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Dodge highly discourages any but the radiator flush on these cars. A TSB was even released to prevent dealers from doing flushes. The radiator flush will do nothing to fix the issue, anyways. Everyone that has had this issue have had to replace the CVT in the end. Your advice is unsound based on the history of this issue.
If he's not in a position to sell his car, of course it's worth a shot. It is my understanding that the engine coolant also cools the cvt fluid, so if the coolant is low or bad, a flush would help to keep the fluid cooler. As for cvt flush, if you read my backlog I was having the same issues with a noisy cvt. Turns out I had a slow leak from a bad fill tube seal which dropped the cvt level and burnt out remaining fluid. I dropped the transmission pan myself and drained and filled my cvt and I have not had a problem since.
So my advise is based on my personal experience with my cvt. sharing my advice based on personal experience with someone to help them save their car instead of throwing their hands up in the air and just trading it in shouldn't be shut down so readily.
 

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If he's not in a position to sell his car, of course it's worth a shot. It is my understanding that the engine coolant also cools the cvt fluid, so if the coolant is low or bad, a flush would help to keep the fluid cooler. As for cvt flush, if you read my backlog I was having the same issues with a noisy cvt. Turns out I had a slow leak from a bad fill tube seal which dropped the cvt level and burnt out remaining fluid. I dropped the transmission pan myself and drained and filled my cvt and I have not had a problem since.
So my advise is based on my personal experience with my cvt. sharing my advice based on personal experience with someone to help them save their car instead of throwing their hands up in the air and just trading it in shouldn't be shut down so readily.
He is a she, and based on her post; she will be relying on the dealer to do all this work. For what they will charge to do all of what you are suggesting will run into several hundred dollars with little chance of it fixing the issue. She could dump the Caliber for a much more reliable car and have 2-3 months of payments for what you suggest.

One must weigh all the variables when suggesting solutions to someone other than yourself. ;)
 

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Actually no, one can suggest options based on one's own experience and/or based on the "variables". In the end it's her (apologies for the gender mishap) decision. In my experience there are a multitude of shops that will drain and fill a cvt transmission for under $100. A rad flush can be done for $30-40 at most lubes. But enough splitting hairs..

The dealership will hose you every chance they can get Mac, so if you 'do' want to try to resolve the issue, I suggest doing some research in your area to at least have the cvt fluid changed. Remember, if it's a standard drain and fill, have them use 5 quarts first, take a fluid measurement and top off to specifications with the 6th quart.

Again, best of luck to you and please post results either way you decide to go!
 

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I have a 2.0l 2009 with 125,000k (and have driven to Arizona, Florida and many other long trips in varying weather conditions. This past August the transmission overheat light lit up for the first time and the car went into limp mode. This occurred on a trip to Maine in 30 degC weather (85F) and 75mph in heavy traffic up and down hills. After stopping for a short while, I continued at a reduced speed. A dealer in Saco, Maine advised that the CVT might have to be replaced eventually ($5000!!!). In any case, I expected the worse but the light NEVER came on after this and the car has run like I expect it to. I'm now up to 129,000k. Crossed my fingers and hopefully with the onset of winter, the CVT will hold out. Not too reassuring but it has forced me to slow down in hot weather.
 

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I have a 2.0l 2009 with 125,000k (and have driven to Arizona, Florida and many other long trips in varying weather conditions. This past August the transmission overheat light lit up for the first time and the car went into limp mode. This occurred on a trip to Maine in 30 degC weather (85F) and 75mph in heavy traffic up and down hills. After stopping for a short while, I continued at a reduced speed. A dealer in Saco, Maine advised that the CVT might have to be replaced eventually ($5000!!!). In any case, I expected the worse but the light NEVER came on after this and the car has run like I expect it to. I'm now up to 129,000k. Crossed my fingers and hopefully with the onset of winter, the CVT will hold out. Not too reassuring but it has forced me to slow down in hot weather.
Have you ever changed the CVT fluid on your Caliber? If not, I would advise you do. The fluid could be spent or you could have a small leak somewhere and the fluid could be low.
There are great resources on here that will help you check this, and perform this routine maintenance.

Post back with results!!

Thanks!!
 

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Just been informed CVT has a bearing gone it was making a whining noise, it has to be replaced at $5000 a pop Canadian + installation car 2007 with 140,000 km plus. This is a known issue with Dodge/Chryslers they should be replacing it. This will be my last CVT on any car and may be my last Dodge/Chrysler. Duh.. the car is not worth $5000 even if it did not have this issue.... VERY DISAPPOINTED.
 

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OBD Codes P0700 and U1146-Lost Communication With External Memory

Hi all - first post here but I wanted to share my experience in hope that someone can benefit. I'll try to keep it as brief as possible but with as much detail as possible. 2009 Caliber SXT 2.0 FWD, infamous CVT transmission with 118,000mi at current. Please forgive me if this should be posted elsewhere.

Last summer I was driving home from Chicago -> Pittsburgh and after about 4 hours at 75MPH in 90 degree weather, I had the "Transmission Temperature Indicator" light come on. I had never seen that before so I had the wife pull out the OM and it states, "During sustained high speed driving on hot days, the automatic transmission oil may become too hot. If this happens, the transmission overheat indicator light will come on and the vehicle will slow slightly until the automatic transmission cools down enough to allow a return to the requested speed."

I thought to myself, how stupid! Seems like poor engineering to me, if my car can't keep itself cool while driving. This is an actual thing that can happen and isn't indicative of something gone wrong?! But, the long trip was infrequent and wasn't much of a concern. We stopped to have lunch; the light was off when we started up again and we continued on. The light came on one or two more times during the trip. Because there was no instruction to pull over or cease opening the vehicle, we pressed on and made it home, albeit a little slower than we'd have hoped for.

The car ran fine the following day, weeks, and months. I often make Cleveland <-> Pittsburgh trips for work, and this spring I noticed a whine coming from the transmission while on such a trip. I was about 90 minutes into the drive and it was another hot day so I figured that must be some kind of cooling mechanism built in to the transmission, since I recalled hearing that noise shortly before the over temp light came on the previous year.

Well, as luck would have it, the over temp light came on shortly thereafter. I continued home at less-than-desirable speeds. At this point I figure I should probably check the transmission fluid level, only do discover the tube was capped with no dipstick, and a tag that says, "Dealer Service Only." This was quite a shock! Chrysler doesn't want me checking my own fluid level? I called my local dealership. They quoted a $98 fee to check the fluid level, and $300 for a drain and fill. Again, I was quite shocked at the cost. I had just paid less than half of that to have the transmission fluid changed in my 4.7 liter 4x4 Jeep Commander! And, I could even check the fluid level myself! At any rate, I decided against either action. The logic here was, I hadn't received any warning lights or odd behavior other than a transmission "whine" followed shortly thereafter by an over temp light, which my owner’s manual doesn't indicate anything is out of the ordinary.

Three weeks pass and we set off on another trip to visit my in-laws in Chicago. Now, this is the point where I made a decision in which I ended up regretting. I decided to take the Caliber, knowing it had been temperamental on long trips at highway speeds. The Jeep Commander is a much more comfortable and quiet ride (love that vehicle) at a cost of 10 less miles per gallon, which adds up on an 8 hour drive.

About 150 miles into this trip, the over temp light comes on again. We decide to NOT turn around to get the Jeep, but to find the nearest car rental and continue on. We take the Sandusky OH exit and drive about 8 miles to the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, rented a vehicle, transferred over all our luggage and such, and continued on. The thought was, 4 days later, the car will be nice and cool. It should be able to get us home, or at least within our AAA 100 mile towing limit.

Following a fun 4[SUP]th[/SUP] of July weekend with the in-laws, we return to the vehicle to find it starts up without issue, sans over temp light as I had expected. Great! We transfer our belongings back into the Caliber, return the rental, and we’re on our way. Almost. As soon as I put the car into Drive, the check engine light came on and the car officially entered limp mode, which did not allow the RPMs to go above 2k.

Previously, the over temp light caused a “higher than usual” RPM condition, which I thought was limp mode, but alas, was not. It would take the RPMs from a nice 2.5k highway cruise, to a solid 4k, engine whirring transmission whining cacophony that could only trigger the famous Loaded Weapon quote (here, if you’re too young http://wpol.com/scotty.wav). Fear of running the engine at redline was the only factor that forced a slowdown.

Needless to say we weren’t even going to attempt a drive home. I’ll spare everyone the details of the ridiculous level of customer service that AAA provided to their “plus” tier long-time member (me) by saying, we left the car in the Enterprise lot, rented another car to get home, and I drove the Jeep up the next day with a rented U-Haul car dolly and brought it home myself.

On the way, I pulled into the friendly neighborhood Auto Zone and asked them to read me the codes. The technician connected the reader and after a few fumbled button presses became wide-eyed and explained there were a grand total of 18 codes, and all were transmission related. After a long weekend and a long drive, I was done dealing with it. Drove it to the dealer and dropped it off.

After a few days they called me said told me to come get it. They had cleared the codes, drove the car “all around (which ended up being 6 miles according to the odometer) and couldn’t get any errors to return. The car was well again. I got a ride there the next morning, and after paying their $100 diagnostic fee the car was mine again.

That is, until I started it up and noticed that the check engine light was on. I went back into the dealer’s service department and informed them of my discovery. He was surprised to hear the CEL came back on. I told him my ride and already left so I’d appreciate if they could take another look at it right there, which they agreed to do.
Twenty minutes later they informed me that the TCM was fried, and that they could order a new one, have it fixed by tomorrow for only $491. I was shocked at the cost, but frankly was tired of dealing with this and wanted it to just be over, so I agreed and got a ride to into work.

I didn’t take long until I was second guessing their diagnosis. From what I read on this forum and other internet sites, wiring is often an issue. That seemed to align with the symptoms, sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn’t. Seems to me a “fried” TCM would not sometimes work. I was so confidant in this that I got a ride back to the dealer after work, told them I wanted to look the car over myself first, and drove it home in limp mode.

I first checked the connections into the TCM and wiring under the dash. All looked pristine. The wiring was firmly connected into the TCM, and inspecting the leads showed no sign of corrosion. Next, I removed the driver’s side wheel and plastic wheel well trim, exposing the main wiring bundle coming from the cabin, over the wheel well, and the wiring into the side of the transmission. Again, I inspected every inch and found no kinks, tears, breaks, etc. All looked to be in great condition. The harness into the side of the transmission looked great, too.

Frustrated for not finding what I suspected would be a smoking gun, I drove to the auto parts store and picked up my own OBD reader. This is where I saw the P0700 and U1146. From what I’ve read, the P0700 is a generic code to signal the MIL. The U1146 was the root of my problem. The Chrysler Service Manual states “The first time the vehicle is started, the Transmission Control Module (TCM) receives hydraulic calibration data from an external EEPROM (located in the transmission) and stores this information in the EEPROM of the TCM. If the TCM can not read the external EEPROM in the transmission this DTC will set. It takes two consecutive failures to turn on the MIL.”

The Chrysler Service Manual lists the following possible causes for this, along with troubleshooting steps, in the following order:

  • (T327) DATA IN/OUT SELECT CIRCUIT SHORT TO VOLTAGE
  • (T313) CHIP SELECT CIRCUIT SHORT TO VOLTAGE
  • (T302) CLOCK SELECT CIRCUIT SHORT TO VOLTAGE
  • (T327) DATA IN/OUT SELECT CIRCUIT OPEN
  • (T302) CLOCK SELECT CIRCUIT OPEN
  • (T302) CLOCK SELECT CIRCUIT SHORT TO GROUND
  • (T327) DATA IN/OUT SELECT CIRCUIT SHORT TO GROUND
  • INTERNAL TRANSMISSION
  • TRANSMISSION CONTROL MODULE

They all involved testing the circuits with a test meter. I didn’t have a test meter, and was pretty confident that the wiring was good. That only left the internal transmission, or the TCM, which they recommended be replaced. Being that was the lesser of the two costs, I put the car back together and drove it back to the dealership.

They called the next day and told me they got the new PCM installed and now the car will barely move. They think it’s defective and have ordered another one and that they’d call me again tomorrow. The next day they call and tell me the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] replacement PCM won’t even program, so it’s gotta be the transmission. (Side note: Seems odd that they could determine it was the transmission, based on different behavior from two TCMs. You’d think if it was the transmission, the TCM behavior would be identical, but I’m not the expert here.) It’s hard to tell how accurate that is, since the tech probably talks techie to the service manager who then tries to comprehend it and then has to turn around and interpret it for the customer.

So, if you’ve made it this far you must at least be slightly interested in my story. I won’t leave you hanging so I’ll go ahead and tell you that I told them to replace the transmission. At least the replacement has a 3yr/100k warranty. I definitely don’t want a car payment, and anything I could pay cash for likely wouldn’t have a warranty. At least I knew the history of this car (owned since 18k miles) and believe it’s pretty solid otherwise. Oh, and the cost is $4,000.00 but the service manager was able to get the price down to $3,075. Still seems ridiculously high to me, but I’m over it. Lesson learned, here.

In summary, if I knew all of this before I began having these problems I would’ve traded in that Caliber at the first over temp light last summer. In retrospect it was just a warning sign of worse things to come. Now that you know all this, hopefully before you’ve experienced any CVT transmission issues, you can make more of an educated decision than I was able to. I’m not saying every over temp transmission is soon to catastrophically fail or every U1146 code is a failed transmission. This is just one man’s experience and I hope it helps.

If you really want to keep reading, while at the dodge dealership, one of the salesman made his best effort to get me into one of those new Dodge Darts. It doesn't have a CVT, but it's unlikely I'll buy another Dodge.
 

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Hi, I'm back, less than 2 months later. Car went into limp mode yesterday right from the start up, but no MILs lit on the dash. Parked it, called the dealership, said they couldn't look at it for a week and wouldn't even provide a rental for the delay. I called the only other Dodge/Jeep/Chrysler dealership nearby, couldn't look at it for two weeks, and no rentals available. The nice lady I spoke with said I should call Chrysler customer service, which I did. After a 10 minute hold, the nice lady came back on and said they couldn't do anything until the car was at the actual dealership. So, before calling AAA, I went out to drive the car around the block. I thought it was odd there was no MIL lit, but the symptoms were the same.

Sure enough, the car drove normally. Ok, so I was still keeping my appointment with the dealership next week, but until then, I was going to use my car to get to/from work if I could. I drove the car to work the next morning (about 35 miles) without issue. However, when I went to leave, car was in limp mode again from the start up. I pulled over, shut the car off completely, let it sit for 30 seconds, started it back up, and ran fine; I drove home.

Close to home I pass an auto parts store, the kind where they'll hook up the OBD reader and read your codes for free. I figured I'd swing in just to see if anything was showing up, especially because I hadn't had a MIL on yet. I'd bet you'd never guess, same two as before, P0700 and U1146. Completely puzzled, as the TCM and transmission had been completely replaced, what are the chances they're now failing in seemingly the exact same manor, only after a few thousand miles?

Anyway, I got in and started it up, this time I got the CEL lit up and the car was definitely in limp mode again. It probably goes without saying this is unbelievably frustrating. I had already written off that dealership due to the cosmetic damage they caused to the inside of the vehicle (to which they barely stopped short of calling me a liar and begrudgingly offered to replace) and random bolts they left on the drivers side floor. I took photos if anyone's interested/curious, PM me. When I took the vehicle back and showed the service manager (I had initially picked it up after hours), he went into the shop, came out a few minutes later and informed me that his mechanic said he was never in that area and definitely didn't damage anything. Am I dealing with a moron? Does he really think his employee is gonna say, "Yeah boss, I fk'd it all up but was hoping nobody's notice"?? Now I find myself at their mercy once again.

I'm guessing that by lack of replies I either bored everyone to death or nobody has any experience with this. Either is unfortunate I suppose, well for me at least. But, possibly for the amusement of just myself, I'll come back here and post a follow-up to my 2009 Dodge Caliber saga.
 

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I think your right , some viewers shrug their shoulders and say "better you than me".
The thing that I personally feel is that you are frustrated and we have all vented at
some point about problems we can't seem to resolve and it's not like you have not tried.
Hopefully if you go to a different dealer (hard to do in some cases) it will be resolved.
Good luck and keep on posting.
 

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Thanks bigtsr. I've taken the time to document this ordeal here in hopes that it may help someone make an informed decision based on what I now know (and wish I knew then, as they say). I'll provide an update (which is hopefully also an ending) to my story, as the vehicle is now running again. I did take the vehicle back to the same dealer, dropped it off Saturday at the direction of Chrysler Customer Service (CCS). I dropped it off, was told they still didn't have any loaner vehicles available, and they didn't have shuttle service on the weekend. I called CCS, told them the dealership now had the vehicle. After about 20 minutes the came back and told me that unfortunately the dealership had no loaner vehicles and there was nothing they could do.

Well, I had already assured my wife that I wouldn't need a ride, so I asked about reimbursement for a rental. They CCS rep said they "sometimes" cover up to $35/day but couldn't make any guarantees. Because of my confidence in the fact my car would be repaired under warranty, I walked about 1/3 up the road to the Enterprise and rented a vehicle.

Mid-week I called the dealership because I hadn't heard anything from them or CCS. They said they were still trying to diagnose the problem. Friday they called and said it was all fixed, no charge. They were also nice enough to replace the bolster panel after I reminded them they said they'd do so (reference "cosmetic damage they caused" in previous post). They found some corroded wires. I asked for details and they couldn't tell me where or what was corroded. Sounds fishy, right? Especially after just replacing the entire transmission for the same exact problem (code U1146). Also considering testing the wiring is part of the initial troubleshooting per the service manual.

When I arrived at the dealership to pick up my car (I made it a point to get there during business hours this time) I requested to speak directly with the technician who repaired my vehicle. After initially being blown off with "he's not around" and "he's here somewhere but we can't find him" I politely informed the service manager that I would simply "wait until they found him." It took about 10 minutes to find him, but I was escorted back to the service area and he was pointed out to me.

He was a very nice gentleman by the name of Elmer, who informed me he wasn't the tech who initially diagnosed and replaced the transmission, he was just told it had a new TCM and new transmission and to "fix it". He said the wire bundle that runs from the TCM out over the wheel well and eventually into the transmission is a large bundle of wires that is essentially unprotected from the elements or sharp edges of the cars interior metal "skeleton." He told me that it appeared that when the wiring bundle was pulled through at the factory, one of the wires was "damaged" and it took 6 years of being exposed to the elements in order to begin to fail. He replaced that one wire.

This just confirmed my suspicion that it was wiring all along! The service write up states exactly this: "C/S THE TRANSMISSION IS NOT WORKING CHECKED WIRING CIRCUIT AND FOUND CORRODED WIRES GY/Y1 TO DATA IMPUT FROM TCM TO THE TRANSMISSION, REPAIRED WIRING (90-1312 ELMER-)" (yes, input was spelled wrong on purpose). And there's no GY/Y1 wire, however, STEP 1 in the service manual references a T327 GY/YL and since 1 and l can easily be confused, that's the closest match. It was Step 1 in diagnosing my error code. But yet, it took them a week. The first time around it took two weeks and ended in a new TCM and transmission.

I received a call from CCS the following Monday evening after picking up the car. They asked if I was satisfied and I said no, based on the 2nd repair I didn't believe that I ever needed a new TCM or transmission in the first place. The nice lady that was my assigned case manager, Janet, assured me that the transmission was in fact bad, otherwise, they wouldn't have let the dealership proceed with the replacement. I wasn't aware that the dealership needed authorization, as it wasn't under any type of warranty initially. But, I'm not going to even pretend I understand the relationship between the dealer and the manufacturer, so I suppose it's possible. I then asked about reimbursement for the rental. She asked how long I had the rental and I told her I picked it up after I dropped off my car, and returned it the same day they told me to come get my car. She then asked what kind of car I got. I told her it was a Hyundai and she informed me the reimbursement rate was $25/day. I told her I was informed it was $35/day, and she said yes, but that's only if your rent a Chrysler vehicle. What the heck?! Why would they wait until after to tell me that important piece of information?? Long story short, they ended up covering the entire cost.

I've had the car for about a week now with no issues and I really really really hope that continues. I'm really done with this car and its issues but if I can get it to 200k miles (only about 80 left to go) I'll be happy. So, that's the end, for now. Hopefully it read coherently and I remembered to include all the details. I'm also hopeful that at least someone can gain some knowledge in regards to this specific issue. If anyone has any questions don't hesitate to reply or PM.

Thanks for reading!
 

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Hello. I don't believe I've ever posted here before—never had a reason but now I do.

So, my battery died today and i went and bought another one and my brother replaced it for me.

After we replaced it the check engine light came on. When I took the old battery back to advance for recycling I asked them to check the light and the guy told me that there were two dealer codes that popped up—I stupidly didn't get the codes but one was transmission related—and that I needed to take it to the dealer because when they replace the battery they keep the computer powered and that with some cars when the computer isn't powered during a replacement that bad things can happen.

To me that sounds like a really horrible design flaw so I figured I do some research. My Google fu has failed me however. The manual states that the transmission goes into default mode if the ignition is on when the battery is disconnected and that the check engine light will come on.

I can't find a way to fix it other than what the manual says which is to take it to the dealer. I'd prefer not to if I can. I know the light can be reset by pumping the accelerator while the car isn't completely turned on but would that fix the default mode or is it something that I have to take it to a dealer for?

Thanks in advance.
 

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I'm personally not aware of anything going back to default by unplugging the battery* except maybe the clock! Anyway, I think you'd be doing yourself a big favor if you went back to get the exact codes. Just about any auto parts store will give them to you for free and it only takes about 5 minutes.

*disclaimer: not an expert
 

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Well, it looks like the problem resolved itself. I had to go somewhere today and the light was on when I went and when I left the light was off. :scratches head:

Maybe it realised everything was working okay.
 

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I hope so! Just a suggestion, stop back at the auto parts store and get the code. They should be able to see stored codes. That way, if it comes back again, you'll know if it's the same (and possibly related to your new battery) or something different that you need to look into.
 

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What is more healthy for our CVTs while waiting for traffic light: keep it on brake+D or switch to N?

Belt stretch is always a threat to CVT so avoiding static force by disengaging tranny should delay it.
On the other hand CVT lubrication is very crucial, and fluid pressure may not yet be optimal directly after re-engaging.

There is a lot on the internet about general operating principles but very little about how this tranny engages and what kind of torque converter does it have.
 

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Unplugging the Calibers battery does reset the TIPM/CanBus system ,
this is the first step when you start getting weird electrical faults and
indications.
This has proved out over the years this forum has run.
The next serious step s get the stored codes read with a reader
the old Chrysler key dance does not work.
Over the years there have been very posts of the CVT failing but
when does the main culprit has been overheating caused by
the main cooler clogging/failing , there is another smaller mounted
on the tranny itself and generally not the cause.
The belt in the cvt is composed of multiple steel strands in a composite
belt carrier which is straddled by approx 1200 steel grippers , I personally
drove mine like I stole it for 5 years with downshifting to LOW in town
and never had an overheat or glitch.
Drive it gently and you could be one of the many owners reporting back
to tell us they are at 150 to 200,000 mile mark.
 

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What is more healthy for our CVTs while waiting for traffic light: keep it on brake+D or switch to N?
When stationary convention is not to use the foot brake. In a traffic queue brake lights dazzle and incovenience those behind.
Pads are used for motion and can cool if released when standing. Helps avoid rotor warp.
The handbrake is for standing in N.
 
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