Is engine braking all the time bad in the long run?

  1. OP
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    WCELingad

    WCELingad Senior Member

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    It sucks that there is no temp gauge for the CVT fluid. I drive about 20 minutes of steep downhill and that's when I shift to L. Before I would just solely rely on my brake but ever since I started using engine braking I definitely feel more control of the vehicle and I rarely use brake unless the there is another car in front of me that might be going too slow.

    With all the technology and sensor that the 10th gen Civic has one would think that something like CVT fluid temp should have a gauge for situations like this. Isn't it dangerous not knowing that your CVT is overheating?
     
  2. OP
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    WCELingad

    WCELingad Senior Member

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    Ok this is good and makes a lot of sense. Sometimes I end up shifting from D to L at 55+ mph and I would feel so bad afterwards thinking I am ruining the transmission, but your explanation says otherwise and made a lot of sense to me.
     
  3. nox

    nox Member

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    open windows to create more drag
     
  4. Charley-TX

    Charley-TX Senior Member

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    When you are using engine braking t slow the vehicle, the wear is more on your engine not the trans. But since itis well lubricated the wear is minimal. It is actually less wear on the trans than going uphill.
    The trans will only select a lower mimicked gear ratio and it will spin the engine faster. Your wheels turn the trans and the trans turns the engine. The pistons pumping air cause resistance. With a small engine, it is not as efficient because of less cylinder volume.
    You can shift to L any time at any speed the car's computer will not let the engine over rev as you could with a manual trans.
    Those that say brake pads are cheaper than the transmission must not have driven on steep downhill. When you only use your brakes to slow the vehicle, you can overheat the rotors and the pads. It can warp the rotors and glaze the brake pads making them ineffective.
    The L or low gear was designed for that purpose to slow the car on long downhill. You can of course use the L mode for acceleration as well but kind of pointless because you can achieve high engine RPM with CVT by simply mashing the throttle to the floor.
     
  5. coo1rim

    coo1rim Senior Member

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    My bad. after re-reading
     
  6. coo1rim

    coo1rim Senior Member

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    I got too many stories. Here one about overheating transmission fluid. Back in the 90s my buddy had a new 1990 Si Auto and i had 1990 Corsica 3.1L. We're coming back from 3hrs drive at the beach. Being a shit disturber I basically drove circles around his car. It was an easy pace for my V6 , but the little Si automatic was working the transmission hard, constantly kicking down/up on the hills. Near the end the trip, the Si went up in a cloud of smoke and most of his transmission fluid blew out the seal. Luckily, he immediately pulled over and got a flat bed to tow the car home. After that episode, he never again pushed the car hard and it lasted him over 400,000km on original components.
     
  7. charleswrivers

    charleswrivers Senior Member

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    For our cars and how they're used... no, I wouldn't consider it an issue.

    Engine braking in general? On another vehicle where towing was an option, I would be concerned if I was downshifting and using engine braking vice your brakes to maintain/reduce speed in an automatic/CVT when hauling a lot of weight around. Your fluid is already going to be hotter... and now rather than scrubbing off speed through friction at your brake discs and pads... you're effectively using your engine as an air pump to create load... through your wheels... driveshaft... into the transmission and back into the engine. In that case, I would be cautious over using it... but then again, I'd also would be monitoring ATF temperatures. If you cook your ATF badly on a trip... you'd just change it your next opportunity, regardless of time/mileage.
     
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    WCELingad

    WCELingad Senior Member

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    Yeah, I don't tow and I don't go crazy with the CVT I've never even WOT my car with 70k miles. I mainly use L when going down the mountain other than that I drive normally with D and econ mode on.
     
  9. Charley-TX

    Charley-TX Senior Member

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    true,...
    but you will have more heat build in the transmission going uphill vs. going downhill using engine breaking.
     
  10. Shankmeyster

    Shankmeyster Senior Member

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    I would expect it would cause wear on the clutch in manual cars and the engine/trans mounts in all vehicles as you are stressing the mounts each time you use engine braking the same as you do when accelerating. That said, I use engine braking with actual braking when I am slowing in my 6 speed hatch.
     
  11. garoto

    garoto Senior Member

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    No. But if you shift at the wrong time you can cause wear on the tranny. Just be gentle on the shifts to L. Better to already be in L while accelerating and keep it there accelerating and decelerating until you’re done with the hill. I wouldn’t keep shifting back and forth from L and out of it though.
     
  12. OP
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    WCELingad

    WCELingad Senior Member

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    I can't start my drive in L because I only really use it for engine braking when I am at the downhill point of the mountain and the only time I shift back from L to D is when I am out of the mountains and about to go back on regular side street. I never shift to L while accelerating as some members have showed that according to the manual to only shift to L when your foot is completely off the gas pedal.
     
  13. saz468

    saz468 Senior Member

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    I never had a problem either I lived on Long Island where it hilly and the winter time I always shifted my autos
    Never had a problem. I bought my civic in SW Florida where it’s flat and no snow I never had to down shift my cvt
     
  14. garoto

    garoto Senior Member

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    Yeah I didn’t mean L out of your driveway. I meant don’t shift back and forth from
    L to D multiple times in a short period of time. And yes, don’t do it with the foot on the pedal.
     
  15. tinyman392

    tinyman392 Senior Member

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    The ECU doesn't rev match when it does these "shifts"? If it were, I wouldn't see any real damage done to the tranny by doing that outside the gear selector lever getting additional wear.
     
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