The answer is that it doesn’t matter…much. The clutch disconnects the engine from the wheels. The engine is placing power to the wheels. But car brakes are designed to stop the car and over power the engine. So, hitting the brake pedal first will still stop the car (unless your brakes are bad), but hitting the clutch first disconnects the engine from the wheels (no more power to the wheels) so it will stop faster. This is a very low level explanation but that’s basically it.
@matchbox5, when you let off the gas "engine braking" slows you down, pressing the clutch right away makes your brakes have to work slightly harder
@HSA, in my opinion I'd much rather eat through my brakes than put the strain on the engine by engine braking, I call it "engine breaking" because over time you'll definitely have a few issues inside the block and components rather than just replacing pads and rotors a little quicker than normal
@matchbox5, pressing clutch first makes you stop slower because you lose engine brake.
I have only ever driven a stick shift. Honestly you could say brake first cause then you have engine brake too. But it really is just a reflex to push both. If you are in an automatic then it is basically the same. When you press the brake there is sometimes some engine braking done by the vehicle, but it's mostly just as if the clutch was pressed at the same time as the brakes, because engine braking is uneven if you down shift, so it's a more smooth deceleration process if you just use clutch and brake. But if you are experienced enough with it, downshifting has its benefits. Long post but hope it's informative to someone
@ThatSociopath, in the several years I drove a manual ranger the only time I ever found downshifting to be useful for slowing down was when I lost my brakes
@Hesediel, it's also useful when going down a steep grade either with or without a trailer. If you shift into a lower gear then the engine braking will help monitor your downhill speed. Sure the RPM will stay a bit higher than you would usually like but as long as you don't red line it is a good way to save your brakes from getting smoked when you reach the bottom of the grade. You smell that all the time at the bottom of some boat ramps that have a long stretch of steep grade because people ride their brakes all the way down and then basically have to slam on them when they get to the bottom.
@Slayer9200, yeah I just have never used it for that because where I live there isn't anywhere with that steep of a grade, also that is usually used to prevent break fade not wear, I personally would rather put the wear on $50 worth of break pads than $5k worth of drivetrain (though depending on the vehicle it can be negligible, unless you fvck it up)
@Hesediel, that's a fair point but engines that can get put in front of manuals are designed with that in mind. When my dad tows his pontoon boat he can throw it in third gear and the diesel handles it just fine and stays at less than 35MPH. Plus if it was a major concern then big rigs wouldn't have engine brakes. Besides a tiny bit more wear on an engine is nothing compared to the possibility of the brakes completely failing and sending your vehicle into the water or worse over a cliff
@Slayer9200, diesel engines are better at handling it than light duty engines, my ranger only had a 3.0 gas motor, and it really didn't do much to slow down until you hit like 4k+ rpm, but I also haven't been on a grade steep enough to need it, and unless you are towing something heavy (ex. A boat, or another vehicle, driving a semi. Ect) most people will never need to use it. There is a use case for it but much like downshift revmatching which is useful in racing, most people use it unnecessarily, and try and tell people that don't do it that they are wrong (not saying that's what you're doing, just a general statement)
I learnt how to drive a manual at 12. Always better than automatic but autos are so convenient.
It’s brake first
Brakes are for people who don’t know how to downshift and/or are pussies.
If you are stopping just brake until you hit about 1200rpms then put it in neutral.
If you’re looking to coast a bit in neutral before braking or are close to stopping, clutch first, brake first to use the gears to help the car stop
I have the old e30 my dad drove as I grew up, I love driving a 5 speed, way more fun than automatic. I remember when I was 6 or 7 and we were driving through a big parking lot I pushed the stick shift for fun from 2nd to 1st and stalled the car, I don't think I've ever seen him so mad. Now it's mine!
I usually do clutch first, but you can brake first. Just don't forget to disengage the clutch and shift down if you slow down a lot, or you risk stalling the car and not being in the right gear for your speed.
I guess it depends how you're driving and why you're slowing down? Are you coming to a stop? Or are you heel-toe shifting around a corner? I've downshifted and used engine braking to slow the car down just enough to get around a couple of corners just so that I didn't have to use my brakes and would be in higher RPMs when I accelerated out of them.
I’m from NYC. My wife taught me how to drive at 21. Since all extra money goes to debt, I have yet to buy a nicer car. Just what gets me to work. I actually have no idea how a clutch works, the benefit, dangers, and I don’t get this meme. Hopefully, someone will be my knight in shining carmor!
@Child Slapper, The clutch disconnects the engine from the transmission. Doing this allows for gears to be shifted. It also allows for you to remove all power from the drive wheels. If you try to stop a manual transmission vehicle, without using the clutch, you will have the engine trying to output power whole the brakes are trying to stop that power. If you brake hard enough, you'll kill the engine. On the flip side, it's also what reconnect power to the wheels when you want to start moving again. The engine has to be high enough rpm to keep it from stalling when you let up on the clutch. If you do it slowly, you can make a smooth start. If you want to dump the clutch (suddenly release it), you have to have the engine at a very high rpm. Even then, some vehicles simply won't do it. It's also really bad for the for your drivetrain, and can cause your clutch to shred itself. No clutch means no power to the wheels, which means a tow truck and a (typically very) expensive mechanic bill.
@Gamasennin, The clutch itself is two or more disks that are held together under spring pressure until you hit the pedal in a car or pull the lever on a motorcycle. These disks use friction to spin together, but are separated and spin freely when the pedal/lever is used. There are wet and dry clutches. A dry clutch is one that does not have lubricant on it. A wet clutch does. Wet clutches are found on most (if not all) automatic transmissions, as well as some manuals. Almost all motorcycles have a wet clutch with many plates to make up for the fact that they have lubricant on them. A wet clutch can be desirable because they don't wear out as quickly as a dry clutch. It also allows you to get away with slipping it (holding the clutch in a partially engaged state) more.