Can You Brake And Downshift At The Same Time?

This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.

Downshifting is the process of moving from higher gears to lower ones which will enable the driver or rider to accelerate their cars as fast as possible, particularly when they are negotiating a corner where there is no option other than to slow the vehicle down.

It is meant to choose the maximum gear for either the corner or other similar conditions at the track. In such situations, the brakes are the most ideal situation to slow down the vehicle. However, switching from higher gears to lower ones simply turns out to be the easiest to undertake in these situations.

Downshifting can indeed be harmful to your car, especially when you do it incorrectly. Therefore, to evade any untoward developments, you are advised to first downshift before you switch to a lower gear compatible with the speed of that lower gear.

Preferably, you should use a combination of the traditional brakes and downshifting, if that is needed, but do not forget to ride your bike either less heavily or even not to downshift at higher speeds. 

It is very well known that in high-performance driving or race vehicles, the standard lap times are a key to being successful. (Read Also:Can Air In The Brake Line Cause A Caliper To Stick?)

Downshifting, which is moving the vehicle’s transmission from higher to lower gears is expected to enable the drivers to increase the speeds of their vehicles as rapidly as they can when leaving a corner at which they may need to reduce their speeds.

Not surprisingly, downshifting places more strain on both the transmission system of the vehicle and its engine as well, which are some of the costliest parts to replace in any vehicle more than even the brake system itself.

As long as you are not on a hill where sustained braking may be unrealistic, you should refrain from downshifting altogether.

You are recommended to brake first before you attempt to downshift. If you should do the reverse, it can lead to engine over-rev or even damage, if you are not so lucky. In essence, do not endeavor to brake and downshift all at once.(Read Also:Will Brake Fluid Stain Concrete?)

Table Of Contents

What is downshifting in cars?

Downshifting is simply the transition from higher to lower gears to enable the driver or rider to accelerate the vehicle faster, especially when leaving corners where they should slow down.

This procedure is quite capable of overworking both the transmission system of the vehicle and its engine as well, which costs more than replacing even the entire brake system itself.

However, as long as you are not on a hill or other steep terrains, where maintaining a steady speed is not realistic, you are advised to avoid downshifting completely.

Downshifting is a braking technique highly unrecommended for use in vehicles with automatic transmissions,  since enforced downshifting,  particularly when you are driving at higher speeds, can lead to increased transmission wear, most especially in the clutch friction plates and the transmission bands too.

Since downshifting can gravely affect your vehicle, particularly if you go about it wrongly, you should first,  slow down the vehicle to a more regular speed for the gear you are driving before you downshift.

It is more advisable to utilize a combination of both braking and downshifting if that is necessary. However, never endeavor to ride either too heavy or to downshift at higher speeds.

Trending Searches

Why does one break and downshift at the same time?

The most acceptable reason why people tend to downshift and break at once is just to enable them to increase the speeds of their cars as rapidly as possible when they are leaving a corner, where they would have to slow down, and also to save money on their brake system, which is not cheap to replace. Additionally, they do so to reduce the rate of fuel consumption as well.

Most commonly, a confused driver may attempt both braking and downshifting all at once, which can be very risky, since it can cause the front wheels to lock up entirely.

Although the possibility of doing these things together is more in modern cars by simply pressing on the clutch and the brake pedals while your hands remain on the steering wheel and the gear lever too.

This procedure is not advised in automatic transmission cars because it can lead to increased wear when done at higher speeds, which will in all likelihood affect both the transmission bands and the clutch friction plates as well. (Read Also:Can You Drive A Car Without Front Brakes?)

How does one break and downshift at the same time?

If you want to both downshift and brake simultaneously, execute the following steps in the given sequence.

Step 1

You should first, pull your clutch lever in all the way.

Step 2

Thereafter, begin to brake down the vehicle immediately after you have started to pull your clutch lever in.

Step 3

Next, you should switch down to the new gear.

Step 4

Finally, as you begin to downshift, you should use your thumb, ring, and pinky fingers to regulate your throttle as well. This will essentially do it.

Will braking and downshifting put my car in a bad spot?

For all intents and purposes, yes, braking and downshifting can and will put your car in a bad spot indeed.

First, when you do that, even though there may be some obvious benefits, you risk so much that you are not expected to even entertain the thought.

For instance, when you both brake and downshift at the same time, you stand the risk of damaging both your vehicle engine and also its transmission system as well.

These are vehicle parts that are adjudged to be much more expensive than even the entire brake system of the car. So, essentially, the disadvantages of doing it far outweigh whatever advantages there may be. (Read Also:Can You Drive A Car Without Brake Shoes?)

Are braking and downshifting a crime?

No, not at all. Braking and downshifting all at once is certainly not a crime, so to say. However, doing the two at the same time can enable the driver to maintain his/her speed even at places, such as corners where they are expected to slow down.(Read Also: How Long Will Brakes Last When Grinding?)

On the other hand, doing these two simultaneously have economic concerns for several vital and very expensive vehicle parts, such that you are not advised to take the risk for the good of your savings.

Can I brake without downshifting?

Of course, you can conveniently brake without downshifting, such as it is advised at sharp corners when traveling at high speeds, which you do not want to reduce.

In such instances, you are highly recommended to brake first, before you initiate any downshifting. This is specifically advised to avoid very regrettable damage to some vital and expensive car parts.(Read Also:Can Brake Fluid Heal Wounds?)

Can I downshift without braking?

Again, yes, you can downshift without necessary braking. However, the difference is between where you can do both or execute only downshifting. 

Put in another way, you are advised to downshift mainly while riding or driving on slopes, where you allow the engine and gravity to more or less slow you down, a technique that is said to be able to cut down on your gas consumption as well, even though the difference in gas consumption is not much. Again, when you downshift alone, you are at the same time saving your brake system too.

Frequently asked questions(FAQ)

Can you downshift from 5th to 1st on a motorcycle?

Yes, you can downshift from the 5th straight to the 1st on a motorcycle without any qualms. However, there is more to it.

First of all, this maneuver of shifting from 5 straight to 1 on the gear system is mostly achievable in some of the most modern manual transmission vehicles regardless of whether you are going either up or down.

As a precautionary measure, do not attempt to go from 5 straight to 2 especially at higher speeds or while bearing any considerable load on the vehicle too.

In addition, whenever you are doing this shift from 5 to 1, you should step off the clutch in the 2nd gear, which can make the vehicle go into a violent skid if you don’t, and you don’t want that, do you?

For instance, you can also move from say 4th to 1st gear but it is most likely that you will block any gear change up if you happen to have generated enough speed for it. Block gear changing, otherwise known as selective gear changing, implies much less work for you and more so for both your clutch and gearbox as well. (Read Also: Does Brake Fluid Stain Asphalt?)

Can You Brake And Downshift At The Same Time – Conclusion

It is essential at all times for us to be able to stop our vehicles without any delay or across shorter distances whenever the need arises. Luckily, there are quite a few options through which that can be done, albeit with certain considerations.

For example, while approaching a steep corner and at high speeds, you are advised to brake first, before you downshift. If you fail to, you may be risking a lot more than you care to lose.

All the same, downshifting is on its own still not bad for the vehicle as long as you go about it correctly. Before you adopt either of them in turn or at the same time, you should know the conditions guiding doing that without any side effects, or else, you may pay a price you don’t wish to.

Leave a Reply