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I'd like to resurrect this old thread. Any new opinions on the "D vs L" driving? I often drive in L and find it more enjoyable. When driving without a need to a complete stop I rarely have to use the brake pedal. Unfortunately, the van is not programmed to stop completely. One annoyance of the L mode- a loud clunk in the drivetrain while transitioning between acceleration and deceleration at low speeds.
Because of my experience with Driving in L in my Volt, i am very much enjoying driving in L in the PacHy. Both of these vehicles have a programmed "creep" to make it feel like the ICE vehicles (Tesla offers a "creep" on/off button). My wife prefers for it to feel like a "regular" vehicle, she does not like driving in L or "creep" off in a Tesla.
@stop-eject Thank you for resurrecting this thread. I had been searching for it: the search on this forum is almost worthless or i just dont know how to use it.
 

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I like the idea of L gear but think they should call it something different (like high regen gear) as it really doesn't function like a L gear on most gas-only vehicles and can shift to a higher gear. I agree though that the deceleration without brake lights is dangerous and this is why I will not use this except when longer descents.

I think if one foot driving is going to become more popular, then alternative mechanisms are needed to trigger brake lights such as an accelerometer (which probably all already exists with the safety systems) or just the computer turning the lights on if decelerating faster than a set point (say >5% deceleration from current speed, so at 55mph if you slow down faster than 2.25mph/sec then the brake lights would be triggered). Thoughts?
 

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The L mode by itself is not the full regen capacity. If you lightly press on the brake pedal the van will regen even more as indicated by the dashboard and the hybrid screen.
BMW i3 is more aggressive in regen. And it will turn on the brake lights based on the deceleration.
 

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I like the idea of L gear but think they should call it something different (like high regen gear) as it really doesn't function like a L gear on most gas-only vehicles and can shift to a higher gear. I agree though that the deceleration without brake lights is dangerous and this is why I will not use this except when longer descents.

I think if one foot driving is going to become more popular, then alternative mechanisms are needed to trigger brake lights such as an accelerometer (which probably all already exists with the safety systems) or just the computer turning the lights on if decelerating faster than a set point (say >5% deceleration from current speed, so at 55mph if you slow down faster than 2.25mph/sec then the brake lights would be triggered). Thoughts?
Most EVs have a system in place to trigger brake lights when decelerating, whether the pedal is used or not. Chrysler is just behind the curve on this one.
 

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I use the L mode exclusively, due to the ability to use (almost) 1 pedal driving. Also, this is my first non-manual transmission, so I am very used to having engine braking whenever I lift off the gas. I find the L mode replicates that feeling very well.

I do not think the regen and accompanying deceleration is significant enough to require brake lights. It is basically a very similar feel to my GT350. I would concede that with moderately greater regen, the brake lights would be a useful addition.

I actually get annoyed being in a traditional automatic where the car seems to coast with almost no engine braking when lifting off the gas. Always felt a little out of control to me.

-T
 

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Down Shifting Chrysler Pacifica

Ok I have an answer, thanks for your help. this is copied from the mopar.com website: "Using the LOW position manually downshifts the transmission to a lower gear based on vehicle speed".
Why is it so difficult to get a straight simple answer to the question of , can I downshift the transmission from d to l to deceleration going down hills. I have a gas model
 

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Why is it so difficult to get a straight simple answer to the question of , can I downshift the transmission from d to l to deceleration going down hills. I have a gas model
Yes you can use "L" on decents in any automatic vehicle. Pg323 of the 2018 pacifica owners manual in "starting and opperating".

As with Standard transmissions a downshift will raise your RPM and create engine braking that can hold your vehicle at a steady speed on a decent. This will spare cooking your brakes - that leads to brake fade or boiled fluid where the brake pedal goes to the floor - and then you have no brakes anymore..

Your job with your gas van is to know what speeds and grades are best to put your van into Low. And you need to know how to manage your brakes to prevent fading on the long hills or with heavy loads/trailers.

You shouldnt drive around in L like the hybrid owners are talking about.

The Hybrid doesnt have this problem because Low is a software tune and not an actual gear. It changes how much energy is collected when coasting. More energy takes more force to turn the wheels which feels like engine brakes. Not to mention, with the Bosch iBooster thats installed on the Hybrid instead of a brake booster, pressing the brake doesnt actually use the brakes unless the battery is fully charged or you want more stopping power than the regen can create..also at near stop speeds it transfers braking to the brakes where regen isnt tuned to work.

Instead energy is turned into electricity rather than heat for most pedal braking.
 

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...The Hybrid doesnt have this problem because Low is a software tune and not an actual gear....
I understand the difference with the PacHy, but this made me think. When the PacHy is driving in ICE mode, I'm pretty sure the engine still doesn't behave like a traditional ICE in L, from my highway recollections. Then what's the point of having L ?

I've gotten used to driving in L and now love it. Wife doesn't though.
 

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I understand the difference with the PacHy, but this made me think. When the PacHy is driving in ICE mode, I'm pretty sure the engine still doesn't behave like a traditional ICE in L, from my highway recollections. Then what's the point of having L ?
When the ICE comes on the vehicle is still powered by electricity, the ICE generates it and a little extra if needed to sustain the charge at what we know as 0%. The only time the ICE applys torque to the wheel is under moderate to full acceleration. On downhills it shuts the ICE down anyway..

This, and knowing the ibooster is mapping the brakes so that pressing the pedal doesnt actually create hydraulic pressure means the brake pedal just modulates the regen (unlike the i3).. does make L mode little pointless huh?

They seem to have put a lot of effort into making the pachy work like any normal vehicle so anyone can drive it. But maybe they did it for the EV one pedal drivers also?

I like that you can choose its personality.
 

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..does make L mode little pointless huh?

They seem to have put a lot of effort into making the pachy work like any normal vehicle so anyone can drive it. But maybe they did it for the EV one pedal drivers also?

I like that you can choose its personality.
Huh. Didn't realize that. Thanks for the great explanation.

+1 on all counts. I think they did a great job in making a transition to hybrid driving for people who just want to "drive" and not worry about any hybrid/gas differences. I wonder what they would call it instead of "L". H for hypermilling? That wouldn't be confusing at all. HA!

It would be interesting to see if driving D vs L has an effect on brake pad wear though. You would think if drivers lightly apply brakes to do the initial slow down in a similar rate to what the L regen braking does, it would be the same result.
 
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It would be interesting to see if driving D vs L has an effect on brake pad wear though. You would think if drivers lightly apply brakes to do the initial slow down in a similar rate to what the L regen braking does, it would be the same result.
I shift between N, D, and L all the time for this reason. I slow with D and L all the time because I know it isn't using the brakes at all. The brake pedal is so seamless between regen and pads that you can't hardly feel it. I started driving this way after getting my eGolf which has 4 grades of regen.

I like to go into Neutral when coasting but not needing to decelerate because its difficult to get just enough pressure eon the brake to hit 0kW. One note, it you are coasting in N and need to hit the brakes, 100% of the braking is done by the mechanical brake sand nothing goes to regen.
 

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It would be interesting to see if driving D vs L has an effect on brake pad wear though. You would think if drivers lightly apply brakes to do the initial slow down in a similar rate to what the L regen braking does, it would be the same result.
I shift between N, D, and L all the time for this reason. I slow with D and L all the time because I know it isn't using the brakes at all. The brake pedal is so seamless between regen and pads that you can't hardly feel it. I started driving this way after getting my eGolf which has 4 grades of regen.

I like to go into Neutral when coasting but not needing to decelerate because its difficult to get just enough pressure eon the brake to hit 0kW. One note, it you are coasting in N and need to hit the brakes, 100% of the braking is done by the mechanical brake sand nothing goes to regen.
Should practice lifting the throttle to 0kW, same as being in nuetral.

Also there is a warning in the owners manual not to travel in N.. not sure what exactly the problem would be.. perhaps the electric oil pump doesnt opperate in N?
 

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Should practice lifting the throttle to 0kW, same as being in nuetral.

Also there is a warning in the owners manual not to travel in N.. not sure what exactly the problem would be.. perhaps the electric oil pump doesnt opperate in N?
Hmm... thanks for the heads up. I'll stick to D and L. My guess is that they down want you driving in N because you wont have the motor available to assist with braking.
 

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hello all,
The manual says "Low" should be used only in the following condition "This range should be used when descending very steep
grades". However, I am seeing from other Hybrid reviews that some drivers prefer L to D due to higher regenerative brakes.
The question is that is it safe to drive in "L" mode all the time? what if the ICE kicks in while in "Low" driving mode? Is it safe for both electric and ICE?

Thanks,
The Hybrids have one main gear that turns the axial to the wheels. The ICE and the 2 electric motor gears mesh with this main gear inside of the transmission. When in L the smaller electric moter creates more inertia slowing the gears faster that results in more energy captured. Since there is only one main gear there is no direct difference to the ICE in D or L.

Please see this YouTube video where the Pacifica Hybrid transaxle is explained in detail.

 

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hello all,
The manual says "Low" should be used only in the following condition "This range should be used when descending very steep
grades". However, I am seeing from other Hybrid reviews that some drivers prefer L to D due to higher regenerative brakes.
The question is that is it safe to drive in "L" mode all the time? what if the ICE kicks in while in "Low" driving mode? Is it safe for both electric and ICE?

Thanks,
As far as I can tell, driving with the car in “L” simply causes the regenerative braking system to have a more agressive profile so that when you ease your foot off of the accelerator the regen kicks in with more strength. A typical ICE-powered car loses all of it’s dynamic energy when you put on the brakes and they simply convert it to heat and dissipate it to the atmosphere. Regenerative braking on a hybrid vehicle can recoup a lot of that energy and put it back into the motive battery. However, it is not 100% efficient. So I would believe that driving in “L” could be a little wasteful unless you really have good control over the accelerator and you can keep it from regenerating except when absolutely needed.

The absolute most efficient way to drive (theoretically) would be not to use regenerative braking at all. Unfortunately that would require a lot of forethought and it doesn’t take into account changes in traffic, etc. Ideally, you would coast in “N” every time you needed to stop and you would plan it so that the van would coast to every stop sign or stop light with just enough energy to stop coasting precisely at the right place.

Of course it is impossible to drive that way. So my point is the less energy that you take out of the battery to get from point A to point B while putting the least amount of energy (regen) back into it is probably the absolute most efficient way to drive. Driving in “L” makes it more difficult to do that because you might accidentally go into regen when you don’t really intend to slow down or stop.

Personally, I like to use “L” when I know I’m going to have to stop (without coasting all the way to the stop) because it ensures that you can use the least amount of mechanical brakes in doing so. Just switch into “L” at the moment you know you must decelerate and keep it in “D” the rest of the time. In fact, I would prefer zero regeneration when in “D”.
 

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The absolute most efficient way to drive (theoretically) would be not to use regenerative braking at all. Unfortunately that would require a lot of forethought and it doesn’t take into account changes in traffic, etc. Ideally, you would coast in “N” every time you needed to stop and you would plan it so that the van would coast to every stop sign or stop light with just enough energy to stop coasting precisely at the right place.
That theory would be fine if the world was flat, but its not. Living in the mountains, I have to deal with hills, so I do use L quite often. Is it much different then slightly applying the brakes? I have my doubts, but it is easier then moving the foot, on the long or even short down grades.

On a recent 3 day trip, the car showed about 300 miles every day, with about 100 on electric (not plugged in any of the days), that would not happen without the regen braking.
 

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That theory would be fine if the world was flat, but its not. Living in the mountains, I have to deal with hills, so I do use L quite often. Is it much different then slightly applying the brakes? I have my doubts, but it is easier then moving the foot, on the long or even short down grades.
Sure, I would definitely agree with using “L” when coasting down a mountain road. I personally think it’s better to use “L”, if possible, instead of slightly applying brakes. Applying the brakes even slightly probably uses the friction brakes a little bit.

On a recent 3 day trip, the car showed about 300 miles every day, with about 100 on electric (not plugged in any of the days), that would not happen without the regen braking.
I have seen that kind of indication on a long road trip where more miles are added to the “electric only” mileage but I think it’s misleading. Even though regenerative braking “created” those extra miles, in most cases it only could do so from energy that was initially created by the ICE. So in my mind those miles, even though logged while the ICE was not running, are derived from energy that was created from the ICE (in most cases).
 
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