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Engine Braking

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Recently been on a friends IS200 Auto for a day trip around. Notice that he used engine braking quite often instead of stepping on the brake pedal to slow down the car. He changed the gear to 3rd or 2nd when the vehicle ahead suddenly slowing down or approaching a traffic light from high speed. He avoided hard braking by using engine braking instead. He's got his IS200 for almost 2 years now but I don't seem to notice any problem with his transmission or engine. At the end of the day when I checked on the wheels, there was hardly any brake dust on the alloy wheels and the brake pads still looked as new. He told me that he only had to clean his alloy wheels every couple weeks, where as I have to clean mine every couple days in order to keep the alloy wheels shiny.

Does anyone here use engine braking or driving in this style ? According to the theory frequent use of engine braking could cause damage to the transmission or engine, isn't it ?

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Engine breaking technically puts UNNECESSARY strain on the transmission/engine

The point is "unnecessary"

Brakes are for stopping

Brake pads are a lot cheaper to replace than other parts of the transmission/engine!

Engine breaking IS a legitimate technique for certain situations (e.g. slippery roads) where braking may cause a skid (although this is much more reduced with ABS!)

To use engine braking to prevent brake dust getting on the alloys seems like madness to me and he is just developing "bad" driving habits

At the end of the day it is his car so he can drive it how he wants

Someone else more "mechanical" can shed light on if it actually causes damage - all I can say is that is definitely a bad habit to get in to from a purely driving point of view!

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I have used it a few times (in emergencies) and it always feels aweful , it feels really fierce and I get the impression it cant be good for the car, theres no way I would use it as an everyday car stopper. The breaks do a super job and break dust although a pain is fairly easily washed off.

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Bear in mind that when you use engine braking, a lot of strain is put on the timing belt (amongst other things) in the 'wrong' direction.

I used engine braking to slow an Audi 100 V6 (2.8 I think) in a hurry once and the timing belt jumped a couple of teeth. Cost me an AA tow from the M25 J28 to Ipswich, a day off work as a contractor (so no money), then £850 to a local mechanic to get ALL the valves replaced as they were bent, luckily no damage to the pistons!

Not a good advert for engine braking!!

I dont do it any more!!!

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Engine breaking technically puts UNNECESSARY strain on the transmission/engine

The point is "unnecessary"

Brakes are for stopping

Brake pads are a lot cheaper to replace than other parts of the transmission/engine!

Engine breaking IS a legitimate technique for certain situations (e.g. slippery roads) where braking may cause a skid (although this is much more reduced with ABS!)

To use engine braking to prevent brake dust getting on the alloys seems like madness to me and he is just developing "bad" driving habits

At the end of the day it is his car so he can drive it how he wants

Someone else more "mechanical" can shed light on if it actually causes damage - all I can say is that is definitely a bad habit to get in to from a purely driving point of view!

Good post, it's always going to be cheaper to replace pads and even discs than it is to replace clutches, synchro's and gear linkages and *** knows what else.

Unless there's a very good reason to do otherwise just use the brakes, on todays cars they're almost always well up for the job. Engine braking was more for older cars with poor brakes.

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Mmmmm... what about when your driving a manual car and you are approaching a yield sign,

you're braking but changing down at the same time...... isn't this engine braking too?

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Mmmmm... what about when your driving a manual car and you are approaching a yield sign,

you're braking but changing down at the same time...... isn't this engine braking too?

The Advanced Driving system of car control avoids breaking and changing gear at the same time

It is REALLY difficult to get used to but when you master it you actually get a smoother, more progressive drive

When you approach a hazzard (giveway sign, Roundabout etc.)...

You basically get all of your braking done FIRST - slowing to the speed you will negotiate the hazard

THEN you change gear

This keeps the car "balanced" through the hazard (you don't need to brake or change gear in the hazard - thus upsetting the balance of the car - allowing you to concentrate on getting the power down when you exit :devil: )

You will always have situations where you need to overlap the 2 but you should use brakes for slowing and gears for going ;-)

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Having driven both the 200 and 300 autos, the 300 is a beter box. There is no problem in engine breaking, same as there is no problem with manual engine breaking. I have used it often with no ill effects, the ecu will prevent you from changing down to to low a gear (on the IS300). There is nothing of note within the owners manual stating not to use engine breaking either.

Horses for courses I guess... I would not use it just to just keep the wheels clean though, thats just a daft excuse :) :lol:

I am sure this has already been discussed to death :)

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Hi,

Some car Brands have engine braking built into the autobox and it changes down its self going down hill.

As for a manual gearbox anyone heard of heel and toe well down changing ;)

Whats it say on the road signs when you approach a steep hill...Keep in low gear!! Thats Engine braking rather than overheat the brakes.

Like Jiberjaber says you wont damage the autobox if you change down as its computer controlled.

You will do more damage to a engine by reving it when its cold or over reving it going up through the gears.

You will also do more damage by reving a free engine (one with no load) e.g well sat at the lights.

Chips..

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Whats it say on the road signs when you approach a steep hill...Keep in low gear!! Thats Engine braking rather than overheat the brakes.

That is a good point, although it is technically engine braking I don't see it as such

I just see it as being in the correct gear - you are using the low gear to stop the car "running away" rather than using it to slow it down - I would use the brakes to get to the correct speed and then change down to stop the speed increasing

I would not use the low gear to slow the car down to the correct speed (what I see as true engine braking) - I would still use the brakes to slow down and the correct gear to stop the car increasing the speed too much

And I would never do it for the sole purpose of not getting brake dust on my alloys ;-)

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Hi,

Id also not use engine braking just to keep my alloys clean.

I know where your coming from Boydie with your last post,but weather you use the brakes to slow 1st or not having the gearbox in a low gear and the car not running away is still engine braking as the car wont speed up.

Sounds like your a Advanced driver.I did look into it me self but i found it a bit to picky for me :)

I got the impression that id have to look in me mirrors before id be able to fart :D

Thats just my Option im not trying to upset you :)

Each to there own at the end of the day.

Chips..

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Hi,

Id also not use engine braking just to keep my alloys clean.

I know where your coming from Boydie with your last post,but weather you use the brakes to slow 1st or not having the gearbox in a low gear and the car not running away is still engine braking as the car wont speed up.

CHIPS229, I totally agree that it is still technically engine braking (as I said in my previous post) - it is only me that makes the distinction between using the right gear and using the engine to actually slow the car down

I also know exactly where you are coming from with the Advanced Driving!

I have completed my course and waiting for the phone call to take my test

You basically go out on 4 observed runs (it was the first Sunday of the month for me)

You get a different "observer / Trainer" for each run - My first one and last one were excellent, the second and third ones were exactly as you described and seemed to make their mind up of what they were going to pull you up for whether you did it or not! (e.g. - "you didn't check your blindspot there" - yes I did - twice! :tsktsk: ")

Anyways - all in the course was brilliant and I am a better driver for it

To get back on topic (sort of :whistling: ) by FAR the hardest thing in the Advanced Driving is driving at the speed limit - 100% of the time!

In the IS200 you will spend most of your time in 3rd Gear for the "engine braking" to stay at 30mph!!!!!!!!! :hehe:

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SMG, tiptronic and flappy paddle box's can be used this way, but the brakes are there for a reason and should be supplementing the down chages. You really wouldn't even load that type of box with the full weight of the car too much. I didn't think the old IS was a "Tiptronic system" unless it was and I'm talking pants again...

I wouldn't want to put that load on the box or the engine unless I had to (e.g. my brakes had failed)

You should not be using it like a manual box - if that's the case - why not just buy a manual!!!???

Engine braking in a conventional auto should really only be used when you have to.

If you're towing a caravan etc you can, but you should use it to hold 'in gear' going up or down hill...not to brake but to stop it from changing up and down like a yoyo or overheating the breaks...unless you've no hydraulic brakes!!! Holding 2nd in snow permanently is good too as you can get away easier and stop the tail from snapping when it changes in the middle of a bend...

PS - you could get "Dust fenders" which fitted behind the wheels - are they eny good? The wheels are a royal pain to keep clean...I'm gonna try the Mr Sheen trick next time I clean them to see if it works...

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Thanks guys for sharing your valuable knowledge & experience. It's great to have learned something here indeed. Actually brake pad wear is not an issue but brake dust is really a pain in keeping the car clean. I think that's inevitable.

@Jamboo, by the way what's Mr Sheen trick that you've mentioned above ?

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I think engine braking can be used when at the top of a steep hill. First brake to a suitable speed for the descent then engage a gear which will allow the engine to assist in retarding the cars speed, using the brake as required to prevent over-reving.

Engine braking should not be used instead of the brakes i.e. approaching a sharp bent in sixth gear then changing down to say second gear to slow down is asking for trouble and potentially very expensive.

The brakes do what they say they do, they slow the car down. Engine braking helps prevent the car speeding up. :huh:

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You gotta love that "long lasting fragrance"

Not only the shiniest but nicest smelling wheels in town! :-D

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You gotta love that "long lasting fragrance"

Not only the shiniest but nicest smelling wheels in town! :-D

:lol::lol: Luv it!

I heard on this (or the car care forum) that if you spray Pledge or Mr Sheen onto a cloth and wipe it over the alloys, it repells dust makes them easier to clean...please don't spray it directly onto the wheels... :tomato::excl::lol:

As it says on the tin - Stain Guard and Dust Guard your wheels...and Pot pourri smells nice too :winky:

PS - at next wash I'll do half a wheel, and then monitor and take some photo's. Should make for an interesting bit of banter!!

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PS - at next wash I'll do half a wheel, and then monitor and take some photo's. Should make for an interesting bit of banter!!

I don't think it will look any different, but it will definitely be easier to clean off :D

I just tend to use whatever wax I'm using for the bodywork to do the alloys, that seems to do the trick.

The secret to keeping wheels looking clean seems to be to do them regularly. Done once a week they're quite easy to get clean again, but at times where I've left the car 2-3 weeks without cleaning it I've had a hell of a time getting the wheels pristine again.

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Spraying on your wheels doesn't do any harm, but the risk is inadvertently getting it on the discs and pads.

Also works well to discourage the annoying door mirror spider.....direct the spray behind the glass then get the little ba$tard when it comes out for air.

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I use the overdrive button a lot when slowing down from 50+ mph, and will only change down manually to 2nd when in the centre of town 'cos my bazooka's "pop" and "burble" quite nicely :P :hehe: :winky:

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