Ben Kraal argues that "gears are for going, brakes are for stopping", and advises against engine braking.
A question for my fellow gear rowers:
Do you use engine braking to help you slow down, by keeping the car in gear and just stepping on the brake, waiting to clutch-in until the RPMs drop to near the stall point?
Or do you always clutch-in at the start of braking, and use only the brakes to stop?
Or, do you drive like a "race car driver", and downshift before braking, to maximize engine braking? And, I believe, maximize clutch wear!
In my experience, there is less braking effort required if you use technique #1 above, and I suspect less brake wear. If you rely only on "foot" braking when driving downhill, you will boil your fluid, and have little braking power at all.
Some people claim that keeping the engine in gear will put additional stress on the drivetrain. I don't see how this is so, but then again, I'm an electrical engineer.