Am I ruining my car?!


#1

I moved to the top of a mountain in California to work at a boarding school three years ago. Since then, I have gone up and down the mountain’s winding and steep road at least 3 times/month. I thought I was smart to downshift my automatic Subaru Forester as I go down the mountain - I can do the 1/2 hour trip from 5000 feet without touching the brakes. Now I am getting a new car - an Infiniti G35x and I really want to treat it right. Should I be braking instead?


#2

You are doing it right. Use the same technique for your Infiniti.


#3

good advice, stevef. The transmission is working whether the brakes are applied or not. Use the brakes too often and you’re in a “run away”. Been there, done that, didn’t want the tee shirt!


#4

You are doing it right. It is not only better for the car, it is far safer.


#5

You’re doing exactly the right thing. I once drove through the interior of British Columbia in a Hyundai Accent, and going through mountain roads, I discovered the Accent was unable to provide enough engine braking when going downhill, so I had to use the brakes on every hill. Which overheated them and caused the to be useless. Which meant I was going towards 180 degree hairpin turns at 60-80 km/h. With no shoulder. Or guardrail. And a 1000 foot cliff beyond. So yeah, it wasn’t fun.

Keep doing what you’re doing.


#6

It’s unanimous. You’re doing it right. Keep up the good work.


#7

I think you should use your brakes instead.

Ha ha ha just kidding!

:slight_smile:


#8

We do a lot of mountain driving, and going down steep slopes we gear down with the automatic to the gear that will significantly slow the car, but might still need a little use of the brakes.

Like others, I learned the hard way with a camper behind, and having the brakes fade on me; a scary occurrence.


#9

As long as it’s still in gear and not neutral, you should be fine. I do this with my Civic when going up railroad overpasses. It keeps my revs up(it’s a 4cyl, what do you expect? :stuck_out_tongue: ) so I’m not lugging my engine when someone in front of me wants to do 25~30 up the hill instead of the posted 35~40mph(depends on which overpass it is)