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Old 27th April 2009, 13:06   #151
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I think with an AT (auto transmission) a driver concentrates more on the road rather than changing gears which in-turn helps in safer driving . This has been my experience after diving AT for the last 6-7 years. Now I don't want to drive a manual anytime.
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Old 27th April 2009, 13:37   #152
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Originally Posted by Sampai View Post
Maybe I tested it for a day or so, but I still would stand by stick shift. That's just me Ole fashion I guess...
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I think with an AT (auto transmission) a driver concentrates more on the road rather than changing gears which in-turn helps in safer driving .
I used to think that everybody would find driving AT to be easier than MT. But I changed that opinion couple of years back after an incident.

A distant relative borrowed our Santro AT for few days during a family wedding. He drives a manual Civic, and he really had no idea how to drive an automatic. Since I was not at home when he picked up the car, it was up to my wife to explain him the controls. He apparently didn't like getting driving instructions from a woman, so he mostly brushed off her instructions, saying he will figure out everything. As he drove off, my wife noticed that he stalled the car at least 3 times in the first 100 meters. It appeared like he was using his left leg on the brake pedal as if it was clutch.

Few days later he returned the car saying it was the worst experience driving an automatic car. He even added that he will never consider an automatic and that he never thought auto cars are so bad. In other words, he remained completely clueless about how to drive an automatic after 4 days of trying it. So now I believe driving automatic is not as easy or natural as I thought.

I've owned following AT cars, Toyota Corolla (1985), Mercury Sable (1991), Chevy Malibu (1998), Acura 3.2TL (2001) and still own Hyundai Santro Xing AT (2003).
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Old 27th April 2009, 13:40   #153
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What is the big deal over paddle shifts? Are they really that much greater than moving the left hand to the lever?
I think the main advantage here is, you dont have to operate clutch, which can be a pain in a bumper to bumper traffic.
An gear lever with auto-clutch can be eaqually or even more effective.
But then, clutch provides little more control/flexiblity to the driving
So, I conclude (just my opinion):

Automatics= High on Convenience, Low on 'sense of Control'
Automatics with Paddleshift= Average on Convenience, Average on 'sense of Control'
Manual=Low on Convenience, High on 'sense of control'
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Old 27th April 2009, 13:41   #154
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Someone who is used to driving stick should be given explicit instructions to rest his left foot on the dead pedal and not move it an inch no matter what. The rest will come to him in minutes. The left foot going for the brake thinking it is the clutch is the one common big mistake people make.

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Automatics with Paddleshift= Average on Convenience, Average on 'sense of Control'
Disagree. Remember that paddle shift equipped automatics still have the fully automatic mode as an option. So you do keep the convenience. You can trade some in for some control when you need it, of course.

Last edited by ImmortalZ : 27th April 2009 at 13:43.
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Old 27th April 2009, 13:49   #155
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What is the big deal over paddle shifts? Are they really that much greater than moving the left hand to the lever?
Yup, they are a great deal :

It lets you keep both hands on the steering at all times and lets you shift faster and more accurately (provided your car has DSG or something similar).

So what you get is a transmission that is quicker, more efficient, safer and easier than a manual.

I mean c'mon, if F1 and WRC drivers can use paddle shifters, i dont see any prob with it.

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Old 27th April 2009, 14:07   #156
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Indeed. However, F1 and WRC cars use weapons grade sequential shift gearboxes mated to those paddles. A DSG will fall apart in a kilometer or two if mated to a F1 or a 550BHP turbo rally car.
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Old 27th April 2009, 14:53   #157
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Disagree. Remember that paddle shift equipped automatics still have the fully automatic mode as an option. So you do keep the convenience. You can trade some in for some control when you need it, of course.
This was my thinking:
When you use paddleshifts, it requires that much more attention and physical 'act' . It is not as 'efforless' as fully automatic mode. That's why I said 'average on convenience'
Now coming to 'sense of control': You can shift the gear using paddles whenever you want, but presence of a clutch brings additonal control.
But I agree the paddle shifts offer the best of both world, ...almost.
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Old 27th April 2009, 14:57   #158
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Indeed. However, F1 and WRC cars use weapons grade sequential shift gearboxes mated to those paddles. A DSG will fall apart in a kilometer or two if mated to a F1 or a 550BHP turbo rally car.
I wasn't talking about the form of transmission, I was just pointing out the fact that F1 and WRC drivers use paddle shifters, which shows that it works well even when you drive on track.

BTW, i think WRC cars are limited to around 300bhp these days.

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Old 27th April 2009, 15:11   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guna View Post
I think the main advantage here is, you dont have to operate clutch, which can be a pain in a bumper to bumper traffic.
An gear lever with auto-clutch can be eaqually or even more effective.
But then, clutch provides little more control/flexiblity to the driving
So, I conclude (just my opinion):

Automatics= High on Convenience, Low on 'sense of Control'
Automatics with Paddleshift= Average on Convenience, Average on 'sense of Control'
Manual=Low on Convenience, High on 'sense of control'
No, I meant are paddle-shifts that great when one only has to move the left hand to the automatic shift lever --- not in comparison with a manual box.

I have driven automatics quite a lot, but never with paddle shifts. I guess it is like having the ICE control on the steering wheel; just a convenience.
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Old 27th April 2009, 17:04   #160
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Originally Posted by ImmortalZ View Post
Someone who is used to driving stick should be given explicit instructions to rest his left foot on the dead pedal and not move it an inch no matter what. The rest will come to him in minutes. The left foot going for the brake thinking it is the clutch is the one common big mistake people make.
cant agree more. In the case Samurai pointed out it was just the case of someone with a big ego refusing to learn.

I remember when my wife was driving an auto for the first time, i told her to keep the left leg on dead pedal and don't move it to touch any pedals whatever be the urge, and she found driving the auto a piece of cake (she's been driving a manual for 3 years before that)
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Old 27th April 2009, 19:25   #161
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Cool Clutch-press and engine-stall-prevention, not needed in AT

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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
What is the big deal over paddle shifts? Are they really that much greater than moving the left hand to the lever?
You forgot the clutch which needs to be pressed by the left foot!
Though it is reflex after some-time, you have to also 'time/coordinate' the clutch press with the gear-lever. Also you must not stall the engine at stop and go speeds in manuals. You cannot stall an automatic!
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Old 27th April 2009, 20:54   #162
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Originally Posted by manim View Post
You forgot the clutch which needs to be pressed by the left foot!
Though it is reflex after some-time, you have to also 'time/coordinate' the clutch press with the gear-lever.
True. Eventhough one operates the clutch by habbit, without even thinking about it, I am sure the constant clutching/declutching is going to take toll on the body in long run (espcially if you are in Bangalore). Recently I heard someone telling that the push-back pressure exerted by the clutch has impated him so badly, he had to fix an auto clutch in his car.
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Old 27th April 2009, 21:00   #163
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I drive an automatic and in serious snow almost half the year. Believe me, I really miss manual transmission. I feel more in control in manual, downshifting is just not an option. Ok it is if, I turn the OD off and switch to D2 but its just not the same as shifting from 5th gear, looping thru 4th and letting clutch go slowly in 3rd. Manual can stop at the drop of a coin.
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Old 27th April 2009, 21:41   #164
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Originally Posted by manim View Post
You forgot the clutch which needs to be pressed by the left foot!
I didn't, I didn't! I mean the automatic select lever!
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Old 27th April 2009, 21:45   #165
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I drive an automatic and in serious snow almost half the year. Believe me, I really miss manual transmission. I feel more in control in manual, downshifting is just not an option. Ok it is if, I turn the OD off and switch to D2 but its just not the same as shifting from 5th gear, looping thru 4th and letting clutch go slowly in 3rd. Manual can stop at the drop of a coin.
Which is why paddle shift automatics are gaining more attention. Unlike a fully auto transmission, you need not rely on the computer to decide what gear you need. You can always shift to a higher gear on slippery surfaces (just like a manual) and accelerate gradually.

Moreover, letting you clutch out slowy increases wear and can reduce clutch life in the long run. The DSG makes sure that your engine speed is always matched with your transmission speed, increasing clutch life.

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