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Old 10th May 2006, 15:40   #1
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Default Shifting to Neutral or Pressing the Clutch when Braking - Is this right?

Hi,
I tried searching the other threads before posting this query, but could not find what i was looking for.
here's my query..
While driving at a certian speed say above 60 - 70 Kms/ hour, when i need to slow down my car , if suppose i am approaching a red light/Speed breaker, i usually shift my gears to the neutral , directly from the 5th or 4th geat and break genlty before i come to a comple halt or the speed at which i need to take off once again? This way i dont have to use the clutch much, just once to shift to the neutral.
in short, i shift to the neutral from a higher seed/higher gear and let the car come to a speed at which i can engage 2nd or 3rd gear.
just to give an e.g. if iam driving in the expressway at say 100 km/hr and when i see the sign - Toll 1000 meters ahead - i simply shift to the neutral and break gently till I approach the Toll booth , rather than shifting to 4th,3rd ect.
I do this while driving downhill also.(shifting to the neutral) but i do not keep my foot over the brakes.

by doing this i feel i am saving fuel.
Please correct me if i am wrong in the follwoing the above said method.
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Old 10th May 2006, 15:48   #2
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you are absolutely crazy!

you gets into neutral while coming downhill???
the best practice in downhills is to get into a gear which you would have used while climbing that uphill! just try to visualise on that!!

and regarding shifting 1000 meters before hitting that toll booth or speedbraker, don't do that coz if something gets in front of you out of blue, then you won't be having any engine-braking to assist you!

i guess the safest and most practical way to brake is to do it gently and when the car is about to give you jerk, shift down by pressing that clutch !!
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Old 10th May 2006, 15:54   #3
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I don't see anything wrong, if you are at some distance and see the red light is RED..then yes shift to Neutral if you want...! Otherwise practically shift to a lower gear than the one you are in and slow down...! and when you come to a stop Go Neutral...!
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Old 10th May 2006, 16:05   #4
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Never go neutral on a hill,why because now your car's engine is free,if it was in a gear it had some limit.

Also when braking shift gears down.
Suppose you are at 5th gear.You see a sudden turn.Shift the gear to 4th release the clutch,also breaking gently,this will give a sudden jerk,also your rpm will rise for sometime.Again shift to 3rd...then 2nd in the same manner.And you will be able to make the turn safely.
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Old 10th May 2006, 16:08   #5
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Never shift from 80kmph to neutral suddenly as it can disturb the balance of the car. Your breaking will also be affected. The best thing to do will be to use the clutch only at the very last minute just so that ur car dosen't stall. Getting used to down shifting and breaking will ill ensure max stopping power.

While driving downhill in neutral and using the brakes most of the time will cause brake fade to due excess heat.
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Old 10th May 2006, 17:24   #6
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oops! i just realize how stupid i have been all the while , thanks all anyways. I will get into the new habit of downshifting ASAP.
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Old 10th May 2006, 17:26   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netarchie
in short, i shift to the neutral from a higher seed/higher gear and let the car come to a speed at which i can engage 2nd or 3rd gear.
As others have pointed out, you should shift down progressively just as you shift up progressively. Using your logic, would you shift to 2nd from 1st by first moving into Neutral and then revving your engine to get to the engine speed for 2nd?

Never shift into neutral while slowing down. Even when you shift down to stop at a traffic signal, you should always be in gear and should ideally be in 2nd gear when you stop. Thats the point when you depress the clutch and shift to neutral after engaging your handbrake. If you're first in the row, you should also shift to 1st and keep the clutch disengaged with one hand on the handbrake so that you can release the handbrake, release the clutch and move without holding up traffic behind you.
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Old 10th May 2006, 17:43   #8
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Hi
To my opinion there is no problem regarding shifting of gears from 5th to nuetral at the speed of 80,100.. watever... Nothing happens to your car balance or ur barkes if you do it. moreover it would be good for your car mileage.

whether it is a expressway or downhill ensure that your engine is on.. that wat really matters. rest all is fine if u are comfortable in doing so.
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Old 10th May 2006, 17:48   #9
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I do the neutral thing. But never downhill,obviously.


On a plain road i see no harm in slotting the car to neutral when approaching a red light or an obstacle. Gently brake the car and then slot in the relevant gear as per the engine speed.

However it's best to put the car in neutral only when the speed is not more than 70 Kmph. This is because you have lesser control of the car in neutral.

But there is no harm i guess. MAke sure you do the neutral slotting a a fair distance before the obstacle(so that you don't stress your brake pads too much.). Actually this would help save fuel.
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Old 10th May 2006, 17:50   #10
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hey... this is geting confusing... what is right, what is wrong? need more comments pls..
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Old 10th May 2006, 18:04   #11
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simple as it gets
keep in top gear 5 or 6 and be there if u see the toll gates with a light foot on the pedal (this depends according to ur gear ratios) as in my case being in top the car does not jerk at even 20kmph. so use the right gear 4th or 5th.

Never be in Neutral downhill advisable to be in 3rd 4th and at blind turns in 2nd this depends entirely on the kind of road u r negotiating if its a twisty something like OOTY roads better to come into 2nd or be in 3rd.
DONT be in Neutral and use brakes u are burning the liners, caliper pads faster.

Finally if u want to negotiate turns faster with lesser brakings and without having the jerks of downshifting then
just as u r downshifting eg from 4th to 3rd at 80/90 kmph blip the throttle slightly so as to be at par with the normal rev range which would have been the 3rd gear rev range and have a smooth downshift at higher rpms thereby reducing the speed effectively and also no pressure on transmission and a sexy exit out of the bend.
cheers

Last edited by 2fast4u : 10th May 2006 at 18:06.
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Old 10th May 2006, 18:12   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netarchie
hey... this is geting confusing... what is right, what is wrong? need more comments pls..

in simple words ....whatever you are doing may not be safe as you could risk heating up your brakes and hence reduce the braking efficiency ..use engine braking as much as possible ..this will give better control
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Old 10th May 2006, 18:14   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netarchie
hey... this is geting confusing... what is right, what is wrong? need more comments pls..
Well, nothing to feel confused. On a flat surface when you know you are going to stop in less than 400-500 meters you may shift over to neutral and then keep braking slowly till you come to a stop. There is only one scenario which may become problematic. Suppose all of a sudden something happens that causes you to need the engine power back in the wheels. Maybe something (say a bike falls and skids towards you) comes towards you at a rapid pace. In such a scenario you will probably try to hurriedly engage a gear and increase the speed (and swerve a little) to avoid a collision. In such cases (1) you loose precious time in engaging gear. Remember, such scenarios give you very little reaction time. (2) in your hurry to engage gear if you engage a very high gear you may instead stall and stop. This will get you into trouble. Or else you may engage a very low gear for your speed at that time. This can be even more problematic. Your car may jerk violently as the RPM will shoot up and may cause your car to fish tail etc...

However on a downhill I would say you are nuts if you roll down in neutral. Thats like committing suicide. You are sitting in a 1 tonne behemoth that is rolling on its own accord. Anything goes wrong (and things may go wrong very very easily) and you won't have any power to control your vehicle. On the other hand if you are in a gear (not a very high one though. Only say 3rd) when your car is rolling and the engine sounds a little busy you are in precise control.
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Old 10th May 2006, 18:16   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netarchie
hey... this is geting confusing... what is right, what is wrong? need more comments pls..
Hey, Its nothing confusing ... A lot of ppl do what u do but its wrong coz it can be dangerous !!! Lets take the Toll road example ... u shift into neutral and the engine becomes non existent so if you suddenly have to brake u will have to brake much harder as the engine braking will not help and thus leading to longer braking distance . Also braking will lead to more usage of the pads and ur leather will wear out much faster .

For the Hills ...SIMPLY NEVER GO DOWNHILL IN NEUTRAL ..even if engine on !!! Don't listen to anyone who says its ok ... coz its not ok . Revharder made a very good point when he said
Quote:
the best practice in downhills is to get into a gear which you would have used while climbing that uphill! just try to visualise on that!!
and this is said coz the engine acts as a brake so u dont actually have to step on the brakes much . Also while going downhill the car will keep gaining momentum and thus go faster and u will have to use the brakes way too much to slow down. A lot of accidents in the hills happen due to this method and which some smart people think will save them fuel . NEVER GO DOWNHILL IN NEUTRAL .. Its like a rolling ball of iron ... try rolling something down a slope and u'll see that its speed increases as it goes farther down, now use common sense !!

Hope you not too confused now ....


Cheers
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Old 10th May 2006, 18:40   #15
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ok.. to sum it up,
use the neutral method only and only if you are absolutely and absolutely sure that the road ahead is safe and nothing untoward can happen,
should not/never use the neutral method downhill.
best practice is use the normal downshift method to slow down.
lessons learn ... now the hard part will be to kick the habbit.
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