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1996 Cadillac Seville STS (167k)
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Discussion Starter #1
i was wondering, say if you use like 2nd or 3rd gear for engine braking into a corner or coming to a stop. will it hurt anything? i'm trying to save my brakes :p
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Brakes are much cheaper than a tranny, save the trans and use the brakes.
 

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2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
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I can't for the life of me figure out where the idea got started that engine braking could do anything injurious. The transmission control module won't let you do anything radical like over rev the motor. If you select too low a gear it just won't complete the shift. The torque from engine braking is nowhere near as much as WOT accceleration. The use of engine braking on downgrades is the sign of an experienced and knowledgable driver. The dingbat that rides the brakes is showing that he has no real regard for fine machinery and doesn't mind displaying his ignorance.
 

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94 Eldorado, and a 99 ETC
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dkozloski said:
The dingbat that rides the brakes is showing that he has no real regard for fine machinery and doesn't mind displaying his ignorance.
No, I just don't like to raise the RPMs while I'm braking because that reduces MPG.
 

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Using the trans for engine braking isn't going to blow the trans but every shift wears the clutch linings, just like every brake application wears the brake pads. Eventually you wear one of them out. They both last a long time, it isn't gonna wear either in a day (barring abuse).

I agree with Ranger, brakes are easier and cheaper than transmissions.
 

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01 Eldo ETC, 02 Deville SOLD!
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I tend to agree with Ranger as well, pads are cheaper - but DKoz has a point - I don't think that "normal" downshifting should injure the 4T80E all that much. So color me a definite maybe. LOL

The only caveat I can think of regarding downshifting for corners is if the nutball behind you is too close, they won't see any brakelights and you may get a little tap on the behind from them. If I'm playing Steve McQueen in LeMans on the roads around here, and there's some guy in a rusty '65 pickup behind me, I make SURE he can see my brakelights when I slow down in front of him. I usuallly do a little of both - down into 3rd or 2nd, tap the brakes, and then zoom around the corner and out.
 

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2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
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I guess I better leave my car parked in the driveway otherwise everytime I drive the transmission is going to shift and cause wear. Maybe if I creep along at 5MPH I'll be okay. Hey! That'll work! Then the car will never have to downshift either. Maybe I bettter think about not driving it at all but seal it up in a glass bubble. That's it! It'll last for ever. Those engineers that designed this thing never thought that anyone would ever really want the transmission to shift gears or put any kind of load on it. There is absolutely no margin. It's life is balanced on a knife edge. So there!. It's the glass bubble for me... I don't want to walk so I think I better think it through again. Maybe if I'm mean to the brakes on the hills and turns, put all that extra heat into the brake pads, calipers, rotors, axles, bearings, spindles, and tires as a sacrifice to the transmission gods I can sneak in a few downshifts... I wouldn't be surprised to find out that these cars were designed with vast margins of safety so they could be driven safely using just about any knuckleheaded driving style and give long service. I'm going to go ahead and drive it like I have for the last 50 years and maybe if I live long enough I'll actually have a transmission in a car fail on me. It's never happened before but there is always a first time.
 

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Krashed989 said:
No, I just don't like to raise the RPMs while I'm braking because that reduces MPG.
I believe that raising the RPMs via engine-braking, shuts off the fuel injectors giving you an INST MPG readout of 70.

But I concur, that unless you're going downhill and you're putting too much stress on the brakes (risking brake failure), using the gears to slow you down regularly is equated to saving an inexpensive part by utilizing an expensive one--as quoted above.
 

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Well, IMHO, the brakes were designed for braking, not the tranny. So it just seems more logical to me, to use the brakes for braking rather than the tranny. Don't you agree? There isn't much stress put on the tranny when you do that while you are going under 40mph, but above 40mph the TCC engages and that is what will wear down when you downshift. When you WOT it will not put any stress on the TCC until it engages at about 40mph, and usually your tranny will upshift to lower the rpms and that reduces wear on the TCC.

I would rather just stick to using the brakes.
 

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2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
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Why is it that the folks that drive in the mountains on a regular basis use engine braking to cruise down the hills in a graceful manner while the flatlanders ride the brakes with smoke and stink billowing out behind them? What we are witnessing is the dumbing down of the culture. It used to be on the driving test that you selected a lower gear before starting down a grade. In fact the yellow signs suggesting such action are still seen along side the road in mountainous areas. One more issue for the counterculture to rebel against.
 

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dkozloski said:
Why is it that the folks that drive in the mountains on a regular basis use engine braking to cruise down the hills in a graceful manner while the flatlanders ride the brakes with smoke and stink billowing out behind them? What we are witnessing is the dumbing down of the culture. It used to be on the driving test that you selected a lower gear before starting down a grade. In fact the yellow signs suggesting such action are still seen along side the road in mountainous areas. One more issue for the counterculture to rebel against.
I'm with you. Engine braking in mountains is much safer than relying on brakes alone. I'd be the first one to go into graceful mode, if given the chance; however, I live by Plano, (from Latin plānus, which means "flat"). :(
 

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2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
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Come to think of it, it might be a good education for some of you East Coast Yankees and flatlanders to ask an over the road trucker what happens when you ride the brakes through the Snake River Canyon or over Grapevine or Donner pass. I can tell you what will happen over Atigun Pass on the Dalton Highway where the grade is about equal to the pich of the roof on your house.(12-14%) There has to be a reason for the Jacobs engine brake. It would sure be a shame for any of you to have to learn the hard way that engine braking is your friend. Why do you suppose they have those runaway turnouts for the trucks on steep grades? Think about it Grasshopper and someday you too shall be wise.
 

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dkozloski said:
Come to think of it, it might be a good education for some of you East Coast Yankees and flatlanders to ask an over the road trucker what happens when you ride the brakes through the Snake River Canyon or over Grapevine or Donner pass. I can tell you what will happen over Atigun Pass on the Dalton Highway where the grade is about equal to the pich of the roof on your house.(12-14%) There has to be a reason for the Jacobs engine brake. It would sure be a shame for any of you to have to learn the hard way that engine braking is your friend. Why do you suppose they have those runaway turnouts for the trucks on steep grades? Think about it Grasshopper and someday you too shall be wise.
Good one. :thumbsup:

I agree; however, I think the original question was pertaining to using engine braking routinely, coming into corner stop signs, and for stop lights (assumed: in the city).

I've seen those turnouts... it's neat how they will stop an 18 wheeler (not that I've seen that)--they primarily consist of really deep gravel, right?
 

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2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
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I agree with the use of brakes-only for routine stopping. Combining the gear shift with your cell phone, steering, and a 36 ounce Slurpy is going to challenge the most adroit multitasker. On the other hand it is a mind expanding experience to be going down a winding 10 mile grade that looks like a concrete bobsled run between Jersey barriers which beyond is a drop-off to nowhere and you are closely surrounded by 18-wheelers going 80MPH that there is absolutely no chance of stopping in less than a half-mile if at all. Drivers who have had the sh!t scared out of them in the mountains will know of where I speak. The London Police department teaches the use of brakes-only to slow for the corners during a pursuit and the selection of the correct gear when ready to accelerate out of the turn. This doesn't mean it is the most efficient method but it is far easier to teach than the race drivers heel and toe gear change. With automatics with electronic controls the transmission does the synchronizing for you. The car is smarter than its driver.
 

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2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
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The truck turnouts are indeed deep gravel. Some are covered with a kind of frangible pavement to keep freezing rain and snow from solidifying the gravel and making a giant ski jump. Wouldn't that be a thrill?
 

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dkozloski said:
The truck turnouts are indeed deep gravel. Some are covered with a kind of frangible pavement to keep freezing rain and snow from solidifying the gravel and making a giant ski jump. Wouldn't that be a thrill?
:yup:
 
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