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Do you sequentially downshift or put it in neutral when approaching a red light?

Joined
22 April 2012
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So what is the proper way to shift when approaching a red light?

Lets say I'm in 4th going 50mph and I'm approaching a red light. Usually I clutch in once 4th slows down to about 2000 RPM, with the clutch still in I sequentially shift down to 3 then 2 then 1. That way if the light changes right away or something happens I'll be in the right gear and I just let up on the clutch to go. Is this ok?
 
I am always in gear when slowing for a stop. I keep the car in the gear appropriate to the speed I am still moving so that should it be prudent I can continue or increase my speed as warranted - something you can not do when coasting in neutral. Just remember this old adage, 'when in trouble 9 times out of 10 accelerate'.
 
neutral for me. but i kinda rev a lil first to keep the rpm up. y? dont know.. seems to get out og gear smoother that way.
 
No poll? Have you learned nothing from Turbo2Go?

LOL.... No he needs to be punished

Coconut I think what of are doing is fine. You are slowing and shifting slow too, giving the synchro lots of time. You are usually not engaging in first from 4th unless there is that emergency so it's fine.

But... This is a great time to practice blipping the throttle to rev match with every own shift.
 
Come to think of it, since I hold in the clutch the entire time shifting for 4-3-2-1 I might be putting a lot of stress/wear on the throwout bearing. But then again, if each time I clutch in/out from 4-3-2-1 that be alot of wear on the clutch.
 
Come to think of it, since I hold in the clutch the entire time shifting for 4-3-2-1 I might be putting a lot of stress/wear on the throwout bearing. But then again, if each time I clutch in/out from 4-3-2-1 that be alot of wear on the clutch.
see, you are killing your car one way or another, stop driving it :p
 
no. i just slap it into Neutral from any gear when approaching red light. i throw it in N and coast to a stop.

I do this exactly like you for speeds 0-30mph or if I'm going from like 40+mph I then go down 4-3-2-N only stopping my downshifts when it's time to accelerate or maintain speed. I feel like for the later situation if I'm approaching a red traffic light at that point I'm either going to fully stop or go and 2nd gear has enough torque to accelerate at a relatively low speed if the light changes to green.
 
If the light just turned red, and you expect to stop, just put it in neutral if traffic deems safe.

If you expect to go again (stale red) then you should rev match downshift.

2000 RPM in 4th gear sounds too low. I would have downshifted to third by then.
 
Yeah I rev match down 4-3-2 then usually N if I am coming to a complete stop. Once I get below 20mph I just pop it into N.
 
There are a lot of opinions out there on what is and is not good for the clutch. Credible sources on both sides of the fence have given me advice on whether to down shift (letting clutch out for each gear) when slowing down. According to the owner's manual for my Camaro, I'm supposed to leave it in gear while braking until it feels like it wants to stall and then go into N. Depending on which gear I was in to begin with, that could be anywhere from 1 to 25 mph. So my rule of thumb is to sequentially downshift to 2nd before hitting N. Although sometimes I do it like the manual says.

As for rev matching on the downshift, that's impossible for me to do in my car without releasing the brake pedal... so I don't. I just take my time between gears to allow the wheels to slow the transmission down before letting the clutch out.
 
According to the owner's manual for my Camaro, I'm supposed to leave it in gear while braking until it feels like it wants to stall and then go into N.

That's pretty much what I've always done. Engine braking is good, makes your brakes last longer... and unless you are lugging it you probably aren't harming the engine or clutch.

As you learn the car you get a little bit better at popping into N before you lug it even slightly.
 
I'm semi sequential.

Generally from high way I do 4th and 2nd (alway being very careful to blip the throttle to avoid syncho wear).

IMO, this process is more for enjoyment. Saving the brakes is the absolute least of my concerns. I just like the sound of the car. If you were racing maybe. In the end, simply shifting into neutral until you came to a stop is the least wear and tear on the part of the car that matter....the tranny.

I'll take 70 sets of brakes before one tranny repair.
 
Unless I want to hear the exhaust and do super super down shifts so everyone around can hear it hahahha I leave it whatever gear I'm in till I stop clutch it in right before it gets to 1200-1300 rpm.

The way I see it is it's a lot cheaper to replace brakes pads then to replace clutches, just my 2 cents
 
the proper way is to just stop using the brakes.

normal clutch wear is when you use the clutch pedal. you should not ride it by any means, shift and get your foot off it.

unless properly rev matched, you are wearing down your transmission anyways. of course, it is a good way to practice heel-toe for the track... proper heel-toe technique means you are on the brakes the entire time while blipping the throttle and downshifting.
 
If you want the real correct way, you need to row down through your gears, always be in the right gear for emergency acceleration, blip the throttle with each downshift, and rev match with every engagement of the clutch. Let engine braking slow you for the most part.

If you properly rev match, clutch wear is absolutely minimal. Letting the engine slow you not only saves brake pads but it has a cooling affect on the motor. There is a full state of vacuum there with no compression, and hot gasses are expelled through the exhaust. If you have an EGT gauge you would see the temperatures drop significantly in this state. You are essentially vacuuming out the motor.

It's also, as I said, a great time to practice proper heel and toe technique.
 
If you are ever in something like an F430 you'll see that is exactly what the computer does for you. It blips, goes down one. Blips again, goes down another and so on. From the outside it sounds like perfectly executed downshifts by a pro driver. The reality is the driver isn't doing squat.

OMG it's Paris Hilton behind the wheel...
 
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If you want the real correct way, you need to row down through your gears, always be in the right gear for emergency acceleration, blip the throttle with each downshift, and rev match with every engagement of the clutch. Let engine braking slow you for the most part.

If you properly rev match, clutch wear is absolutely minimal. Letting the engine slow you not only saves brake pads but it has a cooling affect on the motor. There is a full state of vacuum there with no compression, and hot gasses are expelled through the exhaust. If you have an EGT gauge you would see the temperatures drop significantly in this state. You are essentially vacuuming out the motor.

It's also, as I said, a great time to practice proper heel and toe technique.

What this guy said.

As for engine braking, are you saying that it is good to vacuum out the motor?

I always thought that it is better to put the wear on the brake pads (which are cheaper and designed to wear out) rather than engine/transmission/clutch components.
 
Well it's the opposite of what everyone is saying IMO. When you press in the clutch and start playing with your gears without having shifted to neutral and letting the clutch out (double clutching) you have not slowed your shaft speed. You are asking the synchros, the most vulnerable part of the trans to do work.

So while you think you are saving your transmission by not rowing down through your gears one by one, you are actually wearing it out more. What is vulnerable here is the clutch, and the clutch wears very very little when you rev match. If you don't rev match, that's a different story. If you are going to coast and go through your gears, you should go to neutral, let off the clutch, reduce shaft speed, then hold the clutch back in and row through. The key is always during that double clutch, where you've let the clutch out in neutral, you've reduced shaft speed.

As far as engine wear... A few revolutions extra until you come to a stop is meaningless. But... I can tell you for sure as I enquired with a major race engine builder here... You are greatly REDUCING operating temps when coasting in gear. What's happening is that your cooling system... Water pump, oil coolers, etc are still working at speed. While there is no longer any high pressure combustion inside the cylinders that normally causes heat. So a rapid cooling effect takes place, heat is quickly scavenged out, and that is better for the motor than any "wear" taking place because your RPM'S are a bit higher for the next 10 seconds, until you come to a stop. The reduced brake wear is a bonus.
 
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What are you doing in 4th going 50mph. I usually cruise around town between 2nd and 3rd if the speed limit is 40mph. The only time I ever hit 4th or 5th is when I'm on the highway.
 
If the light just turned red or I can otherwise see that I will be stopped for awhile, then I will leave it in whatever gear I'm already in, apply brakes until I am approaching the stop, then clutch and pop it in neutral and relax my left leg.

If I think the light might turn green while I'm approaching, I'll usually downshift to 2nd on the approach, and then I'll be ready to accelerate again. If in that case the light stays red a little too long then I'll probably just downshift to 1 and hold the clutch in while I wait for the green.
 
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