Sport Shift



Hello Click and Clack,

I have 2008 Acura TSX. As a comprimise between my needs and the needs of my wife, I bought it with an auto transmission that also has the manual “sport-shift” option.

My question is this; It seems to me that an auto transmission is designed to operate automatically, I I go shifting the transmission in manual mode, am I putting greater stress upon the transmission, causing significantly more wear and significantly shortening the life of the transmission?

Thanks for any wisdom you can share.

Yours Faithfully,



Not a bad question, I suspect the shifts in auto mode are smoother and easier on the transmission. Whether frequent use of “manual” shifting makes a difference likely depends on the driver. If the manual shifts are more abrupt perhaps it can hasten the demise of the trans. So far, I haven’t heard of any good info one way or the other. Perhaps “Transman” will pick have an opinion.

The whole shift “paddle” and manual shifting of auto transmissions has come from the sphere of racing. The object in longevity is to finish the race, not necessarily last 200K miles and beyond.


It depends on how you drive when you shift it in manual mode. If you are doing " sporty driving " it will be harder on the whole car. If you aren’t , whats the point of shifting manually ? By the way , you are not addressing Click and Clack in this forum, just interested members who share their opinions or knowledge, or lack thereof. (myself included)


Hello Old Timer,

Thanks for your comment.

Well of course I am using it for sporty driving, and control (helps a lot in th snow) , but my question isspecific to th etransmission only. Are these sport-shift transmissions really designed to handle the abuse of higher rpm’s and down shifts or is this a marketing gimmick?


I think they can handle it, if you’re not causing major jerking or shocks to the drive train. You’re certainly losing milage, but that’s different. I wouldn’t worry about it as long as you’re not mistreating it.


If you are talking Porshe, or BMW the transmissions are designed with “sport shifting” as a criteria. If you are talking Ford, GM, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, I bet these are the same transmissions just allowing manual controls. The modern automatic is electrically controlled so it is a matter of putting some buttons on the steering wheel, or a up and down notch in the shift gate.

Your Acura might fall into the BMW lot, or perhaps it is simply a standard Honda tranny. In most cars the manual mode is more marketing gimmick than anything else.