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Pumping/tapping automatic 2005 Toyota Rav4 brakes while driving downhill

Okay. I live in a hilly region. The guy I’m dating insists that when you drive downhill, (or when approaching any type of stop), you should always pump/tap the brakes. He says “anyone will tell you that.” I said, I’ve been driving 20+ years, have never had anyone tell me that, and have never been with another driver that did so. His driving habit makes it a somewhat annoying ride for the passengers . . .thump, thump, thump. Thought I’d take it up with the forum. Any responses out there? Tks. :0)

He’s got a screw loose, the pumping/tapping used to be recommended when you’re afraid of skidding, but you likely have ABS now. You do want to downshift for long downhills and take some load off the brakes.

You will find a lot of wrong things that people will insist are right. Anyone will not tell you that but they could come up with some other winners.

If you are trying to stop from high speed while going down hill, you should let up periodically to let the brake pads cool and allow gasses building up under neath them to escape. If you don’t, you could find the brakes becoming less effective toward the end of the stop. But tapping or pumping, no, I don’t agree with that unless you are on snow or ice and do not have ABS.

Apply the brakes as needed; then, let off to allow the brakes to cool until the next time they’re needed. If you use the brakes a lot, you started, and continued, too fast.

His technique is correct under certain conditions: on slippery roads (to prevent lock-up) or on long downhill runs (to prevent brake fade). It was quite common in earlier times when not all cars came with power brakes, certainly before the advent of ABS. He ought not to use this method for routine conditions, but it is harmless to do so.

When approaching a stop or taking a normal downhill stretch, there’s no need to do this. On a long steep downhill stretch, you should let off the brakes from time to time so they can cool a bit (and use a lower gear too).

I’d hate to ride with him without a neck brace!

LOL! Exactly!

Your BF may be taking good advice to an unreasonable length. When on a long downhill, you definitely don’t want to “ride” the brakes to maintain speed. That will overheat them, leading to warped rotors and even boiled brake fluid and severe fade (or no brakes at all!). This applies to any vehicle, ABS or not. The best thing is to downshift to let the engine do the braking for you. In slippery conditions, without ABS, you need to pump the brakes to prevent wheel lockup and resulting skids. Otherwise, it’s unnecessary.

A long downhill stretch has me downshifting. I believe the big truck rigs do this also.

Thanks, everyone, for your “replies”. I appreciate your help.

As an owner of a 05 RAV manual trans…letting off on the accelerator and down shifting when necessary always works…