Originally Posted by thinkingman
If you read the posits in the OP, and you have experience in the matter, you'll find that downshifting to a stop and maintaining speeds on downgrades are two entirely different matters.
In re downshifting, I'd be willing to bet less than 10% of the people on this thread know how to heel and toe properly and if you're trying it in a Tacoma, it's a raging fail, with the brake/clutch/accelerator and sloppy-ass shifter.
I learned to heel and toe in a Formula Ford and promise you, it wasn't for slowing the car.
Creeping downhill in 4wd is not the same as the OP.
No it's not.
Trucks using lower gears to control forward momentum on downgrades is not the same as the OP...some may use an exhaust brake for additional control, but that's a different kettle of fish.
Why do I spin out of control on an icy hill coasting in nuetral using my brakes but I don't when I'm slowly crawling down the hill in 1st gear without using my brakes?
Because you're not a very good driver and lack basic car control knowledge.
Low friction surfaces require very light inputs if you're nearing maximum traction. I know, without a doubt, I can modulate my brakes quicker and with more precision, than I can modulate the throttle, especially if I have to alternate between a closed throttle and an open one....in your example I italicised above, you're adding drivetrain backlash into the equation.....epic fail in low traction/downhill circumstances.
Stick to the example by the OP, not your own.
They aren't two completely different matters. It's 100% the same concept. You are using the engine to control the speed of the vehicle against momentum and gravity. Decelleration is decelleration regardless of the grade.
Your 10% comment is probably accurate. However it is possible in the Tacoma, I do it all the time. Sure it was an adustment compared to my previous vehicle but after a little getting used to it, I can heel-toe just fine in the truck. I do it to make downshifting a smoother, also similar to driving a racecar, it's makes downshifting for acceleration smoother.
Slowing down is the same thing as controlling forward momentum. Otherwise you would continue to move forward at the same rate of speed or faster if you're on an incline (obviously gravity and wind resistance affect this)
I have personally never spun out of control going down an icy hill, just using that as an example. Gearing down in low traction is not an epic fail, its actually better than using your brakes, there is no risk of locking up. Same concept that ABS accomplishes, which is modulating the brakes to even braking pressure to allow the wheels to continue to spin and to slow you down without locking up.
Anyways no more arguing for me, just based on the comments from others, it appears that you're in the minority here.
So according to people with a scanguage and other AFR monitoring devices, the consensus seems to be that downshifting does save gas over braking in nuetral.