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I don't see any reason why that would be bad for the car; BUT since you aren't in gear you're not really prepared for something happening in traffic that might require, say, a quick avoidance maneuver.
Personally, I downshift for stops almost always, but mainly because it's fun trying to master the rev-match! =)
After time stopping from high speeds when not in gear will put more wear on your brakes. I did this when I started to first drive a manual. After a year, i needed new brakes. Having your car in gear helps slow down your car, down shifting really helps. But downshifting also wastes gas.
Originally posted by 4830DeuceWRX After time stopping from high speeds when not in gear will put more wear on your brakes. I did this when I started to first drive a manual. After a year, i needed new brakes. Having your car in gear helps slow down your car, down shifting really helps. But downshifting also wastes gas.
Brake pads = cheaper than clutch!
Downshifting because you NEED to is good. Downshifting to "brake" the car, especially if you are not skilled at the revmatch, can be BAD.
There is another side effect of transmission braking that a lot of people who drive manuals are not aware of -- when you brake with your tranny, you do NOT use your brake pedal, and thus you slow down, but your BRAKE LIGHTS do not go on! This is a very serious problem, because many people (especially older folks) need the visual signal of your tail lights to make them aware that your car has changed speed.
I can't tell you how many times I have come close to being rear-ended here in Scottsdale; everyone is either old, on their phone, in a hurry or all three. If I do not go deliberately out of my way to use the brakes (and brake lights) as often as automatic drivers do, it is screeching rubber behind me all day long. I've had drivers behind me dive into the gravel median on the highway because I downshifted when everyone else around me (driving autos) was braking. BE AWARE that you need to signal to others that you are slowing down!
people need to really learn how to drive and should notice a car slowing down, but thats not gonna happen.
depending how and where i am driving i put my car into neutral. if i know i have a lot of time to slow down, i downshift so that i don't have to wear out the breaks as much. then again there is this windy road i go on and if i drop it in neutral i don't have to use the gas to go fast, i can just coast it.
just beware of replacing your brake pads a bit earlier. i know i probably will have to.
aside from the visual dangers and all...It's ridiculously bad for the clutch, tranny, and even the engine to push the clutch in while moving at a high velocity. The only way it isn't bad is if you put the car into neutral and then release the clutch, but like it was said earlier, the risks you take with that are definately not worth the miniscule amount of money you save in gas. You pretty much lose 50% of control over your car if you are not in gear.
Bottom Line: Never coast with the clutch in. Only push the clutch in when shifting; and when braking really hard wait toll the last second to push the clutch in, leave it in gear, stomp on the brake as hard as you can and let the ABS take over from there, once it is at about 1000 rpm (as mentioned earlier) then stomp on the clutch.
Sometimes you have to do engine brake especially on low speeds like when making a turn. Engine braking from 3rd to 2nd gear is fine. But you should never engine brake at high speeds especially on an AWD tranny. I used to engine brake all the time on my SHO, Yeah my brakes lasted a very long time, but my tranny on the other hand didn't. And that was on a FWD car, what more on an AWD. Also when downshifting, rev-matching is a must. Yes you will have some clutch wear, but I'd rather replace a clutch than a tranny. Oh yea and if anyone is thinking of doing burnouts on their Subaru, someone needs to biotch slap them...
I should mention that the above only applies to a manual transmission, not the automatic, whether it is the 4EAT or other. An automatic transmission has an internal pump that lubricates the innards. The internal pump needs to be driven. Avoid shifting an auto tranny into neutral while the vehicle is moving.