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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello I am trying to find out if there is a certain way you should be ascending and descending hills with a full vehicle in a 2019 Chevy traverse to attempt to save the transmission traveling from New Jersey to Florida and I’m encountering a lot of hills and I’m trying not to use brakes and I’m trying to save my transmission should I be putting it in L mode and if so what gear should I have it in
 

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Do the 2nd gens have grade assist?
On my 2010, on hills, i put it in L6.
Going uphills, I use the slow lane to go up. No need to race to the top. Once over the hills, I simply let the vehicle get pulled by gravity.
L6, vehicle will roll downhill, but if you press on brakes, the computer will not assist with grade assist.. that is the trans will not downshift to use engine compression to help slow vehicle.
If the road is 2 lane and much curvier, i do use L and manually shft gears to help brake on longer downhills ... to help keep brakes from overheating.... also to he in a better gear/rpm range for better engine response when accelerating out of turns. Also to help shift weigh load front to back of vehicle on certain braking maneuvers... to help with braking.
Think of you braking... weight of vehicle shifts forward. More grip on front tires, less contact area on rears. During some scenarios, this could mean loss of traction on those 2 wheels...
Learning how to accelerate at the right moment shifts some load back to the rear for better load distribution/tire contact
 

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Leave it drive and use the brakes as needed.
You are not going across the Rocky mountains and traversing 12,000 ft elevation changes.
NJ to FL is only minor elevation changes that will not affect your vehicle.
Done the trip many times and also towing trailers to FL and over the Rockies also.
 
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NJ to FL should be I95 most of the way, there are no hills that I would consider shifting out of drive for. I am in a hilly area and use the manual shift (3rd to 2nd) going downhill in order to save my brakes. I descend a couple thousand feet and end up in a city. I don’t have to but the brakes are a little soft if I just ride the brakes all the way to the bottom.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Really evening though I feel my vehicle struggling in drive going up hills are quite large in North Carolina
NJ to FL should be I95 most of the way, there are no hills that I would consider shifting out of drive for. I am in a hilly area and use the manual shift (3rd to 2nd) going downhill in order to save my brakes. I descend a couple thousand feet and end up in a city. I don’t have to but the brakes are a little soft if I just ride the brakes all the way to the bottom.
ah it maybe because my car is fully loaded with luggage and such. Onto why it’s doing that because I normally don’t have a problem of any type of struggle hill or not
 

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Is it possible you also have the AC on?. It can make your engine feel bogged down when its engaged.
You may also have to learn to use L, and leave it in a gear where the engine rpms are revving nicely where its producing nice hp/torque.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is it possible you also have the AC on?. It can make your engine feel bogged down when its engaged.
You may also have to learn to use L, and leave it in a gear where the engine rpms are revving nicely where its producing nice hp/torque.
Oh **** yes I had the ac on. The lowest fan setting and it was on 70. To 73 I would say the whole time. This is one of the reasons I had asked this question because I was trying to figure out how to use the L mode correctly to save the brakes when going down the hills and sometimes going up when I have a fully loaded car if I don’t have a fully loaded car I don’t have any problems
 

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When I drove tour buses our technique for long descents was to use a lower gear, pick a target speed and when the bus exceeded that speed by 5 mph, apply brakes to return to the target speed. This allowed the brakes to cool as compared to riding the brakes all the way.
 

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Are any of these hills long enough that signs say...avoid overheating, turn off AC. ?
 

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I travel from PA to FL several times a year in my 2019 traverse. Usually I95 the whole way down or I81 sometimes for a change. Often tow a 3000# trailer. ALWAYS just put it in drive and go. When towing, of course i put it in "trailer" mode.
.
 

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Couple thoughts to add... First, I drive double trailer semi's for a major LTL freight company from Dayton Ohio to Charleston WV every day, and that trip includes some pretty good hills. (Even big trucks are automatic transmissions now). Leave it in DRIVE, use the trailer mode if you're pulling a trailer. The computer will sense the downhill and MAY shift for some braking assist. DON'T EVER ride brakes... that's what burns them up. Use the "snub braking" technique mentioned above... let it climb to the max speed you're comfortable with, then apply moderate pressure to the brake pedal to bring the speed down... then get OFF the brake and let it coast again. Brakes are FAR cheaper than a transmission... so it makes no sense to try to "save" the brakes by killing the transmission. We frequently tow a travel trailer with our 2018 High Country and we've had no issues. Then again... I've done the transmission fluid change recommended by everyone here, and I've upgraded the front brakes to ceramics with slotted rotors.
Have a good trip!
 
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