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MikeHig

Engine braking on descent

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I took my 2017 R for a run to the Alps last month, had a lot of fun on the twisties.

However I was surprised to find that, driving in normal traffic, the DSG stayed in high gears on the descents, giving very little engine braking. Putting it into Sport improved things because the 'box changes down at higher revs but it was not sensitive to the degree of slope.

The surprise came because I have often driven out there is a diesel Skoda estate which clearly "senses" downhill travel and drops down the gears to give plenty of braking. I expected the R to do the same, especially since - afaik - the fuel flow is cut off on the over-run if the revs are up a bit. That improves economy which is such an over-riding issue these days.

I'm curious if others have noticed the same effect or whether my car may have a small software glitch.

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2018 7.5 -  just tried this driving home from work and it behaves as you describe, 

I've always used the paddles to slow down and on a hill it does use the engine braking to slow down and stay in the selected lower gear, it doesn't change back to D after the usual 13 secs when your on the level with no load.

A few cars ago I had a Clio RS200 EDC, my first twin clutch, it had no engine braking whatsoever and actually seemed to speed up as it used to blip the throttle on the downchange, nightmare !

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Thanks for the replies. Good to know it's not a glitch.

Yes, I ended up using manual control - but didn't notice ALS391's point about it not changing back to D.

 

As mentioned, my 2014 Skoda does drop a gear or two on a downslope. It has the older 6-speed DSG so I wonder if this clever little feature did not carry over into the 7-speed?

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Mine does change down gears itself on downhill braking. I doesn't do it if you brake steady but if you press the brakes more firmly going down the hill it does change down for you.

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Mine does change down gears itself on downhill braking. I doesn't do it if you brake steady but if you press the brakes more firmly going down the hill it does change down for you.

That’s different, the OP is talking about engine braking. I have a mk7 R with the 6 speed box and haven’t noticed what it does tbh. I can confirm that the 6 speed box does hold lower gears whilst descending though.


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I read that it will only drop to 3rd gear during downhill engine braking, if you want a lower gear it has to be selected manually. I think I read it in the manual under the driving on uphill gradients section. 

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28 minutes ago, GrayMK7R said:

I have 6 speed DSG, and on steep hills it will drop down a gear or two if you are braking to assist through engine braking 

 

Same here.  I find the 6 speed DSG is actually great on downhill sections, dropping down on initially applying the brakes and then and in many cases, maintains engine breaking is all that’s needed. 

 

Seems that the 7 speed doesn’t behave the same which is regrettable if that’s the case. 

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Strange 'cause during my first day of ownership my 7 speed did drop a gear/hold a lower gear on a descent on my way to work (thought nothing of it as my previous car (BMW 330D) did something similar.  This morning on the same bit of road it did not.  Perhaps the feature is still there, just it needs slightly different parameters to activate??

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We have a speed camera on a downhill 40mph road into Leeds and my 6-speed DSG (17 plate R) always changed to a lower gear if I braked gently, and hence helped maintain 40mph by engine braking without having to stay on the brakes. 

 

I've not tried it yet with the newer 7-speed so will see what happens and report back.

 

As an aside I've found it best to use manual mode in cold, snowy and icy conditions to force moderate engine braking when travelling downhill, to avoid having to brake (or as far as possible anyway).   

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28 minutes ago, JonnyG said:

We have a speed camera on a downhill 40mph road into Leeds and my 6-speed DSG (17 plate R) always changed to a lower gear if I braked gently, and hence helped maintain 40mph by engine braking without having to stay on the brakes. 

 

I've not tried it yet with the newer 7-speed so will see what happens and report back.

 

As an aside I've found it best to use manual mode in cold, snowy and icy conditions to force moderate engine braking when travelling downhill, to avoid having to brake (or as far as possible anyway).   

 

Please do report back, very interested to know if there’s a difference in the 7 speed. I have a similar hill with 30mph speed cam on my commute and never need to use the brakes with the 6 speed.   

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