Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

Previous in Blog: Thankfully, There's Somebody Out There Rounding Off Nuts and Snapping Bolts for Science   Next in Blog: Could You Spot an FBI Surveillance Van on the Street?
Close
Close
Close

In Praise, and Defense, of Neutral

Posted June 08, 2022 5:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: electric vehicles Exotics

It literally does nothing. Neutral just sits there on the gear selector like a bump on a log while other positions on the gear selector - Drive! Reverse! Park! - do the heavy lifting. No wonder carmakers these days seem inclined to discount it. What good is neutral, anyway? Has anybody ever named a magazine or a song or a movie after it? Are there any SAE papers discussing the engineering challenges of extracting maximum performance and efficiency from neutral? Does it ever merit news articles, aside from those times when a dopey delivery guy leaves his car in neutral, only for it to roll backwards into a fireworks factory precariously located in between the local elementary school and the place where people purchase big brown-eyed puppy dogs? What zoning commission even approved that fireworks factory in the first place?

Anyways. Neutral. It's an afterthought at best, not even a thought most of the time, and it's seemingly becoming even less regarded as time goes on. I didn't even mention it when I discussed why I'm pairing a manual transmission with an electric motor for my Chenowth EV project, even though neutral is a vital part of that decision, and I intend to rectify that here. Before I do that, I'll offer a couple of anecdotes.

First, nowhere in the Nissan Leaf's owner's manual does Nissan give instructions on how to shift the vehicle into neutral in case of total loss of power. It does explain how to use the selector lever to put the Leaf into neutral mode under normal operation, and the manual does offer instructions on how to release the electrically controlled parking brake, but in emergency situations, Nissan instructs the owner to go online to the Leaf Roadside Assistance Guide. The manual covers how to adjust the dash vents more than it does how to get the car into neutral. In said Leaf Roadside Assistance Guide, Nissan proceeds to instruct the owner to have somebody else handy because putting the vehicle in neutral without using the selector lever requires stepping on the brake while removing three specific fuses from two separate locations in the car.

Keep reading...

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 7197
Good Answers: 416
#1

Re: In Praise, and Defense, of Neutral

06/09/2022 1:44 PM

Minor nit: EV motors do not easily turn by hand. There is a phenomena related to permanent magnet synchronous motors known as cogging torque.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogging_torque

Not to be confused with clogging torque.

Reply
Reply to Blog Entry
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Previous in Blog: Thankfully, There's Somebody Out There Rounding Off Nuts and Snapping Bolts for Science   Next in Blog: Could You Spot an FBI Surveillance Van on the Street?

Advertisement