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      10-19-2010, 10:03 AM   #1
gavolant
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do you downshift?

Just curious what most of you do when approach a light/stop sign?

What are the benefits/disadvantages of downshifting from an engine/clutch maintenance point of view??
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      10-19-2010, 11:19 AM   #2
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many people downsift to take advantage of engine braking. Enging braking helps decelerate the car while saving some brake wear. The downside is that if you slip the clutch on the downshift you are trading brake wear for clutch wear. I think we all know that clutches cost more than brake pads.

The best (and most fun) way to downshift is to rev-match on the downshift. Heel-toe downshifts match the engine speed to the transmission speed and will almost eliminate the wear on your clutch. There will still be some slipping as the clutch speed will have slowed while the clutch pedal is depressed, but it will be minimal. See detailed instructions at this website:

http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/how...2/article.html
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      10-19-2010, 12:54 PM   #3
DriveHard
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I perfer downshifting in general. the above post basically covered what you were asking, but i would add in busy cities / towns i like to have the car in a gear ready for evasive / defensive manuvers..... Nothing worse to scramble for a gear when a car decides to cut over from the turning lane and stopping just wont do it.

my .02
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      10-19-2010, 01:50 PM   #4
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Just press the brakes. That's why it's there for.
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      10-19-2010, 01:59 PM   #5
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I always DS MT's. That way if I need to accelerate quickly for one reason or another I am ready to go. I always like being in the appropriate gear for the speed I am traveling.

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      10-19-2010, 03:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxtyp3 View Post
Just press the brakes. That's why it's there for.
+1.

Brakes are cheaper than syncro rings/new tranny. I only downshift when I am entering a turn and I need to power thru that turn.
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      10-19-2010, 03:55 PM   #7
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Powerbraking shouldn't be a driving habits. Unless you like changing clutch. Brakes=cheaper and you can do it yourself with basic tools. The clutch is something else.
I downshift to gain power, when too slow for the gear I'm in.
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      10-19-2010, 04:55 PM   #8
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If I am just slowing...I Downshift and keep it moving.

If I am stopping...Neutral and brake to a stop. Brakes are cheaper than clutches. One caveat...once you are in neutral, you lose the quick ability to react to a situation that may require power to maneuver through.

But for every garden-variety coming to a RED stop-light or a stop-sign. Shift to neutral and brake.

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      10-19-2010, 05:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavolant View Post
Just curious what most of you do when approach a light/stop sign? ...
I downshift as often as possible, if nothing else just to hear the burble from the Meisterschaft Touring HP exhaust. As to the clutch wear issue, every car I've purchased new has had a MT, never replaced a clutch yet and most have run over 160K miles. If you like downshifting, do it.

pge
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      10-19-2010, 05:51 PM   #10
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I remember I fell in love with engine braking when I first learned to drive a manual. But then I learned to heel-toe and fell out of love with engine braking. I budget for new brake pads, but not for new clutches and synchros.
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      10-19-2010, 05:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miiipilot View Post
If I am just slowing...I Downshift and keep it moving.

If I am stopping...Neutral and brake to a stop. Brakes are cheaper than clutches. One caveat...once you are in neutral, you lose the quick ability to react to a situation that may require power to maneuver through.

But for every garden-variety coming to a RED stop-light or a stop-sign. Shift to neutral and brake.

miiipilot
FWIW my advice is just brake. Don't shift into neutral until it slows to 1000 rpm or less.
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      10-19-2010, 07:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryS View Post
FWIW my advice is just brake. Don't shift into neutral until it slows to 1000 rpm or less.
+1.

Even in a panic stop... it is better to NOT depress the clutch until the car is almost stopped. Leaving the clutch engaged allows for a more equal brake ballance.

What I mean is IF you do a panic stop 100% braking and press the clutch pedal down... you are more likely to lock one of the wheels. Keeping the clutch engaged allows for less dramatic stops. Esp on the street.
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      10-19-2010, 07:41 PM   #13
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Nowadays my transmission does it for me...it even rev-matches.

When I had a manual car and I came up to a light, I would just leave it in the gear it's in while braking until the revs are almost at idle and then put it in neutral.
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      10-21-2010, 10:01 AM   #14
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I assume you have MT. In that case i agree with most posters here that suggest to brake as b.pads are cheaper than cluches. Of course for us, DCT owners, the system downshifts for us when the car comes to a complete stop

Last edited by Groundpilot; 10-21-2010 at 11:26 AM.
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      12-13-2010, 09:47 AM   #15
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Yes...yes I do.
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      01-29-2011, 02:02 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DriveHard View Post
I perfer downshifting in general. the above post basically covered what you were asking, but i would add in busy cities / towns i like to have the car in a gear ready for evasive / defensive manuvers..... Nothing worse to scramble for a gear when a car decides to cut over from the turning lane and stopping just wont do it.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruffan View Post
The best (and most fun) way to downshift is to rev-match on the downshift. Heel-toe downshifts match the engine speed to the transmission speed and will almost eliminate the wear on your clutch.
+1
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      01-29-2011, 02:29 AM   #17
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I downshift because I can't help myself and my car is a steptronic. I find the exhaust note intoxicating and I'm in love with the pop, crackle and burble sounds it makes after each downshift. My logic is that brakes are much cheaper to replace than engine wear but another part of me feels that these high performance engines are built to withstand it.
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      01-29-2011, 02:32 AM   #18
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mt if lease down shift is finance N brake LOL
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      01-30-2011, 09:08 PM   #19
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Not downshifting because of concern about clutch wear is silly. I've had clutches go as high as 140K miles that I know of and I downshift all the time. I used to just let the speed in each gear come down and then downshift if I was braking gradually but I now rock my foot from side to side to blip the throttle on each downshift. I do that for practice for the much more rare situation where I am downshifting at significant rpm and the wear on the synchros might be more of an issue.

Clutch wear is bad when you are slipping it getting the car moving. Some clutch wear occurs when under hard acceleration because you are closer to the limit of the clutch to hook up and it will slip a little. Virtually no wear occurs on downshifts because engine power if low and the clutch engages with very little slip.

Pushing the clutch in and hitting the brakes is for people who are still learning to drive a manual transmission. Experienced manual transmission drivers downshift - at least all of them I know downshift. I think it is time for some of you to stop using clutch wear as an excuse and learn a new skill.

Jim
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      01-31-2011, 09:08 AM   #20
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^^^ I agree with Jim.

I always downshift, when coming down to a stop. Heel and toe or rev matching is always used depending on application.

On a side note:

I had a friend tell me at the party that he finally after 3 years learned to properly drive M/T, and was asking if I know about rev-matching and heel-toe shifting.
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