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Hard braking question...Is this normal?

3625 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Tim Maddux
I've only driven my CVT Insight for a couple of weeks now. Most of the time I am able to brake slowly and smoothly.

But I started noticing that if I had to press hard at the last , I'd feel some strange jerking in the pedal. The harder and more suddenly I do this, the worse it feels. I don't really want to slam on the brakes to test it as I'm only at 1,000 miles.

Is this the antilock brakes engaging? I've had them in other cars, but when engaged the jerking was steadier and smoother. It almost feels like grinding on the Insight.

Or is this something to do with regenerative braking?

Is it a problem?

Thanks for any help!
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Insighter said:
I've only driven my CVT Insight for a couple of weeks now. Most of the time I am able to brake slowly and smoothly.

But I started noticing that if I had to press hard at the last , I'd feel some strange jerking in the pedal.
Part of this might be the sorta odd behaviour of the combined electric/mechanical braking at slow speeds with the engine cutoff. I don't fully understand this, but find it a bit odd and surprising. My Prius does the same thing, but not quite as obnoxiously, so I assume that it's a characteristic of this sort of system, at least at today's state of the art.

Here's what I think is happening. First, at moderate braking and speeds above about 10mph all of the braking energy is being taken up by the electrical system. The mechanical braking system (mostly front discs) comes on if you brake harder. But it also comes on as the car slows below about 10mph because, I think, that there are no longer enough revs for the electrical braking system to absorb the momentum. When the mechanical brakes come on, it's noticable. It's like you are pushing the brakes harder, only you aren't, and it can be disconcerting. I find myself thinking, what happened, who did that?

If you aren't aware of the pattern, you might lighten up on the pedal at this point. Only that would be a bad thing, because the next thing that happens is that the engine cuts out as the speed when the speed drops just a bit more, to about 5mph. I think that when the engine cuts, the CVT transmission shifts to neutral. So now there is zero engine braking. But the mechanical brakes don't get tighter to compensate. So you need to push the pedal harder to continue to slow down at the same rate.

When I first got the Insight, I nearly hit the car in front of me a couple of times when coming up to a line of stopped cars. I'd be stopping just fine and safely, then all of sudden, right at the end, the car wasn't decelerating. I've since learned to be very careful in the final approach to a stop. And not to lighten up on the brake when the mechanical system engages.

Even if I'm not coming up to a line of cars, I hate coasting into a crosswalk or nosing out into a traffic lane because my final stop wasn't firm enough. It's all too easy to have this happen in an Insight, a CVT one anyway.

Not sure that this is clear. :?: Or that I'm right about this. :?: But this is how it seems to me.
 
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