Driving downhill? Easy! Use the brakes to set the car to a certain speed and use the engine to keep the car around that desired speed. The gears can be first, second or third depending on the incline. You need to select a gear which is "too low" so that, in spite of the downhill incline, you need to apply some gas to keep the car at a constant speed (let go of the car and you will slow down, apply more gas and your speed would increase) like on a leveled road surface.
Whenever you do need to apply the brakes for a long duration of time, choose to brake mildly with a few short "pauses" which help to cool down the brakes. Look far ahead and estimate the incline and see whether it turns steeper or more flat ahead.
Use the brake only when driving downhill. To do this, take the car out of gear and put it in neutral.
Take your foot off the clutch pedal and use the brake only to slow down, just as you would with automatic transmission. Downshifting puts unnecessary strain on the car. Overusing the clutch can damage it. It's less expensive to replace the brakes or do work on them than to replace the clutch or transmission.
Downshift to break only if it's an emergency. Shifting to a lower gear slows down the car more quickly than using the brake alone. To do this, put your foot back on the clutch pedal and shift to a low gear.
Use a low gear when you are driving a heavy truck down a hill. It's normally safe to use second or third gear when going at a slow speed.
Drive in the right gear to save gas. You can hear the strain on the transmission when the vehicle is in the wrong gear. Using the right gear takes away that strain and saves on gas.
In my state it is illegal to descend a hill in neutral. Using a lower gear is the prefered method. It will not harm anything unless the gear is so low (manual) that it is over-reving the engine. In that case shift up and use the brakes.
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