Paddle gear boxes

Hi. I own a 2017 Mustang GT, six speed automatic with the paddle gear box style transmission. I bought this with the auto because in my area traffic is a bloody nightmare and I know I would just blow the clutch in a manual every 15k miles.

I’ve driven cars with traditional manuals before; in fact I learned on a 69 beetle and used to drive a truck for work that had manual so I’m familiar with shifting and downshifting on a traditional manual.

One thing that bothers me about the GT (which my wife unlovingly calls Christine, not a joke) is the use of paddle levers for changing gears. I can get the timing down for shifting up when accelerating, but I’m off on the timing for shifting down when trying to slow. Now, I get manual transmissions will tend to rev when you down shift but the GT will just absolutely jerk forward when down shifting, especially out of fourth down to third.

Is this just normal for how the flappy paddles work or am I doing something wrong? I mean it has a massive engine and huge power so is that what is driving the jerky response when downshifting? It’s like the car only wants to go fast and I’m worried I’m going to lose control when slowing down.

Yes, you are not letting the automatic transmission actually work automatically. The computer won’t let you do something stupid even in the manual mode plus it actually rev-matches the downshift for you… well my 2013 Mustang with the same 6 speed does.

My car doesn’t have paddle shifters but they are nothing but momentary contact switches anyway, the powertrain ECU does the actual shifting in gears 2-6 with a command from the paddle switch.

There is no timing required. Leave your foot on the gas, don’t lift when up or down-shifting, the car will do it for you as it has throttle-by-wire. My guess is that your foot movement is acting counter to the car’s throttle commands causing the jerk.


Wait. I keep my foot on the throttle when I’m downshifting? I’m sorry that’s counterintuitive to me. What if I’m breaking at like a stop light? Sorry, I was approaching this as similar to a traditional manual where you take your foot off the throttle, disengage the engine with the clutch, downshift and break simultaneously. So, I’m way off?

This is NOT a traditional manual, this is a traditional automatic with a manual function.
If you are braking (not breaking), downshift with your foot on the brake pedal as normal. There is a little engine braking but brake pads are cheaper than transmissions so use the brakes instead.

Yes, you are way off.

Why not just use it AS an automatic until “playtime”? I mostly use the manual function only on racetracks at track-days and use the automatic function the rest of the time.

I do primarily use the automatic and I know what a manual transmission is. Again, the traffic in my area is like torture. I’m just trying to understand the functions of the paddle shifter. I’m still unsure on the braking and downshift timing.

I don’t get it. you said previously to keep my foot on the throttle but now you’re saying put my foot on the brake when downshifting.

I don’t “play” with cars. I play with something else.

it is the same as a regular manual but without the clutch pedal. you brake while coming to a stop. mustangman was talking about if you were driving on a empty Curvey road and you would downshift coming to a corner without braking and accelerating out of the corner.


Yes, @weekend-warrior is correct. If you are downshifting to accelerate, foot on the gas, braking, foot on the brake. Don’t try to manipulate the gas to “smooth” the shift.

If you don’t play with your car, ignore the paddle shifters entirely and just drive it as a proper automatic… which it is. There is zero benefit to using the manual shifters in normal driving… not better mpgs, not less wear on the brakes or engine. It is there for your entertainment.


The brake is to the left of the throttle. The paddle shifter is primarily for play.

Then drive the car, don’t play with the shift paddles. Only use them when descending steep mountain road, shift before decent.


If you’re breaking anything, then obviously there must be something wrong with your driving style.


oooohhhh SNAP!

So, you broke something and also snapped something?
Remind me to not loan my car to you.


This feature isn’t meant for braking to stop as much as it’s meant for a situation such as downshifting a gear before entering a corner so that the downshift doesn’t happen in the corner. How does it behave then?

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Ok. That makes more sense. thank you

start at 2- minute mark

Paddle Shifters Tutorial | How to Use Paddle Shifters in Mustang Using Paddle Shifter Extension - Bing video

IMHO Paddle shifters are for wannabe’s who never learned or wanted to learn how to drive a manual transimission.

When I was 16 I did like punching the buttons on my Torqueflite!

One of our cars have the paddle thing, OK I am not caring. It goes it stops, no need to play transman, Really I do not care, even about it saying it is in eco mode. Lived with manual trans in daily 90 mile commute on the interstate that was quite a bit of stop and go traffic, clutch was fine at 110k miles when I traded it in.

Because only wannabes drive brand new Ferraris or Lamborghinis?

Even the non-computer controlled 3-speed automatics which I had in several cars from the late 1980’s to mid 1990’s provided excellent performance, decent fuel economy, and decent engine braking with no need to move the shifter out of “D” or upshift/downshift while driving. A modern computer-controlled transmission with 5 or 6 forward gears should be able to do this even better. The paddle shift mode, or + and - mode on some cars is primarily intended for entertainment, and is unlikely to improve performance or fuel economy.