Shifting an automatic


#1

I have a Lexus ES 330. To occasionally get that “sporty” feel, I like to manual shift, starting in “3”, to “4-D”, and then “D”. Can I do any harm to the transmission?


#2

As long as you don’t accidentally shift into reverse you won’t damage the transmission.


#3

Electronically controlled transmissions generally don’t tolerate that kind of thing as well as the old hydrolically (non computer controlled) automatics did. If you wanted a sports sedan you should’ve gone with the 3 Series


#4

Really? I’d figure it’s the opposite because they prevent the transmission from shifting into a gear that will over-rev the motor or damage the transmission.


#5

It has more to do with line pressure. Electronic transmissions tend to keep it low so that shifts are nice and soft. With the old slushboxes one could mechanically adjust the pressure somewhat to adjust the shifting harshness to his or her liking.


#6

I guess it all depends on the particular car/transmission. Both my cars have electronically shifted transmissions, but they also have manual shift modes that let you select the gear. (Not the OD, 4, 3, … thing the OP is talking about.) I assume that manual shifts must be okay in these, as they have the specific manual shift mode. (BTW, I almost never use it, the transmission seems to know well enough what gear to be in.)


#7

Assuming you’re not pushing the car and just getting a bit of a sporty feel, it’s totally completely harmless. In truth, you could probably even push the car and shift it your way, it being electronically controlled, but the way I understand your post you’re not even winding the engine out.

Or is my assumption in error?


#8

Correct. I don’t push it out. I don’t do it regularly, and shift about the same time I think it would have automatically.


#9

Harmless. Totally, completely, absolutely harmless.

Happy second childhood.