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Old 07-27-2011, 03:03 PM   #1
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How much do you use engine brakes?

I noticed the other day that I use engine braking more than the actual brakes to slow down. It's become a habit, I just downshift when I need to slow down and only touch the brakes when coming to a dead stop at the stoplights. How much do you guys use engine braking versus the actual disc brakes? Which would you think is more efficient/cheaper (I only drive my Boxster in town)?

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Old 07-27-2011, 03:18 PM   #2
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I had the same bad habit when I first started driving my Porsche, I would downshift and use the engine and not the brakes, I did this until I learned not to.

1. Brakes are made to slow the car and are on all four wheels and have complicated antilock systems to make sure they work properly as much of the time as possible.

2. Slowing the car with downshifting causes extra wear on the clutch and only slows the two rear wheels.

3. If you are driving at or near the limit of adhesion and downshift too hard it can destabilize the car and make you spin. This is the reason for heel and toe downshifting, to avoid this happening.

4. Porsche and all the other manufacturers have gone to great lengths to eliminate engine braking in its dual clutch and sequential (racing) transmissions by building in automatic throttle blips to avoid engine braking during downshifts.

5. Brake pads are cheaper to replace than clutches

6. Proper use of rpms and gear selection to slow the car on a long hill is perfectly acceptable and is mandatory on large trucks but this is not slowing the car coming up to a stop sign or intersection.

7. If you cant heel and toe you can at least rev match to smooth your shifting down to a lower gear and then apply the brakes to slow the car.

8. Brakes stop ... clutch disengages the engine from the drivetrain
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:33 PM   #3
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Its cheaper to replace brakes than it is to replace an engine or clutch that's been doing more work than it needs to.

I suggest you use your brakes instead.
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:19 PM   #4
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Brake pads are cheaper than clutches and especially syncros. I use engine braking alot but only staying in the gear that I'm in. I don't downshift for braking.

I find that most of the times when someone hits their brakes in front of me on the highway, I can just let off the gas to match their deceleration. But then I don't tailgate and I like 4th gear (on the 6 speed) for a highway trip that sees frequent inch-worming.
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:34 PM   #5
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I try not to do this in my Boxster, but I have the same habit from driving older cars. I have a 1966 Triumph Spitfire with antique brakes and this downshift method is almost necessary to slow down quickly and not lose grip. The car is so light that brakes alone can lock up and the car will start to drift. Anyone that has had to stand on old drum brakes on a 914 has learned to use both at once.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:44 PM   #6
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Does this apply to Tiptronics as well? The tip is great as "braking" to a stop. Bad habit?
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:50 PM   #7
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I never use the engine to brake. Brakes are for stopping, the clutch and tranny is for going!
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofidleness
Does this apply to Tiptronics as well? The tip is great as "braking" to a stop. Bad habit?
Yeah, would like to know the answer to this one too, the tip has a "bad habit" of downshifting to assist the braking. But probably can't do anything to disable this "bad habit".

When I first got the car, I find myself constantly stopping way before I intended to. I find that the stock brakes are slow in initial response.... prompting me to step hard and when the tip jumps in to help, the car slows down too much... The S front brake conversion is so much better, much better initial braking response.
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:55 AM   #9
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I always used to use just the brakes, but then i ended up in automatic cars for a while. When i had my 986 i started to downshift also to help brake. When i did my first DE i was reminded taht the brakes are much cheaper than the clutch to replace.

How i forgot that? i don't know.
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofidleness
Does this apply to Tiptronics as well? The tip is great as "braking" to a stop. Bad habit?
How could you help it? The transmission does what it wants to do.
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:12 PM   #11
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Add to that the fact

that the increased manifold vacuum tends to suck oil past the rings leading to higher oil consumption over time.

I never do it!
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:14 PM   #12
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I guess I will make a habit of using the brakes then, my bank account may thank me for it :P

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