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Oppo Debate: How Do You Downshift?

Illustration for article titled Oppo Debate: How Do You Downshift?
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Last night I got into a friendly debate (during the Dem debate) about shifting a Manual transmission...and the subject being coming to a stop...

I learned to drive Manual in my dad’s then Saturn. And I was taught that when you’re coming to a complete stop (ex: Stopping at a light), you’re supposed to downshift through each gear (if you’re in 5th, then you go to 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st). Plus on the upside, you get engine braking too.

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My friend said nah, you don’t want to downshift through each gear because it puts unneeded wear on the tranny, engine, and clutch...just put it in neutral and brake to a stop. Then when the light turns green, put it in first and go on with your commute.

So, what do you think is the right way to shift to a stop? (not slowing, but complete stop). Do you go through every gear? Or do you pop it into Neutral and just use the brakes? Is either one more hurtful to the car than the other?

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