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I'm wierd
Silver 07 Corolla S
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164 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I often make trips from Northern California to the Central Valley to visit my family and on alot of the turns you need to slow down before completing the turn. Well I can't explain it but I just do not like using the breaks when driving on the freeway/highway. So often I will turn off overdrive and that will be enough to slow me down enough to make it safely and comfortably around the corner. On some of them I will downshift to 2nd for faster breaking power. I notice that my RPM's usually go into the 4,000 range, no more though.

My question is, is this causing more wear on the transmission than it should be, or is it safe to continue doing this without worry?

Also I have read the manual and I never shift into 2 above 70 or below 40. I've used the 1st gear (L) before but only in the city I live in when the hills get too steep. I don't plan to use 1st that often.
 

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Would definitely not recommend doing this in an auto, i've seen many automatic tranmissions blow up due to this. At the point i've seen most of them it is cheaper to get a "new" reman unit than to try and replace the internals of the exisitng as the amount of metal shards strewn throughout make it impossible to get them all out and provide a working transmission afterward.
 

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Kliddybaba!
AE92 Sedan
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380 Posts
2nd gear is adding torque, so it shouldn't wear your transmition, but it will use up more gas if you do it often. why don't you just get a mt if you don't like to brake to slow down... :confused:
 

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You may not feel comfortable using the brakes, but it would probably benefit you if you learned to like them. However transmissions cost more than a set of brakes but, thats up to you. An automatic is capable of being shifted manually, but it is designed to be automatic....hence the name. Too much will can damage it.
 

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I'm wierd
Silver 07 Corolla S
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164 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Ok so it does use up more gas and it's bad for the transmission.

Then do I dare even ask why the hell they have the 2 and L gears if it fucks shit up?

And I do want a manual fistomeat but I don't have the money right now and seeing as how my dad bought me the car I don't think he'd be happy if I told him I wanted to trade it in for a manual. Plus I'm just going to wait until I have enough money to buy a cheap little hachi roku and fix it up myself. No point in having a manual if you can't doing anything fun with it like you can in a RWD.
 

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what can you do in a rwd that is so much more fun? If you use it constantly in 2nd or L its not good for it. Thats why its called an automatic.....2nd is used as an engine brake amon g other reasons like when you are coming down a mountain and you need to a little extra to slow down, and yeah 1st is used for extreme hills or if you are pulling more weight than normal.
 

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14,672 Posts
it wont use more gas, during a closed throttle downshift the PCM commands the injectors to OFF since no fuel is needed by the engine since the load is less than zero.


and no, its not bad for the transmission.
1. the transmission is constantly up and downshifting
2. as long as you dont bounce off the rev limiter you're fine.
3. keeping the brake system cool on a long downgrade is a good idea
 

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since 1996
05 Impreza RS 2.5
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1,772 Posts
I used to have a friend that used to think down shifting in an auto was cool and a good idea until he got the repair bill from his parents to fix the tranny ($1,600). It is not a wise choice unless you want a new transmission.
 

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I'm wierd
Silver 07 Corolla S
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164 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Bitter said:
it wont use more gas, during a closed throttle downshift the PCM commands the injectors to OFF since no fuel is needed by the engine since the load is less than zero.


and no, its not bad for the transmission.
1. the transmission is constantly up and downshifting
2. as long as you dont bounce off the rev limiter you're fine.
3. keeping the brake system cool on a long downgrade is a good idea
See now this is a conflict with what everyone else here is saying. Granted you are the first person who sounds like you know what you're talking about, but nonetheless it conflicts. Who am I supposed to believe here eh?

Also I'm not driving around in 2 or L all the time or ever for that matter. If I need to slow down because I don't feel like riding the breaks on long hills or I'm going to fast for a corner I let off the gas, turn off overdrive and downshift to either 2 or L depending on my speed.

Hehe another also, before I really knew how to use the 2 and L "properly", I just downshifted to either of them without knowing the parameters for doing so. So I probably screwed up the transmission a little already, might this have a noticeable affect on my future driving techniques?
 

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ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒ&
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diver9000 said:
what can you do in a rwd that is so much more fun?
have you ever driven a vehicle that isn't FWD?
 
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well if your going to be downshifting you automatic, i would change the tranny fluid every other oil change.
 

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2007 Corolla LE
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32 Posts
Bitter said:
it wont use more gas, during a closed throttle downshift the PCM commands the injectors to OFF since no fuel is needed by the engine since the load is less than zero.


and no, its not bad for the transmission.
1. the transmission is constantly up and downshifting
2. as long as you dont bounce off the rev limiter you're fine.
3. keeping the brake system cool on a long downgrade is a good idea
Agreed. I would add:
4. It is sometimes good to be in a lower gear going up the mountain also to keep the transmission cooler. If the auto is constantly shifting trying to find the right gear, it is best to downshift.
 

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I'm wierd
Silver 07 Corolla S
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164 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
ghost_ryder35 said:
well if your going to be downshifting you automatic, i would change the tranny fluid every other oil change.
Thanks for the advice, I'll remember that.

I only have 5600ish miles on it but I wouldn't have anywhere near that if I hadn't taken all those long trips. I had the oil changed once at Jiffy Lube just under 3k miles, I'm not sure what kind of oil they used, it didn't say on the invoice. But I plan to change it again at 8k miles with Mobil 1 Synthetic, would it be a good idea to change the transmission fluid then too?

FYI, I don't usually drive more than 60 on the highway/freeway for gas saving purposes. It tends to be more boring than driving 70 or 80 which is what I was doing before, but I don't really care.
 

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Have at 'er and keep down shifting that bad boy.

Brake pads $50
trans rebuild $1600-3000 depending on aount of damage (usually on the high end with these cars)

I agree downshifting for a long hill is wise, however downshifting for corners that require a slight scrubbing of speed is down right abusive on an auto transmission.
 

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I'm wierd
Silver 07 Corolla S
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164 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Dragonmaster said:
however downshifting for corners that require a slight scrubbing of speed is down right abusive on an auto transmission.
Well if it's only a slight scrub of speed I just turn off overdrive and that's usually enough, but like I said in the first post some of the corner's require more braking power, which is when I downshift. Is this still ok?
 
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Bitter said:
thats really excessive, every 30k is enough. trans fluid doesnt get dirty like oil does. just run a good synthetic like redline and you'll be fine.
when your downshifting its putting abnormal wear and tear on the auto tranny. changing the fluid every other oil change enables you to see if there is excessive metal debrie in your tranny fluid and or if the fluid is changing colors fast or has a burnt smell to it giving you a heads up to your future auto tranny failure :)
 

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That is actually the reason why that feature is there. There is almost physically no point to have the option to manually shift an automatic transmission unless you are downshifting for braking purposes.

In fact, in downshifting and using the power of the engine to slow you down, you actually are saving money too. Because it takes physically no fuel for an engine to slow down, its using the kinetic energy already built up from reving up to continue running.

I believe the manual suggests using gear 2 for "better engine braking" nowhere does it say it is bad for the transmission. I would think it actually would be the same as downshifting a manual on terms of extended ware.
 
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AliasJerk said:
That is actually the reason why that feature is there. There is almost physically no point to have the option to manually shift an automatic transmission unless you are downshifting for braking purposes.

In fact, in downshifting and using the power of the engine to slow you down, you actually are saving money too. Because it takes physically no fuel for an engine to slow down, its using the kinetic energy already built up from reving up to continue running.

I believe the manual suggests using gear 2 for "better engine braking" nowhere does it say it is bad for the transmission. I would think it actually would be the same as downshifting a manual on terms of extended ware.
LOL. no, the gears are not there for that. They are there incase you have a huge hill to climb, are fully loaded with stuff, towing something etc.... sure you can downshift it if you want, no body said you cant, we just said it wasnt smart to do all the time:)
 

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Premium Member
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ghost_ryder35 said:
when your downshifting its putting abnormal wear and tear on the auto tranny. changing the fluid every other oil change enables you to see if there is excessive metal debrie in your tranny fluid and or if the fluid is changing colors fast or has a burnt smell to it giving you a heads up to your future auto tranny failure :)
i've been engine braking this transmission for about 10k miles, i check my fluid condition every oil change and every time it looks great. i'm running redline synthetic fluid, it smells brand new and still has the exact same color as it did fresh from the bottle.
 
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