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This is a discussion on braking and downshifting within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Getting an automatic is not a bad idea. Paddles are the foreseeable future. If given a choice between rowing a ...

  1. #16
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    braking and downshifting

    Getting an automatic is not a bad idea. Paddles are the foreseeable future. If given a choice between rowing a manual floor mounted shifter or not, I'd chose the latter. Then again, now that I think of it, given the choice of driving anything at all or not, I'd chose the latter. Just me.
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  3. #17
    Registered User poly_poly-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soobvirgin View Post
    Agree that engine braking is pointless in a car. However, rev-matching on the downshift is intended to cause the least amount of disturbance to the balance of the car when driving on the limit. Unless you're driving on the limit (heck, why wouldn't you once in a while?) it's pointless too. But if I ever got in a taxi and the driver rev-matched, I'd probably ask to get out.
    uhh... I rev-match to be nice to my passengers, most of the time. Rev-matching can allow for much more smooth transitions between gears. If you're slowing down, and downshifting for whatever reason (even if it's not to engine brake, but just to slow down some, then get into a lower gear to cruise from there), you want to rev-match so that the clutch doesn't take the load and end up shaking the car violently as the clutch springs do their thing. It makes it so it doesn't slow you down a little extra to put more energy back into the crankshaft, essentially.

    Assuming you're downshifting anyway, rev-matching is only good - good for the car, good for the ride, good for performance.
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  4. #18
    Registered User Soobvirgin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MainFrame View Post
    I constantly engine brake/heel tow, etc. Is it necessary? Absolutely not.. Is it fun? Hell yes. If I was just going to put the car in neutral and didn't care about enjoying the drive I might as well just get an automatic.
    This.


    Quote Originally Posted by poly_poly-man View Post
    uhh... I rev-match to be nice to my passengers, most of the time.

    Assuming you're downshifting anyway, rev-matching is only good - good for the car, good for the ride, good for performance.

    Nice to your passengers? If you're concerned with the comfort of your passengers and still getting an abrupt engagement of a gear, you're probably engaging a lower gear too early.

    "Assuming you're downshifting anyway..." Well, you have to. Are you talking about downshifting sequentially? That's then using engine braking and is pointless.

  5. #19
    Registered User MainFrame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    Getting an automatic is not a bad idea. Paddles are the foreseeable future. If given a choice between rowing a manual floor mounted shifter or not, I'd chose the latter. Then again, now that I think of it, given the choice of driving anything at all or not, I'd chose the latter. Just me.


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  6. #20
    Registered User poly_poly-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soobvirgin View Post
    Nice to your passengers? If you're concerned with the comfort of your passengers and still getting an abrupt engagement of a gear, you're probably engaging a lower gear too early.

    "Assuming you're downshifting anyway..." Well, you have to. Are you talking about downshifting sequentially? That's then using engine braking and is pointless.
    alright, I worded that weird. I'm saying that even not doing the engine brake bit, rev-matching helps your normal downshifts.

    Take the situation of an average right-of-way turn - you're coming up to an intersection doing about 40 in 4th (5mt), and you should do the turn in low second gear to not be accused of being an asshat. I usually will start to brake smoothly, and immediately heel-toe to 3rd to slow me down, then heel-toe to second when it won't be much over 3k. Apply back just enough throttle to break even through the turn, and power out when I'm through the turn. If I am feeling like a race car driver (and I am not in danger of compromising anyone else's day), it's the same process, but the turn can usually be done higher up in second, with power a lot earlier.

    I think what you're saying is this: brake down in fourth until the thing bogs too much, then clutch in, wait to get down to low second gear speeds, then throw it in and let the clutch eat the speed difference between that and idle. That makes some sense to me, but why not just take the second, even if it's after the braking is totally done, to blip the throttle to make it go in smoother and quicker?

    Also, I should mention, with a size 16 shoe, I heel-toe with the two sides of my feet - my shoe is big enough to give both pretty decent coverage.
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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Re: braking and downshifting

    I'm with poly.

    I rev match every gear. Most passengers don't notice. It's not like I am reving the engine to 6k when carrying passengers. In theory, you are revving only to the needed rpm anyhow for when you engage the next gear.

    I don't see the big ordeal. As long as you aren't in the upper revs, rev matching is less disturbing to your friends than the clutch speeding the engine up to that point.

    Engine braking isn't pointless. When over three thousand rpms.. I generally don't due to noise. Otherwise I try to leave my car in gear for good practice, safety, and convenience.

    Anybody that doesn't ever use the engine to slow their car down is probably putting some extra wear on the brake pads. It also helps keep spark plugs clean in properly tuned cars. Anybody that avoids using their brake pads to the furthest extent possible is just silly in my opinion. Two methods that should be used together in most situations in my opinion.
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  8. #22
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    braking and downshifting

    Quote Originally Posted by poly_poly-man
    Take the situation of an average right-of-way turn - you're coming up to an intersection doing about 40 in 4th (5mt), and you should do the turn in low second gear to not be accused of being an asshat. I usually will start to brake smoothly, and immediately heel-toe to 3rd to slow me down, then heel-toe to second when it won't be much over 3k. Apply back just enough throttle to break even through the turn, and power out when I'm through the turn.
    My life expectancy is less than 80 years, and I've already wasted some of them. The speeds are low, the revs are low, N is available between gears so 4-3 isn't obligatory, the car won't unsettle no matter which gear you grab or skip, nobody is timing anyone, and you have both real estate and modem brakes, plus a modern H gearbox.

    This is entirely unnecessary in a road car with a full syncro and non serial gearbox, but if you like it, more power to you. Have at it and have fun. I'll pass though.
    Last edited by SD_GR; 11-23-2012 at 08:59 PM.
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  9. #23
    Registered User Soobvirgin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poly_poly-man View Post
    I usually will start to brake smoothly, and immediately heel-toe to 3rd to slow me down, then heel-toe to second when it won't be much over 3k. Apply back just enough throttle to break even through the turn, and power out when I'm through the turn.

    I think what you're saying is this: brake down in fourth until the thing bogs too much, then clutch in, wait to get down to low second gear speeds, then throw it in and let the clutch eat the speed difference between that and idle. That makes some sense to me, but why not just take the second, even if it's after the braking is totally done, to blip the throttle to make it go in smoother and quicker?

    Also, I should mention, with a size 16 shoe, I heel-toe with the two sides of my feet - my shoe is big enough to give both pretty decent coverage.
    Size 16??!? Holy crap. I should point out that I haven't yet been able to comfortably heel-toe in this car. Where the pedals have felt perfectly placed for me to do that in other cars, it feels totally wrong to me in the WRX. But everybody's different, so I need to practice more in this car. Anyway, I see your point about just blipping the throttle for smoothness in day to day driving. But I don't understand sequentially down changing. If you need 2nd for the approaching corner, why not just change from 4th to 2nd and blip the throttle there? Modern brakes are quite capable of slowing a car down without the need of the engine. Or is it just because racecar?

  10. #24
    and the Funky Bunch Calvinball's Avatar
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    My one comment:

    I understand the mechanics of how coasting in gear uses less fuel than coasting in neutral. However, if you are coasting in gear, then you are also engine braking. So which is better, to coast in neutral whilst the injectors are using a bit more fuel, but you can go farther without using any throttle? Or to coast in gear, the engine using less fuel during coasting, but you will have to use the throttle much earlier?

    Personally, I do a mix, depending on how much room I have to coast and whether I intend to slow down or make a turn.

    This was total digression from the OP. So I will comment on that comment, as well. You aren't hurting the car, although I believe you do want to make sure you aren't holding the clutch pedal down while you coasting in neutral. However, you will have more control if you make turns in gear, so it is a good habit to try and get yourself in to. You don't have to heel-toe to do so, you can slow down prior to the turn, put yourself in the appropriate gear, then make the turn. Heel-toeing just makes it more fun.
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  11. #25
    Registered User MainFrame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calvinball View Post
    My one comment:

    I understand the mechanics of how coasting in gear uses less fuel than coasting in neutral. However, if you are coasting in gear, then you are also engine braking. So which is better, to coast in neutral whilst the injectors are using a bit more fuel, but you can go farther without using any throttle? Or to coast in gear, the engine using less fuel during coasting, but you will have to use the throttle much earlier?

    I get what you're saying, but personally I wouldn't want to put my car in neutral and coast for a mile leading up to a red light. I would rather cruise half way to it, then engine brake for the last half mile. It makes me feel uncomfortable coasting for long distances with the car out of gear, especially in traffic. What if you have to make an evasive maneuver to avoid another car or obstruction in the road? Personally I would much rather the car already be in gear.. although I'm sure engine braking puts more wear on the engine/transmission.

  12. #26
    Registered User poly_poly-man's Avatar
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    Yeah, the wrx is ridiculously easy to heel-toe for me, as are *most* cars (I can never pull it off in german cars because of the throttle placement)

    Quote Originally Posted by Soobvirgin View Post
    If you need 2nd for the approaching corner, why not just change from 4th to 2nd and blip the throttle there? Modern brakes are quite capable of slowing a car down without the need of the engine. Or is it just because racecar?
    I really don't like not being in a gear, and my car doesn't like being below 2k rpm. If I start slowing down in 4th, by the time I'd want to change to second, the revs would be too high there - many times I do exactly this, and just slow down in second from about 4-4.5k to where I want, but I'll usually hit third on the way just because it's there - because I get *less* engine braking from it.
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  13. #27
    and the Funky Bunch Calvinball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MainFrame View Post
    I get what you're saying, but personally I wouldn't want to put my car in neutral and coast for a mile leading up to a red light. I would rather cruise half way to it, then engine brake for the last half mile. It makes me feel uncomfortable coasting for long distances with the car out of gear, especially in traffic. What if you have to make an evasive maneuver to avoid another car or obstruction in the road? Personally I would much rather the car already be in gear.. although I'm sure engine braking puts more wear on the engine/transmission.
    The uncomfortable part I understand, but in what situation would you need immediate power for an evasive maneuver? Not trolling, just curious. Anytime you hit the gas, whether you are going straight or making a quick evasive turn, it will increase the distance traveled forward. So if something darts in front or to the side of me, hitting the throttle will cause me to move forward and possibly towards whatever the obstruction is. Not sure if I'm making myself clear, but what I'm trying to say is that the car turns without hitting the gas, hitting the gas will actually make the car go forward farther when making an evasive move, right?

    So I guess if there is something coming at me from behind, then I would want to be in gear to be able to make a move that will put me further away from it. But anything in the front 180 degrees wouldn't it be better not to give any power, since that will just put you closer to it?

    Just babbling, and honestly interested to hear a scenario that controverts my thoughts.
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  14. #28
    Registered User MainFrame's Avatar
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    I've avoided several accidents using the throttle.. mostly people overtaking my lane when there's room ahead of me but not behind. Recently I avoided being rear ended by accelerating quickly onto the shoulder when traffic stopped and the person behind me wasn't paying attention, but 90% of the time it's the first scenario. Often it will be at a light with two left turn lanes, if you're in the outside lane you can pretty much assume the car in the inside lane will attempt to overtake your lane half way through the intersection, and when you have someone tailgating you the only thing to do short of running off the road is to quickly accelerate through the corner. If you roll into the corner in neutral then you might not have the response time to avoid getting side swiped or jumping the curb to get out of the way.

    That's about it though.. unfortunately around here that happens to me about once a week.

  15. #29
    and the Funky Bunch Calvinball's Avatar
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    Gotcha. I don't encounter many intersections like that, but rest assured, I would not be in neutral in that situation!
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  16. #30
    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calvinball View Post
    The uncomfortable part I understand, but in what situation would you need immediate power for an evasive maneuver? Not trolling, just curious. Anytime you hit the gas, whether you are going straight or making a quick evasive turn, it will increase the distance traveled forward. So if something darts in front or to the side of me, hitting the throttle will cause me to move forward and possibly towards whatever the obstruction is. Not sure if I'm making myself clear, but what I'm trying to say is that the car turns without hitting the gas, hitting the gas will actually make the car go forward farther when making an evasive move, right?

    So I guess if there is something coming at me from behind, then I would want to be in gear to be able to make a move that will put me further away from it. But anything in the front 180 degrees wouldn't it be better not to give any power, since that will just put you closer to it?

    Just babbling, and honestly interested to hear a scenario that controverts my thoughts.
    Think of it this way - when is the last time you have wanted to coast through a corner without throttle? Your suspension isn't normally happy when power isn't being applied.

    Taken to a larger scale at the track, it's always frowned upon to leave your car engine braking let alone out of gear. Most call that state an "out of control" state. The idea is to always have your car under throttle or moderate/heavy braking to maintain consistent control. Again - I know we aren't in a school zone normally.

    Food for thought.
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