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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Giulia equipped with the paddle shifter, when slow down to traffic light or before entering a ramp, foot off gas then use paddle shifter to down shift, use engine braking to slow down smoothly.






Is this good or bad? Am I saving the disposable brake pads while wear out my 8-speed ZF prematurely?
Beyond tranny is this engine braking harmful to the engine, turbo or any other critical component of the car?
 

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Personally I don't think it is a good idea to slow the car down by solely downshifting...... any car, manual or automatic

It's a lot cheaper to replace brake pads than transmissions.......
 

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Personally I don't think it is a good idea to slow the car down by solely downshifting...... any car, manual or automatic

It's a lot cheaper to replace brake pads than transmissions.......
Sound advice:smile2:
first off you don't have a manual...its still an auto box that can shift...you should be applying the brakes.
would you drop a straight auto into a lower gear?? I'm sure you would not.
even with a manual your modulating the brakes when you are downshifting...
 

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I guess if you keep the RPM range in acceptable limits the torque on the engine is not alot different than up shifting? Taking it thru the gears under strong acceleration is within the limits of the engineering of the drivetrain. I do downshift thru the gears infrequently as a way of slowing down a bit. Would love to hear from someone with more tech bakground than i have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for the analysis and advise. In the past I had a Lexus Ls430 with adaptive cruise control, I sensed that when too close to car in front it downshift a notch before break kicks in. Well, look like the downshift business better leave to the control unit, don't be paddle shift happy for slowing down.
 

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Yes and the computer will respond differently when downshifting if you have your foot on the brake or not. You really should in a performance situation. In a relaxed situation, the computer should do a softer shift. Either way, you should only really downshift when power will be needed afterward. That is the point, and a way to minimize wear on the clutch(es) rev matching, in the expectation of applying more power while exiting a corner. It's fun and sounds awesome. Alfa got it right this way with the ecu and ZF, but slowing after lifting, especially at stop signs and lights will be better for the ZF. In the 360 we can select neutral easily with both paddles. It is a big saver for F1 clutches and actually has a data point in the software. Miles in N. Haven't tried it with the stick on the Quad yet. Don't think it will work in Race mode, or at least M mode on the stick.
 
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2018 Q4 with Fiamenghi Ti exhaust, Race Mod, and Tecnico wheels.
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Giulia equipped with the paddle shifter, when slow down to traffic light or before entering a ramp, foot off gas then use paddle shifter to down shift, use engine braking to slow down smoothly.

Is this good or bad? Am I saving the disposable brake pads while wear out my 8-speed ZF prematurely?
Beyond tranny is this engine braking harmful to the engine, turbo or any other critical component of the car?
I like to downshift, but have no clue if it can cause substantial automatic transmission wear. Does downshifting cause any more wear than normal upshifting? Maybe somebody has some experience with this rather than just an opinion? Engine braking on downhills can save your brakes from overheating.

I also like to shift to neutral at stops. This too has the potential to increase transmission wear, but again I do not know if it is enough to notice.

With a manual transmission down shifting does cause wear on the synchronizers and clutch, so I don't see it as much different.

One thing that can go wrong with downshifting is you can get too aggressive and start a skid. Modulating the brakes is easy and fast plus there is ABS to help, but modulating the transmission gear is not so fast or easy.

I wonder if the Q4 is smart enough to engage the transfer if engine braking is causing the rear wheels to slip.

Lastly, does the 2.0T get significant engine braking? Multi-air has the potential to make the engine just spin with almost no resistance. I don't know if multi-air is or should be capable of implementing something like the exhaust brake that I have on my pickup truck or like a Jake brake that so many big-rigs use.
 

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One thing that can go wrong with downshifting is you can get too aggressive and start a skid. Modulating the brakes is easy and fast plus there is ABS to help, but modulating the transmission gear is not so fast or easy.
One major thing that can go wrong in downshifting (manual transmission), (especially in a race situation), is that you can do what's called "The money shift"......

Shifting in the wrong lower gear, blowing the motor and "shifting your money" from your pocket to the mechanic's.......

I have seen it done at plenty of track events......
 
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Yes that's for sure! I got kinda close a couple times with the 360. I was a bit nervous, exiting a rotary and passing a slow poke on a significant uphill grade. Was going through the gears well and sounded great but then I paused as the road flattened out and mistakenly twitched my left hand rather right, or simply just relaxing in that gear. Boom the robot did what the paddle said and shifted down a gear. Up near 6K rpm or so and really wailed. I've done it on a straight before as well. It was a combination of fatigue with the paddles, inexperience, and nerves driving a 6 figure car. But the F131 engine redlines at 8.5K So I was OK. ;)
 
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I learned my lesson engine braking down slippery hills. ABS plays that game better.
OTOH, engine braking on a long incline can save brakes for when they're really needed.

I like the way my Giulia gently downshifts on its own as I decelerate. She'll be ready to go when called upon.
 
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While I agree down gearing is best used when acceleration is anticipated upon exit of a curve, it is my understanding that the ZF transmission (1) will not allow a downshift that is not within parameters, and (2) that there is a rev matching aspect to the ECU/Transmission interface.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have noticed without touching gear shift or peddle, just push brake for a hard deceleration, the rpm needle will jump slightly a few times till settle to idle when the car full stopped, which is an indication of controlled downshift by itself.
 

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One major thing that can go wrong in downshifting (manual transmission), (especially in a race situation), is that you can do what's called "The money shift"......

Shifting in the wrong lower gear, blowing the motor and "shifting your money" from your pocket to the mechanic's.......

I have seen it done at plenty of track events......
This is just in general, right? The computer on the Alfa won't allow the engine to over-rev when downshifting with the paddles. It just stops downshifting.
 

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This is just in general, right? The computer on the Alfa won't allow the engine to over-rev when downshifting with the paddles. It just stops downshifting.
Yes, I was referring to manual transmissions.....
 

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My DD is a BMW 535 xi Touring Wagon. Stock with 300 HP and 300 Torque. Installed the Dinan Stage 2 which moved the HP to 375 and Torque to 415.
The driver's manual notes that the 6-Speed automatic will "learn" from the driver's habits. It's been 8 years of downshifting a lot of the time. Liked the sound on a trailing throttle. No problems. Also when going down steep mountain grades on Cruise Control, it shifts down on its own and when needed applies the brakes.
On the few track days with it in "Manual" it was always in the right gear for coming out of a turn.
:)
 

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This experience comes from my Charger while I wait for my beautiful Giulia.

I love using the paddle shifters because it lets me anticipate the need to accelerate or simply hear the engine (yes the V6 sounds pretty alright). I use engine braking in the steep downhill ramps of a local parking structure I sometimes use, and I use it in heavy traffic, mostly for fun. Only other times I downshift are when I'm about to pass or if someone signals turning in front of me, so I can accelerate quickly when they finish their turn.
 
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