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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Most advise engine braking, when possible, with a manual transmission to conserve your brakes and fuel.

But ... the CRZ is not your ordinary car.

Braking without the brakes seems like it puts the fancy regenerative braking system to waste.

This has had me thinking:
Would the battery drain too much during spirited driving without enough regenerative braking to help keep it charged?
And what about long term fuel economy?
Which braking method is really more efficient?


So I guess my question ... for those of you who've been driving the Manual CRZ around for a while ... is what do you think? What do you prefer?
 

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well the thing is you CAN'T let the engine brake for you, it won't let you.

when you let go of the gas it's like it puts you in Neutral. you don't get the engine slowing down at all so you kind of have to use the brake.
 

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Using the brakes splits the load between mechanical and regen braking. Using the engine braking is more like 90% regen - watch the charge light. I think you have mis-understood how it works.
 

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^ ? on my car if i let off the gas completely i get 4 (or so) bars of charge. If i use the brakes also the charge meter can get to full even with a light touch on the brakes... Just by watching the charge meter one would assume that the battery charges faster when you are actually stopping with foot on brake
 

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Yes, the battery charges FASTER, but the car stops even faster, so the amount of charge available to put in the battery is reduced (some going into heat at the brakes). Light pressure on the brakes, as you say, is best - but I thought this would only confuse the original poster.
 

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I tend to decide depending on my state of charge. If low, I use light pressure on the brakes with the car in gear. If full, I might go with heavier braking force and shift to neutral earlier to encourage the auto-stop as soon as the car slows below the threshold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
well the thing is you CAN'T let the engine brake for you, it won't let you.

when you let go of the gas it's like it puts you in Neutral. you don't get the engine slowing down at all so you kind of have to use the brake.
Very interesting!

I'm picking up the car Monday and only had an opportunity to test drive a CVT so I haven't gotten the chance to learn that yet.

I had been asking dealers if it drove differently from most manuals because of the hybrid nature of the car, and they didn't have much to tell me.
 

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On the Manual: Regenerative braking occurs down to about 1k RPM, this only requires a light touch on the brake. I heavier light touch will increase regeneration up to a point. Going down a fair hill I almost always touch the brake if my battery is low.

As for engine braking this works just like any manual car except we have a tiny engine. Also the IMA system encourages us to drive at such low RPMs you will need to down shift one or two gears to get good engine braking.

Depending on how long I decide to take in braking to a stop I will often brake in 6th or 5th down to 1k RPM then go down 2 gears and brake again to 1k RPM. (This is only if I want to maximize regeneration.) K
 

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Wait... The CRZ has regen braking? lol

I only use engine braking, and I am never lacking for IMA assist. The only times I use the brakes are when I am coming to a complete stop, there is a need for them, or I am feeling lazy lol.
 

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I actually paid attention on my drive to work today, and I noticed that on engine braking only, I was getting 4 bars of charge, and braking was full charging. Huh, never noticed that.

I promise I didn't ride the short bus to school lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks kamanat and Chris.

How others are using it is exactly what I was curious about.

It's interesting that, even though braking seems to give you more charge, you don't seem to actually need the extra power.
 

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Depending on how long I decide to take in braking to a stop I will often brake in 6th or 5th down to 1k RPM then go down 2 gears and brake again to 1k RPM. (This is only if I want to maximize regeneration.) K
I'll add to this. It also helps if you can anticipate you're driving needs ahead. For example, on my commute home, I have a long downhill freeway off-ramp followed by a sharp right angle turn and then a long climb straight up the gradual hill to get home.

If my battery pack is low I'd try to "drag" the brake on the way down the off-ramp to fully charge the pack for the uphill climb to follow. This means that I leave the transmission in fifth or sixth and apply light pressure to charge the battery pack, when I'm getting ready for the right turn I'll put the car in second or third depending on how much momentum I was able to conserve.
 

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I usually downshift and use the brakes as my last resort.
E.g on 4th gear - put on neutral - feed revs - stick on 2nd. Let it slow down as low as possible then use brake... depends on your timing and experience on certain roads.
That charges my battery and I see my battery 1 bar from full most the time.
 

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Yes, the battery charges FASTER, but the car stops even faster, so the amount of charge available to put in the battery is reduced (some going into heat at the brakes). Light pressure on the brakes, as you say, is best - but I thought this would only confuse the original poster.
There seems to be a small amount of pedal travel before the mechanical brakes are applied. I lightly touch the pedal to get full capability of the regenerative system without engaging the pads.
 

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There seems to be a small amount of pedal travel before the mechanical brakes are applied. I lightly touch the pedal to get full capability of the regenerative system without engaging the pads.
Exactly, why I described it as 'dragging' the brakes. Almost like a 'two footed' automatic driver (you know the ones that never let go of the brake).
 
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