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Old 8th July 2011, 17:16   #196
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
If you are reducing your speed from 120 kmph in 4th gear by braking and downshift to 3rd at anything above 60kmph then you are using more than just brakes to slow down and then you are indeed wearing out the clutch faster than normal. The higher the speed at which you downshift, the more the stress on the engine as well as the clutch. In fact you can blow up your engine if you downshift too early.

If you downshift to 3rd once speed goes below 60, you are hardly using the engine to brake. So, thats not engine braking.

The above figures may vary a bit depending on engine size and power, but you get the idea.

Its not really a good idea to make engine braking a part and parcel of your regular driving. Its cheaper to replace the brake pads than the cost of putting extra stress on the engine.
IIRC the owner manual of every car has the maximum speed for each gears mentioned. That should be helpful in knowing the speed at which you can downshift for safe engine braking as well just like knowing when to upshift.
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Old 8th July 2011, 17:22   #197
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

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If you are reducing your speed from 120 kmph in 4th gear by braking and downshift to 3rd at anything above 60kmph then you are using more than just brakes to slow down and then you are indeed wearing out the clutch faster than normal. The higher the speed at which you downshift, the more the stress on the engine as well as the clutch. In fact you can blow up your engine if you downshift too early.

If you downshift to 3rd once speed goes below 60, you are hardly using the engine to brake. So, thats not engine braking.

The above figures may vary a bit depending on engine size and power, but you get the idea.

Its not really a good idea to make engine braking a part and parcel of your regular driving. Its cheaper to replace the brake pads than the cost of putting extra stress on the engine.

No you got me wrong, say I want to come to 20 from 80 or 100 quickly, I will start braking while I change gears, I come down to 60 by braking and engage fourth gear and that reduces the speed to some extent and then I continue braking and quickly change to second gear which further reduces the speed to 20.

I am sure I would require a lot more effort on brakes and a lot more distance to stop if I disengaged my clutch all this while. There is a difference between using engine braking only and using engine braking also.

And I am sure I am not riding my clutch either, because no matter what the speed is clutch always engage and disengage at idle rpm, they get worn out only if you press the gas with half clutch, which is not what I am doing here. Of course some amount of wear and tear is unavoidable, but I do not think what I am doing does any harm to my clutch plates.

Last edited by anilisanil : 8th July 2011 at 17:25.
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Old 8th July 2011, 17:31   #198
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Oh, having the gear slotted is always better while parking.



I know; it is, without doubt, "advisable" to press the clutch while starting.

selfdrive started this discussion asking if having the clutch pressed would have undesired effects eg. clutch wear and tear etc.; that is what I want to know from a technical standpoint.
let's go technical, clutch pressed(fully) means "engine is disengaged from wheels" so, no wear tear comes in picture.

when you release clutch lever to engage engine to wheels, some wear-tear can occur(due to slipping and normal function of clutch) but i think that's normal. that's what you are always doing when driving. there is no way to avoid it.

Please, correct me if i am wrong. i am no Automobile Engg.

Last edited by Suess : 8th July 2011 at 17:33. Reason: typo
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Old 8th July 2011, 17:32   #199
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

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No you got me wrong, say I want to come to 20 from 80 or 100 quickly, I will start braking while I change gears, I come down to 60 by braking and engage fourth gear and that reduces the speed to some extent and then I continue braking and quickly change to second gear which further reduces the speed to 20.

I am sure I would require a lot more effort on brakes and a lot more distance to stop if I disengaged my clutch all this while. There is a difference between using engine braking only and using engine braking also.

And I am sure I am not riding my clutch either, because no matter what the speed is clutch always engage and disengage at idle rpm, they get worn out only if you press the gas with half clutch, which is not what I am doing here. Of course some amount of wear and tear is unavoidable, but I do not think what I am doing does any harm to my clutch plates.
Well - I think it all depends on the circumstances of getting this speed down. In a situation where you have to do this in shortest distance, best to keep both hands on steering while you depress clutch and brake and not worry about gear changing.
In the event you see traffic stoppage ahead or plan on having a break, going down the gears while reducing speed is doable.
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Old 8th July 2011, 17:42   #200
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

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Originally Posted by Suess View Post
let's go technical, clutch pressed(fully) means "engine is disengaged from wheels" so, no wear tear comes in picture.

when you release clutch lever to engage engine to wheels, some wear-tear can occur(due to slipping and normal function of clutch) but i think that's normal. that's what you are always doing when driving. there is no way to avoid it.

Please, correct me if i am wrong. i am no Automobile Engg.

From what I have read elsewhere (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clutch_...ing_the_clutch and Thrust bearing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and http://auto.howstuffworks.com/clutch1.htm )- there is also the release bearing that keeps spinning - and that does have wear and tear.

though for starting the vehicle if you press the clutch fully, the release bearing wear/tear should be insignificant.

Last edited by vina : 8th July 2011 at 17:46.
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Old 8th July 2011, 17:48   #201
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

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a) You are driving in your lane and you find the truck in front of you suddenly moves in to your lane from left without any signal. I had bad accident last month when i hit the rear of a oil tanker who suddenly moved into my lane when i was driving on NH 4 as there was hardly much gap betwen us. Since then i have been counting the number of times the truck guys do this mischief. Yesterday, i was driving back from Chitradurga and could count six such occassions in both directions. Earlier i never used to horn thinking that these guys will be moving in their own lane peacefully. I have started doing it now everytime i see a truck in front of me on the left lane. The trick seems to be working as atleast on three occassions the truck drivers went back to thier own lane!! Any other tricks?
Best to keep watching the truck (for that matter any vehicle's) front left/right tyre (depending on the side you overtake) with respect to the guide lines. Short beeps if you are safely behind and need space, long honk if you are hear in mouth, notice how he moves and drive accordingly. Especially during days its hard to judge truck overtakings. Its also better to keep tab of smaller slower vehicles ahead of the truck before you pull off your overtaking maneuver. You can alert him or slow down depending on that. In the nights it becomes relatively easier, flash-judge and pass.

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c) How do you negotiate a vehicle parked on the side suddenly starts and comes into your lane??? It happenned to me yesterday and since i was not in great speed was able to negotiate.
Regardless of stationary or slow moving, I keep a safe distance away from such vehicles. Be alert enough to panic brake on 2-laners, put your indicators and move to right lane on 4-laners.

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1. Turning - When there is a blind corner where I have to make a turn, I feel more comfortable taking very slow turn, stopping, watching both sides and then proceeding.

Needless to say this is met with lot of honking from drivers behind. What is the right way to do this?
First part is absolutely fine. Just wanted to add, keep looking on the ORVMs on the side you are turning and the vehicles that are merging from behind, to confirm that some genius is not squeezing you out when you are turning.

Second part is more to developing selective hearing disability towards honking. Though it is difficult to do in initial days, try to rollup your windows and drive. This way you'll be slightly cut off from the annoying honks.

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2. Making a turn right into busy City Road which is also an NH. There is one point where in I need to make a turn right into NH and at this point, I need to turn into the right most Lane as there will be vehicles in the middle and left lanes. So I proceed on the right lane, at 50-60 kmph. This leads to people overtaking me from left. I am aware that the right most lane is the fast/over-taking lane, but I am not comfortable moving into middle lane immediately as cars/trucks/two -wheelers fly through them, nor am I comfortable travelling at a higher speed than this as of now. Please note that this is a busy road I am talking about, and not empty so its not like I am hogging the right lane, and I do move to the left most lane when I get a chance, but I take quite a bit of time to move from right most to left lane. Just how bad is this and how much am I inconveniencing other drivers and how should I tackle this?
Keep looking at the left ORVM, look when its free, put your indicator and move.
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Old 8th July 2011, 17:54   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anilisanil

No you got me wrong, say I want to come to 20 from 80 or 100 quickly, I will start braking while I change gears, I come down to 60 by braking and engage fourth gear and that reduces the speed to some extent and then I continue braking and quickly change to second gear which further reduces the speed to 20.

I am sure I would require a lot more effort on brakes and a lot more distance to stop if I disengaged my clutch all this while. There is a difference between using engine braking only and using engine braking also.

And I am sure I am not riding my clutch either, because no matter what the speed is clutch always engage and disengage at idle rpm, they get worn out only if you press the gas with half clutch, which is not what I am doing here. Of course some amount of wear and tear is unavoidable, but I do not think what I am doing does any harm to my clutch plates.
I am not sure how much the engine will contribute to braking when you downshift to fourth at 60 when going down from 80 to 20.

In my opinion the ideal usage of engine braking is when going downhill for a long distance. Otherwise on a straight stretch, you are better off using the brakes and just downshift at the right speeds fo each gear. And that wont be engine braking.
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Old 8th July 2011, 18:15   #203
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

Quite agree with what amitoj has mentioned here. Engine braking is usually helpful to reduce the pressure on brakes and fading of brakes while you are descending from a hill. Using only brakes excessively to slow down your car might reduce their efficiency and might even heat them up. Besides, using engine braking while going downhill also helps you keep the car in control - better traction, I mean.
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Old 8th July 2011, 19:00   #204
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

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I am not sure how much the engine will contribute to braking when you downshift to fourth at 60 when going down from 80 to 20.

In my opinion the ideal usage of engine braking is when going downhill for a long distance. Otherwise on a straight stretch, you are better off using the brakes and just downshift at the right speeds fo each gear. And that wont be engine braking.
Actually the use of engine braking is on corners n sure you can also use it on level stretch of road too. For example: lets say you are going 60 kmph n way ahead you see traffic light turning red(or it was red when saw), now two ways to approach the traffic light 1. continue with your speed of 60kmph n then break n wait for green.2. you can slow down a bit n change to 2nd-3rd gear n reach there when its green n traffic has been moving so you can continue without stopping n waiting/idlling. This way you can avoid going through 1 to 3rd gear change n will be moving ahead of others(if traffic allows).
But I am also aware that mostly it doesn't work in Indian traffic.
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Old 8th July 2011, 19:11   #205
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

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I am not sure how much the engine will contribute to braking when you downshift to fourth at 60 when going down from 80 to 20.

In my opinion the ideal usage of engine braking is when going downhill for a long distance. Otherwise on a straight stretch, you are better off using the brakes and just downshift at the right speeds fo each gear. And that wont be engine braking.
Let me put it like this- Consider two scenarios.
  1. You have a vehicle at 100 kmph, you are given a straight path w/o obstructions, so you are asked to not to use the gas pedal any more and just coast along until the vehicle stops. No braking at all.
  2. Same as above, but you will downshift as necessary until you reach neutral. And do not use the clutch at all except for gear changes.
Which case has smaller stopping distance and why?

Last edited by anilisanil : 8th July 2011 at 19:13.
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Old 8th July 2011, 19:19   #206
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Originally Posted by Suess

Actually the use of engine braking is on corners n sure you can also use it on level stretch of road too. For example: lets say you are going 60 kmph n way ahead you see traffic light turning red(or it was red when saw), now two ways to approach the traffic light 1. continue with your speed of 60kmph n then break n wait for green.2. you can slow down a bit n change to 2nd-3rd gear n reach there when its green n traffic has been moving so you can continue without stopping n waiting/idlling. This way you can avoid going through 1 to 3rd gear change n will be moving ahead of others(if traffic allows).
That is not engine braking if you are gradually slowing down. Let me give you an example of engine braking on a straight stretch. Suppose you see a speed breaker approaching fast. Its better if you know the road and know where the speed breaker is. Instead of only using your breaks, you break late and downshift early so that car slows down but the revvs go up. This way when you cross the breaker, the revvs are high enough for you to accelerate. Of course this applies more to petrol engines.

But my point is that if you want to gradually slow down, the brakes are the better option. Engine braking in scenarios mentioned above will cause excessive wear and tear. It is ok to use it when going downhill because it delays brake fade due to excessive heat if you were to only use the brakes and is a lot safer option.

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Originally Posted by anilisanil

Let me put it like this- Consider two scenarios.
[*]You have a vehicle at 100 kmph, you are given a straight path w/o obstructions, so you are asked to not to use the gas pedal any more and just coast along until the vehicle stops. No braking at all.[*]Same as above, but you will downshift as necessary until you reach neutral. And do not use the clutch at all except for gear changes.Which case has smaller stopping distance and why?
Theoretically what you say may be correct but in the presence of actual brakes and normal braking, the engine revvs automatically drop and when you downshift, the engine is doing nothing in stopping the car.

Last edited by amitoj : 8th July 2011 at 19:23.
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Old 9th July 2011, 21:07   #207
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Engine braking is what happens every time you take your foot off the accelerator pedal. Of course, it is much more pronounced when you change down too.


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Hi Everyone!

Woman driver aboard! I have read enough posts here to know how much one is dreaded!
Some of the best drivers I have known, and some of my best driving lessons came from women. My mother drove herself up until a few weeks before her death at 89: she could just turn on her intuition and tell the mechanic where to look for faults, and would nearly always be right.

I've done my bit fighting gender stereotypes. probably will again.

I'm catching up after a week away, so couldn't respond to your post. Just wanted to welcome as I skipped to the end of the thread.
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Old 10th July 2011, 02:12   #208
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Old 10th July 2011, 11:28   #209
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

Your dad knew how to get it into your head! Never depress the clutch when braking, except to actually slow down, or just before stopping. If it is an emergency stop, no time for gear change, let the engine stall rather than touch that clutch.
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Old 10th July 2011, 12:42   #210
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Default Re: Driving Guide : Rules, Tips, Etiquette & Common Mistakes To Avoid

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Your dad knew how to get it into your head! Never depress the clutch when braking, except to actually slow down, or just before stopping. If it is an emergency stop, no time for gear change, let the engine stall rather than touch that clutch.
Wouldn't engine stalling be bigger trouble than it is worth - I mean wouldn't you lose both the power steering and power brakes? Most of us don't have any experience steering/braking without the assistance provided by the engine power so I'm not sure it is a good idea to have a stalling engine - can you tell more.

By the way, by the time engine starts to complain about stalling, speed will be so low engine anyway can not help you brake (in fact once the rpm is that low it'll try to make the car move) - I guess depressing the clutch will not harm
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