Pros and cons of engine braking?

RENESIS VIII

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Is there any specific harm to the car if engine braking is occasionally applied? Like will the transmission, clutch or anything else be prone to damage?

I drive a manual transmission car and I tend to use engine braking a lot to slow down my car instead of using the brakes. Some people come and tell me that what I am doing will eventually harm my transmission.

So, what are the thoughts and opinions from you all regarding engine braking?
 

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Is there any specific harm to the car if engine braking is occasionally applied? Like will the transmission, clutch or anything else be prone to damage?

I drive a manual transmission car and I tend to use engine braking a lot to slow down my car instead of using the brakes. Some people come and tell me that what I am doing will eventually harm my transmission.

So, what are the thoughts and opinions from you all regarding engine braking?
It really depends how you use it to be honest but manual transmissions hardly break in road cars.
As long the transitions between gears are smooth, clutch is applied properly I don't see why there is a need to worry. There is engine braking even in today's modern dual clutch transmission.

You should of course always use the brakes as the priority. For example, to stop before a toll plaza coming in at over 100km/h on engine braking is simply not wise.

Having said that, to conserve clutch and transmission wear some quarters in racing adamantly discourages any engine braking at all, especially in endurance and rely 100% on the brakes alone.
 

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Like what Tom said - no issues but don't go and downshift 5 to 1 or 2 la.
 

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I use engine brake all the time, but if slow speed then use brakes only, if very fast, will be brakes first to slow down then engine brake to slow further before harder braking. In a way drop gear to engine brakes especially coming to corners then no need shift to accelerate out.....lol
 

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It really depends how you use it to be honest but manual transmissions hardly break in road cars.
As long the transitions between gears are smooth, clutch is applied properly I don't see why there is a need to worry. There is engine braking even in today's modern dual clutch transmission.

You should of course always use the brakes as the priority. For example, to stop before a toll plaza coming in at over 100km/h on engine braking is simply not wise.

Having said that, to conserve clutch and transmission wear some quarters in racing adamantly discourages any engine braking at all, especially in endurance and rely 100% on the brakes alone.
I do use it occasionally. I tend to look far ahead to see whether do I need to stop or slow down my car. If I need, I will normally start to downshift from as far as 50 metres away from the targeted point and I'll use the brakes when I'm quite near the target point.

Like what Tom said - no issues but don't go and downshift 5 to 1 or 2 la.
I din't let the revs to go over the red line but once in a while, I might let it go until around 5000rpm which I am not so sure is that fine or not.

I use engine brake all the time, but if slow speed then use brakes only, if very fast, will be brakes first to slow down then engine brake to slow further before harder braking. In a way drop gear to engine brakes especially coming to corners then no need shift to accelerate out.....lol
I downshift at corners too when I am going fast. Normally at higher speeds, I'll try to corner at a higher rpm lets say like around 3500 rpm and above because I feel that it is easier to slow down in case I need it. At high rpm, the speed will drop faster after I release the throttle compared to lower rpm. At least this allows me to slow down the car in a faster way before I start to apply braking.
 

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I do use it occasionally. I tend to look far ahead to see whether do I need to stop or slow down my car. If I need, I will normally start to downshift from as far as 50 metres away from the targeted point and I'll use the brakes when I'm quite near the target point.



I din't let the revs to go over the red line but once in a while, I might let it go until around 5000rpm which I am not so sure is that fine or not.



I downshift at corners too when I am going fast. Normally at higher speeds, I'll try to corner at a higher rpm lets say like around 3500 rpm and above because I feel that it is easier to slow down in case I need it. At high rpm, the speed will drop faster after I release the throttle compared to lower rpm. At least this allows me to slow down the car in a faster way before I start to apply braking.
Hmm you mean you downshift first before you brake? You should do it the other way around which is brake first then downshift. If you downshift first, that puts more stress on the gearbox and engine, and you risk locking up the tires especially when driving fast and you're already at high engine rpms. If you brake first then the transition between accelerating and slowing down would be smoother (less chance of lock ups), then it also allows the rpm to decrease to acceptable & optimal level first before you downshift hence minimizing the transmission stress. That's why there's the heel & toe technique where you brake first with the top of your foot (supposedly the toe area) then blip the gas with your side foot (supposedly the heel) to rev match for downshifting.
 

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Hmm you mean you downshift first before you brake? You should do it the other way around which is brake first then downshift. If you downshift first, that puts more stress on the gearbox and engine, and you risk locking up the tires especially when driving fast and you're already at high engine rpms. If you brake first then the transition between accelerating and slowing down would be smoother (less chance of lock ups), then it also allows the rpm to decrease to acceptable & optimal level first before you downshift hence minimizing the transmission stress. That's why there's the heel & toe technique where you brake first with the top of your foot (supposedly the toe area) then blip the gas with your side foot (supposedly the heel) to rev match for downshifting.
It is okay to downshift a gear or maybe 2 before braking, just to shave some speed. Fully depends on situation of course.

for example:
- Approaching the toll plaza say 500m away from 6th to 5th or 5th to 4th before applying the brakes
- Approaching a slower car on the fast lane
- To anticipate an overtaking maneuver
 

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How does this apply to non-DSG auto transmission with tiptronic?? Is it ok to engine brake?
All transmissions are designed to take these basic situations.

Like descending a hill on a lower gear or ferrying a car load of people and cargo.

As long as the tiptronic system allows you to downshift, it should be safe enough for the said engine speed.
 

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I use this method daily, basically bumps, traffic light, round about as long as there are need to slow down. Not sure about the rest but i am those take especially bumps with care preferred not to roll it over naturally even on low speed.
 

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It is okay to downshift a gear or maybe 2 before braking, just to shave some speed. Fully depends on situation of course.

for example:
- Approaching the toll plaza say 500m away from 6th to 5th or 5th to 4th before applying the brakes
- Approaching a slower car on the fast lane
- To anticipate an overtaking maneuver
Yes, of course in normal cruising speed ad relatively low rpm still ok to downshift first but reading his story above it seems like he's also on a fast, high rpm mode while doing that.

Anyway for me personally, even when normal/cruising drive, most of the time I still brake first. The only rare occasions where I may downshift first are:
- the 3rd case in your list above while I'm already in too high gear (say already in 6th but only at 100kph, then I drop it to 4th or 3rd to overtake fast or to distance a tailgater behind), or
- I was driving like a hooligan to lock the rear to slide when still teenager back then!
 

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I also usually brake first then downshift and i will balance the amount of pressure on brake pedal with the engine braking :driver::driver:
 

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Hmm you mean you downshift first before you brake? You should do it the other way around which is brake first then downshift. If you downshift first, that puts more stress on the gearbox and engine, and you risk locking up the tires especially when driving fast and you're already at high engine rpms. If you brake first then the transition between accelerating and slowing down would be smoother (less chance of lock ups), then it also allows the rpm to decrease to acceptable & optimal level first before you downshift hence minimizing the transmission stress. That's why there's the heel & toe technique where you brake first with the top of your foot (supposedly the toe area) then blip the gas with your side foot (supposedly the heel) to rev match for downshifting.
Yes, I downshift before I brake but not at high engine rpms. If I am at 3500 to 4000rpm and above, I don't downshift.

It is okay to downshift a gear or maybe 2 before braking, just to shave some speed. Fully depends on situation of course.

for example:
- Approaching the toll plaza say 500m away from 6th to 5th or 5th to 4th before applying the brakes
- Approaching a slower car on the fast lane
- To anticipate an overtaking maneuver
You are exactly right on the examples that you gave. Those are the kind of situations where I normally downshift to slow down the car.
 

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Yes, I downshift before I brake but not at high engine rpms. If I am at 3500 to 4000rpm and above, I don't downshift.



You are exactly right on the examples that you gave. Those are the kind of situations where I normally downshift to slow down the car.
Well for me even in those circumstances most of the time I still brake first at least a little. Anyway it's up to you if you prefer to downshift first. If you're just concerned whether that will break your car, then at low rpms should still be ok but if you're driving fast in higher rpms then you should brake first.
 

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just one...during high performance driving...engine braking with over-rev will destroy the engine...

other than that there is no problem at all
 

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Well for me even in those circumstances most of the time I still brake first at least a little. Anyway it's up to you if you prefer to downshift first. If you're just concerned whether that will break your car, then at low rpms should still be ok but if you're driving fast in higher rpms then you should brake first.
just one...during high performance driving...engine braking with over-rev will destroy the engine...

other than that there is no problem at all
Will the clutch worn out faster from engine braking? My car engine is still stock.
 

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Will the clutch worn out faster from engine braking? My car engine is still stock.
Well if your revs are matched and clutch is applied properly then the wear on the clutch plate should equate regular wear and tear

Nothing wears the clutch more than situations like half clutch or releasing the clutch pedal too slowly during higher revs.





Sent from my SM-N9208 using Tapatalk
 

RENESIS VIII

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Well if your revs are matched and clutch is applied properly then the wear on the clutch plate should equate regular wear and tear

Nothing wears the clutch more than situations like half clutch or releasing the clutch pedal too slowly during higher revs.





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I don't rev match when downshifting. Seems that I am doing it wrong.
 

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I don't rev match when downshifting. Seems that I am doing it wrong.
Yes, you should start adapting and applying it at your next drive Renesis

Each and every downshift requires a blip of the throttle
It is the only method to rev match

Failing which, these scenarios will definitely occur:

  • Sudden jerk
  • Accelerated wear
Of course one can get away by being patient and releasing the clutch pedal gently to cure jerk but let's face it, it is inefficient

Let me try to help,
Rev matching during downshift is simple and easy to do,

  1. Since you are already pressing the clutch and downshifting at the same time
  2. All you only need to do now is add one more step, blip the throttle
  3. As you press the clutch, simply give a quick jab to throttle
  4. Find your sweet spot,
    • add / reduce or throttle blip (the lower the gear the more the blip, vice versa)
    • timing is important, doing all at the same time AND at the same speed is key here
  5. Practice
  6. Tell us your findings


Good Luck
 

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Yes, you should start adapting and applying it at your next drive Renesis

Each and every downshift requires a blip of the throttle
It is the only method to rev match

Failing which, these scenarios will definitely occur:

  • Sudden jerk
  • Accelerated wear
Of course one can get away by being patient and releasing the clutch pedal gently to cure jerk but let's face it, it is inefficient

Let me try to help,
Rev matching during downshift is simple and easy to do,

  1. Since you are already pressing the clutch and downshifting at the same time
  2. All you only need to do now is add one more step, blip the throttle
  3. As you press the clutch, simply give a quick jab to throttle
  4. Find your sweet spot,
    • add / reduce or throttle blip (the lower the gear the more the blip, vice versa)
    • timing is important, doing all at the same time AND at the same speed is key here
  5. Practice
  6. Tell us your findings


Good Luck
Thanks for the guide and help, Tom. I appreciate that.

I have actually tried something like this before when I am downshifting. Sometimes when the rev matches, the downshift transition is smooth. But there are also many times when the rpm is not high enough to rev match after I blip the throttle. So there is still some slight jerking as the RPM climbs slightly higher after I release the clutch.

I will try it again on tomorrow as I will be going for a long drive.
 

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How does this apply to non-DSG auto transmission with tiptronic?? Is it ok to engine brake?
My wife's SUV is steptronic, so I use to drop gear to overtake, going down steep slope etc., less for engine braking.....:biggrin:
 

Tom

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Thanks for the guide and help, Tom. I appreciate that.

I have actually tried something like this before when I am downshifting. Sometimes when the rev matches, the downshift transition is smooth. But there are also many times when the rpm is not high enough to rev match after I blip the throttle. So there is still some slight jerking as the RPM climbs slightly higher after I release the clutch.

I will try it again on tomorrow as I will be going for a long drive.
Good reply, then your situation is extremely easy to fix.

You are either:

  1. Not jabbing the throttle hard enough. (note jab action, not press)
  2. Not releasing the clutch quick enough (therefore revs drop)
Not jabbing the throttle hard enough:
The rate at which the throttle is pressed is extremely important and determines how fast the engine revs climb. What we want is a sharp rev climb. Throttle response also differs vastly from car to car. So it's ever more important to know the throttle pedal.

Why we need a sharp rev climb:

  • To achieve the desired rpm range in the shortest time possible
  • To take advantage of the very short window / time we have between clutch on and clutch off.
The way an engine revs differ:

  • Linear Climb: When throttle is normally pushed / pressed
  • Sharp Climb: When throttle is jabbed / poked / prod / jerked
Not releasing the clutch quick enough:
This is a common problem, many drivers don't release the clutch quick enough. This delay results in drop of engine revs, therefore a mismatch in engine speed and wheel speed. - failure to capitalize on engine revs

A point to remember is when the throttle is blipped and when the rpm is at its highest desired range is when the clutch needs to be fully released. Never after or before.

try it Renesis
 

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Good reply, then your situation is extremely easy to fix.

You are either:

  1. Not jabbing the throttle hard enough. (note jab action, not press)
  2. Not releasing the clutch quick enough (therefore revs drop)
Not jabbing the throttle hard enough:
The rate at which the throttle is pressed is extremely important and determines how fast the engine revs climb. What we want is a sharp rev climb. Throttle response also differs vastly from car to car. So it's ever more important to know the throttle pedal.

Why we need a sharp rev climb:

  • To achieve the desired rpm range in the shortest time possible
  • To take advantage of the very short window / time we have between clutch on and clutch off.
The way an engine revs differ:

  • Linear Climb: When throttle is normally pushed / pressed
  • Sharp Climb: When throttle is jabbed / poked / prod / jerked
Not releasing the clutch quick enough:
This is a common problem, many drivers don't release the clutch quick enough. This delay results in drop of engine revs, therefore a mismatch in engine speed and wheel speed. - failure to capitalize on engine revs

A point to remember is when the throttle is blipped and when the rpm is at its highest desired range is when the clutch needs to be fully released. Never after or before.

try it Renesis
Yeah, I understand what you mean by jabbing the throttle. Is like giving the throttle pedal a quick step or kick. Saw how those drivers did it before in Best Motoring videos. From what you have written, I felt that my error would be not jabbing the throttle hard enough. Probably because I am still not so familiar with how hard should I jab the throttle to achieve the desired RPM range.
 

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Wah! learning a lot, Very soon bro. Renesis becomes terror of Ipoh......hhahhahahahhahahhaha
 

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My CLA is using 7 speed DCT. In sports modes, It will downshift a few gears progressively as I applied brake to enter a corner. All these happen at the same time, you can feel the downshift from the inertial force. The sound of the exchaust is louder as it keep downshifting, giving further hint on when exactly the gear downshifted.

I believe using manual transmission, you can applied all type of brakes together as long as the gear shift is progressive as what many has pointed out.

My other manual car, I usually applied brakes and hardly using engine braking. It's a slow car anyway.
 

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Wah! learning a lot, Very soon bro. Renesis becomes terror of Ipoh......hhahhahahahhahahhaha
Car is still mostly stock, can't become anything terror.

My CLA is using 7 speed DCT. In sports modes, It will downshift a few gears progressively as I applied brake to enter a corner. All these happen at the same time, you can feel the downshift from the inertial force. The sound of the exchaust is louder as it keep downshifting, giving further hint on when exactly the gear downshifted.

I believe using manual transmission, you can applied all type of brakes together as long as the gear shift is progressive as what many has pointed out.

My other manual car, I usually applied brakes and hardly using engine braking. It's a slow car anyway.
So, basically your CLA applies engine braking automatically without your input?

This is Tom the racer talking not Tom the owner. Haha!
He is always the race car driver isn't it?

I feel honored that he replies my question despite being a newbie here. Really appreciate his help a lot.
 

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So, basically your CLA applies engine braking automatically without your input?



.

Actually i think the more modern cars with DSG or auto tiptronic, will downshift itself when you step on the brake. My car also like that, but of course, it is not as fast as when you do it yourself. There is a lag between the time you brake and the time it downshift itself. Ok for when daily driving. But if spirited driving, change to manual mode and shift yourself is better....:driver::driver::driver:
 

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My CLA is using 7 speed DCT. In sports modes, It will downshift a few gears progressively as I applied brake to enter a corner. All these happen at the same time, you can feel the downshift from the inertial force. The sound of the exchaust is louder as it keep downshifting, giving further hint on when exactly the gear downshifted.

I believe using manual transmission, you can applied all type of brakes together as long as the gear shift is progressive as what many has pointed out.

My other manual car, I usually applied brakes and hardly using engine braking. It's a slow car anyway.
With 7 speed it has closer ratio, that is why dropping a few gears is not a problem...
 

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Actually i think the more modern cars with DSG or auto tiptronic, will downshift itself when you step on the brake. My car also like that, but of course, it is not as fast as when you do it yourself. There is a lag between the time you brake and the time it downshift itself. Ok for when daily driving. But if spirited driving, change to manual mode and shift yourself is better....:driver::driver::driver:
My wife drive the SUV in D, but when I drive it, normally goes to the + and - side......hhahhahhaha:biggrin: