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Just curious if you downshift or not?

My previous car had 140,000 Kms. I downshifted since new, and never changed the clutch.

On my elantra, I'm going get in the habit of just braking, and shifting to the proper gear when necessary. I might as well use the brakes, that's what they're there for. I never did go through a set of brakes on my old car, due to brake fade. The pads had about 80% pad material left. I did change the brakes once though. However, it was due to warped rotors, and that cause uneven wear on the brake pads. On my car before my previous one. That car also happened to get warped rotors. I never seem to make use of my brake pads life before I need to change them. So I'm thinking, why put extra wear and tear on the clutch. I'm pretty sure my brakes will last me the same amount of time, whether I downshift or not. Now it's just a matter of me trying to break my habit of downshifting.

So what are your thoughts on braking vs downshifting for a daily driver?
 

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I brake. However, the odd time, I'll downshift just to hear the intake and exhaust growl when I'm next to a stock Elantra lol. I used to not care about fuel economy but now that I pay for everything for my car...how things change haha.
 

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Downshifting is very hard on the bottom end. It also puts excess strain on the clutch pack etc.

Whats cheaper brakes or clutch assembles?
 

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Last vehicle I had for over 12yrs and put on 170,000kms with the original clutch still on it. I do 50/50 of rev matching down shifting and using the brakes. Still do the same with the Elantra. One thing I don't do, is ride the clutch. At the lights or stopped any longer than 5 sec into neutral she goes.
 

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I flick the throttle to match revs when I downshift and combine that with light braking. I think this is a pretty good compromise and shouldn't prematurely wear the clutch and brake components. I can't solely downshift due to the steep hills and sharp curves here, brakes are definitely required!
 

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I'm firmly on the side that brakes are designed for stopping (and relatively easy to repair) and your engine, clutch, transmission, and driveline are designed for going (and are expensive to repair). So when slowing/braking, I leave it in whatever gear it is in until I come to a stop or am ready to accelerate. That doesn't mean there aren't situations where downshifting to be ready to go or some other circumstance (such as speed control on a long downhill) makes it prudent to downshift. But routinely downshifting through all the gears as you come to a routine stop? That's a lot of needless wear and tear.

Good clutch and rev-matching techniques always help, of course, not matter what your approach to this issue is.

- Mark
 

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I downshift. But usually at speeds where you use 4th-5th-6th gear. For example: If the speed limit changes from 50 MPH to 40 MPH, I downshift from 5th to 4th gear.
 

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I'm firmly on the side that brakes are designed for stopping (and relatively easy to repair) and your engine, clutch, transmission, and driveline are designed for going (and are expensive to repair). So when slowing/braking, I leave it in whatever gear it is in until I come to a stop or am ready to accelerate. That doesn't mean there aren't situations where downshifting to be ready to go or some other circumstance (such as speed control on a long downhill) makes it prudent to downshift. But routinely downshifting through all the gears as you come to a routine stop? That's a lot of needless wear and tear.

Good clutch and rev-matching techniques always help, of course, not matter what your approach to this issue is.

- Mark
Semi-truck drivers downshift all the time.
 

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Me too. You won't see me downshifting to slow down from 3rd to 2nd to 1st.
Same here, what OP is referring to is engine braking (which I used to do years back) but now I more put in neutral and coast. I downshift as needed to keep in rev range for the speed I'm driving, not in place of using the brakes.
 

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I downshift all the time. Never from 2 to 1 though. It does not wear out the clutch. or at least I have never had to change one due to wear.

It does help the gas mileage as the fuel injectors drop to idle values when the rpms are above 1500 rpms or so and the throttle is closed.

To me it makes sense as you are using the energy you used to get the car up to speed to slow the car down too. It also pulls more air through the crankcase which helps to better pull the lighter hydrocarbons and water out of the oil.
 

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I downshift, but not usually anything lower than 2nd...the ratio to first is just too much of a pain in the ass. I also rev-match as much as I can when I do it, so it's not dragging on the clutch, and hard on the engine.

...I just like to be ready for the go-go of the other bits :)
 

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Same here, what OP is referring to is engine braking (which I used to do years back) but now I more put in neutral and coast.
Coasting is something I'd avoid. Engine braking is fine.... what's not so fine is downshifting sequentially through the gear to increase it at the expense of driveline wear/tear. Just leave the car in whatever gear it is in as you are decelerating to a stop. Clutch and put in neutral at the last moment.

- Mark
 

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I downshift if there's no need for brakes, but when I need to stop at a stop sign or red light I downshift till I need to start braking. Also, putting a manual transmission car in neutral at a light is asking for trouble. If you get rear ended and your car isn't in gear, and your foot comes off the brake, you are no longer in control of your car and can be charged accordingly if you hit something else. Always leave your car in gear when stopped, if you get hit from behind and your foot pops off the clutch and brake, bam no movement. ;)
 

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If you get rear ended and your car isn't in gear, and your foot comes off the brake, you are no longer in control of your car and can be charged accordingly if you hit something else.
That's simply and totally ridiculous. You can make the argument that leaving the car in gear leaves you in a better position to make a good getaway if you see someone not stopping from behind you, but even that rationale is stretching things as it assumes you're monitoring behind, have an available escape plan ahead (not blocked in), and the wherewithall to execute the plan on a moment's notice. And if you do get hit from behind, you want the brakes locked as it will reduce the whiplash potential.

Final point. Throwout bearings in your clutch are not designed to have the clutch depressed for indefinite periods. Not to mention the stress on your leg.

- Mark
 

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I never really rev match I down shift and never ride my clutch . my last ford focus I put 175.000 miles on her never changed the slutch and only did the brakes once. the car did need a brake job when I traded for a 2012 accent se. the car before that was a old mustang 205.000 on the clock one clutch 3 brake jobs but I would race her from time to time . and she was a big block 427 ci munci t-10 rock crusher so it was well and truly used.
 

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That's simply and totally ridiculous. You can make the argument that leaving the car in gear leaves you in a better position to make a good getaway if you see someone not stopping from behind you, but even that rationale is stretching things as it assumes you're monitoring behind, have an available escape plan ahead (not blocked in), and the wherewithall to execute the plan on a moment's notice. And if you do get hit from behind, you want the brakes locked as it will reduce the whiplash potential.

Final point. Throwout bearings in your clutch are not designed to have the clutch depressed for indefinite periods. Not to mention the stress on your leg.

- Mark
X2!!! Well said....
 

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Always downshift and rev-match most of the time too. I hold my clutch while stopped at traffic lights too. Always have and always will. If my leg ever gets too lazy to operate a clutch, then I'll switch to a boring automatic. Besides, a M/T is a built in theft deterrent to most car thieves since they can't drive them.
 

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I very rarely downshift when coming to a stop...I usually just throw it into neutral and use the brakes. Obviously, I will downshift if I'm coming up to an intersection and the light changes and I need to get back up into the powerband but that's about it.
 
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