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  #1  
Old 05-20-2004, 08:37 PM
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Question for manual transmission owners

My car has no "clutch safetly switch" (equivalent to the neutral safety switch on auto trans cars) that requires the clutch to be depressed in order to engage the starter. I recall my former '84 190E 2.3 five-speed could also be started without depressing the clutch, too.

It's always been my understanding that such a "clutch safety switch" was a federal safety requirement on manual transmission models, and I believe most manual transmission cars built since the early seventies have such a safety switch.

If you have a manual transmission 201 or 124, can you start it without depressing the clutch pedal?(MAKE SURE IT'S IN NEUTRAL WHEN YOUR TRY!!!)

Duke
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  #2  
Old 05-20-2004, 08:56 PM
LarryBible
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Duh. I'm sorry if I sound disrespectful or anything, but I was driving a manual transmission for probably 30 years before such gadgets and I've yet to have an accident or anything because of it.

My 124 manual does not have such a gadget and that's fine with me. I don't need the government mandating such things to protect me from myself. I take responsibility for my own actions. They should stay out of my life.

Sorry if I come off nasty here. You just hit a hot button with me.

Have a great day,
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  #3  
Old 05-20-2004, 11:26 PM
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My '87 190E 16v does NOT have a clutch safety switch and I don't believe my old '86 300E did either. Or my old '88 Acura Integra, or my '80 Porsche 924 Turbo...and certainly not my '69 Datsun 510. If it's a federal law, it must be a new mandate...sometime within the last dozen years or so.
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Old 05-20-2004, 11:53 PM
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I thought it was a federal safety standard, but I guess not. I've never given it much thought because my SOP is to depress the clutch when starting. I brought up the question because I let someone else drive my 190 and they cranked it without depressing the clutch in first gear, so you can guess what happened. (At least the parking brake was engaged.) I didn't think the person was such a dim bulb that they woundn't either depress the clutch or place the gear selector in neutral.

Since my '76 Cosworth Vega (and my '91 MR2) has such a clutch safety switch, but my '63 Corvette ( I'm the original owner) does not, I assumed that a clutch safety switch was one of the many FMVSS that went into effect in the late sixties/early seventies.

Duke
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  #5  
Old 05-21-2004, 01:44 AM
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The clutch pedal interlock came around in 89 or 90. Definitely by 90. Kinda like the brake pedal interlock that appeared in ATs around the same time. It's tragic that the woman lost her child but from what evidence was made public, I don't think Audi is to blame for all this.

Sixto
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  #6  
Old 05-21-2004, 08:50 AM
LarryBible
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You know, when I started thinking about this, I think the addition of such a gadget on cars may CAUSE as many accidents as it saves. Here's why I say this.

Let's say a young driver learns to drive such a stick shift car. They learn to rely on this gadget to keep them from hitting the starter while in gear. THEN as in Dukes case, they get in an older or different car that DOES have the gadget that they have learned to rely on and they have the accident.

My $0.02,
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  #7  
Old 05-21-2004, 09:32 AM
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Toyotas and other Japanese brands have had these things for some time now. I hate them, and disable them when I can. It's another point of failure when a car will not start. Once had an intermittent pedal switch. Drove me crazy tracking that down!

Also, in a pinch, you can use the starter to move a car a short distance if you have to. To get safely to the side of the road if your motor gives out, for example. (been there...)

'Safety' devices are not always safe. Look at the whole airbag mandate. Saves some, but can kill smaller people. But no, we can't let people switch them off themselves. They might sue us after they forget to turn it back on. Same with that damn ABS. Manufacturers admit it is less safe in snow, but you can't turn it off. Alas, a silly mattress-covered world would seem to be our destiny.

The automatic tranny brake pedal interlock came out of the whole Audi "unintended acceleration" thing in the 80s, which nearly drove Audi out of the US market, though it was proven to be a total farce.

If you have a clutch pedal switch, a neat trick is to disable it at the pedal, but use the circuit to install a hidden manual switch to act as an anti-theft device.
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Old 05-22-2004, 04:40 PM
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My car apparently doesn't have it, and it's the first time I hear of such device on a manual transmission - must be one of those weirdo American-only safety devices that drive people crazy

~Nautilus
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  #9  
Old 05-22-2004, 05:33 PM
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my 1989 190e2.6 does not have a clutch interlock switch.

i believe this was introduced not so much to protect those drivers who do not know enough to check neutral first before cranking, as to protect the car and insurance companies in this litigation-crazy society.

it's like doing a CTRL-ALT-DELETE with your feet to start the car ...
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  #10  
Old 05-22-2004, 06:56 PM
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The 58-62 W189/300d has an interesting neutral start feature - you put the column shifter in neutral and push it toward the dash to engage the starter.

Sixto
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  #11  
Old 05-24-2004, 03:22 AM
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I've never heard of such a feature on manual cars, only the park/neutral starter interlock on automatics. I know we all have different habits regarding manuals. Mine is to ensure the car is in neutral and to start it without depressing the clutch pedal. Unlike some, I also prefer to park manual cars in nuetral rather than in gear. This avoids transmission damage if the car gets hit by another vehicle (eg. when parked on street). If I have concerns as to the reliability of the parking brake (eg. on a hill) I will turn the front wheels into the curb. Only in a situation without a curb or similar on a steep hill will I leave the car parked in gear.
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