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I have a 05' 6i (4speed yada yada) and like to keep the car in 'M' alot. Its common know-how that shifting down to slow down can take some of the load off your breaks...I'd like to know if this a can-do-without-busting-something situation for the 03-05 ATX tranny...(also-have cooler and will be putting it on soon)
 

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I do it sometimes on my 04 M6 5 spd. ATX. I try not to over rev it when doing it. I have a cooler and syn. fluid with 3 drain-refills to try to control the heat on the Jatco.
 

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As long as you have a tranny cooler you should be fine to downshift the ATX to slow down.
 

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You can do it but I've personally never seen the point. Why put stress on a $1000-$2000 transmission to save some life on your $50 brake pads? You certainly won't bust anything but you will wear out your transmission faster. And note that I'm not saying there is never a time when engine braking is the best option, I'm just saying such a situation is very rare and probably won't ever come up in a normal driving situation.
 

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You can do it but I've personally never seen the point. Why put stress on a $1000-$2000 transmission to save some life on your $50 brake pads? You certainly won't bust anything but you will wear out your transmission faster. And note that I'm not saying there is never a time when engine braking is the best option, I'm just saying such a situation is very rare and probably won't ever come up in a normal driving situation.
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Someone on some local forums was trying to tell me that a manual was better because you can downshift to slow down faster in the winter. Right... I took high school physics, I'm not buying that crap.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Someone on some local forums was trying to tell me that a manual was better because you can downshift to slow down faster in the winter. Right... I took high school physics, I'm not buying that crap.
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:laugh: are you serious?...I think it would go something like this...ATX...presses brakes... :) slows down gracefully...MTX...downshifts through 3 gears...wheel spin... :eek: :excl: :shocked: ...do the math
 

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:laugh: are you serious?...I think it would go something like this...ATX...presses brakes... :) slows down gracefully...MTX...downshifts through 3 gears...wheel spin... :eek: :excl: :shocked: ...do the math
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I'm serious. I tried to tell him that your stopping power has to do with the amount of friction between your surface and your tire but he just came back with "I don't have ABS man, downshifting slows me down from 60 for a turn faster". Uh...don't fly into a turn when it's slippery out? geez....
 

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I'm serious. I tried to tell him that your stopping power has to do with the amount of friction between your surface and your tire but he just came back with "I don't have ABS man, downshifting slows me down from 60 for a turn faster". Uh...don't fly into a turn when it's slippery out? geez....
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Yeah, the tires are doing all the job for stopping. You can have the biggest brakes available but the tires can only do so much. Usually when you can't stop fast enough, it's the tires that are failing therefore skidding.

Downshifting is useful when you are going down hill and you want to hold the speed. By using the brake only you can overheat your brakes. Other than that, I don't use my transmission or engine to slow down. Occasionally I do rev-match and downshift gently and let the car coast and wait for the light to turn green. Brakes are cheaper to replace. Use the appropriate part to do the job properly.

I'm sure you can slow down faster by opening all the doors and put your feet on the ground Flinstone style but I'll let someone else to prove it.
 

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In a manual, as long as the clutch is engaged and foot off the gas, there's always engine braking going on but to what degree depends on the gear the car's in.

In M mode on an atx, the clutches and bands are always engaged in the lower gears so there's constant engine braking also. When I had my ATX I drove in M constantly and engine braked all the time and had no issues. However, like some here, I did have a 24000 GVW B&M cooler installed. And I'm not sure how much extra wear those clutches and bands endured but they did seem to hold up quite well. Just be sure to service the tranny at least every 20-30k miles.
 

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Someone on some local forums was trying to tell me that a manual was better because you can downshift to slow down faster in the winter. Right... I took high school physics, I'm not buying that crap.
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That's not incorrect. If you're driving in some really nasty conditions where you seem to slip and slide using the brakes, downshifting can really, really help get the car slowed down. When we had a big snowfall last month, I had to drive home on my old tires (which were getting replaced four days later) and without the manual control of my ATX, I'd have had a hard time making it home.
 

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That's not incorrect. If you're driving in some really nasty conditions where you seem to slip and slide using the brakes, downshifting can really, really help get the car slowed down. When we had a big snowfall last month, I had to drive home on my old tires (which were getting replaced four days later) and without the manual control of my ATX, I'd have had a hard time making it home.
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Because engine braking gave you extra traction? If you are slipping and sliding using the brakes, then stop locking up your wheels. That and take a physics class.
 

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Because engine braking gave you extra traction? If you are slipping and sliding using the brakes, then stop locking up your wheels. That and take a physics class.
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No, because you can maintain greater control of the car by using the engine to slow down the car while letting the tires maintain traction. Try it sometime in heavy snow and tell me I'm wrong. And quit bringing up physics like you're Isaac Newton.
 

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No, because you can maintain greater control of the car by using the engine to slow down the car while letting the tires maintain traction. Try it sometime in heavy snow and tell me I'm wrong. And quit bringing up physics like you're Isaac Newton.
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Well then why can't you explain how engine braking slows a car down faster than braking w/o locking the wheels up? Physics is able to explain everything about cornering, grip, acceleration, and deceleration, so why shouldn't I bring it up?
 

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I drive a manual transmission and I downshift to slow down all the time. So here's my little blurb on this whole arguement.

"Slaming" on the brakes will stop the car faster than downshifting, no ifs, ands, or buts. IN DRY CONDITIONS.

Threshold braking will stop the car in the shortest safest distance if you can manage to do it. Which most people can't.

Downshifting in bad weather to slow the car down is 1000% safer and it's easier to control the car. I don't care who tries to argue against this, you are wrong. Here's why: Tires can only do 100% grip at any time. In most cases the tires will turn and brake at the same time. Braking taking up lets say 80% of the traction. Well in deep snow or ice, when you brake it's easy to go over that 100% and either have the ABS come on or lock the wheels. So by downshifting you let the engine slow the car down, while you can use 100% of the tires traction to steer the car.

So Elicious I have just proved the piont; That engine braking doesn't give you more traction it let's you use traction for steering rather than braking. In snowy/icy weather when you try and treshold brake as soon as you touch the pedal your wheels lock up (assuming really bad conditions), and go sliding through an intersection I'm going to laugh at your ignorance becuase I downshifted and let my car slow down. In this situation I have just stopped in a shorter distance than you did. Next time please think about the situation fully before knocking down the ideas and statements of others. Ohh and my arguement was simple physics.
 

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Downshifting in bad weather to slow the car down is 1000% safer and it's easier to control the car. I don't care who tries to argue against this, you are wrong. Here's why: Tires can only do 100% grip at any time. In most cases the tires will turn and brake at the same time. Braking taking up lets say 80% of the traction. Well in deep snow or ice, when you brake it's easy to go over that 100% and either have the ABS come on or lock the wheels. So by downshifting you let the engine slow the car down, while you can use 100% of the tires traction to steer the car.
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:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

The only thing you proved was that you can stop and steer better if you have over 100% traction. You JUST said you're using 100% of the tires traction to steer the car. How are you SLOWING down?! If you use 100% of the tires to steer there is 0% left to slow down. Does your engine create a front firing jet of air to slow the car down? Just because you say engine brake doesn't mean it magically slows your car down. It still uses the tires traction to slow down.
 

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I drive a manual transmission and I downshift to slow down all the time. So here's my little blurb on this whole arguement.

"Slaming" on the brakes will stop the car faster than downshifting, no ifs, ands, or buts. IN DRY CONDITIONS.

Threshold braking will stop the car in the shortest safest distance if you can manage to do it. Which most people can't.

Downshifting in bad weather to slow the car down is 1000% safer and it's easier to control the car. I don't care who tries to argue against this, you are wrong. Here's why: Tires can only do 100% grip at any time. In most cases the tires will turn and brake at the same time. Braking taking up lets say 80% of the traction. Well in deep snow or ice, when you brake it's easy to go over that 100% and either have the ABS come on or lock the wheels. So by downshifting you let the engine slow the car down, while you can use 100% of the tires traction to steer the car.

So Elicious I have just proved the piont; That engine braking doesn't give you more traction it let's you use traction for steering rather than braking. In snowy/icy weather when you try and treshold brake as soon as you touch the pedal your wheels lock up (assuming really bad conditions), and go sliding through an intersection I'm going to laugh at your ignorance becuase I downshifted and let my car slow down. In this situation I have just stopped in a shorter distance than you did. Next time please think about the situation fully before knocking down the ideas and statements of others. Ohh and my arguement was simple physics.
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Thank you - you did a better job of explaining the same point I've been trying to make. Elicious, get off your physics high horse and simply try it next time you've got a snowstorm in Minnesota. In those situations where you're driving on snow covered roads in traffic (like on the way home from work when its been snowing all day), its a huge help to downshift. The last time it happened here, I didn't have to use my brakes at all until I was down to about 5-10 MPH, giving me much greater control of the car.
 

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Thank you - you did a better job of explaining the same point I've been trying to make. Elicious, get off your physics high horse and simply try it next time you've got a snowstorm in Minnesota. In those situations where you're driving on snow covered roads in traffic (like on the way home from work when its been snowing all day), its a huge help to downshift. The last time it happened here, I didn't have to use my brakes at all until I was down to about 5-10 MPH, giving me much greater control of the car.
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Sure, but you can't explain why. You're just telling someone "Look, this is how it works" w/o any kind of valid explanation. Seriously, how do you expect someone to buy that?

You know what? I've been taking this new vitamin supplement for the last couple of months and I feel much better. I have more energy during the day, I sleep better at night, I'm losing weight. You just have to try it to believe it. This stuff really works! And it's only $30 a bottle. Just call ..........

See how that works? Or DOESN'T work?

Now, want me to explain why you've got greater control of the car (steering) while downshifting instead of braking, using physics? Simple, because you aren't slowing down as fast while you're downshifting, leaving a higher percentage of your available traction for steering. Solution to your "loss of control while braking" problem? Simple again, don't step on the brakes as hard. Why (using physics)? Because if you loosen up on the brakes, you will have more traction available for steering. Your tires can use 100% of it's traction for accelerating, decelerating, or turning at any given time. The more you use for decelerating, the less you have available for turning.
 

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Sure, but you can't explain why. You're just telling someone "Look, this is how it works" w/o any kind of valid explanation. Seriously, how do you expect someone to buy that?

You know what? I've been taking this new vitamin supplement for the last couple of months and I feel much better. I have more energy during the day, I sleep better at night, I'm losing weight. You just have to try it to believe it. This stuff really works! And it's only $30 a bottle. Just call ..........

See how that works? Or DOESN'T work?

Now, want me to explain why you've got greater control of the car (steering) while downshifting instead of braking, using physics? Simple, because you aren't slowing down as fast while you're downshifting, leaving a higher percentage of your available traction for steering. Solution to your "loss of control while braking" problem? Simple again, don't step on the brakes as hard. Why (using physics)? Because if you loosen up on the brakes, you will have more traction available for steering. Your tires can use 100% of it's traction for accelerating, decelerating, or turning at any given time. The more you use for decelerating, the less you have available for turning.
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*Post deleted because this dead horse has been beaten enough. If it were a cat, all nine lives would be gone and it'd still be dead.*
 

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I'm going to give this a shot... maybe my explanation will help... then again, I agree that this horse is dead and beating it further ain't going to make it stand up gallop.

Here goes:

A wise old sage (my motorbike instructor back in the UK) once told me that your brakes only work when your wheels/tires are rotating. Makes sense right? If your wheels are locked up, then your brakes aren't doing jack.

Also, brakes stop a car, not tires. A tire that's locked up and skidding on top of the tarmac isn't stopping the car. A tire that's rotating, will however, stop the car as long as the brake is able to do its job properly. Also, when the wheels lock up and the tires stop rotating, your car essentially turns into a hockey puck. You not only lose the ability to brake, but also the ability to steer. You're basically heading in a straight line for the goalies net (or the rear of the car infront of you).

So, with all this said, here's how this applies to winter driving:

In winter, there's a reduced amount of traction between the tire and the road surface. It takes very little effort to get the tire to stop rotating (i.e. lock the wheel up). All you need to do is step on the brake a tad bit too hard and the wheels lock up. When this happens, you're now a hockey puck.

So, the key is to keep the wheels rotating. On an MTX, this problem is easily solved. Hit the brakes BUT DO NOT depress the clutch. Leave the clutch alone till you're almost stopped, at which point you can save the engine from stalling by quickly pressing the clutch pedal.

What's happening in this example is that the engine is kept engaged to the wheels via the transmission. As a result, the forward rotating drive of the engine is forcing the wheels to keep turning... that coupled with a downshift and standard braking with the foot brake will cause the vehicle to eventually stop in (given the circumstances) the shortest distance.

However, on an ATX there's an issue in trying to achieve this same result. We all know you don't have a clutch (or no control over it at least). All you have is acceleration and braking. Therefore, when you hit the brakes on an ATX, the engine will disengage from the tranny... this will cause the wheels to become free-spinning... and then any further pedal pressure on the brake will cause a lock-up situation... followed by hockey-puck mode.

The only compromise, therefore, when driving ATX is to switch to M-mode and gear down using the autostick. As a previous poster said, in M-mode there is internal braking applied within the tranny that can be used to slow the vehicle down in place of the brakes. While not as good as an MTX, the results are definitely far more acceptable than hitting the brakes in normal ATX mode.

I hope this helps clear up things.

If not, lets just bury that horse.
 
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