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Down shifting on a hill is probably the only time my engine gets its revs up ... :D

If it is quite steep, I just combine the two, bit of engine braking, bit of wheel braking ... to also alert the folks behind that I'm not going to free wheel this, get a ticket in the process or lose control somewhere in a curve half a mile ahead. Some long downhills, you get a good overview and can just let her speed up and roll without having to worry about braking or slowing down ...

All in all, I thought a bit of engine braking was encouraged to save the brakes ... especially when towing. My utility trailer has some size and weight, but it doesn't have brakes. So, I just take my time getting up to speed, anticipate everything as much as I can, ...
I get it on towing with a heavy load. And "anticipate" is absolutely the name of the game for driving larger vehicles! Out of curiousity, do you get any benefit out of 5 & 6? I haven't noticed much in the way of speed control above 4.
 

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Downshifting from 7 to 6 doesn't seem to do anything. It seems 5 or even 4 is where the engine braking speed reduction is at. Back during the busy days with stick shifting, I only had 5 gears on most modern vehicles ( it was up to four before then, some sports cars had six, but that was nowhere near my wheelhouse. ) and 5 4 3 down to 2 all worked well, one step at a time was easy and practically feasible ... if you wanted to keep the active gear ready to accelerrate again. With the 6 and 7 now, it seems you need to go down two gears to have a braking effect, then go from there, one at a time

I have yet to drive a 9 speed. Is that like 4 overdrive gears? ;)
 

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Downshifting from 7 to 6 doesn't seem to do anything. It seems 5 or even 4 is where the engine braking speed reduction is at. Back during the busy days with stick shifting, I only had 5 gears on most modern vehicles ( it was up to four before then, some sports cars had six, but that was nowhere near my wheelhouse. ) and 5 4 3 down to 2 all worked well, one step at a time was easy and practically feasible ... if you wanted to keep the active gear ready to accelerrate again. With the 6 and 7 now, it seems you need to go down two gears to have a braking effect, then go from there, one at a time

I have yet to drive a 9 speed. Is that like 4 overdrive gears? ;)
Looks like 7,8 & 9 are overdrive.

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Letting cruise control maintain your speed on downhill grades will greatly accelerate rear brake wear. I don't do that. While at my dealership, I once saw a customer complaining about his rear brakes being worn out at less than 20K miles. On a long downhill grade (which we've driven a lot) I always use engine braking to help maintain a safe speed along with judicious application of brakes intermittently (do not brake continually on a long downhill grade, that's the quickest way to heat and fade). My 2016 PV is at almost 55K miles and still on the original brake pads. Just checked in mid June and still a ways to go before replacement is needed.
 

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Good to hear about your brakes lasting well.

As far as I know:

Traditional Cruise Control
Only works on the engine throttle. No brakes are used.

Adaptive Cruise Control / Distronic / ...
Will use the brakes if more or fast deceleration is required, beyond what basic throttle control can do, just like a driver would step on the brakes to slow down or come to a stop.

So, I don't think using Cruise Control leads to faster brake wear inherently.

Now some vehicles may have rear brake bias to minimize nose diving, that could be factor in faster rear brake wear, vs front brake wear that is more typical.

For me, I think brake wear is all down to the right foot and the grey matter up top ;)

I looked at a 2 year old off lease SUV one time that a salesman insisted was a great buy, because it just had its brakes done at ~20000 miles. Instant skip. I didn't want a vehicle that had been driven that hard in metropolitan town and beltway conditions, where brake wear was > 50% and thus it already needed a brake service. I should have checked what the average mpg was. LOL. Anyhow it just made me feel like somebody used and abused the vehicle, because they were only essentially renting it for 2 years.
 

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On the way home yesterday with the Curt controller on the trailer, I had cruise control on during a brief downhill and the trailer brakes came on. Since they are activated by the brake lights on the tow vehicle, I assume the van brakes were applied. There was no gearing down so engine braking would be negligible.
 

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If I decrease cruise speed by 10kph it will coast down to that speed. If I quickly decrease by 20 (two taps) there's active slowing (brakes probably). Don't know about mph (incrememts of 5).
 

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Good to hear about your brakes lasting well.

As far as I know:

Traditional Cruise Control
Only works on the engine throttle. No brakes are used.

Adaptive Cruise Control / Distronic / ...
Will use the brakes if more or fast deceleration is required, beyond what basic throttle control can do, just like a driver would step on the brakes to slow down or come to a stop.

So, I don't think using Cruise Control leads to faster brake wear inherently.

Now some vehicles may have rear brake bias to minimize nose diving, that could be factor in faster rear brake wear, vs front brake wear that is more typical.

For me, I think brake wear is all down to the right foot and the grey matter up top ;)

I looked at a 2 year old off lease SUV one time that a salesman insisted was a great buy, because it just had its brakes done at ~20000 miles. Instant skip. I didn't want a vehicle that had been driven that hard in metropolitan town and beltway conditions, where brake wear was > 50% and thus it already needed a brake service. I should have checked what the average mpg was. LOL. Anyhow it just made me feel like somebody used and abused the vehicle, because they were only essentially renting it for 2 years.
I'll refer you to this thread.

 

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... It looks like things may have changed, from conventional wisdom. Especially if Rob says it uses the brakes.

There's a few too many daylight hours right now, to conveniently test it and look outside in the rear view mirror ... but, I have an idea or two.
 

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BTW while discussing the brakes on my Metris with my service advisor, I inquired about the costs for new pads to be fitted. He gave me price and said they would NOT do pads only. He said it was mandatory MB policy to replace the rotors when replacing the pads. So, a lot more work and cost than just pads. Anyone experience this and care to comment? I'm not asking for the rotors to be turned. The brakes work perfectly smoothly with no signs of warpage. I never ran into such a policy before.
 

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A second set of brake pads may out last the rotors, maybe? But as far as policy. I don't know. That sounds suspicious, unless there is very clear wear, severe rust, grooving, ... Vehicles used to have one or two sets of pads, and rotor true-ing ( or what it is called ) before new rotors.
 

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BTW while discussing the brakes on my Metris with my service advisor, I inquired about the costs for new pads to be fitted. He gave me price and said they would NOT do pads only. He said it was mandatory MB policy to replace the rotors when replacing the pads. So, a lot more work and cost than just pads. Anyone experience this and care to comment? I'm not asking for the rotors to be turned. The brakes work perfectly smoothly with no signs of warpage. I never ran into such a policy before.
I've never experienced this mindset in 50+ years of driving & maintaining cars & a limo fleet for 20 years. I can't imagine the reason for the policy. You check rotors for run-out & have NAPA or your neighborhood garage turn the rotors. When we were racing SCCA Showroom Stock, we seldom bothered to turn the rotors since we went thru pads fairly quickly. If the rotors had warpage (pulsing which you could feel), we usually replaced the rotors but sometimes just turned them.

We did always bed the brakes after installing new pads. You can Google this procedure, you're introducing heat into the pads to extend the life AND increase performance.
 
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