FordFusionClub.com banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been doing some online research on engine braking (downshifting with manual transmission) vs pedal braking (applying the brakes). Ive seen different thoughts on the matter. Some say engine braking puts alot of wear and tear on your clutch and can be harmful for front wheel drive vehicles because of the weight being thrust forward on the front end. Gas mileage comes into play as well with applying the brakes using less gas as opposed to downshifting to slow down. What are your thoughts on this guys? Ive been downshifting to slow down at stop lights and such as opposed to applying the brakes, coming to a stop then shifting to first or neutral.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
my dad used to tell me to engine brake when i was 16 and he was teaching me to drive standard on his 4cyl wrangler...

The motor LITERALLY began to fall apart at 50k miles. just use the brake, that's what it's there for.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,961 Posts
[quote author=jagermeister73 link=topic=77878.msg1420887#msg1420887 date=1179505303]
So I've been doing some online research on engine braking (downshifting with manual transmission) vs pedal braking (applying the brakes). Ive seen different thoughts on the matter. Some say engine braking puts alot of wear and tear on your clutch and can be harmful for front wheel drive vehicles because of the weight being thrust forward on the front end. Gas mileage comes into play as well with applying the brakes using less gas as opposed to downshifting to slow down. What are your thoughts on this guys? Ive been downshifting to slow down at stop lights and such as opposed to applying the brakes, coming to a stop then shifting to first or neutral.
[/quote]

Hi jagermeister73. :wavey: The previous posters have answered you well. Why put unnecessary wear and tear on your clutch/trans, as opposed to using your brakes? Much more expensive to replace the drivetrain components than the brakes.

Downshifting and engine braking have their place in spirited driving, when faster acceleration is needed, or for those loooonnng downhill stretches out of the mountains when you need to maintain a safe speed without overheating the brakes, etc. But in normal, everyday driving, use the brakes.

Now, that being said, for example it is good that jaydez's father taught him the dynamics of a manual trans and engine braking. Just shouldn't be used all the time. Can become an expensive habit.

Good luck! :cheers:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
391 Posts
i like pedal braking, except on long stretches of downhill when there's a slow ass car in front of you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
All three of our cars have automatic transmissions but I've learned something by reading this thread. I always had the impression that it was good to use the engine for braking whenever possible. Obviously I had bad information for a very long time, judging by readers' posts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
Ya, for a daily driver use the brakes to slow down! It's much easier and less expensive to replace brakes then a clutch and/or timing chain. I've been driving manual trans cars for yrs - I slow down in neutral.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
619 Posts
The only purpose of downshifting is if you plan on accelerating again very soon (or on long downhills, but we don't have hills around here). This mostly applies to spirited driving, but I will occasionally downshift to 2nd or 3rd coming up to a red light if I think it's going to change before I have to stop.

I don't do the neutral coast though, I think it actually uses more fuel, since modern engines are smart enough to know when you're off the gas, you want to slow down. They reduce the fuel and let the momentum of the car turn the engine. This can actually use less fuel than what it takes to keep the motor idling in neutral.

If downshifting and neutral coasts were really better for the car and fuel economy, don't you think the manufacturer's would have programmed it in to all the automatic transmissions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
613 Posts
This clutch isnt the best for engine braking. Use it when you NEED it, not when you want it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
[quote author=Waldo link=topic=77878.msg1426471#msg1426471 date=1179746085]

I don't do the neutral coast though, I think it actually uses more fuel, since modern engines are smart enough to know when you're off the gas, you want to slow down. They reduce the fuel and let the momentum of the car turn the engine. This can actually use less fuel than what it takes to keep the motor idling in neutral.

[/quote]

Interesting. Is there any documentation to substantiate this? Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
[quote author=RedFireSEL link=topic=77878.msg1433063#msg1433063 date=1179972290]
[quote author=Waldo link=topic=77878.msg1426471#msg1426471 date=1179746085]

I don't do the neutral coast though, I think it actually uses more fuel, since modern engines are smart enough to know when you're off the gas, you want to slow down. They reduce the fuel and let the momentum of the car turn the engine. This can actually use less fuel than what it takes to keep the motor idling in neutral.

[/quote]

Interesting. Is there any documentation to substantiate this? Thanks.
[/quote]

I am curious on the same thing I have been driving standard transmissions for about 8 years now and I have many friends and family that have as well. We all have used the clutch, gears and the motor to slow the car much more than the brakes. In fact my grandpa who has owned muscle cars for his whole life that were all manuals taught me to use the clutch and gears much more than the brakes (he was also a builder and mechanic). So since I am younger than him I have to take his word for it when that is what he taught me.

As long as you don't over rev the motor or the gears then I think that this may move itself into: do what your comfortable with as well as this is kind of an urban myth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
I don't buy the excessive wear/damage thing either. Obviously if you throw it into first gear at 90 mph something is going to give.

Every car that I have owned over the last 14 years that has been a manual tranny has been downshifted to slow down, which I do about 50% of the time, with no premature wear or replaced parts. Between both Accords, Camry, Focus, and now Milan that have been manual tranny I have accumulated 400,000 plus miles without issue.

I think that as long as you know what you are doing you should be fine.

If engine/tranny breaking was an issue then why would it be a necessity when driving large vehicles?

One of my favorite sounds is a high rpm jake break coming down a long hill. We used to have a 1978 American Lafrance pumper that had the best sound ever. You would just let off the throttle and drop it down a gear and let it sing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
Either way your going to wear either your brakes or your clutch system and putting alot of friction to your clutch disc making it warped which could lead to your transmision to jump out of gear. But if you do constant engine braking guess what else you are putting stress and wear on....your engine. Because you keep shifting your engine speed from 2500rpm to 5500rpm or to what ever your rev limiter is to. You are over preasuring your valve springs, and putting a good wear on then engine, and the last thing you want is floating valve springs.

And every car is different, some can take the wear and some wont. Thats why I always use 95% brakes and 5% engine brakes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
No its not an urban myth. Its a simple fact. Dont belive us, go ask a tech. Engine braking to them means pay day, christmas money or they new car money. Yea engine braking works a whole lot better then your brakes, but its more expensive then replacing your brakes.

Remember todays cars are more complex then the cars from the past. There is more cumputers, sensors and they weight lighter. Thats why muscles are good, because the components are top heavy and stong. Todays cars are lighter and where built for cheaper production and fuel economic for the consumer, so the parts wont be as strong and durable. Unless you have a sports car which could take the abuse and more durable.

And if you swear by engine braking, then its koo, you are keeping my stomach full and bills paid. So its your choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
[quote author=captainhook link=topic=77878.msg1433819#msg1433819 date=1179993110]
I don't buy the excessive wear/damage thing either. Obviously if you throw it into first gear at 90 mph something is going to give.

Every car that I have owned over the last 14 years that has been a manual tranny has been downshifted to slow down, which I do about 50% of the time, with no premature wear or replaced parts. Between both Accords, Camry, Focus, and now Milan that have been manual tranny I have accumulated 400,000 plus miles without issue.

I think that as long as you know what you are doing you should be fine.

If engine/tranny breaking was an issue then why would it be a necessity when driving large vehicles?

One of my favorite sounds is a high rpm jake break coming down a long hill. We used to have a 1978 American Lafrance pumper that had the best sound ever. You would just let off the throttle and drop it down a gear and let it sing.
[/quote]

Larger vehicles use it because their brakes cant stop it when there is a big trailer full or cargo on it. And their transmission and engine was built for that. Jake brakes are solenoids keeping the exhaust valves closed which cause a restriction to the engine and slows it down. And remember, diesels are super strong and their components to, because they where built for durance, heavy pulls and abusive driving due to all the heavy equipment they have to haul.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
[quote author=MidNiteKnight link=topic=77878.msg1439135#msg1439135 date=1180195189]
[quote author=captainhook link=topic=77878.msg1433819#msg1433819 date=1179993110]
I don't buy the excessive wear/damage thing either. Obviously if you throw it into first gear at 90 mph something is going to give.

Every car that I have owned over the last 14 years that has been a manual tranny has been downshifted to slow down, which I do about 50% of the time, with no premature wear or replaced parts. Between both Accords, Camry, Focus, and now Milan that have been manual tranny I have accumulated 400,000 plus miles without issue.

I think that as long as you know what you are doing you should be fine.

If engine/tranny breaking was an issue then why would it be a necessity when driving large vehicles?

One of my favorite sounds is a high rpm jake break coming down a long hill. We used to have a 1978 American Lafrance pumper that had the best sound ever. You would just let off the throttle and drop it down a gear and let it sing.
[/quote]

Larger vehicles use it because their brakes cant stop it when there is a big trailer full or cargo on it. And their transmission and engine was built for that. Jake brakes are solenoids keeping the exhaust valves closed which cause a restriction to the engine and slows it down. And remember, diesels are super strong and their components to, because they where built for durance, heavy pulls and abusive driving due to all the heavy equipment they have to haul.
[/quote]

It has nothing to large vehicles not being able to stop when loaded. It is to minimize that wear and heating of the brakes. The vehicles are completely capable of stopping with braking power alone.

The strength of the components of a vehicle are relative to the vehicle. If downshifting and engine braking was so detrimental to a passenger vehicle then the throttle would cut out the instant that you let off of it. Essentially each time that you let off the throttle you are engine breaking.

When engine/transmission braking is used correctly it is not anymore harmful then accelerating. The same components are used in each process. Actually it is debatable that it may cause less wear to the vehicle since when accelerating you are overcoming resistance and during braking the resistance is helping.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top