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#181237 - 25/08/01 09:32 AM Down shifting, Should I or shouldn't I...
Mt. Max Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/01
Posts: 11
Loc: Yavapai County, Arizona
I have an automatic transmissin, 6 cylinder, and live in a very hilly area and routinely down shift to save the brakes, smooth out the ride, and because I like to. Anyone have any input on whether this is a good idea?
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#181238 - 26/08/01 03:18 PM Re: Down shifting, Should I or shouldn't I...
John C Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 26/08/01
Posts: 5
Loc: San Francisco
I also live in an area with lots of hills. If I am going down a very steep hill and want to go slow, I will lock it into first (I have an auto). If it is a long moderately steep downhill, I will use second. However, I only use the gears to maintain speed on a long descent. I do not shift from drive to second or first when stopping for a light or stop sign. The main reason for downshifting is to prevent the brakes from overheating. Driving around town it is generally best to just use the brakes and leave the transmission in drive. Also of note is that replacing brakes is relatively inexpensive while any auto tranny work is expensive. Thus, if you have to choose a component to wear, brakes are a better choice. --John

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#181239 - 27/08/01 10:41 AM Re: Down shifting, Should I or shouldn't I...
OffroadX Offline
Member

Registered: 17/08/00
Posts: 13682
Loc: Baltimore, MD
You have to weigh the risk of brake fade to the risk of cooking the AT. Engine braking on an AT causes the fluid in the torque converter to stir like crazy, and will build up a lot of heat. There is an ATF temp warning light in the dash, keep an eye for it.

Brent
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