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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've heard people say that they do not downshift to slow down or stop, but rely on the brakes alone. The idea is that "brakes are cheaper than trannies or clutches". What is the general concensus on this? Six weeks ago, I traded in my 1997 2.7 Tacoma with the 5 speed for a 2004 3.4 with an automatic. It's the first auto I have owned in 12 years. I have always downshifted with the manuals, and I'm finding it hard to break the habit. I'll first shut off the overdrive, and if necessary, pull it into second. My father who hasn't owned a manual since the sixties recommended against it using the logic quoted above. Does the tranny not downshift on its own when braking? I'm just making it do it sooner to get some engine braking... Am I alone? I'm mostly curious about you guys with the auto, but I'm curious in general if you downshift.
 

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I never do it with the automatics. It doesn't do much anyways and is just a waste...

The manuals I do. Clutches are cheap and I think you'll get more wear and tear from going than slowing down...
 

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In an emergency what are you gonna do? Yank on the tranny or stand on the brakes?

Right so let the brakes do what they are there for.


Its ok to downshift if you have a long downhill in the mountains but to be constantly downshifting for the sole purpose of slowing the truck is stupid. Its a Tacoma, not a Peterbuilt. What's next? "Jakebrake on a Taco" thread?
 

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Might down shift an auto on the trail... But on the street... the whole point of an auto... is so you can be lazy... eat a burger... pick yer nose... chit chat with yer passenger or talk on yer cell phone... It is an auto... afterall :rolleyes:

Now why do you want to go doing something different... then the average auto driving dumbass... :p
 

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I downshift, I think there is an element of control. If you are slowing down why not be in the proper gear to be able to make an evasive manuever?
 

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In an emergency what are you gonna do? Yank on the tranny or stand on the brakes?

Right so let the brakes do what they are there for.


Its ok to downshift if you have a long downhill in the mountains but to be constantly downshifting for the sole purpose of slowing the truck is stupid. Its a Tacoma, not a Peterbuilt. What's next? "Jakebrake on a Taco" thread?
In an emergency I try and downshift and brake hard.
 

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Don't downshift the auto, it's pointless. The auto will shift on it's own, that's what it's there for.

In a manual, I tend to downshift. Breaking the habit lately because my clutch is on it's way out. In an emergency stop I always downshift and break, mostly to keep the wheels from locking up (no ABS) and also to make it quicker to switch and accelerate if needed.

Again, not an issue in an auto.
 

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on an auto, its not going to do much..... they are designed to not allow much engine braking because of the tc.....


i use the brakes on a stick, brakes are way cheaper and easier to replace, especially the way i drive..... lets just say, ive broken a tranny output shaft.... i replace my brakes every 6 months
 

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Never really downshifted any of my stick cars or trucks when I was coming to a complete stop. If I'm just slowing down from say 5th to 3rd I will always hit 4th though.

Never even thought about downshifting an auto. Now that I have...I still wont do it. I agree with the whole picking the nose and eating a burger while talking on my cell phone idea...that's the one good thing about my autotragic.
 

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Put it this way, why rev the RPM's when not needed. Excess wear and tear. On long down hill runs, yes. Keeps you from over heating the brakes. While wheeling in 4Lo, manual 1st great for down hills. Hardly any brakes needed. While running any other time, drive only. Let the tranny pick the gear best for it.
 

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In an emergency I try and downshift and brake hard.
I downshift too, not to slow the truck, but to be in the right gear for an evasive maneuver.
 

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On long down hill runs, just pop it in neutral!

MPG on the Scangauge goes from about 60 to 180...
 

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re

You almost got it right. It's not very much harder on your tranny and components, but more your motor. Would you rather replace your brakes, or your motor?

The intake stroke is the most harsh on your lower end. Not only is your engine forced to see the vaccum of normal acceleration, but now the throttle body is closed, creating even more vaccum. At least during other strokes you have a pillow of gas to cushion the piston. As a matter of fact my buddy was cruising to work the other day when his motor blew. It was a '92 integra, and he was just coasting down a hill. I think he ended up killing the whole motor.
 

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if you downshift correctly then clutch wear is minimal. i like to downshift so im automatically in the right gear for when i need to accelerate again.
 

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Engine braking is harder on the engine than WOT? Rrriiiggghhhttt... Then why would every automobile mfg incorporate engine braking into every automatic transmission 'vehicle braking' strategy? Even stick cars will engine brake if you leave your foot off the gas long enough.

Downshift the manual, leave the auto alone.
 

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On long down hill runs, just pop it in neutral!

MPG on the Scangauge goes from about 60 to 180...
I heard *somewhere/sometime* that this was illegal because if you get in a crash your vehicle could keep rolling. Probably not illegal (can't enforce that) just ill-advised...

Not that that's ever stopped me.
 

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In my auto I shift occasionally more for slowing down than braking. Usually I just shift overdrive off. Like if I am coming to an intersection the light is red but is just about to turn green I hit the button to downshift to slow the truck so I don't have to use the brakes but then if the light changes i am in a lower gear to get back on the throttle. I wil also put my truck in lower gears when coming down a steep long grade. Or I shift over drive off when going up a steep grade so i can maintain speed better, and the tranny is not having to search for the proper gear. I also use it on the trail switching from 1st and 2nd so the tranny doesn't do it when I don't want it to. Also if i am towing something heavy I will shift the truck to first to take off so I can use more of the torque band and up shift accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
More feedback than I anticipated. I guess I will stick with clicking the OD off on exit ramps, and downshifting in emergency situations. I strongly disagree with the poster who said you're going to stomp the brakes in an emergency. I have done both numerous times. I think because I have always downshifted to slow down or stop, it's instinctual.
 

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I heard *somewhere/sometime* that this was illegal because if you get in a crash your vehicle could keep rolling. Probably not illegal (can't enforce that) just ill-advised...

Not that that's ever stopped me.
Your vehicle could keep rolling in gear too :rolleyes:

I highly doubt that they would be able to enforce it. It's a little bit more unsafe because you don't ahve any torque to the wheels, but it you're not driving like a maniac it's not a big deal.
 
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