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#1 22-08-04 20:47:01

hampshirebabe
Verified Member
Registered: 27-06-04
Posts: 82

How do you go down hill?

Hello, I've just joined the IAM, and am waiting for my first drive. I've been looking at the book they sent me but it seemed to contradict itself a bit. When you go down a steep hill, it says you should switch to a lower gear to slow you down, it says use the same gear to go down that you would to go up. But then it also says brakes are cheaper than gears so you should slow yourself down using the gears. So which should it be? :?:

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22-08-04 20:47:01

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Re: How do you go down hill?




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#2 22-08-04 21:23:48

jgarbutt
Verified Member
From: Driving Instructor in Horsham,
Registered: 26-04-04
Posts: 380
Website

Re: How do you go down hill?

Hi hampshirebabe,

I can see how that sounds contradictory, but it's not really.

You don't use a lower gear to reduce your speed when going downhill, but more to maintain a slower speed without using the brakes.

Ideally you will anticipate the cars increase in speed when going downhill and change to a lower gear before this happens. Failing that you would use your brake to reduce speed, then select a lower gear to maintain that lower speed.

Using your brake all the way down a long hill could cause the brakes to overheat and reduce their efficiency, or worse still, cause them to fail. With modern cars this is less likely, except with particularly long/steep hills. However you would still wear out your brakepads quite quickly. Whereas using the gears to maintain a slower speed is more sympathetic to the vehicle. Using gears to actually slow the vehicle down, puts considerable strain on the vehicle.

Hope that helps, and good luck with your IAM test when you take it.


Jason Garbutt
DSA Approved Driving Instructor
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[color=blue]      Driving lessons throughout Sussex
Tel. 01403 251662 - www.GreatDriver.co.uk

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