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Old 03-03-2016, 01:11 PM   #1
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Driving in the Mountains

I've read that when driving steep grades that you should use the same gear going down that you used going up. My 2004 class C has a V10 with a 5 speed transmission. Since we live in Illinois steep grades aren't something I ever deal with.
When going up hills I know that it downshifts once or twice so I may go from 5th to 4th or third. My only choices for gear selection are D, 2, 1.
I would guess that I would drop down into 2nd when going down into a steep grade. Is that the procedure since it's the only option I have?
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:43 PM   #2
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If needed, I would go down in 2nd. The idea is to let the engine do the braking so you don't overheat your brakes...
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:49 PM   #3
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Depends on the grade and length. With my PU, I commonly downshift to second, if I find that I am applying the brakes a lot, I downshift to first gear. RPMs might be high, but it fine on the engine and tranny, and it will save your breaks. There is nothing worse than being in the mountains and lose your brakes as you cooked them.
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Old 03-03-2016, 02:27 PM   #4
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Thanks. The jump from 4th or 5th to second just seemed extreme to a flat lander.
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:03 PM   #5
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When going down an incline the engine has to hold the weight. If RPM's revving up in a short period go to the next gear down. Using your brake to often will overheat them.
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CKinsella View Post
I've read that when driving steep grades that you should use the same gear going down that you used going up. My 2004 class C has a V10 with a 5 speed transmission. Since we live in Illinois steep grades aren't something I ever deal with.
When going up hills I know that it downshifts once or twice so I may go from 5th to 4th or third. My only choices for gear selection are D, 2, 1.
I would guess that I would drop down into 2nd when going down into a steep grade. Is that the procedure since it's the only option I have?
CKinsella,

The best advice I've gotten for driving over mountain passes is, never go down faster then you went up.

So use what ever gear is required to keep your speed down so you're not over using your brakes (as others have mentioned).
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Old 03-03-2016, 05:39 PM   #7
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One thing I love about the 6 speed in my Silverado - in tow/haul mode, it senses excessive braking and shifts the transmission to the appropriate gear for engine braking. It surprised me the first time it did it!
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