+ and - on my gear shift

I have a 2019 Ford Fiesta SE HB. Got it about a month ago and on the gear shift there is a silver +/- button. Exactly what does this do, when should it be used and does not using it cause any harm to the engine or transmission?

You’d primarily use this to downshift when going down a long hill to keep your brakes from overheating.

It allows you to manually upshift (+) or downshift (-) the gears in your transmission. The only time it might be useful in normal driving is if you are on a long downgrade, you can shift into a lower gear to hold the car’s speed, rather than continually using the brake to do so. This information is in your owners manual. If you didn’t get one with the car, get one now online.

Or, you can hit the minus button to lock out upper gears when driving a long stretch at low speed or an uphill section. I used to occasionally lock out 6th (top gear) on a 2013 f150 I had when I noticed it shifting between 5th and 6th repeatedly in certain situations.

Yup, it’ll be in the manual. On my Pontiac, you can put it into manual mode instead of automatic. Then you select when to shift by pushing the shift lever forward or backward (+ or -). Same thing with the Acura but has the paddle shifter.

It allows you change gears yourself. You have the Powershift DCT, I don’t recommend extended warranties, but you might want to consider one in this case.

It’s also good for putting the transmission in 2nd gear for icy starts.

Will it work like that? I think you can limit upper gears, but the trans will downshift to lower gears on its own regardless, once you’re slow enough. Is the way the “selectshift” 6 speed worked in the f150 I owned, if I recall correctly. Be interested to know. Not that ice is a thing we have in these parts.

My two Chryslers with manually shiftable automatics would not allow second gear starts.

Might have to change your shorts after that though.


As long as you’re stopped before you select 2nd, yeah. The Ford logic understands second gear starts. It’s irritating, though, because even if you stay in 2nd until the next light, it’ll downshift back down to 1. So you have to do it every stop.

That’s what I get for using my smartphone for everything.

Ok, cool. Never tried it from a stop with the truck. If I buy another one and move somewhere icy, I will have to remember that :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:. I just remembered it would downshift whether you manually downshifted or not. As did the 08 Malibu with paddle shifters we owned previously. But I never actually tried upshifting at a stop. Now I wonder how far it’ll let you upshift from a stop lol. Probably only 2nd.

I’ve gotten my work car into 4th at 10mph. And if you roll to full throttle real slow, it won’t downshift, and then you can see how much oompfh the turbo gives you. :wink:

(not much)

Well whaddaya know. I’ve put over 100,000 on my car and never realized you could start out in 2nd. Just tried it. In manual mode it goes to 1st when you stop. But then you can shift up to 2nd to start out. Don’t know if I’ll ever do it but at least I learned something new. Kinda like finding out I had a lumbar bag after 3 years.

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Going to have to try that.

I know my 66 mustang would start in 2nd if put in 2
putting it in 2nd was also a hill holder on steep hills when stopped, kept you from rolling backwards.