You may have even noticed that sometimes. You press full throttle, but the pedal track is not over. There is a “button” under its stop that can be pressed down by the pedal. Owners of automatic transmissions are probably clear, but especially in recent years, this phenomenon is increasingly also found in manual transmissions. What is it?
The backstop of the “button” under the pedal must actually start with automatic transmissions where it appears in most cases and historically. This is a so-called “kickdown switch” (unfortunately there is no simple Czech translation), and once you hit the throttle on the floor, you will instruct the transmission unit to include the lowest possible gear and accelerate the car as hard as it can. A typical example: you’re going to say 80 kilometers per hour with a gasoline car and the gearbox has a five. When you press the full throttle – no kickdown – the transmission shifts two speeds to three and turns the engine to four and a half thousand revolutions per minute. But when you hit kickdown at the same speed, it gives the engine a straight two, which is the lowest possible speed at the moment, and the engine spins to five and a half thousand revolutions where it provides maximum power.
The function of the button below the first gas stop is therefore clear for the automatic transmission. But especially in the last decade we can see that exactly the same button appears in cars equipped with manual transmission. A lot of people think it’s because of the cheaper production, when they just use the same gas pedal for both automatic and manual transmissions. But it’s not entirely true.
For a long time, a vast array of cars have a user-switched speed limiter that is positively evaluated in Euro NCAP safety tests. It is actually the reverse of the cruise control – you set the speed, you drive completely normal and barely reach the desired speed, the electronics will limit the throttle itself. I know from practice that very few people use this function, but it is quite a good way to move within speed limits even without the tachometer.
But sometimes there may be times when you just need to speed up over the speed limit. You have to fit into the gap in the lane, you want to beat somebody fast on the country road, etc. And of course, it would be extremely impractical if you had to turn off the limiter first and then accelerate. That is why the “push-button” below the gas stop arrives at the word. When you hit it, the speed limiter temporarily deactivates and lets the car speed up as you need it.
The use of the kickdown button hidden under the gas stop is therefore clear. But what cars can we find him in? In general, almost all cars equipped with automatic transmission. Of course there are also those that don’t have a kickdown button but are in a minority. Likewise, you will encounter this button on almost all cars with manual gearboxes equipped with a speed limiter. So if you have a newer car than from year 2010, there is a good probability that you have a speed limiter (usually it has common control with cruise control, but there are also cars without cruise control and with limiter), and so you probably have a “switch” under the gas stop.