2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid - Long downhills

I remember back in the stone age, when I was descending from Pike’s Peak, part way down they stopped everyone to feel their hubcaps to see if they were warm or hot. If you were foolish enough to not downshift and instead ride your brakes, your brake fluid might overheat and boil, so they made you stop in a parking lot to let your brakes cool. My 2019 Camry has what appears to be very nice regenerative braking. My understanding is that the mechanical brakes kick in only for heavy braking. So my question is, with this car when I’m on a long downhill is there any reason not to use the brakes instead of engine braking by switching to a “lower” gear or letting the cruise control hold it back. It seems like using the brakes would now be the preferable thing. What say ye?

Early cars brakes were indeed pretty poor and people don’t realize the risk associated with boiling brake fluid.

Your regen braking will indeed take some of the load off your mechanical brakes IF your batteries are somewhat depleted. If the batteries are mostly full, regen has little effect and the mechanical brakes take most of the load. Because of that, I would still downshift and let the engine take some of the load off.