Coasting and power steering

If you are like me who does not enjoy the buzz of the automobile engine, then surely you would be tempted to turn off the engine while taking a long cruise down the hill (on a road/highway of course). My father used to frequently do that when he drove his Fiat Padmini. It’s also good for the environment because anyways the engine power is no longer needed while cruising down a hill. However no matter how much I desire to do that, recent advancements in car technology require the engine power to operate the power steering and power brakes. Theoritically one can still steer and navigate in a modern car with engines on, but the performance, response time (and effort required) would take the joy out of a nice eco-friendly road trip.
I wonder if there is a way I could have the best of both the worlds.

street, Bengaluru South, Karnataka, India

5 replies on “Coasting and power steering”

khalilsawant… even in neutral the engine needs to be turned on for the brakes to be effective… and on engine meanss fuel consumption.
@saket… i agree it would put extra load on the brakes… but i guess even otherwise also while going downhill one has to use brakes often to keep the vehicle under control

It is unsafe to drive a car in neutral while going downhill, even more dangerous to put off the engine. In new cars the steering will lock if you put it off. The best way is to keep the engine on, put it in first gear and let it roll. You need not worry about accelerator or clutch but keep your foot ready on the brake. Tried this every time coming down Inox Mall parking lot which has steeper and narrower curves than a hill track – works great. The car will settle to an even pace and being in gear will not let it run wild.
Good driving protocol says that a car must come down a hill in the same gear required to go up.

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