I believe Luis will be posting about engine braking sometime soon. It involves keeping the engine engaged (meaning engine is in gear, particularly for stick-shifts) even when not accelerating, or when slowing down. Let me do a quick post on coasting and its negative effects.
Some drivers I know coast along the road in neutral whenever they’re slowing down, or when going downhill. This is mostly done to conserve fuel. However, coasting may not necessarily be safe.
This term describes a vehicle travelling in neutral or with the clutch pressed down. Do not coast, whatever the driving conditions. It reduces driver control because
* engine braking is eliminated
* vehicle speed downhill will increase quickly
* increased use of the footbrake can reduce its effectiveness
* steering response will be affected particularly on bends and corners
* it may be more difficult to select the appropriate gear when needed.
Some would argue that it’s cheaper to wear out your brake pads rather than wear out a clutch due to engine braking. Still, the cost of getting into accidents (to property, life, and limb) is definitely greater than whatever marginal savings in fuel costs and brake pads you will get from coasting.
Here’s what I recommend. If you’re not familiar with engine braking, just be sure to keep your clutch engaged when slowing down, sticking to the current gear you’re in, and applying the brakes when you need to stop already or decrease speed. Don’t worry, your engine will still have enough torque up to a certain speed, and you won’t stall. When you reach the minimum speed your gear can take (usually around 15 to 20 Kph in 4th/5th gear, in my experience), you can then disengage the clutch and/or go into neutral. If you find the need to accelerate again, then you can downshift (usually into 2nd gear, depending on your speed).