Downshifting

LeVeL

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In casual driving, when coming to a stop from a high speed in a high gear, do you:

a) Downshift through the gears
b) Put it into neutral and coast/brake to a stop with the clutch out
c) While keeping the clutch in, move the gear lever down through the gears, eventually going down to 2nd and then neutral and only then letting the clutch out
d) Slow to a crawl in whatever high gear you were in and then go into neutral

In my Miata I always go with (a) but the TL is geared in such a way where that often doesn't feel right - I find myself slowing to a crawl in 3rd, before I've had a chance to shift to 2nd. In such cases, I've heard that rather than going into neutral, it's better to keep the clutch in and go into 2nd and then neutral. Basically, if slowing down quickly from 5th, you'd clutch in, shift to 4th, shift to 3rd, shift to 2nd, shift to neutral, and then clutch out. Is there any truth to this being better than just going from 6th into neutral right away?
 

MWF

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I don't do "casual" driving, but in normal circumstances I keep look as far ahead as possible and if I see a red light or other reason to slow down I brake down to a speed that I think I can then maintain until traffic start to move again. If it looks like I may have to stop I employ the same technique, braking and matching the gear and revs accordingly.
 

prizrak

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I keep it in w/e gear I was right up till the moment when RPMs are about to drop too low then neutral it. It's technically worse on fuel than going through the gears but I'm too lazy.
 

Matt2000

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I used to go down through the gears in the Series 3 (you had to supplement the brakes with something), in the D1 I'll keep it in gear until I start to brake and then put the clutch in and if I'm coming up to a queue that might move I'll shove it in 2nd, otherwise 1st with the clutch in. I never sit in neutral unless I've applied the handbrake.

More recently I let the gearbox do it for me. :p

Can't see any reason why going from 6th to neutral is any worse than going to 5th, the important thing is that you're disengaging the 6th gear the same way and at the same speed no matter what. You're only (minutely) wearing the synchros by shifting down through the gears with the clutch in.
 
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In casual driving, when coming to a stop from a high speed in a high gear, do you:

a) Downshift through the gears
b) Put it into neutral and coast/brake to a stop with the clutch out
c) While keeping the clutch in, move the gear lever down through the gears, eventually going down to 2nd and then neutral and only then letting the clutch out
d) Slow to a crawl in whatever high gear you were in and then go into neutral

In my Miata I always go with (a) but the TL is geared in such a way where that often doesn't feel right - I find myself slowing to a crawl in 3rd, before I've had a chance to shift to 2nd. In such cases, I've heard that rather than going into neutral, it's better to keep the clutch in and go into 2nd and then neutral. Basically, if slowing down quickly from 5th, you'd clutch in, shift to 4th, shift to 3rd, shift to 2nd, shift to neutral, and then clutch out. Is there any truth to this being better than just going from 6th into neutral right away?
a) is just wearing your gearbox down with no reason, unless you need engine breaking and don't won't to put more stress on your brakes. That might be acceptable after some hard corner tackling, hillclimb, etc where you are trying to cool down your brakes.
b) This is dangerous. At no point should the car be in neutral while moving at speed. You lose the ability to adjust your velocity one way and possibly evade a random obstacle that might show up.
c) No sense in going through the individual gears while disengaged (clutch in) unless it is a serial gearbox. Also with the clutch in, you won't know if you are in 2nd rev range and you might let the clutch out too soon, over-revving the engine and sending valves into orbit.
d) Is the most suitable solution for "casual" driving.
 

narf

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b) This is dangerous. At no point should the car be in neutral while moving at speed. You lose the ability to adjust your velocity one way and possibly evade a random obstacle that might show up.
d) Is the most suitable solution for "casual" driving.
Those two are a contradiction. If you're crawling in high gear near idle revs you sacrifice most of your ability to adjust your velocity one way too.



As for the actual question, it depends on how much engine braking I want. I'll stay in the highest gear that keeps revs above the fuel cut-off and provides the braking I want. If I want little engine braking and the revs drop below the cut-off, I'll drop two or so gears to keep the engine moving without using fuel. If I want more engine braking and the revs dropped enough for the next lower gear to be revving reasonably low, I'll shift down one gear for more engine braking.

I guess that's a mix of a and d :dunno: I don't do b before almost coming to a stop, and I don't do c because I don't like keeping the clutch pressed for long periods to not wear the throwout bearing more than necessary.
 

public

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I downshift, often with a crappy little blip of the throttle to imitate revmatching.
 

LeVeL

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Those two are a contradiction. If you're crawling in high gear near idle revs you sacrifice most of your ability to adjust your velocity one way too.
That's what I was thinking. Being able to quickly maneuver, if necessary, is my primary reason for downshifting as I'm slowing.


I downshift, often with a crappy little blip of the throttle to imitate revmatching.
:nod: I always rev-match.
 

Viper007Bond

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d) Slow to a crawl in whatever high gear you were in and then go into neutral
This is what I do. I engine brake and then clutch in and regular brake. No sense in wearing out the clutch by shifting for no reason.

otherwise 1st with the clutch in. I never sit in neutral unless I've applied the handbrake.
You're wearing out your throwout bearing by sitting with the clutch depressed at a light. Shift to neutral and take your foot off the pedal.

Additionally if you get rear-ended or in some other type of accident, you're going to likely release the clutch and then the car might start crawling in gear.
 

captain_70s

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A, B* and D, all dependant on what car I'm driving and the conditions involved. When stationary I always put it in neutral with the handbrake on, although I seem to be the last remaining person in the UK to do this as most people just sit on the brake with their ridiculously bright LED brake lights burning my retinas when stuck in traffic.


*In the 1300 the clutch had to be down whenever you weren't using the throttle as it'd throw all of it's oil out of the exhaust valves on the overrun at a truly amazing rate. I never put it in neutral though.
 

Misrabelle

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In cars, mostly d.
Unless I can see that the traffic ahead is starting to move again, in which case I'll shift down to whatever is appropriate to not come to a complete stop if I can avoid it.

In heavy vehicles (depending on the individual quirks of whatever I'm driving), a little from columns a, c and d.
 

DaBoom

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I always play the downshifting&rev matching game, because it's fun. That's why I have a set of all manual cars.. :p Enough to often have issues with (rear) brakes, as I rarely need to use them, so they rust.
 

Adunaphel

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I tried that with mine, once. After nearly headbutting the windshield due to the steptronic's lack of subtlety when downshifting, I only do that when downhill.
 

MWF

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It helps to have it in sport as well as manual. At least that was my experience with my 330D.
 

thevictor390

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Somewhere between c and d. The gears are pretty close in the RX-8, so once you're down to 3rd there is barely time to downshift before stopping. The car also really wants to have the throttle blipped, so often I'll just keep the clutch in towards the end of braking (rather than heel-toeing or taking my foot off the brake). But I nearly always row through the gears, so that if I do switch to acceleration I can just let the clutch out and be in the appropriate gear.
 

Viper007Bond

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Why isn't this thread a poll by the way? Boo! Maybe I should add one...
 
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