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Is it bad to "Down Shift" a lot?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by trexTRD, May 15, 2015.

  1. May 15, 2015 at 9:39 AM
    #1
    trexTRD

    trexTRD [OP] Well-Known Member

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    For some reason its become a habit for me, (3/5 times) I see that I'm going to come to a fast stop I tend to bring down the gear to 4th some times even 3rd to slow down my truck a bit. I was told a long time ago by a School Mech that that actually helps slow down the wear of the brakes. But ehh I don't know just wanted to see what you guys know....????

    Also I sometimes throw it on 4th when going up a hill it feels as if thee truck has more "power" guessing because the overdrive is not kicked in???? I know some TW members here do that but yea whats your guy's thoughts????
     
  2. May 15, 2015 at 9:41 AM
    #2
    Taco me elmo

    Taco me elmo Here, Eat some paint. Drink some Bleach.

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    Yes... your brakes are cheaper and thats what they are designed to do.

    Downshifting and over revving your motor is just bad practice.

    Unless you're shooting out of a corner at speed and need to drop gears and gun it on a track course.. let the brakes slow you down then down shift at appropriate RPM levels.
     
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  3. May 15, 2015 at 9:42 AM
    #3
    trexTRD

    trexTRD [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yea I figured... I seriously don't know why its become a habit
     
  4. May 15, 2015 at 9:45 AM
    #4
    Taco me elmo

    Taco me elmo Here, Eat some paint. Drink some Bleach.

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    your old mechanic was a dip shit.. brake pads cost $60 to replace.. transmission overhauls are $1400-$3000 So yeah.
     
  5. May 15, 2015 at 9:46 AM
    #5
    Sandman614

    Sandman614 Snarky TWSS elf, Travis #hotsavannahdotcom, LRGRNR

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    True - it will reduce wear on brakes
    True - it will increase wear on transmission

    It's not going to drastically harm the transmission. The electronics won't let it do something it shouldn't. I've accidentally dropped too many gears when driving too fast and the trans would not shift to the lower gear.
    Downshifting to pull on Hills is a normal practice and something the trans does on its own. *
    Downshifting down steep or loose traction grades is also a normal practice and the trans does this on it's own. *

    *Although you may feel based on your load and surrounding circumstances that you need to go lower. Again this is fine.
     
  6. May 15, 2015 at 9:47 AM
    #6
    trexTRD

    trexTRD [OP] Well-Known Member

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    High School Mech ASE Certifi butt yeaa thanks for the heads up
     
  7. May 15, 2015 at 9:48 AM
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    Sold My Subaru

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    You should have bought a truck with a Manual Transmission.
     
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  8. May 15, 2015 at 9:48 AM
    #8
    trexTRD

    trexTRD [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, yea rather wear out the brakes!
     
  9. May 15, 2015 at 9:51 AM
    #9
    KenLyns

    KenLyns 8.75" Third Member

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    It's fine. I do it all the time. The transmission is designed for it. Just change your transmission fluid at a sensible interval (like 5 years 48k).

    For long downhill sections, it's safer to use engine braking than to ride the wheel brakes. When wheel brakes overheat, fade occurs and you lose braking ability. Engine braking can be used indefinitely because the engine is effectively pumping air (fuel injectors shut off), with the heat generated through this process easily dissipated through the engine's cooling system.
     
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  10. May 15, 2015 at 9:55 AM
    #10
    trexTRD

    trexTRD [OP] Well-Known Member

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    so its 2 against 2 , kinda lost again. I think I should just stop doing it and keep it on drive unless I absolutely have too?
     
  11. May 15, 2015 at 10:05 AM
    #11
    Taco me elmo

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    You're not explaining the OP's situational downshifting at all. you are explaining normal long distance downhill braking with transmission assist.

    The OP uses his trans as brakes for shorter stops. I wouldnt do that in my 5 speed let alone any automatic.

    As long as the RPM range is less than 3k in a downshift it shouldn't be too bad but still dont rely on it.
     
  12. May 15, 2015 at 10:16 AM
    #12
    Sandman614

    Sandman614 Snarky TWSS elf, Travis #hotsavannahdotcom, LRGRNR

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    I'll put it this way, if a manufacturer didn't want you to shift because it would dramatically harm the transmission they would take out the lower gears on the selector/gearshift. Mind you the trans would still shift as it would automatically.

    All shifting does is change gear ratios. No harm as long as you don't 100% substitute downshifting for brakes, i.e. Downshift and then slap it in Park.. Lol
     
  13. May 15, 2015 at 10:17 AM
    #13
    Sandman614

    Sandman614 Snarky TWSS elf, Travis #hotsavannahdotcom, LRGRNR

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    I take it that by this you mean you put it in nuetral/out of gear and brake? No downshifting?
     
  14. May 15, 2015 at 10:21 AM
    #14
    trexTRD

    trexTRD [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yea haha I dont do that, but yea I think I just shouldn't be down shifting now
     
  15. May 15, 2015 at 10:23 AM
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    Taco me elmo

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    When under 10 mph yes. otherwise I stay in the gear im in while braking and if needed will downshift to the appropriate gear when needing to accelerate again.

    I drive a manual and the only time I have downshifted at high rpm was to haul ass out of a corner or if a light turned green but I was in too high of a gear while slowing down.

    The newer trucks have smarter and stronger transmissions yes but when I learned to drive in 80's and 90's cars and truck I was always told to use the brakes to stop.. LOL

    My 06 Acura is an automatic and it downshifts for me while braking at set rpm levels.. why mess with it if its efficient enough is my main question?

    And as far as a mechanic telling students to downshift an auto in place of braking.. really?
     
  16. May 15, 2015 at 10:34 AM
    #16
    jbrnigan

    jbrnigan Well-Known Member

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    Won't hurt the transmission at all! ECU won't let you over rev the engine etc etc etc. Modern transmissions have auto or manual upshifting and downshifting designed in. The sporty versions of some Toyotas and Lexus come with paddle shifters. My Camry can be fully automatic or manually shifted. It's not a 60 dollar brake issue vs transmission failure or wear out. If you want to shift your auto, do it, if you don't don't. The tranny doesn't care.
     
  17. May 15, 2015 at 10:40 AM
    #17
    Sandman614

    Sandman614 Snarky TWSS elf, Travis #hotsavannahdotcom, LRGRNR

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    In place of braking, no that's Ludacris like I said in my last post lol.

    Efficiency is subjective. A lot of us add weight over the advertised/recommended weight limit and the gearing becomes inefficient. Driving styles can cause efficiency to vary as well.

    OP, even from the naysayers downshifting won't cause drastic harm to the trans. So if you feel a situation calls for it go ahead and do it.
     
  18. May 15, 2015 at 10:42 AM
    #18
    locster

    locster Well-Known Member

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    The gear ratios on these trucks are high to maximize fuel economy, that's why downshiting one gear may not make much of a difference at normal driving speed.

    Perhaps it's cheaper (and safer) for you to just slow down a little and use just the brake. :)
     
  19. May 15, 2015 at 11:41 AM
    #19
    Usethe2nd

    Usethe2nd Well-Known Member

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    Automatic or Manual?

    If it's an auto I'd reccomend against touching the shifter unless you're towing or wheeling. If it's a manual and you're not jamming into lower gears, you shouldn't have a problem
     
  20. May 15, 2015 at 1:11 PM
    #20
    Wild Crow

    Wild Crow Well-Known Member

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    If it feels good shift it

    I've been shifting automatics for 35+ years of driving. Never had one fail. Upshift down shift add long as you are not trying to exceed the engine rpm capability it will be fine. Just don't do anything stupid like 5 grand neutral drops or rolling in reverse then slamming into drive.
     

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