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Folks,
Had a question for you regarding the manual shifting feature in a 2004 Optima LX with Auto transmission
While going downhill, is it recommended to shift into a lower gear using this feature?
This is what I was taught when driving a car with manual transmission. So that I can prevent brake pad wear by using engine braking.

But someone tells me that doing such a thing can damage the automatic transmission, which will be much more expensive to fix than to replace a worn out brake pad.

I'm confused on what to do! So currently am using my brakes.
Any suggestions?


Thanks!
 

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This feature allows you to shift when you want too. You dont have to use it if you dont want too. I use it all of the time and my wife never uses it. Hope this helps.
 

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Originally posted by thecompdude@Aug 2 2005, 09:14 PM
Folks,
Had a question for you regarding the manual shifting feature in a 2004 Optima LX with Auto transmission
While going downhill, is it recommended to shift into a lower gear using this feature?
This is what I was taught when driving a car with manual transmission. So that I can prevent brake pad wear by using engine braking.

But someone tells me that doing such a thing can damage the automatic transmission, which will be much more expensive to fix than to replace a worn out brake pad.

I'm confused on what to do! So currently am using my brakes.
Any suggestions?
Thanks!
To answer your question, no it's not a good idea to down shift while going down hill, you might save your break pads, but you'll over work your engine and tranny. Never advised to do so, but it's your car.. besides I kinda do the same myself.. LOL so if I told you otherwise that would make me a hypocrite. :p Gotta say, the Optima is a really fun car to drive. haha.. I think it's a great car, how about you? :57:
 

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Originally posted by rkholmes@Oct 8 2005, 12:23 AM
With the exception of extremely poor in town gas mileage.

I LOVE MY OPTIMA

:amen:
:haha: yeah.. I do agree! But the 2006 Hyundai Sonata looks awesome.. wish the optima would look somewhat like that... oh well!
 

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i always use the expression 'brakes are for slowing ,gears are for going' think about it which would you prefer to replace, brake pads or a tranny ?
 

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For the long long down hill, you have to down shift your gear to have an engine breaking to avoid over heat your break pads. The breaking will fail when the pads over heated, this is why advise to use lower gear for safety reason.
 

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When in doubt, if it is available, I check my owner's manual. That should tell about the correct use of the auto trans. Used to be that the old "slush boxes" would barely get 80K, so had to be treated with real care (I'm taling the big US built cars of pre and earl disc brake days (crummy stopping power too). However, a long downgrade will over tax most brakes and a lower gear is usually recommended by the manufacturer. The "Auto Stick" is supposed to let us shift, or not, as we chose. I'm used to good 4 and 5 speeds and a 4 speed with OD on 3rd and 4th. My clutches get lots of use, as do the gear levers and brakes. My brakes far outlast the average, clutches go the life of the car (My wife's 90 Dodge Spirit 5 speed (4 cyl) was mean to be driven. The clutch is fine at 190K and she drives it most of the time and abuses the clutch (slips it a lot). I'm so old I learned to drive when clutches, brakes, trannys, engines all were weak, so was taught to treat them with respect. They will still do an awful lot, when usage is balanced. For me driving
an automajic is like driving with handcuffs and leg irons. The "Auto Stick" does help in turns where the revs drop to much to drive the car through, but it feels terribly vague compared to a real std. Tried a Taurus recently and found it almost always in the wrong gear on a winding or hilly road (The auto trans was constantly up and down and never in the right gear - I wanna decide when I shift. I also feel helpless with no clutch pedal. Was taught to drive on a std in winter and can still go places with a std (thanks to clutch)
where an automajoc will spin the wheels as soon as it's put into gear and foot is eased off the brake pedal. "Sometimes the owner's manuals agree with me and sometimes they don't." When they don't I try and figure out why and follow factory suggestions (but some are clearly written by individuals who never drive the cars).
If you aren't confused, I am!
 

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Myself as a mechanic i would advise you to use your brake's

I think you would rather spend $50 for a set of pad's for 2-3 years use,then spending $1500-1700 for a rebuild for your transmisson,because you wanted to go slower down a hill
 

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Originally posted by Gold4door@Dec 23 2005, 11:41 PM
Myself as a mechanic i would advise you to use your brake's

I think you would rather spend $50 for a set of pad's for 2-3 years use,then spending $1500-1700 for a rebuild for your transmisson,because you wanted to go slower down a hill
Well.. there's your answer folks.. straight from the mechanic.. heh.. thanks Gold4door!
Good thing that I don't have hills (big ones) around me.. so I don't have to worry about it.. :grin:
 

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When descending a long grade, a steep grade, or a longis, steepish grade, if you simply ride your brakes, you will find them getting less and less effective due to overheating. The pedal travel feels like it decreases and the pedal feels hard, but you feel less and less stopping power. You may also smell the brakes "cooking" and see smoke. I've seen more than one mountain road where all vehicles are stopped to check brake temperatures - those that are hot are pulled over till they cool off. The lower gears in the trans are there for something (Why do 400 HP cars have more than one forward gear - not needed just to get up to speed!?). On moderate and short downhills, it's up to the driver to chose the gear. On a long downgrade, not using a lower gear could be suicide. I was in a car, as a kid, where the Low range on the auto trans was busted and less than half way down a reasonable grade, the brakes were useless - VERY FREIGHTENING!!! I've also talked to far too many who didn't know to use a lower gear going down a mountain. They said brakes were no good. Repeat - look up correct use of the trans in all situations. I've had a coupler "Automatic Overdrives" and found them shifting up and down constantly (Ford - especially bad). the owner's manual suggested locking out the OD to stop this. Had a Buick where it clearly said only use the OD when crusing on "flat, level" roads and that using it where it will shift (by itself) frequently will increase fuel consumption and abuse the trans. Check out any half decent book with info about mountain driving, how to use a standard trans and how to use an auto trans. If it feels like the car is "getting away" going downhill, you are in too high a gear. I'm not talking about routinely shifting the auto trans like a sports car racer would a std. A while back I was on the Cabot Trail (spectacular drive) on Cape Breton Island in Canada - a combination of the 5 speed trans and the brakes was still not enough to avoid overheading the brakes, so I stopped to coool them. I was forced to run at least 15 -20 mph faster than sane by the speed of other traffic. I did not know how long that section of road was. would have made it with very hot brakes. Most of those behind me must have been "suicidal!" they ignored signs sdaying "use lower gears" and were well above the posted speed limit, let alone the advisory speeds for the hils and twisty bits of road. I've raced cars (legally) on both Oval track and Road Courses and been trough 6 high performance driving schools (including a 5 day RACING School run by Bob Bondurant (Ex Grand Prix Driver). All taught the use of a combo of brakes and trans. Treat the entire car with respect and it will serve you well - My supposedly fragile MGB was the most reliable car either I, my dad, or my wife has ever had. I did drive it with gusto, but not abuse!!!
When I had an old style (pre box) Volvo (new in 1967), I found TWO of about a dozen of those who I HAD to rely on for service knew how to drive it. The rest drove it like an old pick up truck (will destroy a small engine). I have a mechanic friend who routinely told people it was fine to leave their foot on the clutch between shifts - SO He'd GET TO REPLACE MORE OF THEM!!! There are so many fine points involved in driving anything, it could lead to endless debate. Follow the maufacturer's printed recommendations, unless they clearly don't work. As with my 87 Ford van - It was constantly shifting in and out of (auto) overdrive and got terrible mileage. I tried, as per the book, not using the OD - still awful milkeage and it "hjurt" me to hear the engine running so fast. I replaced the optional size tires (worn out by then - got the van used) with the standard size ( a lot less $$$). The smaller tires were 4 inches smaller when measured all the way around the outside (circumferance). They were the standard size (The larger should never have been recommended, just a heavier load rating!). The Over Drive began to work right and I jumped 3 mpg (from 13 to 16 locally and from 15 to 19 over the road. All of us can be wrong, including (especially) engineers and mechanics (especially when it's something they are not familiar with). I recently drove a Hyundai Elantra Automatic. It shifted at 6000 RPM on the Tach when driven briskly (not hard). Had I not seen it and felt and heard it, I'd have been shocked to hear about it, but it was fine - designed to do that. With a 5 speed, shifting at a significantly ower RPM will be hard on the engine (unless there is virtually no load on it). My 1971 Ford pick up will easily start from rest in 2nd (Low is for loads and hills and go round street coners at 8 - 10 mph in 3rd (Had it "detuned to run on 87 octane gas - originally rqired 91 = pinged a lot and could not pull with the engine. There asre so many variations - learn about yours. You will enjoy driving miore and get better use out of the vehicle (s)!
 

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If anything I "down"shift when going up the hill to maintain accelleration, when i'm going down the hill, I'm usually going fast enough. :p
 
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