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53

Most of the time when you drive, you're putting a load (and causing wear) on what I'm going to call the "forward" face of each tooth on each gear in your drivetrain. The front of a tooth on the crankshaft pushes against the back of a tooth on the next gear in line, which pushes the next gear, etc. When you use "engine braking", all you are doing is ...


22

Most of the time you won't need heavy braking in traffic. You can avoid stopping and starting by: Driving more calmly Leaving plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front (even at low speed) Simply taking your foot of the accelerator early If you let the car slow down, and use the gear until it is no longer appropriate (too slow that the ...


18

If you downshift into a gear at a RPM that is within the norm of driving then no, no harm done. When you downshift what is slowing you down is actually the compression stroke and is recommended over hard braking. Like another said, it is a bit of a mix of the two but engine braking is ok as long as the engine stays under redline, so do not go from 5th to ...


13

Which would you rather change - your brake pads or your clutch? By downshifting to decelerate you are trading wear on your brake pads for wear on your clutch (among other things). Brake pads are much cheaper and easier to replace than a clutch. Personally, having done both, I'd rather do 50 brake jobs before I'd do one clutch job.


13

tl;dr: We do. It's just expensive. One of the differences between electric and chemical energy motors is that the electric systems make it much more convenient to capture and retain energy (e.g., a battery). All you need to do is use induction to create an electric current right there at the wheel while braking. Point that current at that battery and you've ...


12

tl;dr: No. This sort of vehicle dynamics question best addressed by Racing Car Vehicle Dynamics What follows is a basic discussion at the high school physics level. As you will see from the reference text, high school physics is insufficient to statically model the complete vehicle system. A dynamic model is required to agree with easily obtainable ...


12

why using your clutch during braking can be considered unsafe I have ridden motorcycles for years. Engine braking is a component of safe riding. The engine itself can be ok and not receive any damage from pulling in the clutch while breaking other than it is additional wear on throw out bearing for the pressure plate within the clutch. The throwout ...


11

Donovan's is the only answer that has any truth in it. Downshifting and engine braking will have NO effect on the clutch, as you don't slip the clutch it doesn't wear out the engine, as you use the compression stroke and it is far better on tyres and handling as any advanced driving instructor would tell you. It is just more difficult, as you need to ...


8

Although automated manuals are becoming more popular, the 2012 Civic (from my 2 seconds of searching) appears to be a normal automatic. Even still, I'm guessing your vehicle may have the sensors and programming necessary to determine that it's descending an incline and is employing engine braking to help you slow down. What it sounds like it's doing is ...


8

In answer to the question "What is regenerative braking and why don't we use it?", we do. With normal braking, forward momentum of the car is scrubbed off by the brakes by turning them into heat in the brake disc with subsequently dissipates and is lost. With regenerative braking, instead of the movement of the car being lost to the atmosphere as heat, it ...


7

First, everyone who said that the braking effect comes from the compression stroke is wrong...the air in the cylinder is compressed which takes energy, yet after top dead center acts as a spring and helps force the piston back down, returning the exact same force as was put into it in the first place. Probably more, actually, since the compression heats the ...


7

Basically, yes. Automatics don't have a clutch per se, but you're causing additional wear and tear on the internals. Basically you're reversing the power flow -- instead of the engine driving the wheels, you're driving the engine with the wheels. Obviously this occurs normally when you decelerate, but by downshifting you're increasing the amount of force ...


6

Think of it this way. If you need to brake so incredibly hard that you're worried the automatic transmission is getting in the way, you're better off worrying about things besides whether or not you're in neutral. You're probably about to crash or lose control, so train yourself to concentrate on steering, or making sure you're arms are out of the way of ...


6

Might need better tires, may need bigger brakes. Make sure you're using appropriate tires for the load and conditions. Consider trying better brake pads or possibly upgrading to a big brake kit. Perhaps better brake cooling (such as cool air ducts) would help. First you're going to have to identify the weakest component in the list so that you can ...


6

The information & links posted by Paulster2 offer excellent explanation of what the various types of brake fluid are. There are a few grade : DOT3 DOT4 DOT5 DOT5.1 The difference between them is a specificed standard regarding the boiling temperature, which rises as the DOT number rises, and amount of water absorption. There are based on two ...


6

The only reason it feels more natural to you is because that is the way you do it. It was beat into me from Driver's Education never use your left foot to brake. To me it feels natural to not brake with my left foot. There is a great article I just read about using your left foot to brake from a driving instructor. In the article he basically says things I ...


6

The most common cause of intermittent brake failure is a faulty master cylinder. The master cylinder is similar to a bicycle pump. It moves brake fluid instead of air. Stepping on the brake pedal moves a rod that pushes brake fluid to the wheels. If a seal is failing it may allow brake fluid to seep by it reducing the fluid pressure to the wheels. As an ...


5

I found this description of synthetic based brake fluids. According to the page, all brake fluids are technically "synthetic" in that they are man made and do not contain a petroleum base. "Synthetic" brake fluid, as we think of it, has a silicon base. Non-synthetic brake fluid (normal brake fluid) is glycol based. There are trade offs to each type. Silicon ...


5

Your instructor properly objected because the clutch/engine and the brakes do opposite things: the former adds energy to the car (speeding it up) and the latter removes energy (slowing it down). If you use both at the same time, then you're just pumping energy from the engine into the brake pads, to no good end. If at the same time you're feathering the ...


5

Heel and Toe Pedals I think to truly heel-and-toe drive well, you need to have a setup similar to the one in the image. Something that's designed to do it proper. There's some that are super cheap. You have to consider how much it will effect your normal driving though. This setup will prevent you from trying to bend your leg all weird to actually ...


5

Regenerative braking is a system that stores the energy that instead would be lost to heat in the brakes. While these systems sound great they come with a whole host of their own problems. Before even getting into the energy storage and generation the actual service brakes become very complicated. For regenerative braking to work properly the brakes can'...


4

The newer the car the better ABS tends to be, but you can lock up even the best ones if you try hard. On sheet ice it is safer to disable your ABS entirely unless you have a system which is designed for these conditions. After seeing a bad crash where a long slide into a collision was caused by ABS not allowing any grip, I remove the fuse for ABS each ...


4

If you can get all 4 to lock at the same time then systems that detect differences between wheels won't activate. The system would have to be smart enough to detect exceptionally fast stopping of the wheels in order to work in that circumstance. My MR2 and Eclipse are definitely not that smart. Both are very capable of locking all 4 at the same time and ...


4

You are 100% putting wear and tear on your engine plus transmission. Not only that but you're also increasing the wear on your clutch. Having said that, I rev match every time I downshift. This still puts wear and tear on the components but not as much as physically slowing the car down when bringing it down a gear. Brake pads are cheaper and easier to ...


4

Your brake system's balance can fall into several areas of concern: The calipers in and of themselves have sliders and pistons that can cause uneven pressure. sliders: I always remove, clean and grease the sliders first, be mindful that some vehicles actually have rubber on the sliders that will swell over time and cause lockup/drag... just replace the ...


4

I agree with MT_Head's and Donovan's answers, but I'd like to add that the downshift itself can be quite heavy on your synchromeshes if you don't do it right. When you up-shift, the input shaft drops in speed by ordinary friction, and the synchromeshes don't need to work much in order to match it to the speed of the output gear. However, when you down-shift,...


4

Just some anecdotal evidence. I downshift at least a few times a day. Only one gear at a time and never send my tach anywhere near the red, BUT I NEVER RIDE THE CLUTCH. Unless it is an emergency I'll downshift and come off the clutch almost as quickly as I do when I upshift, If I'm going to fast for this I don't downshift yet, UNLESS IT'S AN EMERGENCY. ...


4

If you double-clutch the downshifts and ensure that the engine is running at exactly the right speed before you engage the clutch, any additional wear will be insignificant. Double-clutching will, if done properly, eliminate any additional wear of the synchronizers and if the engine is running at just the right speed before you engage the clutch after the ...


4

Some answers correctly identified wear of synchronizers as a possible concern on manual transmission cars, but then they offered double-declutching as a solution. However, it is very hard to correctly judge the amount to press the gas pedal, making it very likely that you're either over-revving or under-revving the engine. Thus, there is some wear on the ...


4

Tires are going to be the biggest change you can implement. The widest, stickiest tires you can get for your conditions. Typically, any car can lock its tires up under normal conditions (average load, speeds). If it can do this, the braking system is more than adequate, and the tires are the first thing you should change. Now, when you start upgrading tires,...



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