Many years ago the manual transmission was the only one offered and no cars came with power steering either. Driving a car at this time in the history of the automotive industry was a skill you had to practice and learn that did not offer the room for error that comes with the vehicles of today which do most of the work for you. If you do choose to buy a car that has a manual transmission, not one that is automatic and offers paddle shifters, you want to know how to actually perform the shifting and what the benefits of things like downshifting are.
The importance of heel & toe downshifting is used to downshift while on the brake when entering a curve so that you can be in the best gear when exiting the curve. If you enter a curve in fourth gear but will be at a lower speed upon exiting you want to use this type of shifting to get into third gear and be able to accelerate upon exiting back up to the speed you were previously at on the straight parts of the road. This shifting is used to allow you to have more fun while driving and is used in racing to regain speeds in a place where hundredths of a second can make a difference.
The process of downshifting and putting your heel or the side of your foot on the accelerator at the same time as the brake helps to keep the engine and clutch working at that same speeds, allowing you to have more control of the car. If you were to only brake and shift to a lower gear without increasing the speed of the engine to match the clutch speed you would end up with braking force applied to the driving wheels and either experience understeer or oversteer depending upon the drive wheels.
This can be especially dangerous in an AWD vehicle where all four wheels are driving wheels as the car can slide through a turn. By learning to properly downshift using the heel & toe method you can avoid this possible disaster and save your clutch from unnecessary wear and tear. This also allows you to come out of a curve at higher speeds and ready to accelerate back to the speed you were driving previously, which makes for an excellent ride.
Downshifting is not the only part of driving a manual transmission car that you need to learn, but keep in mind there are many drivers before you that didn’t have the benefit of the video you can watch below. If you are someone who wants to learn to use a manual properly or just want to understand better the purpose of heel & toe shifting check out the video below. Who knows, you might benefit from this video the next time you take your hot hatch out to the track with the knowledge of how to properly downshift rather than just working the revs back up to your current gear, which is really bad for your clutch.
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