Posted by artie on February 18, 1999 at 11:22:20:
In Reply to: Downshifting questions posted by Steve on February 18, 1999 at 07:43:49:
If you can ignore the stupid answers consider this.
Downshifting should be done only for one reason in my mind and that is maintaining engine rpm at the peak of the torque curve. This is mainly used in situations where you need peak torque available at any instance such as in racing coming in and out of corners.
Downshifting to brake the car with the engine compression is in my mind, risky. If you miss a shift or if you haven't "learned" the gear to engine RPM performance, you may overrev the engine. Is this worth some brake pad wear? Not in my mind. If you were a semi-trailer and needed to stop a 25 ton vehicle, then engine braking would be useful. But you're not. Use your brakes in lieu of downshifting to slow your car down is my opinion.