Originally Posted by checuervo
About the engine braking issue, I remember listening to an episode of CarTalk a few years back, where they compared relying on engine braking versus relying on just the brakes. They basically concluded that both were equally good/bad for the car as a whole. So a mix seems the best bet.
I assume when people say "don't rely on engine braking, use your brakes" that you don't suggest pressing the clutch the entire time you brake... right?
If your driving down a hill and you brakes straight up FAIL, what's the 1st thing you should do? You should downshift to slow the car down because engine braking is virtually fool proof. If you downshift and lay off the gas, you WILL slow down, no matter what. Your transmission would have to blow up or your clutch would have to disintegrate for you to NOT be able to engine brake and the chance of that happening is far less than something going wrong with the brakes (fade, etc).
So yes, a blend of engine braking and regular braking is best when descending a steep grade. DEFINATELY don't push the clutch in all the way and RIDE your brakes all the way down
I'm not that familiar with the program "CarTalk", but I have a feeling it's probrably not the best place to get your info from.