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General Chat Thread, Learning to drive - Changing from 2nd gear to 1st gear when slowing down in General; Hi everyone, Just looking for a bit of advise - I'm learning to drive, and the instructor insists on changing ...
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    Question Learning to drive - Changing from 2nd gear to 1st gear when slowing down

    Hi everyone,

    Just looking for a bit of advise - I'm learning to drive, and the instructor insists on changing from 2nd gear to 1st gear when slowing down so I am ready to set back off. Everyone I work with say this is wrong - I should stay in 2nd gear, and as soon as I have stopped change to 1st gear. I unserstand 1st gear is only for setting off and getting the car in motion, so why does he say I should change to gear 1 when I am still moving?

    What does everyone on here think?

    Thanks,

    Tom.

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    creese's Avatar
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    That is what I was taught many years ago. More recently at a 're-education' speed course I was told 1st is up to 10MPH, 2nd up to 20MPH etc. I was also told it was better to use the gears to slow down.

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    My car would throw a hissy fit when i used to do this. I was also taught to do it that way. But like people are saying id preferred changing gears after i had stopped.

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    u8dmtm's Avatar
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    Changing down through the gears is useful for 'engine braking', i.e. slowing the car down with the engine instead of the brakes, reducing the wear on your brakes. You are also less likely to stall and more able to move off quickly if circumstances ahead change.

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    The way I see it is this: how much does it cost to replace a gearbox, and how much to replace brakes. Cheaper to replace brakes, so thats what I choose to use.

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    Sarconia's Avatar
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    I'd say that your driving instructor is in the wrong. I was taught to drive about 5yrs ago and was never taught to get into 1st gear whilst slowing down, I was always told to stay in 2nd gear until the car had fully stopped moving and then to change gears as 99% of cars can still take off in 2nd gear without any issues as long as the wheels are still rolling.

    I don't think it's too good for the engine of your car either... once again, most cars would definitely jolt somewhat if I put it into 1st gear whilst still moving and I don't think the driving test instructor would be too happy sitting in a car that was chugging around each time you came to a stop!

    Added note: Engine braking is fine but in a good car... you'll notice that if you simply don't put your foot down when in gear, the engine will hold you back somewhat, the same applies to going down a hill in 2nd or 3rd gear. Still... unless it is a hill of extreme proportions... (like when you're travelling to Alton Towers) it's very rare that you'd use 1st gear to engine brake.
    Last edited by Sarconia; 13th April 2010 at 12:44 PM. Reason: Engine braking

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    I was also taught to only drop into first to pull away again, and in fact the car I have now throws an absolute fit if you try and get it into first above about 3MPH. In any car, I'd be concerned about trashing the gear mesh getting into first while moving.

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    creese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michelle View Post
    The way I see it is this: how much does it cost to replace a gearbox, and how much to replace brakes. Cheaper to replace brakes, so thats what I choose to use.
    Surely the wear would be on the clutch not the gearbox and would be significantly less than on all 8 brake pads. Brake pads could easily be £100 before labour.

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    better explanation below
    Last edited by RabbieBurns; 13th April 2010 at 12:46 PM. Reason: Removed.

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    I was thinking more of the crunching through the gates on the box more than clutch. 8 pads, mine has 4, and dont get a garage to fit, I cant fix a box or replace a clutch

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Incidentally, I was tought both ways. Theres a 'closed junction' and an 'open junction'. In the first, you cant see whats going on, or you are most likely going to stop. You change to 1st gear at the 2nd last white stripe tihng on the lead up to the junciton. At an open junction, you can see from way far behind if theres somehitng coming or not. So at the very 1st white stipe you come to, you drop to 2nd, then you can approach the junction knowing you are either able to keep going, or take your turn (as you have had pleanty of room to see if theres something coming), or able to stop safely if something appears out of nowhere.

    edit: So, down to 1st year if you know you are going to be stopping, and you are breaking with the car, not using the car to break. 2nd gear if you plan on keeping going..
    Last edited by RabbieBurns; 13th April 2010 at 12:46 PM.

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    creese's Avatar
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    Those of us taught to drive years ago were conditioned to move our way up and down the gear box systematically – 4, 3, 2 and 1. But that’s because vehicles in those days had inferior brakes and we needed to bring the cars to a halt by using the drag of the transmission.
    These days, we recommend “block changing”. Use the brakes to slow down, then, when the speed is right, choose the gear that is best for that speed. So you may move from fourth, say, straight to second, after you have finished braking. Brake pads are cheaper to replace than clutches. You can also block change to move up, skipping intermediate gears. So remember “gears to go, brakes to slow”.

    Advanced Driving UK :: Learner, Advanced Driving and Motoring Advice

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    capncrunch's Avatar
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    If you are worried about changing from 2nd to 1st whilst moving then you need to double de-clutch with a blip of the throttle to match engine speed with roadspeed then jobs a good'n. Though would not try that if you are still learning to drive. Wait til you pass then learn to drive properly

    As for gear changing i was taught to drive just over 3 years and was told to block shift but i always work through all the gears up and down through box. The main reason being you should always be in an appropriate gear for the speed you are doing so you are ready for any situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by u8dmtm View Post
    Changing down through the gears is useful for 'engine braking', i.e. slowing the car down with the engine instead of the brakes, reducing the wear on your brakes. ....
    As I was told when learning. Brakes are cheaper than engines, use your brakes to slow down.

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by creese View Post
    Those of us taught to drive years ago were conditioned to move our way up and down the gear box systematically – 4, 3, 2 and 1. But that’s because vehicles in those days had inferior brakes and we needed to bring the cars to a halt by using the drag of the transmission.
    These days, we recommend “block changing”. Use the brakes to slow down, then, when the speed is right, choose the gear that is best for that speed. So you may move from fourth, say, straight to second, after you have finished braking. Brake pads are cheaper to replace than clutches. You can also block change to move up, skipping intermediate gears. So remember “gears to go, brakes to slow”.

    Advanced Driving UK :: Learner, Advanced Driving and Motoring Advice
    aye thats the way i was taught too (10 years ago)

    The key info in creese's post is that you use the breaks to slow the car down first, and change to a gear that matches the speed. Not to use the gears to slow down.



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