braking and downshifting
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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; i just picked up a wry and was wondering if i'm hurting the car when i'm putting it in neutral ...

  1. #1
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    braking and downshifting

    i just picked up a wry and was wondering if i'm hurting the car when i'm putting it in neutral and just pressing the brake.
    i have heard of people doing the heel toe thing but am i doing anything to hurt the car if i'm just putting it in neutral and pressing the brake?
    i know i'm not getting the engine braking force too.

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  3. #2
    Registered User UEDan's Avatar
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    Re: braking and downshifting

    No damage to the car at all if the shifter is in neutral. But holding the clutch down for extended periods does cause excess wear on your throw out bearing.

    Posted from a fone.

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    Cheeky Bastage! spirited09wrx's Avatar
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    also, putting the car in neutral and coasting will give you slightly worse MPGs. having the car in neutral, you still have the injectors spraying gas to keep the engine running. If you leave in gear, downshift (or not), and remove your foot from the accelerator, and slow down that way, its cuts the fuel injectors and not spraying gas. The engine is just running on momentum
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    Registered User poly_poly-man's Avatar
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    Driving like that, while not theoretically ideal, isn't bad. You're actually being nicer on the engine compared to those of us who engine brake, although less nice on some other parts.

    1. you'll get less MPG, maybe not by much but if you do city driving mostly, you may be able to pick up a mpg.
    2. you'll fry your brakes a lot quicker. Many MT drivers hardly use the brakes at all - there's little reason for them.
    3. If you're going downhill, this practice is UNSAFE. Many states actually have laws against being in neutral while driving. If your brakes start to overheat, and you're still picking up speed, there's a chance you won't be able to get into a gear, and when you do, there's a good chance that you won't be able to control it anyway because your brakes are shot.

    Besides, heel-toe downshifting is easier than you think it is, sounds really cool if you do it right, and puts you in the right gear anyway if you're slowing down instead of stopping!
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    braking and downshifting

    In everyday use I use the brakes and not the motor since there is no reason to do otherwise -- 21st century brakes work and are cheap.

    I never heel-toe on the street. Again, there is zero reason to do so. In fact I've never even seen a pro do it and those guys drive around all day every day.

    Next time your in a taxi see how many engine brake or heel-toe. Unnecessary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    In everyday use I use the brakes and not the motor since there is no reason to do otherwise -- 21st century brakes work and are cheap.

    I never heel-toe on the street. Again, there is zero reason to do so. In fact I've never even seen a pro do it and those guys drive around all day every day.

    Next time your in a taxi see how many engine brake or heel-toe. Unnecessary.
    I live in nyc I will never get in a taxi they have tried to kill me way too many times when I'm on bike
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    Registered User degobah77's Avatar
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    Funny I've been driving manuals since I was 18 and I've never heard of rev-matching or heel-to-toe techniques until now. Of course, I'm not a race car driver either and don't do the track scene. I just shift into what I think is the proper gear and try to make it as smooth as possible.

    Got my POS Jetta to 130,000 on original clutch before trading it in and it was still going strong, so I guess I'm doing something right, though!

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    braking and downshifting

    Unless you're driving an ancient lorry with a crash box or are going too quickly for public roads I can't imagine why all this is all that necessary. Modern syncros and modern brakes work, generally.

    On a hill I've not used the same gear to go down that I'd have used to go up in decades. I usually pick one or two gears higher to go down than to go up, if I worry at all.
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    Registered User shadowpr's Avatar
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    i use my brakes.

    i also allow the car to coast in neutral when coming to a stop. I don't see how that will be less mpg if the rpms drop over being in gear.

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    throwing it in neutral is good and healthy for the car. no damage at all...i'd rather wear the $dollar brake pads then put more stress and compression on the 20k motor! it has nothing to do with being a professional driver or not! its just an option and a choice! now if you do not know how to downshift when needed then thats a different matter....

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    braking and downshifting

    Quote Originally Posted by shadowpr View Post
    i use my brakes.

    i also allow the car to coast in neutral when coming to a stop. I don't see how that will be less mpg if the rpms drop over being in gear.
    In theory at least coasting with a shut throttle would use less fuel than coasting at idle. In practice I don't care either.
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    Luke Skywalker Mikie13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    Next time your in a taxi see how many engine brake or heel-toe. Unnecessary.
    Next time you're in a taxi that actually has a manual transmission...please let us know. I'd be thrilled to see that


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    braking and downshifting

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikie13 View Post
    Next time you're in a taxi that actually has a manual transmission...please let us know. I'd be thrilled to see that


    ...Stateside anyway...
    I last used a taxi earlier this month. Manual Skoda. Nobody rev matches, blips anything, or heel-toes. Although I've seen automatic taxis, the vast majority I've used are manual.

    Come to think of it I've used taxis in 7 countries. Vast majority manual if memory serves.

    I don't recall the last time I was in a taxi in the US. I'm guessing 1988 in New York, on the way to the aircraft carrier floating museum. Good times. And you're right about that country, I've not seen a manual taxi in the US.

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    Registered User Soobvirgin's Avatar
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    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.

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    Registered User MainFrame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowpr View Post
    i also allow the car to coast in neutral when coming to a stop. I don't see how that will be less mpg if the rpms drop over being in gear.


    Because when you're engine braking with your foot off the gas the car uses zero fuel.. if you're in neutral the car still has to use fuel to keep the engine idling. Of course with modern EFI vehicles the amount of fuel used to keep the engine idling isn't very much.





    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.

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