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Nov 21 2012

Car doing reverse donuts

There is something bizarre about watching a car going around in reverse circles on a city street, its open door crashing repeatedly with a post, with police and spectators looking on and doing nothing.

After awhile it gets monotonous but you can skip to the 6:45 mark to see how it ends.

When I first saw this I wondered: Is this for a film? A bet? The description says that this happened accidentally when the car started moving after the driver and passenger got out to switch positions.

8 comments

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  1. 1
    kyoseki

    Apparently it’s actually pretty common with automatic transmissions.

    I’ve seen a lot of stories about this kind of thing, something to do with it slipping from park into reverse.

    Never happened to me, but I’m of the opinion that automatic transmission are for the weak :P

  2. 2
    Shawn Smith

    kyoseki,

    Never happened to me, but I’m of the opinion that automatic transmission are for the weak :-)

    Yeah, but do you use a car that requires double clutching? If not, get out of the way, weakling. :-)

  3. 3
    Trebuchet

    It’s a function of the automatic and steering geometry — the caster that causes the car to tend to go straight when moving forward will also cause the steering to go hard over in reverse. The A/T allows it to keep going, slowly. Videos like this are not unusual.

  4. 4
    timberwoof

    I don’t trust autotragic transmissions. When I park a car I pull up on that funny lever between the seats or stomp that little pedal on the side … and on a hill as in hilly San Francisco I aim the front wheels into the curb.

  5. 5
    lochaber

    I’m sorta surprised it took at least 7 minutes for someone to do something about it.

    I can certainly understand having an initial ‘wtf’ and scurry away reaction, but after a minute or so (and a few dozen circles), it would seem that it’s path is pretty predictable, and someone would have had the idea to get in there and stop it.

    Admittedly, I wouldn’t have thought to enter from the inside of the circle, which seems like a slightly safer option (both for a slightly slower speed, and that if you fall/slip, there is less chance you will be in the path of the wheels)

  6. 6
    machintelligence

    No car, but I owned a 1952 Dodge dump truck with a crashbox transmission for a few years.

  7. 7
    Reginald Selkirk

    Yes, it was smart to go for the inside window.

  8. 8
    Reginald Selkirk

    Automatic transmissions: The reasons I have not gone for them in the past include worse mileage and less control on slick surfaces. However, things are changing. Auto transmissions are finally catching up to manuals in efficiency, and computerized traction control takes care of spinning tires on ice.
    In a hybrid like a Prius, an auto transmission is pretty much a necessity, as the switching between the electric motor and the gas engine is all computer managed.
    If electric cars become popular, transmissions may become simpler, since electric motors can handle a wider range of RPMs, and have noticably better torque at low speed.

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