When slowing down, generally you will hold the clutch in coming to a stop, so being in a higher gear won't really matter. I do drop down though if I'm carrying on driving at a slower pace, but only to the gear I'll need once I get to that speed. I don't go 5,4,3 for example. I go from 5 to 3 once I've reached the appropiate speed for 3 (below 40 in my car).
If you look in the car manual, it actually states for the engine usually what the right shift up is.
I found mine to be >15 - Second gear,
>25mph - 3rd gear,
>40mph - 4th,
>45mph - 5th
But as I said, and have said, you will get used to your car and when you feel is the best time to shift. My car doesn't even have a rev counter, but you can feel when the engine is reaching a peak with practise.
It won't damage the engine if you change this somewhat. For example to get speed up, I generally stay in 3rd until I know to switch to 4th by the sound. Not by what I usually do, as it pulls better in lower gears to get past cars, etc.
But yeah, you will learn your car.
Last edited by Kage; 03-06-2012 at 01:28.