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bdemartino

Manual Downshifting Or Braking

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I was manually downshifting to slow my car (is250 awd - '07) over the weekend and a friend suggested that the wear-tear of doing this as a course of habit (vs. applying the brake) is going to do harm over time. Any thoughts?

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Brake pads are a whole lot cheaper than transmissions!!!

Absolutely correct. Downshifting to slow a car went out maybe 50+ years ago when brakes became much more resistent to fade.

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Normally I would say that if done properly, downshifting wouldn't wear much more than allowing engine braking by staying in gear while slowing down. However the IS clutch plates, like their brake rotors, are thinner than in other models or in years past and could wear sooner. Brake pads are easier and cheaper to replace than friction plates. It's really a shame because smooth downshifting is great fun but requires co-ordinatiion and skill - also keeps you in the power band for quicker acceleration when driving the switchbacks or coming out of corners.

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