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Discussion Starter #1
Traveling on level roads at speeds between 20 and 40 mph, the vehicle will slow down rapidly when accelerator is released and car is allowed to coast. It really feels like a downshift or engine brake, and you can especially feel the drag around 38, 28, & 19MPH. yesterday I took it out on a low usage road to compare how far the truck is traveling (Neutral vs coasting is Drive). On the same level road, the truck got 3 times the distance coasting in neutral. Is this Normal? Is anyone else experiencing anything similar? I have the RTL-T with FWD. 6K miles, mostly highway driving.
 

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I personally have yet to own a Honda (any day now...) but it sounds exactly like how my '11 TDI Jetta Wagon performs. It effectively assists/supplants my braking when I have plenty of space and time to come to a slow stop, but it's often annoying enough when driving in familiar low-mph zones that I'll (theoretically...) pop it into neutral just to coast a good ways without having to burn more gas.

Speaking of, is popping it in and out of neutral on the fly like that a bad idea?
 

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Speaking of, is popping it in and out of neutral on the fly like that a bad idea?
As long as the engine is running while coasting in neutral, the transmission won't be damaged. Coasting in neutral with the engine not running can result in insufficient lubrication and damage to the transmission.

Coasting in neutral is illegal.

While coasting in neutral, the engine still uses fuel to idle. Coasting in gear uses less fuel than coating in neutral in certain conditions where the injectors stop opening while decelerating.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
This is my 4th Honda (06 civic, 06 element, 13 civic). None have braked/downshifted as described in original post. It is my understanding that honda's grade logic is designed to kick-in when going downhill. It should not be activating as soon as foot is lifted off accelerator on level roads.
 

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I prefer to coast and I have found far too many people don't realize you can.
I see drivers every day hitting the gas then the break, then the gas , break , repeat.
You burn more gas, go through tires and breaks faster, it's all around bad for your car for wear and tear - I honestly don't get it, and it high traffic conditions it's a real pain in the backside to be anywhere near these people.

Ok, I'm done venting, coast on :)
 

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2017 Ridgeline RTL-E, Northeast U.S.
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I like the engine braking and I've noticed that the mile per gallon meter on the RL tends to gets goosed by any time spent in the engine braking mode of the transmission. So if it's fuel savings you are after, you might check that out. Coming from the Tacoma, the engine braking in the same scenario was more distinct. I prefer that because of the control it gives me. I drive trying to use the brake as little as possible. Coasting, or freewheeling in neutral, to me just means that you'll likely have to apply the brake sooner. I guess it depends upon where you drive but where I am it's pretty congested.

Just different perspectives I guess.
 

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This is my 4th Honda (06 civic, 06 element, 13 civic). None have braked/downshifted as described in original post. It is my understanding that honda's grade logic is designed to kick-in when going downhill. It should not be activating as soon as foot is lifted off accelerator on level roads.
Grade Logic programming works both downhill and uphill to provide engine braking, improved acceleration, reduced gear hunting, and other benefits.

Honda-designed automatic transmissions are different than most other automatics in that they lack planetary gearsets - just like a manual transmission. This gives them a different feel. I can't remember the source right off hand, but I remember reading a technical paper a while back that pointed out that one of several reasons why Honda automatics felt different was because they lack one or more overrunning clutches that are found in conventional automatics. Basically, decades ago when Honda needed an automatic transmission, the refused to license technology that had already been patented by other manufacturers, so they just came up with their own design and it's still with us today.

Honda Worldwide | History | The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968
 

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The downshifting feeling while traveling on level roads is NOT normal. The grade logic, when traveling downhill, kicks the transmission down a gear when the brake is pressed while travelling down a grade to assist is slowing/maintaining a constant speed without heating up the brakes (another notorious weak point in Hondas). The OP is describing this happening on a level road by just releasing the accelerator.
 

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The downshifting feeling while traveling on level roads is NOT normal. The grade logic, when traveling downhill, kicks the transmission down a gear when the brake is pressed while travelling down a grade to assist is slowing/maintaining a constant speed without heating up the brakes (another notorious weak point in Hondas). The OP is describing this happening on a level road by just releasing the accelerator.
That's how it works. The brake pedal does not have to be pressed - the transmission will downshift without the brakes applied when it senses you're going downhill.
 

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I don't think he feels downshifting, just a "drag" when the throttle is closed. It may feel a bit disconcerting at first, but once you get used to it, it adds a bit more control/finesse. It simply extends the range of control via the accelerator pedal beyond coasting into "active deceleration" -- and still modulated by the gas pedal. In other words, it feels just like a manual transmission!

You really appreciate it when behind a growing a traffic jam that is slowing erratically, braking and surging at an ever slowing pace. By feathering the gas, you can keep the motor idling at just the right power level to feel like it is free-wheeling/coasting. But, if a bit more slowing is needed, ease up even further and enjoy a bit of engine-braking. You will like the reduction in that tedious back-and-forth between gas and brake. It also works well in downhill situations which normally require some slight braking to reduce speed gain.

If you only drive your Honda for several weeks, you will get so used to it that driving another brand of car seems a bit "slippery," as though it is less controllable when slowing. And, indeed, it is!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks to all for commenting on my original post. However, i feel we have not answered my original question. Are others feeling this drag (downshifting/braking) on level roads at lower speeds? The key word here is LEVEL roads. If answer is yes, that relieves my concern. The background and explanations on grade logic helps me appreciate what i am experiencing and confirms that this is normal operations. If other G2 owners are not feeling this drag on LEVEL roadways, i have a concern.
Can anyone test it out and let me know?
- Get speed up to 30mph. (or 40mph)
- Let off Accelerator.
- Give me feedback on how truck reacts as it slows to about 15mph. (can you feel the drag?)
 

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I noticed it also with my RTL-T. It's been like that from the start. I even noticed it on the one we test drove. It doesn't seem to matter what the grade is. I've gotten used to it over the last 750+ miles. I've grown used to it and have to say I kind of like it.

Not sure how long Honda has been doing this, but our 2011 CRV doesn't act that way. The CRV is driven mainly by my wife, but I drove it the other day and I must say, I'd rather drive the Ridgeline. I'm hoping my wife will keep driving the CRV and the Ridgeline remains my main vehicle. :grin:
 

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2017 Ridgeline RTL-E, Northeast U.S.
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Yes to level roads. I can feel a bit of a drag. This is the only thing I miss about the Tacoma. It had a stronger drag. I wonder if this functionality is adjustable?
 

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Traveling on level roads at speeds between 20 and 40 mph, the vehicle will slow down rapidly when accelerator is released and car is allowed to coast. It really feels like a downshift or engine brake, and you can especially feel the drag around 38, 28, & 19MPH. yesterday I took it out on a low usage road to compare how far the truck is traveling (Neutral vs coasting is Drive). On the same level road, the truck got 3 times the distance coasting in neutral. Is this Normal? Is anyone else experiencing anything similar? I have the RTL-T with FWD. 6K miles, mostly highway driving.
I have a RTL-T AWD. My truck absolutely does not do that. When I know a turn is coming up I lift off the gas pedal fairly early on as I do not like to brake. Any braking done is a result of not getting off the gas soon enough. Within other constraints of course.
 

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I have a RTL-T AWD. My truck absolutely does not do that. When I know a turn is coming up I lift off the gas pedal fairly early on as I do not like to brake. Any braking done is a result of not getting off the gas soon enough. Within other constraints of course.
The system is built to have some additional engine braking. But we seem to all be experiencing slightly different versions of it. I want more; other people want less. It's there, Blueboy. It just may not be as pronounced in your vehicle as it is in some others. This suggests to me that there is an adjustment, that this behavior may be fine tunable.

One thing I've noticed is that going down hill any effect it may have is quickly overridden by the pull of gravity on the vehicle. It's a very slight bit of engine braking, nothing like what you can achieve with a manual transmission by downshifting.
 
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The system is built to have some additional engine braking. But we seem to all be experiencing slightly different versions of it. I want more; other people want less. It's there, Blueboy. It just may not be as pronounced in your vehicle as it is in some others. This suggests to me that there is an adjustment, that this behavior may be fine tunable.

One thing I've noticed is that going down hill any effect it may have is quickly overridden by the pull of gravity on the vehicle. It's a very slight bit of engine braking, nothing like what you can achieve with a manual transmission by downshifting.
I suspose my idle speed could be a little high but I would prefer a little more braking than I'm getting.
 

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It wouldn't surprise me to find that individual manufacturing tolerances could explain the differences between vehicles. I think Joe said as much about the G1 at one point.
 
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