Jaguar Manual Manual - Page 8

I Have to Slow Down or Stop. What Do I Need to Do? The smart aleck answer is, “That depends.” Well, it’s true, what you do with a stick shift when slowing down or stopping does depend on how much you’re slowing, or from what speed you’re slowing down when approaching a stop. If you’re cruising along a suburban thoroughfare at about 40 mph, you’re likely in 5th gear in a six-speed transmission. (But you could be in sixth). In any case, as you approach a traffic light or stop sign, just ease off the gas and begin to brake as you would in an automatic car. Depending on the distance to the light, some drivers will just shift into Neutral, coast down and brake to a stop. That’s OK to do in low-speed situations, but it’s not good for all stops. The reason: While coasting in Neutral, you will not have the ability to accelerate if you need to, such as if you need to avoid a car whose driver has carelessly backed into the road without looking. It happens. That’s why you downshift. Take your foot off the brake, push in the clutch with your left foot, shift down a gear, blip the throttle with your right foot to match revs and smoothly/quickly release the clutch. Brake some more, and repeat, taking it down maybe to 3rd or even 2nd gear. From there, you should be going slowly enough to brake, shift into Neutral and come to a stop. As a bonus, downshifting, especially blipping the gas, can be mechanical music in a proper sports car. Now, let’s say you’ve just come down a freeway exit ramp, slowing down from maybe 50 or 55 mph as you approach a traffic light at the end of the ramp. Most likely, you were cruising in top gear. You do the same as above, but because you’re braking from a higher speed, you can wait until the speed drops, say, to 35-40 mph and go from 6th right to 4th or even 3rd. But be careful on downshifts that you don’t accidently pick too low a gear and mechanically over rev the engine. Watch your tachometer and slowly work your way down the gears. This does take a bit of practice. But when you get it right (and you will, very quickly), you’ll look forward to using your downshifting skill. NEUTRAL Downshift