Down shifting a manual car to slow down


sujit roy
 

I learnt to drive a stick shift car in the UK and was told to down shift through the gears to slow down. I still do it today and am teaching my 18 year old the same way. But what is the norm now with modern cars? I'd prefer the engine to slow down the car and not rely on the brakes. Not sure if modern cars with ABS and the like suffer from brake fade.

What does a test instructor expect? Based on my son's 10 min. CA DMV test, not much I suppose. 

Sujit


Ken Chambers
 

While it may be fun and sporty to shift through the gears, doing so to regularly slow down is not doing your clutch any favors.  It's a whole lot more expensive to renew a worn out clutch than to change brake shoes or pads.

I taught my son to drive like you don't have brakes.  That is, slow down gradually using good judgement, of course, so you don't hold up traffic behind your car.  And every time you use your brakes you're using gas, in that it requires fuel to get up to speed only to waste it in the form of heat with brake friction.

All the best,
---Ken

On Fri, Jun 25, 2021 at 9:34 AM sujit roy via groups.io <sujitroy=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I learnt to drive a stick shift car in the UK and was told to down shift through the gears to slow down. I still do it today and am teaching my 18 year old the same way. But what is the norm now with modern cars? I'd prefer the engine to slow down the car and not rely on the brakes. Not sure if modern cars with ABS and the like suffer from brake fade.

What does a test instructor expect? Based on my son's 10 min. CA DMV test, not much I suppose. 

Sujit


Matthew Spielberg
 

Test instructor does not care as long as he drives and stops safely.

Brakes are much cheaper to replace than clutches.

One alternative school of thought is that, coming up to a red light, if you downshift to second, you are already in gear if the light turns green on you.

On 6/25/2021 9:53 AM, Ken Chambers wrote:
While it may be fun and sporty to shift through the gears, doing so to regularly slow down is not doing your clutch any favors.  It's a whole lot more expensive to renew a worn out clutch than to change brake shoes or pads.

I taught my son to drive like you don't have brakes.  That is, slow down gradually using good judgement, of course, so you don't hold up traffic behind your car.  And every time you use your brakes you're using gas, in that it requires fuel to get up to speed only to waste it in the form of heat with brake friction.

All the best,
---Ken

On Fri, Jun 25, 2021 at 9:34 AM sujit roy via groups.io <sujitroy=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I learnt to drive a stick shift car in the UK and was told to down shift through the gears to slow down. I still do it today and am teaching my 18 year old the same way. But what is the norm now with modern cars? I'd prefer the engine to slow down the car and not rely on the brakes. Not sure if modern cars with ABS and the like suffer from brake fade.

What does a test instructor expect? Based on my son's 10 min. CA DMV test, not much I suppose. 

Sujit
-- 
Matthew M Spielberg
21855 Redwood Road
Castro Valley, CA 94546
(510) 886-5751
(209) 586-0250


Berkeley
 

I think that engine braking is a great idea on long descents. But using it routinely as a means of slowing down doesn’t make sense as others have noted. Now if you want to impart an arcane skill, teach him heel-toe downshifting.  

 

From: ArcaneAutos@groups.io <ArcaneAutos@groups.io> On Behalf Of Matthew Spielberg via groups.io
Sent: Friday, June 25, 2021 10:17 AM
To: ArcaneAutos@groups.io
Subject: Re: [ArcaneAutos] Down shifting a manual car to slow down

 

Test instructor does not care as long as he drives and stops safely.

Brakes are much cheaper to replace than clutches.

One alternative school of thought is that, coming up to a red light, if you downshift to second, you are already in gear if the light turns green on you.

On 6/25/2021 9:53 AM, Ken Chambers wrote:

While it may be fun and sporty to shift through the gears, doing so to regularly slow down is not doing your clutch any favors.  It's a whole lot more expensive to renew a worn out clutch than to change brake shoes or pads.

 

I taught my son to drive like you don't have brakes.  That is, slow down gradually using good judgement, of course, so you don't hold up traffic behind your car.  And every time you use your brakes you're using gas, in that it requires fuel to get up to speed only to waste it in the form of heat with brake friction.

 

All the best,

---Ken

 

On Fri, Jun 25, 2021 at 9:34 AM sujit roy via groups.io <sujitroy=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

I learnt to drive a stick shift car in the UK and was told to down shift through the gears to slow down. I still do it today and am teaching my 18 year old the same way. But what is the norm now with modern cars? I'd prefer the engine to slow down the car and not rely on the brakes. Not sure if modern cars with ABS and the like suffer from brake fade.

What does a test instructor expect? Based on my son's 10 min. CA DMV test, not much I suppose. 

Sujit

-- 
Matthew M Spielberg
21855 Redwood Road
Castro Valley, CA 94546
(510) 886-5751
(209) 586-0250


Fred Cisin
 

On Fri, 25 Jun 2021, sujit roy via groups.io wrote:
I learnt to drive a stick shift car in the UK and was told to down shift through the gears to slow down. I still do it today and am teaching my 18 year old the same way. But what is the norm now with modern cars? I'd prefer the engine to slow down the car and not rely on the brakes. Not sure if modern cars with ABS and the like suffer from brake fade.
Brake fade is still an issue. Not as bad as it once was, but still there.
For a very LONG downhill, engine braking, rather than riding the brakes, is still important.

But, engine braking is no longer anywhere near as important as it once was for stopping.
One of the reasons that it used to be taught was to reduce WEAR on the braakes; not fading, but long-term wear. But, disk brakes (or disc brakes, depending on where your car was made) are no longer a project to replace, and are cheap. Clutch is now MORE work than it once was, and expensive. So, it makes more sense to replace brakes than to replace clutches.

I knew a guy who memorized things, instead of trying to understand them. Every time that he came to a stop, he would downshift and over-rev his engine!


What does a test instructor expect? Based on my son's 10 min. CA DMV test, not much I suppose.
1) Most cars NOW are automatic. A friend injured his left foot. He mentioned to the doctor that he has "standard transmission"; the doctor said "STANDARD for transmission is automatic; oh, you mean that you have a sports car with a stick shift?"
2) DMV written test sometimes has some questions that are based on suggestions or tips in the driver's manual, such as asking motorcyclists:
"When following behind a car,
A) look around the side of the car
B) look through the car
C) look OVER the car" (the answer that DMV insists on, but look OVER the SUV??!?)
Therefore, the written test MIGHT once have mentioned downshifting, but not anymore due to automatic transmissions.
DMV driving test doesn't CARE. And doesn't include any high speed stops.
(Can you go around the block and then park the car without hitting aanything?)

You should try the brakes periodically, to confirm they work. But, you should hardly ever be using them.
Which reminds me, ... with my mostly electric car, I really should slam on the brakes occasionally, or the rotors might rust.


--
Grumpy Ol' Fred cisin@xenosoft.com


Ken Chambers
 

Yes, treat your clutch nicely or it will rob your wallet.

I just picked up a pristine '02 TDI Golf from a neighbor friend.  Garage kept, very low miles and professionally maintained for every little thing over the years, including a recent clutch replacement.  Apparently, the wife was driving it and somehow managed to smoke the clutch (yes, smoke) on one steep hill.

But if you understand how and why a clutch does what it does, it can easily outlast the engine.

Funny, I remember a number of years ago riding with a friend and we were waiting on an incline for a train to pass.  He was rocking the car fore and aft and using his clutch as a brake all the while complaining about what a lemon that car was.  Sheesh.

---Ken

On Fri, Jun 25, 2021 at 12:35 PM Fred Cisin <cisin@...> wrote:
On Fri, 25 Jun 2021, sujit roy via groups.io wrote:
> I learnt to drive a stick shift car in the UK and was told to down shift
> through the gears to slow down. I still do it today and am teaching my
> 18 year old the same way. But what is the norm now with modern
> cars? I'd prefer the engine to slow down the car and not rely on the
> brakes. Not sure if modern cars with ABS and the like suffer from brake
> fade.

Brake fade is still an issue.  Not as bad as it once was, but still there.
For a very LONG downhill, engine braking, rather than riding the brakes,
is still important.

But, engine braking is no longer anywhere near as important as it once was
for stopping.
One of the reasons that it used to be taught was to reduce WEAR on the
braakes; not fading, but long-term wear.  But, disk brakes (or disc
brakes, depending on where your car was made) are no longer a project to
replace, and are cheap.  Clutch is now MORE work than it once was, and
expensive.  So, it makes more sense to replace brakes than to replace
clutches.

I knew a guy who memorized things, instead of trying to understand them.
Every time that he came to a stop, he would downshift and over-rev his
engine!


> What does a test instructor expect? Based on my son's 10 min. CA DMV
> test, not much I suppose.

1) Most cars NOW are automatic.  A friend injured his left foot.  He
mentioned to the doctor that he has "standard transmission"; the doctor
said "STANDARD for transmission is automatic; oh, you mean that you have a
sports car with a stick shift?"
2) DMV written test sometimes has some questions that are based on
suggestions or tips in the driver's manual, such as asking motorcyclists:
"When following behind a car,
A) look around the side of the car
B) look through the car
C) look OVER the car"   (the answer that DMV insists on, but look OVER the
SUV??!?)
Therefore, the written test MIGHT once have mentioned downshifting, but
not anymore due to automatic transmissions.
DMV driving test doesn't CARE.  And doesn't include any high speed stops.
(Can you go around the block and then park the car without hitting
aanything?)

You should try the brakes periodically, to confirm they work.  But, you
should hardly ever be using them.
Which reminds me, ... with my mostly electric car, I really should slam on
the brakes occasionally, or the rotors might rust.


--
Grumpy Ol' Fred                 cisin@...






Lou
 

   
   
    Most of my vehicles are pre war trucks.  It is essential to down shift    
on long down grades, Especially when towing a cat trailer with another   
truck on it.   Since there is no syncromesh in the transmission, and double   
clutching is not possible with a low revving engine, if you are going too fast,    
I must get into lower gear before the descent.   Newer transmissions like   
the NVG 4500 have a centrifugal lockout preventing shifting to a lower   
gear in an emergency.   They would rather you die in a crash than over   
rev your engine.               
    In my "Modern" car (1973 Honda )  I placed a throttle pot to activate   
regen in the first inch of depression on my service brake pedal.   I use energy       
to accelerate and regain some of that when I decelerate.   It works better    
in a lower gear.    Even tho the Honda has syncro in all forward gears, it    
shifts much easier when I double clutch.      
                Lou                   
PS:  In the picture below, I've circled the pot box on firewall.           
   
    The forward lever controls acceleration.     
The rear pot controls regenerative braking. 
It accounts for over 90% of my stops.      
The hydraulic brakes only serve to hold the    
vehicle in place after stopping.        
       
   
   
   
   

On 6/25/2021 12:51 PM, Ken Chambers wrote:
Yes, treat your clutch nicely or it will rob your wallet.

I just picked up a pristine '02 TDI Golf from a neighbor friend.  Garage kept, very low miles and professionally maintained for every little thing over the years, including a recent clutch replacement.  Apparently, the wife was driving it and somehow managed to smoke the clutch (yes, smoke) on one steep hill.

But if you understand how and why a clutch does what it does, it can easily outlast the engine.

Funny, I remember a number of years ago riding with a friend and we were waiting on an incline for a train to pass.  He was rocking the car fore and aft and using his clutch as a brake all the while complaining about what a lemon that car was.  Sheesh.

---Ken

On Fri, Jun 25, 2021 at 12:35 PM Fred Cisin <cisin@...> wrote:
On Fri, 25 Jun 2021, sujit roy via groups.io wrote:
> I learnt to drive a stick shift car in the UK and was told to down shift
> through the gears to slow down. I still do it today and am teaching my
> 18 year old the same way. But what is the norm now with modern
> cars? I'd prefer the engine to slow down the car and not rely on the
> brakes. Not sure if modern cars with ABS and the like suffer from brake
> fade.

Brake fade is still an issue.  Not as bad as it once was, but still there.
For a very LONG downhill, engine braking, rather than riding the brakes,
is still important.

But, engine braking is no longer anywhere near as important as it once was
for stopping.
One of the reasons that it used to be taught was to reduce WEAR on the
braakes; not fading, but long-term wear.  But, disk brakes (or disc
brakes, depending on where your car was made) are no longer a project to
replace, and are cheap.  Clutch is now MORE work than it once was, and
expensive.  So, it makes more sense to replace brakes than to replace
clutches.

I knew a guy who memorized things, instead of trying to understand them.
Every time that he came to a stop, he would downshift and over-rev his
engine!


> What does a test instructor expect? Based on my son's 10 min. CA DMV
> test, not much I suppose.

1) Most cars NOW are automatic.  A friend injured his left foot.  He
mentioned to the doctor that he has "standard transmission"; the doctor
said "STANDARD for transmission is automatic; oh, you mean that you have a
sports car with a stick shift?"
2) DMV written test sometimes has some questions that are based on
suggestions or tips in the driver's manual, such as asking motorcyclists:
"When following behind a car,
A) look around the side of the car
B) look through the car
C) look OVER the car"   (the answer that DMV insists on, but look OVER the
SUV??!?)
Therefore, the written test MIGHT once have mentioned downshifting, but
not anymore due to automatic transmissions.
DMV driving test doesn't CARE.  And doesn't include any high speed stops.
(Can you go around the block and then park the car without hitting
aanything?)

You should try the brakes periodically, to confirm they work.  But, you
should hardly ever be using them.
Which reminds me, ... with my mostly electric car, I really should slam on
the brakes occasionally, or the rotors might rust.


--
Grumpy Ol' Fred                 cisin@...







Stephen Cooper
 

Interesting conversation.  Since I've been driving a few months short of 60 years, I can certainly speak from experience.  For the record, I have yet to wear out/nor replace any clutches.
I too am from the camp wherein my father taught me to "use your gears to slow down because gasoline is cheaper than replacing your brakes".

Now then, I just paid $3.85 per gallon to fill up yesterday and that's roughly 20 times as much as when the lesson was given.

However back in high school I earned $1.50 per hour working at Foster's Freeze. While the average dealer's non-supervisory workers made $2.16 per hour out here in the West during 1962.

According to :https://autoservicecosts.com/clutch-cost/..........the average cost to replace a clutch today is $843...
And the average cost of a brake job today would be $270-$375 per axle according to : https://ricksfreeautorepairadvice.com/consumers-guide-to-brake-job-cost/.

So, based on my history of never having had any clutches wear out in 60 years of owning many many vehicles (as many of you in the club know, I have a history of BUYING  vehicles but seldom selling them) but I have had a couple of brake jobs,

I'd say my dad's advice was good.  Even at $3.85 per gallon, gas is still cheaper than a brake job and I have NEVER  had a case of "brake-fade" while coming down a long grade on a hot day.
Average
_


Ken Nelson
 

Matt, I’ll be in town for jul 31
- where does Silicon Valley club meet?  Is it in Ladera lot on Alpone rd in Portola valley?

Ken



On Jun 27, 2021, at 3:33 PM, Stephen Cooper <oobowls@...> wrote:

Interesting conversation.  Since I've been driving a few months short of 60 years, I can certainly speak from experience.  For the record, I have yet to wear out/nor replace any clutches.
I too am from the camp wherein my father taught me to "use your gears to slow down because gasoline is cheaper than replacing your brakes".

Now then, I just paid $3.85 per gallon to fill up yesterday and that's roughly 20 times as much as when the lesson was given.

However back in high school I earned $1.50 per hour working at Foster's Freeze. While the average dealer's non-supervisory workers made $2.16 per hour out here in the West during 1962.

According to :https://autoservicecosts.com/clutch-cost/..........the average cost to replace a clutch today is $843...
And the average cost of a brake job today would be $270-$375 per axle according to : https://ricksfreeautorepairadvice.com/consumers-guide-to-brake-job-cost/.

So, based on my history of never having had any clutches wear out in 60 years of owning many many vehicles (as many of you in the club know, I have a history of BUYING  vehicles but seldom selling them) but I have had a couple of brake jobs,

I'd say my dad's advice was good.  Even at $3.85 per gallon, gas is still cheaper than a brake job and I have NEVER  had a case of "brake-fade" while coming down a long grade on a hot day.
Average
_


Matthew Spielberg
 

815 Portola valley road. In the lot of an Episcopal church ?

On Jun 27, 2021, at 6:43 PM, Ken Nelson <citbuff@...> wrote:

Matt, I’ll be in town for jul 31
- where does Silicon Valley club meet?  Is it in Ladera lot on Alpone rd in Portola valley?

Ken



On Jun 27, 2021, at 3:33 PM, Stephen Cooper <oobowls@...> wrote:

Interesting conversation.  Since I've been driving a few months short of 60 years, I can certainly speak from experience.  For the record, I have yet to wear out/nor replace any clutches.
I too am from the camp wherein my father taught me to "use your gears to slow down because gasoline is cheaper than replacing your brakes".

Now then, I just paid $3.85 per gallon to fill up yesterday and that's roughly 20 times as much as when the lesson was given.

However back in high school I earned $1.50 per hour working at Foster's Freeze. While the average dealer's non-supervisory workers made $2.16 per hour out here in the West during 1962.

According to :https://autoservicecosts.com/clutch-cost/..........the average cost to replace a clutch today is $843...
And the average cost of a brake job today would be $270-$375 per axle according to : https://ricksfreeautorepairadvice.com/consumers-guide-to-brake-job-cost/.

So, based on my history of never having had any clutches wear out in 60 years of owning many many vehicles (as many of you in the club know, I have a history of BUYING  vehicles but seldom selling them) but I have had a couple of brake jobs,

I'd say my dad's advice was good.  Even at $3.85 per gallon, gas is still cheaper than a brake job and I have NEVER  had a case of "brake-fade" while coming down a long grade on a hot day.
Average
_


David Russel
 

Ken,

Here is what Matt typed previously and it has the address:   “ At that point, having seen some cars but no flying cars, we finished our coffee and donut, took our goodie bag and balloon and headed out to 815 Portola Valley Road for a second Cars and Coffee of the morning, put on by the Silicon Valley Motor Club. (Next one scheduled for July 31) No admission charge, and the coffee is not free, but all proceeds go the church which provides the parking lot. Mix of sun with shade, and a really friendly and open vibe. ”

David 

Sent From Mobile Phone

On Jun 27, 2021, at 6:43 PM, Ken Nelson <citbuff@...> wrote:

Matt, I’ll be in town for jul 31
- where does Silicon Valley club meet?  Is it in Ladera lot on Alpone rd in Portola valley?

Ken



On Jun 27, 2021, at 3:33 PM, Stephen Cooper <oobowls@...> wrote:

Interesting conversation.  Since I've been driving a few months short of 60 years, I can certainly speak from experience.  For the record, I have yet to wear out/nor replace any clutches.
I too am from the camp wherein my father taught me to "use your gears to slow down because gasoline is cheaper than replacing your brakes".

Now then, I just paid $3.85 per gallon to fill up yesterday and that's roughly 20 times as much as when the lesson was given.

However back in high school I earned $1.50 per hour working at Foster's Freeze. While the average dealer's non-supervisory workers made $2.16 per hour out here in the West during 1962.

According to :https://autoservicecosts.com/clutch-cost/..........the average cost to replace a clutch today is $843...
And the average cost of a brake job today would be $270-$375 per axle according to : https://ricksfreeautorepairadvice.com/consumers-guide-to-brake-job-cost/.

So, based on my history of never having had any clutches wear out in 60 years of owning many many vehicles (as many of you in the club know, I have a history of BUYING  vehicles but seldom selling them) but I have had a couple of brake jobs,

I'd say my dad's advice was good.  Even at $3.85 per gallon, gas is still cheaper than a brake job and I have NEVER  had a case of "brake-fade" while coming down a long grade on a hot day.
Average
_


Geoff Kirkpatrick
 

I think this probably fits in the category of "Grandad's Advice About Driving That Doesn't Apply Anymore." Using the engine to keep the speed in check is still a good idea, regardless of transmission type. But downshifting in lieu of braking for a stoplight is definitely going to stress the clutch and wear it out faster. It's great fun when you're driving fast on a track (or on Highway 9; at least so I've been told, ahem) but especially in a newer car, a clutch replacement is a lot pricier than new brake pads and rotors. I can also proudly say I have never worn out a clutch, except possibly on my very first car, the 1965 Cortina GT I learned to drive a stick in. The clutch was on the way out by the time I sold it, and I assume I contributed significantly to that, but I also have no idea what shape it was in when I got the car. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Geoff Kirkpatrick
 

I meant to say, "Using the engine to keep the speed in check when descending a steep hill is still a good idea." I need an editor for my posts.


Ken Nelson
 

Thanks Matt -

Ken

On Sun, Jun 27, 2021 at 10:10 PM Matthew Spielberg <mspielberg@...> wrote:
815 Portola valley road. In the lot of an Episcopal church ?

On Jun 27, 2021, at 6:43 PM, Ken Nelson <citbuff@...> wrote:

Matt, I’ll be in town for jul 31
- where does Silicon Valley club meet?  Is it in Ladera lot on Alpone rd in Portola valley?

Ken



On Jun 27, 2021, at 3:33 PM, Stephen Cooper <oobowls@...> wrote:

Interesting conversation.  Since I've been driving a few months short of 60 years, I can certainly speak from experience.  For the record, I have yet to wear out/nor replace any clutches.
I too am from the camp wherein my father taught me to "use your gears to slow down because gasoline is cheaper than replacing your brakes".

Now then, I just paid $3.85 per gallon to fill up yesterday and that's roughly 20 times as much as when the lesson was given.

However back in high school I earned $1.50 per hour working at Foster's Freeze. While the average dealer's non-supervisory workers made $2.16 per hour out here in the West during 1962.

According to :https://autoservicecosts.com/clutch-cost/..........the average cost to replace a clutch today is $843...
And the average cost of a brake job today would be $270-$375 per axle according to : https://ricksfreeautorepairadvice.com/consumers-guide-to-brake-job-cost/.

So, based on my history of never having had any clutches wear out in 60 years of owning many many vehicles (as many of you in the club know, I have a history of BUYING  vehicles but seldom selling them) but I have had a couple of brake jobs,

I'd say my dad's advice was good.  Even at $3.85 per gallon, gas is still cheaper than a brake job and I have NEVER  had a case of "brake-fade" while coming down a long grade on a hot day.
Average
_


Ken Nelson
 

Thanks David - I hope to get to that one while I'm in town.

Ken

On Sun, Jun 27, 2021 at 10:12 PM David Russel <djrussel@...> wrote:
Ken,

Here is what Matt typed previously and it has the address:   “ At that point, having seen some cars but no flying cars, we finished our coffee and donut, took our goodie bag and balloon and headed out to 815 Portola Valley Road for a second Cars and Coffee of the morning, put on by the Silicon Valley Motor Club. (Next one scheduled for July 31) No admission charge, and the coffee is not free, but all proceeds go the church which provides the parking lot. Mix of sun with shade, and a really friendly and open vibe. ”

David 

Sent From Mobile Phone

On Jun 27, 2021, at 6:43 PM, Ken Nelson <citbuff@...> wrote:

Matt, I’ll be in town for jul 31
- where does Silicon Valley club meet?  Is it in Ladera lot on Alpone rd in Portola valley?

Ken



On Jun 27, 2021, at 3:33 PM, Stephen Cooper <oobowls@...> wrote:

Interesting conversation.  Since I've been driving a few months short of 60 years, I can certainly speak from experience.  For the record, I have yet to wear out/nor replace any clutches.
I too am from the camp wherein my father taught me to "use your gears to slow down because gasoline is cheaper than replacing your brakes".

Now then, I just paid $3.85 per gallon to fill up yesterday and that's roughly 20 times as much as when the lesson was given.

However back in high school I earned $1.50 per hour working at Foster's Freeze. While the average dealer's non-supervisory workers made $2.16 per hour out here in the West during 1962.

According to :https://autoservicecosts.com/clutch-cost/..........the average cost to replace a clutch today is $843...
And the average cost of a brake job today would be $270-$375 per axle according to : https://ricksfreeautorepairadvice.com/consumers-guide-to-brake-job-cost/.

So, based on my history of never having had any clutches wear out in 60 years of owning many many vehicles (as many of you in the club know, I have a history of BUYING  vehicles but seldom selling them) but I have had a couple of brake jobs,

I'd say my dad's advice was good.  Even at $3.85 per gallon, gas is still cheaper than a brake job and I have NEVER  had a case of "brake-fade" while coming down a long grade on a hot day.
Average
_