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Manual Driving question downshifting to brake

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Manual Driving question downshifting to brake

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Old 7/5/06, 11:34 AM
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Manual Driving question downshifting to brake

I had a manual driving question for you stangers. I've recently learned the art of downshifting. I have a friend who downshifts when he is slowing down to a stop. I can't help but to wonder, is it worth downshifting and possibly wearing down your clutch to save on your breaks? Is this something I should stop doing? I want to keep my habits on the "best practices" list. All comments welcome.
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Old 7/5/06, 11:38 AM
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I only downshift when I need to accelerate quicker. When I come to a stop I just push in the clutch and let it glide to the point where I need to stop, and if I end up needing to drive somewhere instead of stopping I'll just put it in the appropriate gear and keep going. I see no reason to downshift like that when you can just disengage the clutch and roll to the stop. I wouldn't do it, and I wouldn't do it to save on brakes either. Brakes are cheaper and easier to replace than a d*mn clutch.

EASY THERE CHEECH

knucklehead_11: lol It was censored... I guess having a** in my sig is a horrendously evil thing too... bleh... cuss words... woo... I'm going to hell now.
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Old 7/5/06, 11:40 AM
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Others might disagree, but using engine braking to slow the car down when you are traveling on a flat surface puts unnecessary wear and tear on a more expensive set of components to replace - the drivetrain. Pads and rotors are designed for the purpose of stopping the car. The only time I ever downshift to slow is on a steep incline when there is traffic ahead.

It is my opinion that some people mainly use this procedure for show.
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Old 7/5/06, 11:44 AM
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That's why I want an automatic. Or maybe I'm too young to understand manual.
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Old 7/5/06, 11:49 AM
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Technically, the 'correct' way to slow down is downshifting while braking. The reason for this is that if you need to accelerate suddenly, you already have the car in gear. I dont bother doing this, though, unless I'm in stop and go traffic. If i am approaching a stop sign or something similar, i just put the trans in neutral. A lot of people do downshift early to get that loud exhaust burble (which can sound pretty cool).
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Old 7/5/06, 12:12 PM
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Brakes are much cheaper to replace than engines, transmissions, and rear axles....but hey, it's your car!

Tony D
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Old 7/5/06, 12:41 PM
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I just put it in neutral and coast/brake to a stop.

Only time I downshift to slow down is if I'm trying to make a sharp turn at a high rate of speed
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Old 7/5/06, 12:42 PM
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Down shifting is just plain fun.The louder the exhaust the better!
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Old 7/5/06, 01:09 PM
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I grew up driving manual cars and that is the way I was taught to do it. I have never had tranny or drive train problems on any of my cars and I downshift with braking 99% of the time. I love the Gurgle/Burble my exhaust gives off also. It is addicting.
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Old 7/5/06, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by NewEdgePerf
Brakes are much cheaper to replace than engines, transmissions, and rear axles....but hey, it's your car!

Tony D
+1
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Old 7/5/06, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mudshuvel319
Technically, the 'correct' way to slow down is downshifting while braking. The reason for this is that if you need to accelerate suddenly, you already have the car in gear.
That is what I do, and why I do it. If/When an idiot makes a dumb move in front of you and you have to move fast, last thing you want to do is fumble for the right gear.
Of course the exhaust sounds good while you are doing it, but that shouldn't be the "reason" it is done.
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Old 7/5/06, 02:25 PM
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If I ever thought that downshifting was going to put unnecessary wear and/or damage my drive line, I'd sell the piecce of crap and ride a bike after I took the seat off the post.
Downshift it, man... you can do it without beating up your clutch.... I have NEVER replaced a clutch on any of my Mustangs... I drove the pi** out of them.
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Old 7/5/06, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by mudshuvel319
Technically, the 'correct' way to slow down is downshifting while braking. The reason for this is that if you need to accelerate suddenly, you already have the car in gear. I dont bother doing this, though, unless I'm in stop and go traffic. If i am approaching a stop sign or something similar, i just put the trans in neutral. A lot of people do downshift early to get that loud exhaust burble (which can sound pretty cool).
I always downshift while breaking..prepares you for any event. I rarely just use my breaks alone. Now downshifting to slowdown is as far as I've always called it engine breaking..the funny thing is a couple towns over there is a sign that says that it's against city ordinace to engine break..the only think I can think this is for is because your break lights aren't on while slowing down.

Unless they are reffering to some other kind of engine breaking..like in a semi when the Jake break kicks on and creates a real ruckus.
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Old 7/5/06, 02:59 PM
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It is actually illegal in many states to "coast" in neutral while driving.
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Old 7/5/06, 03:22 PM
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It makes no economic sense to downshift and then slip the clutch as a braking aid. Brakes are cheap and easy to replace, clutches definitely are neither. Plus doing that all the time might wear out your synchros prematurely. That being said I do regularly downshift while braking but I'm rev-matching my shifts with a little heal-toe action. But I don't recommend that unless you know what you're doing. I only do it because I'm a long time motorcyclist and it feels very wrong not being in the right gear, plus I road race the car a bit and on the track it's a necessity.

One other thing; never downshift and slip the clutch in a turn as it can cause the back end to step out unexpectedly.
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Old 7/5/06, 03:25 PM
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Unless they are reffering to some other kind of engine breaking..like in a semi when the Jake break kicks on and creates a real ruckus.
That is typically what those signs are for. You will find them in a lot of areas where there are residential areas along a highway that requires stopping from speeds of 55+. I have seen some signs to even say No Jake Braking instead of engine braking..
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Old 7/5/06, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 1969 Mustang Mach 1
That's why I want an automatic. Or maybe I'm too young to understand manual.
Bah, that's the fun of driving a stick! It's not for everyone, but even in the city stop & go driving I do, I'd rather drive a stick.

It's not as complicated as it sounds, and once you get used to it, it's second nature and you dont have to even think about what youre doing.
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Old 7/5/06, 04:01 PM
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Because downshifting is cool.....

and because it sounds so **** GOOD!!.
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Old 7/5/06, 04:46 PM
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I fully agree with Clint! I've driven more than 300k miles in cars with manual boxes and never had any problems due to downshifting.

If you're driving around town and need to stop at a traffic light, using the brakes is usually enough.
But if you're driving down a 35-mile road with a 6% incline and around 120 hairpins, then the only way to make sure the brake fluid doesn't completely evaporate and you can stop at any time is by downshifting! (this comes from personal experience). Or when you're trying to stop the car on snow or ice and you're wondering why the brakes don't work!
Any driver with some experience on manual transmissions will tell you that the drivetrain isn't made of glass, so it won't break down as easily as some people seem to think. Just listen to the engine noise of any race car when it approaches a turn and you'll hear the downshifting.

Downshifting for the purpose of engine braking is also possible with the automatic transmission: just put it in 3rd or 2nd.
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Old 7/5/06, 05:35 PM
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I've driven a standard for over 30 years and have always downshifted when slowing down - that's just part of driving a stick.
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