99 SC1 - Using engine for deceleration, auto tranny: Healthy?

55

Asked by May 05, 2009 at 03:41 PM about the 1999 Saturn S-Series

Question type: General

I'm very hands-on with any machine I operate, and my Saturn is no exception.  For a while now I have been using the "3" and "2" settings on my automatic transmission to slow down from highway speeds.  I am pretty careful about not downshifting too early, for example I never go to 3 unless I'm below 65, and I use 2 when I'm going 45 or less.

My question is this:  Will this practice significantly wear out my transmission?  I know engine-assisted deceleration is used a lot with manuals, but other than myself, I don't know of anyone who does it with an automatic.

3 Answers

8,595

You can but your revving the engine off load something that bearings do not like, and you are putting additional wear on the transmission. It may not be a significant increase in wear but it is one non the less. So the better question is do you want to risk an expensive part or replace brake pads maybe one more time in the cars life? With manuals the question I've always posed is do you prefer to replace pads or clutches? Besides it's a pain in the ass for people behind you when you slow down with no brake lights.

55

Thanks for your reply, man, it's definitely helpful. I use engine braking mainly for no other reason than being bored to death with an automatic. I've driven this car about 85,000 miles in the last 3.5 years. One thing I've learned while being on the road so much is that I can't stand careless drivers. So yes, I'm aware that I am decelerating with no brake lights, so when I go to downshift I always look in my rearview to see if anyone is near or approaching. If they are, I put in a little braking action to make sure my brake lights warn folks behind me. I'll probably stop doing this as much, since I'm a perpetually broke college student, and as such want to do as little maintenance as I can get away with. Thanks again!

5

well i dont personally know bout that car but when i did it in my 99 malibu it threw out overdrive so i wouldnt reccomend it.

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