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Old 03-28-2012, 03:03 PM   #1
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Braking vs downshifting

What's everyone think? Everyday use, not just hills
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:27 PM   #2
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Which is cheaper, brake pads or transmission overhaul?
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiesta48 View Post
Which is cheaper, brake pads or transmission overhaul?
Downshifting will cause premature transmission failure?
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramblin
Downshifting will cause premature transmission failure?
My question as well
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:59 PM   #5
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Brakes for everyday use, downshift and Jake brake for hills.
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:04 PM   #6
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I would have to say a combination of both. gear down to a low enough gear to control your speed and use your breaks for the rest. The trick here is to pick the right gear before heading down the hill with out red lining your engine and causeing damage to said transmision. By choosing the proper gear you should not put extra stress on the trany. To much breaking and you over heat the breaks and have isues with over heating and breake fade. Thank goodness for runaway lanes.
Hopefully we get a trucker or bus driver chime in with a more technical answer.
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:21 PM   #7
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Been downshifting with all of my vehicles and have never damaged a transmission. We have been on some long, high percentage grades out West towing and have had to downshift and then 'jab' the brakes to get the speed down to less than 20 mph to keep from over-reving the engine in the MH...no damage to the tranny and brakes were pretty warm but not hot. As long as you don't overload or shock the trans excessively, I don't see a problem with downshifting. YMMV...Bob
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:40 PM   #8
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In most of the flatlands/rolling hills, brakes are for stopping. Downshifting and the exhaust brake are for slowing down -- or preventing speed from getting too high to start with. Like randyranger and scenic route stated, in the mountains it's a different story.
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizard
Brakes for everyday use, downshift and Jake brake for hills.
Ditto!
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:06 PM   #10
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What Wizard posted. Service brakes need to be used or they may glaze. Then when you need them they may not be there (like when the coach was new).
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:18 PM   #11
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When starting down a hill it is best to slow down at the top and downshift to a gear that will hold the vehicle back with only small applications of the brakes. If you are going too fast and then try to get slowed down your brakes will get overheated and it will be near impossible to gear down. Once brakes are overheated they quickly become non effective and you will be in a runaway situation if there is lots of downgrade still ahead. This applies to vehicles equipped with jake brakes or exhaust brakes as well. If you follow this procedure and find you are going too slow you can always go up a gear as needed.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:39 PM   #12
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The F350 when its towing automatically shifts down and uses the engine as the brake. So I guess my answer is both, but I was told by a driving instructor the same thing fiesta48 related that brake pads are cheaper than trannys
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:44 PM   #13
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The F350 when its towing automatically shifts down and uses the engine as the brake. So I guess my answer is both, but I was told by a driving instructor the same thing fiesta48 related that brake pads are cheaper than trannys

On the other hand, riding your brakes will get you to the bottom of the mountain a LOT faster than a lower gear will.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:54 PM   #14
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I posted elsewhere on this forum about coming down from Bridal Lake Summit on the Crowsnest Highway (Hwy 3) we were riding our second gear after slowing way down at the top. About 2/3 the way down a family in a big Class A went by me like I was going up and all the rest of the way down i could smell his brakes.

Way down at the bottom the guy was pulled over off the side of the highway and the whole family wa physically ill from the brake smell in the motorhome and from being scared s**tless from the ride. After he calmed down enough to drive I told him that I could go slow because I had downshifted at the top. He learned something that day.

There is nothing scarier than finding out halfway down a big hill that your unit no longer has functioning brakes. I prefer to ride down steep hills on the transmission.
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