getting the footwork right. And after two intense lessons with practically all the focus on getting it right I was able to release the clutch while braking quite smoothly, and be in right gear while turning. Heck, this releasing the clutch while braking thing was fun!



I was only able to get 10 lessons during the four weeks of June 2010. As we were traveling in July and August, I’d have to continue my driving education in September. I thanked J for every thing so far and he in turn marked out several portions of the book to read till I got back.


When I returned to the traffic school in September, I was in for a surprise

Last edited by anekho : 23rd January 2013 at 05:01.
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Old 4th November 2011, 03:20   #54
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

Hey nice thread there! *Subscribed*

Even I'll be joining driving classes in a few days, hope I get a guide like Mr.J

Quote:
Originally Posted by anekho View Post
When I returned to the traffic school in September, I was in for a surprise
Just wondering <and may be highly improbable>, but did he upgrade you to the 2009 Golf 2.0 TDI or the GTD?

Waiting for your next update ..

Last edited by prateekm : 4th November 2011 at 03:25.
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Old 4th November 2011, 15:00   #55
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

Too many people get to regard brake and clutch like stereo sliders on a mixer: move both simultaneously. Wrong! Very wrong! A car should certainly never be turning a corner under its own weight/impetus: however slow the turn, the car should be driven around that corner. Clutch engaged. Be in the right gear before the corner.

I imagine that this is very much more important in those Northern places with icy winters. Come to think of it, i will be very interesting to hear what they teach you about winter driving
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Old 4th November 2011, 16:22   #56
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by anekho View Post
...


‘You must always be in CONTROL’

J’s way of emphasizing certain words was quite funny sometimes! But he seemed really bugged so I just kept quiet.

He pulled out his file from the glove-box and showed me the following picture:

Attachment 836882

Translation:
1) Indicate. Release the accelerator and start coasting.
2) Start braking.
3) Press in the clutch and downshift.
4) Release the clutch completely while braking.
5) Continue braking. (Till just before the turn)
6) Accelerate.

....
That is a wonderful illustration. Each pedal usage shown in separate colors with duration! I wish we had something like this here.
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Old 4th November 2011, 17:51   #57
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by anekho View Post
About 9 lessons in J finally let me start driving right from the traffic school. The school is located on a hill in a fairly traffic heavy part of town, and the cars are always parallel parked on the street. I guess J wanted to be sure I knew my hill starts before he let me start driving from the School!

So when J tossed the the Golf’s keys into my hand, right there at the Traffic School, it was a small milestone - instead of him driving us first to a secluded spot, I’d get to drive right from the start! This was also, officially, the first lesson that would include some lighter ‘city’ driving.
@ anekho I really liked the diagram you have pasted in here and trust me that makes a lot of sense while driving. About hill starts, well that was again fantastic. I learned the hard way on a jeep with a namesake hand brake. But now in my Baleno I feel much much better 15 years later

I really loved reading your write up. And I really admire how seriously driving is dealt with in Europe and I am sure if Mr. J were to land here in India and travel in a car, he would end up with a cardiac arrest. Again brilliant write up, learnt a lot about sensible driving from your write up.

Cheers!

Last edited by mobike008 : 21st November 2011 at 17:40. Reason: Please DO NOT quote large text, videos and pictures as it inconveniences our mobile users. Thanks!
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Old 4th November 2011, 22:35   #58
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

Quote:
I learned the hard way on a jeep with a namesake hand brake.
Those of us who are proud of using the handbrake method as the "right" way to do it need to remember that handbrakes can fail!
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Old 5th November 2011, 23:27   #59
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by prateekm View Post
Just wondering <and may be highly improbable>, but did he upgrade you to the 2009 Golf 2.0 TDI or the GTD?

Waiting for your next update ..
Thanks buddy! Your on the right track, but not quite

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Too many people get to regard brake and clutch like stereo sliders on a mixer: move both simultaneously. Wrong! Very wrong! A car should certainly never be turning a corner under its own weight/impetus: however slow the turn, the car should be driven around that corner. Clutch engaged. Be in the right gear before the corner.

I imagine that this is very much more important in those Northern places with icy winters. Come to think of it, i will be very interesting to hear what they teach you about winter driving
Yup, it's crucial to be in the right gear before turning - glad J corrected me before I made coasting through those tight corners a habit!

About the winter driving, nothing in particular was taught during the actual driving lessons. The five hour, 'Risk Education 2' which was conducted at a huge slippery track was all about doing various maneuvers in icy conditions. Possibly the best part of the whole driving education - it was great fun! (Expect a detailed write up on this later :-) )

Quote:
Originally Posted by ron_9191 View Post
@ anekho I really liked the diagram you have pasted in here and trust me that makes a lot of sense while driving. About hill starts, well that was again fantastic. I learned the hard way on a jeep with a namesake hand brake. But now in my Baleno I feel much much better 15 years later

I really loved reading your write up. And I really admire how seriously driving is dealt with in Europe and I am sure if Mr. J were to land here in India and travel in a car, he would end up with a cardiac arrest. Again brilliant write up, learnt a lot about sensible driving from your write up.
Thank you, glad you're enjoying the write up! J mentioned that he'd once driven to France and found the traffic there way too stressful. I invited him home to Chennai
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Old 6th November 2011, 02:39   #60
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Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

Quote:
The five hour, 'Risk Education 2' which was conducted at a huge slippery track was all about doing various maneuvers in icy conditions. Possibly the best part of the whole driving education - it was great fun! (Expect a detailed write up on this later :-) )
Looking forward to that! It's an area I have always felt week on. My survival of Britain's irregular ice and snow without any bumps caused by it was probably mostly luck. And driving absurdly slowly
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