Shifting gears with automatic transmission


#1

I have driven a manual for 35 years. I’m looking for a replacement car and there are mostly auto trans car for sale. Can I drive an automatic transmission like a manual and not damage the thing?


#2

most modern automatics have “auto stick,” which lets you pretend you’re driving a manual. Unless you get something like a Porsche or better, though, you’ll be disappointed. Think half second delay from command to shift.


#3

As stated, if you shift an automatic wanting it to feel like a manual, you’ll be disappointed.

Modern cars won’t allow you to do anything too stupid, so you can shift between forward gears on an automatic all you want, but if you really want to shift gears, try to find a manual. If you do get an automatic, it’s probably best to put it in Drive and let it do its job.


#4

Unless you are looking at Buicks or Cadillacs, you will be able to find a manual trans. if you are patient. What kinds of cars are you interested in?


#5

I downshift coming to a red light, but, I’ll usually only drop down 1 gear, like from D to 3 and only when I have slowed from 60 to 40 or slower. But, when leaving from the light I always make sure I shift back to D, before takeoff. Been doing it for years with all my automatics and hasn’t hurt any of them. Some people do it and drop down into L while still going around 40mph and that will damage a transmission. Had that happen last year to a co-worker. She spent $2500 on repairs for that car - a Honda.


#6

Yes and no. Let the auto do it’s thing as it’s generally more efficient than you, but feel free to shift the auto according to directions in the manual for special circumstances, regarding engine braking, towing and negotiating city streets and hills at speeds where your trans may “overshift” and hunt with constant changing demands. Modern gateshifters are “meant” to be used as a manual in these special circumstances, and when properly done, you decrease the amount of unnecessary shifting.


#7

If you want a manual that much ,
special order your vehicle the way you want it.

Otherwise, work the automatic any way you like , it’ll be ok.
For me , I down shift a lot but let it do the upshifting.

My favorite vehicles were the special ordered ones ( 78 Cordoba, 92 Explorer, 06 Escape hybrid )
The others were just trucks; 80 Bronco, 91 Explorer, 08 Expedition with issues that need adjusted or just lived with.


#8

If you have steep hills that take half a minute to get over, you might want to shift out of OD to keep the transmission from hunting, shifting up and down too much.


#9

The newer transmissions on some Porsches, BMWs, Audis, Mercedes, Ferraris and Lamborghinis are essential “automated manuals” with electronically controlled clutches. You can drive it like an automatic or shift it like a manual. They shift in under 100 ms, blip the throttle and rev-match downshifts. F1 race technology trickling down to production cars.


#10

If you purchase an automatic transmission vehicle, determine the number of speeds in the automatic transmission. Go to the plumbing section of WalMart or similar store and buy a plumber’s plunger. Next, visit a salvage yard and purchase a gearshift knob for a manual transmission with the number of forward speeds that your automatic transmission has. Affix the gearshift knob to the end of the plumber’s plunger opposite the suction cup. Next, attach the plunger to the floor to the right of the driver’s seat. You can shift along with the automatic transmission and you will be shifting at the right point for the conditions. You can practice shifting by the tachometer or shifting by the sound of the engine.

I haven’t come up with a shift-along kit for a CVT, but I’m working on it.


#11

lol…That one would involve some removal of the foot from the accelerator, and then stomping on it. :slight_smile:


#12

Why don’t you just buy a helicopter? That’ll give you plenty to do.

“I need a new car, but I’m used to starting my old car with a crank. Can I get a car without an ignition switch?”

The good news is you can still signal turns and stops by holding your arm out the window.