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Forester 2019 - Convenient
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I wonder can I stop or slow down the car by down shift the gears ?

If I do it, does it damages the transmission ?

Thank

Khanh
 

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2019 Forester, 2012 STi, 2008 Forester (Sold)
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No, use the brakes. It's what they're there for. In a manual, you can downshift if you're expecting to accelerate again before stopping but otherwise, use the brakes. They're the designated wear item for slowing/stopping and far less expensive to replace than a clutch or transmission.
 

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2019 Forester Sport Lineartronic® CVT
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You maybe talking about using paddle shifters? I would not routinely use the paddles and CVT for slowing, though on a low peed I'll occasionally run it a notch or two down just to stay off the brakes. Brake pads are cheap.
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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Use your brakes to slow down - Pads and discs are dirt cheap vs a new clutch and or transmission.

You can drop a gear in addition to braking to help maintaining a certain speed or help remaining in control of the vehicle on very steep downhill/declines for example - But certainly not dropping gears without using the brakes for the majority of the braking effort.
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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Uh, not only should you absolutely use engine braking whenever possible but you are explicitly encouraged to do so by Subaru. (y)

555014


If you drive up/around the mountains with any regularity, you'll almost certainly find a handful of people in auto-trans vehicles (looking at you, Audi and BMW drivers!) broken down on the side of the road, usually at/near the base of the mountain with overheated brakes or worse (e.g., melted caliper seals = leaking brake fluid = fire hazard).

Compared to the cost of a little extra gasoline, the cost of new rotors, pads, calipers, catching my car on fire, etc., seems like a steal!
 

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... I wonder can I stop or slow down the car by down shift the gears ? If I do it, does it damages the transmission ?...
It sounds like you have a manual transmission. If so, many people are in the habit of downshifting through the gears as they slow to a stop. However each downshift requires using the synchronizers and releasing the clutch, adding to the wear on those parts and shortening their life. In the long run it is less expensive to use the brakes.
 

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2020 CBS Forester Sport
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171 Posts
If I see a red light or a slowdown down the road, I'll paddle shift to slow down a bit, and it saves fuel and sets me up for an easier time speeding back up if I get the chance. But if you need to stop or there's a vehicle behind you, use the brakes. Engine braking doesn't put your brake lights on so it's an easy way to get rear ended.

BUT I took my Forester up on I-70 this spring in Colorado and engine braking is fantastic in the mountains for speed control on hills. I got like 30mpg going to Breck and back to Denver.
 
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2001 Forester L Automatic
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Hmmm, been using both since the beginning of time... Especially with a manual transmission. With automatics I will manual shift those from time to time, but its usually with use in dirt or snow.
 

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IME, downshifting won't hurt the tranny (unless it's a Mitsubishi AT, that is).
 
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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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@JuanGuapo
It is to do with engine overrun. You're off the throttle, so no fuelling going to the engine and the engine becomes a drag on the transmission which is being driven by the wheels as the vehicle travels down a hill, thereby slowing the vehicle. The bigger the displacement and the bigger the compression ratio, the more effective engine overrun, known as "engine braking" is at slowing a vehicle.

If the vehicle has regenrative braking, such as some Priueseses - Pri'i? The wheels drive the motor, which then charges the batteries on downhill sections.
 

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Well, if it's a 19, the only option was a CVT, IIRC...
As for braking (as opposed to breaking), brakes are cheap and CVT's aren't as others have said.

The advisory in the owner's manual for using engine braking on a downhill is a good one, but has been apparently misinterpreted.
There is a difference between using engine braking on a steep hill to maintain speed and not overheat your brakes to maintain control vs. downshifting a transmission "manually" in order to come to a stop at a light.

In the latter case you are putting undue stress on the transmission, which in the case of the CVT, is already supplying some engine braking with your foot off the throttle and on the brake. In the former case, you should be going to a lower "gear" (actually just a higher ratio of engine RPM to driveshaft speed) before your downshift becomes dramatic.

While you can (as opposed to should) slow down the car by downshifting, the only way you'll get it to stop is by killing the transmission and locking up the drivetrain.
Probably not what you had in mind...
 

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Use the brakes as mentioned earlier above because pads are cheap. Of course, if you are dealing with a long descent, or needing more power say around a corner, then downshift. That's what I do when driving my stick shift Honda Accord. Seldom downshift on my 17XT.
 

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Forester 2019 - Convenient
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you guys for your feedback.

I am driving a Forester 2019, I am using the hand-shifting-paddle to down shifting the engine speed to slow down and I am using also the breaks. Therefore I am wonder if breaking with the engine will damage the transmission.

Thank you again :)
 

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2020 CBS Forester Sport
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I have heard this as well but thought it was a myth. 🤷‍♂️
During engine braking the engine doesn't need to burn any fuel to keep spinning, and modern engines can tell and will cut fuel to almost nothing. At the same time the drivetrain is under no different load than usual, only maybe some areas are in opposite loading.
 
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