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      07-06-2009, 11:31 AM   #1
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Engine Brake Questions

I tried to search, but did not find much...

I have a few questions about the MT gearbox and clutch (MY09 E92):

1) I want to know if it is bad to use Engine Brake when slowing or coming to a stop. I've been doing it for the past 8 years with my Civic. If it's harmful to the gearbox or clutch, I would rather not bring bad habbits to this new car.

2) Is another (official) name for "Engine Brake?"

3) While slowing down, at about what speed will the gearbox allow you to put the shifter into 1st?

4) Does the gearbox stop you from going into 2nd if you are going above a certain speed like it does with 1st gear?

Thanks in advance.
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      07-06-2009, 01:17 PM   #2
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1. engine braking shouldn't be bad for the car, though you might not want to bring the revs up to 6000rpms to engine brake every day. but regular use of this method at normal operating range is just fine.

2. don't know

3. downshifting to first is really tricky on most cars. I usually don't recommend it unless absolutely necessary. usually, you have to be almost at a complete stop to get the shifter to go in. if for some reason, you need to downshift to first while still moving, blip the throttle (rev match) and it will be easier to get in. sometimes you need to do this with the car in neutral and the clutch out, so that the transmission spins up properly, then clutch and ease it into first (this is called double clutching).

4. No. the gearbox won't stop you from going into any gear if you force it. Be careful, and never jam or force the shifter into gear.
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      07-06-2009, 01:45 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. I'm glad to hear it's going to be the same as I'm used to.
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      07-06-2009, 05:02 PM   #4
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i wouldn't recommnd down shifting into 1st gear when slowing down....
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      07-06-2009, 07:23 PM   #5
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I'm new to 6MT but I'll try to answer your questions.


1) I want to know if it is bad to use Engine Brake when slowing or coming to a stop. I've been doing it for the past 8 years with my Civic. If it's harmful to the gearbox or clutch, I would rather not bring bad habbits to this new car.

It's not bad but you should just use the brakes because that's what the brakes are designed for. Plus, your brake pads are covered under warranty. It's a lot of work to shift down through the gears. Usually, if coming to a complete stop, I stay in whatever gear I'm in and just press the clutch in at the last second to prevent stalling.

2) Is another (official) name for "Engine Brake?"

Engine braking?

3) While slowing down, at about what speed will the gearbox allow you to put the shifter into 1st?

It lets me go into 1st (without forcing it) at under about 15 mph. It just sort of slips into gear. I don't know how to double clutch so I can't give you a complete answer.

4) Does the gearbox stop you from going into 2nd if you are going above a certain speed like it does with 1st gear?

I've never tried to get it into 2nd at speeds above 30 mph so I don't know.
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      07-09-2009, 02:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e90sexion View Post
i wouldn't recommnd down shifting into 1st gear when slowing down....
+1 this is definitely not recommended
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      07-09-2009, 03:47 AM   #7
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Unless the line of traffic ahead is predicted to move off, there is no value in using the engine as a brake when coming to a stop in a straight (ish) line. Whatever you do, don't repeatedly select a gear and let the clutch out without accelerating a little to match revs.

It is a completely different situation when driving in winding mountainous roads. Here it helps to have the engine check your speed so you have more control in corners. Again, as long as you match engine revs there should be very little extra wear on the clutch and drivetrain using this technique.

In the old days you would change to a lower gear when descending a steep hill but with modern braking systems this is rarely necessary. It will make maintaining a certain (legal) speed easier of course.
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      07-09-2009, 06:55 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by e90sexion View Post
i wouldn't recommnd down shifting into 1st gear when slowing down....
I never do this, but I wanted to make sure the gearbox would not allow the shifter to go in 1st unless speeds were very low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnydad View Post
Unless the line of traffic ahead is predicted to move off, there is no value in using the engine as a brake when coming to a stop in a straight (ish) line. Whatever you do, don't repeatedly select a gear and let the clutch out without accelerating a little to match revs.

It is a completely different situation when driving in winding mountainous roads. Here it helps to have the engine check your speed so you have more control in corners. Again, as long as you match engine revs there should be very little extra wear on the clutch and drivetrain using this technique.

In the old days you would change to a lower gear when descending a steep hill but with modern braking systems this is rarely necessary. It will make maintaining a certain (legal) speed easier of course.
In my current Civic, I normally put it in 2nd gear and let off the clutch slowly to help me slow down. Also, I only do this if my speed is already less than 35-40 MPH. If I am downshifting from 5th to 4th or 3rd I always blip the engine to rev match. From your advice, i will try to kick the habit of using 2nd to help me slow to a stop.

Thanks again.
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      07-09-2009, 10:33 PM   #9
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Why would you want to? Brakes are cheaper than a clutch.
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      07-10-2009, 12:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scobar View Post
Why would you want to? Brakes are cheaper than a clutch.
as long as you try to rev match there's not to much wear on the clutch, plus it keep all the nasty dust off your wheels
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      07-10-2009, 10:19 AM   #11
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it all helps imo. I've always been taught to downshift while you slow down (my grandpa used to yell at me if I left it in neutral while braking, haha). keeping the car in gear ensures that you will have power if an emergency situation occurs. If you are not in car, you have to first shift into the appropriate gear, and then take action, which takes a little extra time. Not a long time, but it could mean the difference between avoiding a wreck and being in one.

engine braking at moderate speeds/rpms doesn't wear the clutch (my last clutch lasted over 160,000 miles). and it will also lessen the wear on the brakes a bit. But, its really all about driving smoothly. As long as you can do that, then all your "wear" parts will last longer.
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      07-10-2009, 10:40 AM   #12
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Well..You will increase wear on the clutch and you also risk a 'money shift' resulting in a mechanical overrev.

When I had my E46 I used to heal-tow down into 3rd and the use my brakes once I slow down to ~25. There's really no need to downshift into 2nd, and it'll just put excessvie wear on your synchro's so I've been told.
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      07-10-2009, 04:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnydad View Post
Unless the line of traffic ahead is predicted to move off, there is no value in using the engine as a brake when coming to a stop in a straight (ish) line. Whatever you do, don't repeatedly select a gear and let the clutch out without accelerating a little to match revs.

It is a completely different situation when driving in winding mountainous roads. Here it helps to have the engine check your speed so you have more control in corners. Again, as long as you match engine revs there should be very little extra wear on the clutch and drivetrain using this technique.

In the old days you would change to a lower gear when descending a steep hill but with modern braking systems this is rarely necessary. It will make maintaining a certain (legal) speed easier of course.

There is absolutely no reason to "engine Brake" your car unless in an emergency situation or if you have no brakes to assist you.

Rev-matching is typically done on a racetrack to "match" the higher revs that result by shifting into a lower gear at speed. This accomplishes - a smooth transition into a selected gear of choice so the proposed exit from a turn (or set of turns) is done at optimal velocity. It also ensures proper handling of the car at the limits of adhesion - less "shake" and a smooth flow of power throughout.

Its not to say you don't need to do this if you are not on a racetrack, but you need to do so with caution. I rev match all the time when I down shift to ensure a smooth driving experience on a daily basis. Occasionally I do this when i am exiting or entering an offramp/onramp on the freeway. Its fun, but you do have to know what you are doing so you don't endanger others.

keep it to the track to be sure and your daily driving experience will be much better
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      07-10-2009, 06:07 PM   #14
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i take one big blip of the throttle to get into the right gear for the corner as i am easing off the brakes. also, i personally think of lifting the throttle (engine braking) as "level 0" of braking for when you want to transfer the weight forward or when you don't want to keep building up any more speed by being on the throttle.
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      07-10-2009, 07:32 PM   #15
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To answer one of your questions, it is not bad for you to use the engine to slow you down. As long as you make good downshifts, you should have no problem at all.

However, you might wear your clutch out a little earlier if you make a habit of bad downshifts. (maybe slightly earlier than 100k miles on replacing clutch).

Let me ask you a question: Which is more expensive to replace, brake pads or a clutch?

I used to downshift and engine brake to a stop (or atleast most of the way to a stop). Since coming to that realization (plus my 100k upgraded service warranty that covers brakes), I just shift into neutral and brake to a stop.
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      07-10-2009, 11:21 PM   #16
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I drive trucks, and I may be wrong but a engine brake could be called a Exhaust brake but that is wrong actually. Lol

Why did I post this then? Don't ask.
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      07-11-2009, 10:33 PM   #17
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On the street I just shift to neutral and use the brakes. At the track, you need to be in the right gear, so it's rev match.

Ask yourself which is cheaper - brakes or a clutch? I have a 2000 VW Golf with the original clutch with 170,000 miles on it. I didn't drive the car slowly either. You want to slip the clutch as little as possible. That's what wears it out.
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      07-11-2009, 11:29 PM   #18
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Thanks again for the info.

I think I will be changing my habits (actually I have already have been). I agree that itis not needed when coming to a red light; brakes only then. Although it's nice to see that there are a couple of posts that have done it in the past or still do it.

There is one situation in normal driving that has me puzzled... when making right turns from say 40 MPH to about 15-20 MPH, do you:

1) use brakes only while in neutral, then shift to 2nd after the turn?
2) use brakes slow down to 15-20 MPH and shift to 2nd, then make the turn?
3) keep the clutch pressed, have the shifter in 2nd, slowly release clutch while making the turn while also using brakes?

I do #3; to me it doesn't make sense to do #1 or #2 even for normal street driving.

Also, the other name for engine braking is compression braking.
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      07-12-2009, 11:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolMD View Post
Thanks again for the info.

I think I will be changing my habits (actually I have already have been). I agree that itis not needed when coming to a red light; brakes only then. Although it's nice to see that there are a couple of posts that have done it in the past or still do it.

There is one situation in normal driving that has me puzzled... when making right turns from say 40 MPH to about 15-20 MPH, do you:

1) use brakes only while in neutral, then shift to 2nd after the turn?
2) use brakes slow down to 15-20 MPH and shift to 2nd, then make the turn?
3) keep the clutch pressed, have the shifter in 2nd, slowly release clutch while making the turn while also using brakes?

I do #3; to me it doesn't make sense to do #1 or #2 even for normal street driving.

Also, the other name for engine braking is compression braking.
4) use the brakes and downshift into second before you start your turn and then use the engine to pull you throught the turn (don't coast through the turn).
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      07-12-2009, 12:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AW325xi View Post
4) use the brakes and downshift into second before you start your turn and then use the engine to pull you throught the turn (don't coast through the turn).
I think we are just getting into semantics now. Your #4 and my #2 are practically the same thing.
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      07-12-2009, 01:09 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolMD View Post
Thanks again for the info.

I think I will be changing my habits (actually I have already have been). I agree that itis not needed when coming to a red light; brakes only then. Although it's nice to see that there are a couple of posts that have done it in the past or still do it.

There is one situation in normal driving that has me puzzled... when making right turns from say 40 MPH to about 15-20 MPH, do you:

1) use brakes only while in neutral, then shift to 2nd after the turn?
2) use brakes slow down to 15-20 MPH and shift to 2nd, then make the turn?
3) keep the clutch pressed, have the shifter in 2nd, slowly release clutch while making the turn while also using brakes?

I do #3; to me it doesn't make sense to do #1 or #2 even for normal street driving.

Also, the other name for engine braking is compression braking.
do #3. the car will slow down a bit from the engagement of gears making extra braking unnecessary. also, from your previous question, a lot of people have said brakes are cheaper and to just use those instead of engine braking. while you don't need to engine brake when coming to a stop at a light, using this on steep downhill roads or in canyons will keep your brakes from overheating and loosing stopping ability.
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      07-12-2009, 01:32 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z22Z View Post
do #3. the car will slow down a bit from the engagement of gears making extra braking unnecessary. also, from your previous question, a lot of people have said brakes are cheaper and to just use those instead of engine braking. while you don't need to engine brake when coming to a stop at a light, using this on steep downhill roads or in canyons will keep your brakes from overheating and loosing stopping ability.
+1
Completely agree.
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