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Skipping The 4Th Gear For Economic Reasons. Myth? Is It Good Or Bad For The Car?


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#16 scotthunter

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:59 PM

I once drove for a whole tanks worth of petrol changing at the shift light (2k rpm), this method took ages to get up to speed, no doubt annoyed people behind me (I was getting overtaken by vans on dual carriageways) and made under 5% difference in fuel economy.


This is how I drive all the time. Isn't this how most people drive?

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#17 scotthunter

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:07 PM

My dad also taught me that you should never change down in order to use engine braking - use it when already in a gear by all means but don't change purely to leverage engine braking. In other words, when stopping from 60 in 5th stay in 5th until such a point that you'd stall unless putting the clutch in.


Using engine breaking when coming to a standstill from speed helps to slow the momentum of a car and puts less pressure on the brakes.

#18 scotthunter

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:15 PM

I'd been taught to have the right gear for the speed, and if I shifted up or down a few gears due to a heavy acceleration then so be it. I was also taught to use engine breaking over the brake pedal where I could.

Fast forward 20 year or so to my advanced test and I was told to avoid engine breaking where possible as the then current logic was it's cheaper to replace brake components than clutch components and current brakes are better than what I had to use in the old Vauxhall Chevette (or Shove-it as it was usually referred to) my dad had and I practiced in when I was learning.


I also drive large vans when I'm not driving my Fiesta and I feel a lot safer using engine braking in combination with the brakes to bring the van to a rapid standstill, especially if I'm carrying a heavy load as heavy vehicles carry a lot of momentum. I guess in a small modern car it isn't really necessary.

#19 irononreverse

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:54 PM

I will do this going down gears as I'm slowing but I've never done it up.

What happens when you end up with worn 3 and 5 gears but not 4th? Would it make changes into 4th more difficult?

#20 ManxKat

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 10:04 AM

Interesting discussion! Ever since I had my car I had trouble changing from 5th down in to 4th (usually for a bend as I tend to stay in 5th until last possible moment), it was really annoying so I now always go from 5th to 3rd and I was really worried this could damage my car. After reading this thread I now feel a bit better about doing this!

I never ever block change up, never thought about it to be honest, as I go up the gears quite quickly, but I do block change down when stopping or approaching a round about as I was taught :)


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