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This idea may come from the old adage that you should put a stopped manual transmission into neutral so as to reduce wear on the thrust bearings of the clutch. I've never heard of a modern car losing a thrust bearing and it's usually good to be in gear so you can move quickly if necessary. I would take this with a grain of salt or at least get an expert opinion.

Marc
 

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Regarding downshifting vs. coasting to a stop and braking:

There's an old adage that brakes are far cheaper to replace than clutches and gearboxes.

That said, it still is more fun to downshift...
 
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