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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just curious, but do you manual drivers actually row thru the gears downshifting when you're approaching a stop, or just shift to neutral and coast, applying brake as needed?

Me, as long as I don't expect to need to be in gear for evasive actions, I think saving the clutch and transmission from work and just coasting, touching the brake as needed is a better technique. Heck, it's like a game sometimes. If I can shift to N and allow myself to coast to a stop with minimal braking and no downshifting I feel like I saved a lot of wear on clutch, transmission, and brakes...

Brake pads are a lot less expensive, and less work, than rowing thru 5, 4, 3, 2... Do that 30 times a day and it is tedious and must put hundreds of needless pumps on the clutch.

It might not technically be legal in some areas, so I'm not suggesting you do something illegal. But in reality, all manual owners shift to neutral at a stop so that might also be "illegal" as well. Let's set this technicality aside and discuss how we really drive.

What say you?
 

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Pull into neutral and coast. Like you said it's all about unnecessary wear. If you need to downshift then rev match to reduce wear but otherwise forget it.

And the illegal coasting I don't think applies here, that's probably more for someone in the mountains coasting for an extended period.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

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2020 F8 Scat Pack 392 6 Speed Stick
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Hi,

I downshift 85% of the time with most of my manual transmission vehicles. Got 186,000 on my 2500 Ram with a 5.7 and 2 clutches, although both were changed due to a bad throwout bearing, the clutches looked fine still.

Brake cost if you have the 6 pistons is right up there with a clutch replacement if you do everything, granted a little simpler to do but in just cost parts are close.

Never heard anything about illegally coasting, on thing I ever see is about exhaust brakes and that doesn't apply to anything but diesels.

Regards,
Jim
 
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I downshift 99% of the time. I drove heavy truck for years and downshifting is just the way you drive. Wear and tear is a non-issue when you look at it from a safety point of view. If you downshift to a stop, you are always in the right gear to accelerate out of any situation that comes up due to the general stupidity and inattentiveness of the average road user.

That fraction of a second it would take you to get back in to gear (and did you grab the right gear?), and accelerate could make the difference between getting hit by a distracted idiot, or getting clear.
 

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2021 Challenger R/T Hellraisin M6
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I'll downshift once, maybe twice before I'm slow enough to just coast to a stop. I'll only do that if I have time to rev match, otherwise I won't bother. I'm not skilled enough to heel toe, so if I'm already braking I don't bother downshifting.
 

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I downshift all the time - since you'll need a lower gear for the lower speed you're at to be ready to accelerate.

On curvy roads and going down grades I downshift and use engine compression -

been doing this for 40+ years
 

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2019 Dodge Challenger T/A 392 6 speed
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I always thought illegal coasting was for the people who shut the engine off and coast down a long hill. It would be hard to prove you are "out of gear" coasting when the engine is running.

I usually downshift through the gears. It is the way I was taught to drive a manual. I also like the way the exhaust sounds when decelerating. I don't think it adds that much wear and tear, especially on a car like mine that gets driven under 75 miles per week on average.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
These are great educational replies. I am learning from more experienced manual drivers. May adjust my driving.
 

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2020 Dodge Challenger Hellraisin Scat Pack
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I downshift some but wait until RPMs are low enough I can downshift with minimal need to rev match. I do not rely hardly any on downshifting at speed to slow the car. Just taking my foot off the gas pedal starts and continues the slowing process.

At some point I'm close enough to the stop to shift into neutral and apply the brakes to bring the car to a stop.
 

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2021 Dodge Challenger GT AWD
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I drive truck for a living, when I am slowing down a truck I will go through all the gears, from 8high to 1 low.(16 total+2) When I'm in my personal vehicle I go from any gear to neutral when I come to a stop. If I'm coasting down hill I will make sure that I am in a gear.

With trucks you can not go more than 1(2?) truck length's in neutral or you fail your test. No one every check's for that, but its taught way back at the beginning.
 

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Downshifting is way overrated. Just coast in the gear you're traveling in until you reach near idle RPMs, then light clutch shift to neutral. As far as the 'ready to avoid an accident' line, if you're actually paying attention to what's going on around you, you have plenty of time to get into the needed gear. Situational awareness, anticipation, brakes, and steering avoid accidents many, many times more often than acceleration.
 

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If you are not rev matching on the downshift then you are wearing things out. If I am driving in traffic on surface streets approaching a stop sign at 40, then I may downshift to third and release the clutch when revs drop to idle as I decelerate. On off ramps I always downshift one or two times.
 

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2018 Scat Pack SHAKER in Plum Crazy- GONE :-(
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If you are not rev matching on the downshift then you are wearing things out. If I am driving in traffic on surface streets approaching a stop sign at 40, then I may downshift to third and release the clutch when revs drop to idle as I decelerate. On off ramps I always downshift one or two times.
My Challenger isn't a manual, but about ½ of my personal daily cars have been. I learned to drive in a 1972 Dodge Van with non-synchro 1st gear 3 speed. Not a creeper/granny gear, but normal 1st gear you had to use wasn't synchro. So you had to either be stopped, or rev match to get it into 1st.
Rev matching is the best, and when you get REAL good, downshifting without clutch use at all is good. Upshifting without clutch is much easier.
I am NOT talking about "grip it and rip it" into gear, but rev matching as the RPMs pass through the matching gearbox speed so the gears just "fall into place". Doing it gently is just that, gentle, but it is SLOW.
When I decel with a stick, I will typically downshift with a RPM blip maybe 2-3 gears lower than what I was cruising in, then again once slowing down more. Never would go 6-5-4-3-2-1 to a stop, probably 6-3-1 or something.
I learned how to shift without clutch from my 1970 VW Beetle's Owner's Manual. It TAUGHT YOU how to do it WHEN the clutch cable broke!
And it came in handy in my 1986 Cherokee when I severely damaged my left ankle and had to drive without using it, to the ER.
 

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Downshift 3/4 of the time, I have more control over the car. In NY you need to drive very alert b/c there are too many drivers & about a quarter of them are on their phones or not paying attention.
 

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It's purely situational for me. Sometimes, I slip it into neutral and coast, sometimes I downshift. Mostly, it depends on traffic. The lighter the traffic, the more likely it is I'll coast. If there are people all around me, I want that driveline engaged for evasive action if need be.

Cheers!

JD
 

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On the street in normal driving, I will usually just downshift to 2nd and coast with clutch in for the last car length (i.e. when the RPMs get under 1Kish) before shifting to neutral. Will rarely downshift sequentially for standard driving. Similarly for hwy passing, I usually go straight from 6th to 4th. I only shift sequentially when driving spiritedly. In terms of wear, downshifting correctly (i.e. rev matching) would make the wear argument a bit moot. Besides, brake pads are also always cheaper to replace.
 

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I like the act of downshifting (and up-shifting, it's why I got the M6!). So I will down shift to 2nd and if nothing is out of sorts I go to neutral instead of 1st and use the brakes to stop. Then go to 1st to start off when it's time. Easy Peasy!
 
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I downshift as I like the rumble. Not too concerned about engine wear as the car only gets driven on nice days with a round trip of about 12 miles when I do take it to work.
 
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