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This sounds like an excuse I'd give the Police..... :)

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Helpless driver taken for ride in car gone wild

February 3, 2004
DENVER -- A woman was shaken but unhurt after a wild, 75-mile ride at speeds over 100 mph that began when her brakes failed and her car accelerated out of control.

Police finally stopped the car on Interstate 70 in west Denver by getting a cruiser in front of it, slowing until their bumpers touched, then bringing both vehicles to a stop.

''It had a mind of its own,'' 20-year-old Angel Eck said Sunday. The car ''kept accelerating, and my foot wasn't even down on the gas.''

Eck was westbound on I-70 Friday night when her 1997 Pontiac Sunfire began racing out of control. Nothing she tried would slow the car down. She flipped on her hazards and dodged traffic while trying to use her cell phone, but she was out of her service area.

After about 45 frantic minutes, she was able to reach a friend on her cell phone. He called 911.

Police cleared the highway as Eck made her way across Denver. When it appeared they had no other options, officers decided to slow Eck's car with their cruiser.

http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nw...ws-drive03.html
 

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A similar occurrence happened to a fellow at work regarding a Dodge Caravan. The car accelerated without warning and would not stop until it hit the corner of a post office building.
When the police came, the vehicle sat there with the tires spinning like crazy. The car was finally stopped and haule over to the Dodge dealer who found nothing wrong with the van.
One supposed improvement that troubles me is the use of electronics for the accelerator pedal and brake pedal. Instead of hydraulic brakes or accelerator cables, car companies are employing non-phusical connections such as potentiometers that sense the pedal's position to set engine speed or brakes that are controlled by an electrical impulse. Mfrs say that they are faster in response. I say that unless I am in some kind of race, these "improvements" are negligible in performance. What they are is quicker and easier to assemble so that assembly time for the vehicle is shortened. The one bad thing about the electronics is that can be working one minute and fail the next- no warning.
 

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I had that happen once in my 87S-10 Blazer w/a carb'd V8. Was leaving walmart and all of the sudden, the truck wouldn't slow down, brakes wouldn't work, and it kept pouring on the coals. As soon as I pulled the Floor mat out from around the pedals though, things started working fine again. :) But, I agree, sounds like a wonderful excuse for some high speed hwy driving. Probably wouldn't work for me though. They would through out spike strips and then after my truck rolled, they'd billy club me :)
 

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I did have a motor mount break.
When I bought my 69 Nova, before I did the engine work, I was returning from the theater around 11pm and decided to floor it. The accelerator pedal went down and didn't come back up. The car was screaming down the road until I managed to reach down and pull on the pedal. After that, I nursed her home.
The next day, when I turned her over, the motor had quite a knock from one of the lifters sticking. The event forced my hand to changing the mounts followed by a new cam and lifters, followed by a new carburetor, followed by....
 

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A cars brakes should easily outpower the engine, if not there's always neutral. This lady should be have charges filed. She endangered peoples lives because she didn't know how to operate her vehicle.

-T
 

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Definately a blonde, even though in my experience woman tend to freak out way too much and do all the wrong things when stuff like this happens in a vehical. Mythbusters is awsome!
 

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I've heard of engines running away, but i think that's more with desiels. basically, the oil would snake its way into the chamber and ignite even though you'd turn off the car. anyone know if that's actually possible?
 

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It does happen with turbodiesels alot, the oil seals go in the turbo and the engine will eventually suck the oilpan dry. The only way to get it to stop is to overload the motor to get it to stall, or wait until it sucks all the oil out of the pan and seizes the motor.

Carburated cars can run-on if the combustion chambers overheat (usually the spark plugs, since they heat up the quickest) and ignite the fuel without a spark from the ignition. EFI tends not to do this unless you have a leaking injector or something since shutting the key off will keep the injectors from spraying fuel and keep the fuel pump from running.
 

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I remember hearing that she had a mechanic look at the car after it happened and he said something like, "A bolt on the transmission broke so she couldn't change gears" then they mentioned something about "no word about the brakes or ignition."

If the throttle was stuck wide open, tiny sunfire brakes are just going to burn up and that would explain why she couldn't brake, and if she couldn't shift she wouldn't be able to put it into neutral. Obviously, the parking brake wouldn't work either.

The thing I don't understand is that they said she tried to turn the key off and it wouldn't respond (or turn?). I know that splicing something into the ignition circuit can cause the engine to keep running, but I doubt that was the case. Could just be another electrical problem, I suppose.

Just a freak accident I guess. I would have tried to spin the car out on a field or something and attempt to do donuts until the car stalls or runs out of gas.

Later,
Scott
 

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Recalling cold, Korean mornings in the army with diesels, the mechanics would get one 5 ton dump started and pull the ones that didn't start until they did.
 

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Originally posted by 3rdGenBlackbird@Feb 5 2004, 02:18 AM
I remember hearing that she had a mechanic look at the car after it happened and he said something like, "A bolt on the transmission broke so she couldn't change gears" then they mentioned something about "no word about the brakes or ignition."

If the throttle was stuck wide open, tiny sunfire brakes are just going to burn up and that would explain why she couldn't brake, and if she couldn't shift she wouldn't be able to put it into neutral. Obviously, the parking brake wouldn't work either.

The thing I don't understand is that they said she tried to turn the key off and it wouldn't respond (or turn?). I know that splicing something into the ignition circuit can cause the engine to keep running, but I doubt that was the case. Could just be another electrical problem, I suppose.

Just a freak accident I guess. I would have tried to spin the car out on a field or something and attempt to do donuts until the car stalls or runs out of gas.

Later,
Scott
So simutaniously, the throttle stuck, the ignition switch broke, and a "bolt broke in the transmission"? :rolleyes: Well I guess it's possible. But the brakes will still overpower the brakes, especially in an under powered FWD car. The only situation where it wouldn't would be if she lightly put on the brakes for couple of miles and overheated them, which is her fault again.

-T
 

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Originally posted by T-Keith@Feb 5 2004, 02:25 PM
So simutaniously, the throttle stuck, the ignition switch broke, and  a "bolt broke in the transmission"?  :rolleyes:  Well I guess it's possible. But the brakes will still overpower the brakes, especially in an under powered FWD car.  The only situation where it wouldn't would be if she lightly put on the brakes for couple of miles and overheated them, which is her fault again. 

-T
Hey, I didn't say I believed it, did I?

Actually, I believe that at least a couple of those things could have happened "simultaneously," or more possibly, one caused the other and so on. She was probably messing around and that broke something and she didn't know what to do and panicked and ended up breaking something else.

The only time I've ever got a throttle stuck open was when I floored it and the pedal physically was stuck to the firewall. If you're already moving and hit the brakes, you know that they will overheat if you don't do something about it. Of course, like all of us would do, I tossed it into neutral, got on the brakes and reached down and pulled the pedal back up. No problem. If her sunfire has drive-by-wire crap then the pedal position could be meaningless.

I assume you meant "the brakes will still overpower the engine/car..." and that is incorrect. From a standstill good brakes will hold back a v8, but any engine (even a 4-banger) that can reach "80~100 mph" will be able to overheat the brakes. Even in neutral, if you're doing 100mph then brake hard to a stop, and do it again, you'll probably notice a bit of fade (more or less depending on your brakes and vehicle weight/aero, etc.) If you're doing 100 and try to brake with your throttle wide open you'll start to heat up your brakes; if they're already nice and hot, you'll notice fade right away.

I bet she was gunning it down the highway, braking hard when she had to and speeding up again, heating her brakes. She probably somehow broke the throttle cable or whatever the hell it uses, and at wot she couldn't slow down enough to stop and her brakes eventually failed completely (I would think that there would be evidence of this, though). Without brakes she just kept accelerating and she probably tried downshifting and maybe she put in into first or something and at that speed "broke a bolt" and lost control of her transmission. That doesn't make sense I guess, maybe she's just stupid and pulled the gear shifter out, I don't know.

Still haven't figured out the ignition part yet. Maybe she did break the switch or the car just had some major electrical/computer problems. Maybe she's retarded. Who knows?

Either way, I think it's her fault and she should have figured out a way to stop her car. I'm certainly not defending her, just saying it's all possible. Don't they have runaway truck ramps/ditches?

Laters,
Scott
 

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Originally posted by Skie@Feb 4 2004, 08:34 PM
I've heard of engines running away, but i think that's more with desiels. basically, the oil would snake its way into the chamber and ignite even though you'd turn off the car. anyone know if that's actually possible?
I know my friends boat (carb i believe) will tend to continue putting for a few seconds after the ignition has been turned off, he refers to this as dieseling, I assume because the fuel is still burning without any spark plugs fireing. Although this has never lasted any longer then 5 or 10sec to the best of my knowledge.
 

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Yeah, that's usually referred to as "dieseling" or "run-on." My car does that when it's really hot or if I happened to have my foot on the gas pedal when I turn my ignition off. It's usually just a few seconds, as you and everyone else have said, but I don't think you could go wot like that.

Hmmm... or can you? Never tried it, but maybe I will....

Laters,
Scott
 

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Originally posted by 3rdGenBlackbird+Feb 5 2004, 10:37 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (3rdGenBlackbird @ Feb 5 2004, 10:37 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
Originally posted by [email protected] 5 2004, 02:25 PM
So simutaniously, the throttle stuck, the ignition switch broke, and  a "bolt broke in the transmission"?  :rolleyes:   Well I guess it's possible. But the brakes will still overpower the brakes, especially in an under powered FWD car.  The only situation where it wouldn't would be if she lightly put on the brakes for couple of miles and overheated them, which is her fault again. 

-T
I assume you meant "the brakes will still overpower the engine/car..." and that is incorrect. From a standstill good brakes will hold back a v8, but any engine (even a 4-banger) that can reach "80~100 mph" will be able to overheat the brakes. Even in neutral, if you're doing 100mph then brake hard to a stop, and do it again, you'll probably notice a bit of fade (more or less depending on your brakes and vehicle weight/aero, etc.) If you're doing 100 and try to brake with your throttle wide open you'll start to heat up your brakes; if they're already nice and hot, you'll notice fade right away.

[/b]

I found this out first hand myself when I was at the track. My car club had rented the drag strip one day, and since it's fairly dead at times, you can get several hot laps in. I did 3 in a row once. On the third one, I noticed the fade and at first thought I broke something or overheated the breaks. Needless to say, once I got into the pits, I turned the car off and sat out for the remaining hour that was left.


<!--QuoteBegin-3rdGenBlackbird
@Feb 5 2004, 10:37 PM

Don't they have runaway truck ramps/ditches?
[/quote]

I'm too lazy to go look to see if they said where she's from, but I've only seen runaway truck ramps in the mountains. The only specific spot I can remember for sure is while driveing down the mountain from Flagstaff, AZ to Pheonix, AZ. They were spaced every so often. When going up mountain, they're not needed as the trucks were barely driving 45mph. Out here in the plains, where everything is flat, those ramps are no where to be seen. If you really need to stop, just swerve off the highway and let the corn field stop you. Or maybe a cow if you're in Wisconsin. ;)
 
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