Downshifting is the act of moving appropriately
to lower gears while slowing down. This is the
essential difference between the operation of an
automatic transmission and one of manual
persuasion: downshifting not only helps you slow
the car, but it also puts you in the right gear for
the speed. Downshifting is your friend - especially
in bad weather or on hills, where immediate braking
can be dangerous.
Keep in mind that you may shift down only one
gear or simply apply the brakes. Again, knowing
your range in each gear will help determine what's
While downshifting, move from clutch to brake
while in gear. This will help you slow down without
revving too high between gears.
If you are driving 45 mph in fourth gear and
come upon a stop sign ahead:
Push in the clutch and shift down to third while
using the brake.
- Let the clutch out slowly to avoid high
- Next, do it again into second before you
Don't downshift into first!