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Old 31st October 2012, 17:16   #241
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Default Re: Tips on driving an automatic

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Originally Posted by Guna View Post
The way I have understood them is, D3 limits the gear changes to first 3 gears but position '2' (which is not marked as D2) directly slots it to 2nd gear. Again, this is what I have assumed and I could be wrong. But then, the question which arises is - why are they marked as '2' and '1' and not 'D2' and 'D1' (just like D3)
Most cars can start in 2nd on a flat surface- maybe that's why? Maybe the way to test it is slot the car in 2 on a slight upward slope and see if it stalls without throttle input, or doesn't, in which case you can conclude that it isn't a 2 at all, but D2

But does it really matter? I had a quiet chuckle when I read this:
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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post
all this tamasha about what D1, D2, D3 indicates confusion about the purpose of the AT. If D is not taking care of 99% of the miles you cover, and you can't go your entire life without knowing what D1, D2,3 do, you've bought the wrong sort of transmission. You should almost never need to use anything but D in forward motion. And on the rare occasions where it would benefit you to use a lower ratio manually, you should be able to get by with jusing the brake instead. Most people in the world who use automatics have no understanding of O/D switches and Dx modes. They just put the thing in D and use the throttle and brake as necessary to get the results they need. Now, the more savvy driver can and should use the modes other than D to get better performance when the circumstances justify human interference, but it is not necessary!
We are Team BHPians! What did you expect?
Seriously though, I bought the Vento because I really wanted the comfort and convenience the AT offered with the full knowledge that it would make me the object of gentle (and sometimes not not gentle) derision from my enthusiast friends. On my ownership review, I expressed the same sentiment and to my surprise former mod Dippy was the first to congratulate me and not worry about these naysayers.
Over time I got comfortable with the car and started experimenting as you have suggested and that's when I discovered the true potential of the gearbox.
I think a lot of us get turned off by the half-myths surrounding slushboxes, some of which are:
  • They take away a driver's control
  • They are somehow sissy things that no self-respecting macho male driver will ever use
  • They are boring and uninvolving
  • They make drivers lazy and cause accidents
  • They are fuel-inefficient ad expensive to run
Like everything in life, there is some truth in all those statements, but it's not the whole truth. You make your choice based on the pros and cons and having made it, stick with it. In my case I still have the Swift to mess with on weekends so I don't miss the joy of a manual. But in the horrible crawl of suburban Mumbai traffic, for example, I wouldn't trade my Vento AT for anything!
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Old 31st October 2012, 17:32   #242
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Default Re: Tips on driving an automatic

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Originally Posted by noopster;2949393I think a lot of us get turned off by the half-myths surrounding slushboxes, some of which are:[LIST
[*]They take away a driver's control[*]They are somehow sissy things that no self-respecting macho male driver will ever use[*]They are boring and uninvolving[*]They make drivers lazy and cause accidents[*]They are fuel-inefficient ad expensive to run[/list]Like everything in life, there is some truth in all those statements, but it's not the whole truth. You make your choice based on the pros and cons and having made it, stick with it. In my case I still have the Swift to mess with on weekends so I don't miss the joy of a manual. But in the horrible crawl of suburban Mumbai traffic, for example, I wouldn't trade my Vento AT for anything!
Very well summarized. I still find it amusing that an automatic transmission option is labelled for one's wife/parents,considered non macho
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Old 31st October 2012, 19:10   #243
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Default Re: Tips on driving an automatic

I will disagree slightly but significantly.

Automatics are not sissy things. Your manliness is not determined by what transmission you choose to drive. They don't cause accidents.

THe fuel efficiency thing used to be true and still is for older autos, but sophisticated computer control and 7 and 8 ratio transmissions have erased this disadvantage.

But, automatics ARE less involving, more boring, and do reduce the driver's intimate control of the machine.

Now, you may argue that you are not bored, you are not uninvolved, you are not facing loss of control, but it only means that what the automatic loses compared to the manual, you weren't using in the manual anyway. That is not a criticism or a denigration or an insult.

In 20 years of my hobby of performance and sports cars, I have known many hard core enthusiasts who owned automatic family cars, pick up trucks, SUVs, minivans, luxury cars, and occasionally even sports cars, but i have never hear anybody who is experienced enough to know, that automatics do not cause loss of involvement, excitement and some measure of control. I have only heard it on team-bhp, a very enthusiastic but relatively immature community of car lovers with little experience with sports and performance cars, and performance driving.

That is also not a denigration or insult. Its just an observation of the immaturity of India as a community of driving enthusiasts. We are not surrounded by a car culture that exposes us to performance driving, that teaches us about it, that encourages us to explore for ourselves what we are told.

And we are not helped by the fact that we have almost nowhere we can drive in the sort of manner that lets you extract from a manual what autos will never give you. About the only place we can go are mountain roads if we are lucky to find them empty of traffic. It is hardly surprising that in the absence of the cars and the roads and the culture of sporting driving, Indian car lovers would say that automatics do not involve a serious loss of involvement and excitement. Our manual cars don't get driven in the way that would show a loss if the transmissions were replaced with autos.
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Old 31st October 2012, 19:21   #244
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Default Re: Tips on driving an automatic

Automatics 'can' be fun, (keyword is can). The ones get in India (< 10L) are not the best examples of state of the art FTD auto and more importantly they are mated to already low power 4 cyl engines and further sap engine power. Great for commuting in our crazy traffic though

I have driven several V6s with A/T and they can be a lot of fun.

A Laura DSG with either engine option is a good example of a sporty auto

Last edited by Mpower : 31st October 2012 at 19:25.
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Old 31st October 2012, 19:51   #245
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Default Re: Tips on driving an automatic

One of the most frustrating experiences in my life was the infiniti G37 sedan i had for a week that i spent in the mountains of montana. It was automatic with tiptronic style shifting and it drove me bonkers. Not for any faults of the car, but of the way all automatics drive. I almost wept. It the view of most auto drivers, it would have incredible, revelatory in its sportiness. But i could only note the disonnect with the machine caused by the transmission.
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Old 31st October 2012, 21:39   #246
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Default Re: Tips on driving an automatic

Yea the worst is when you are taking a corner aggresively and it downshifts at the exit....I hate that.

OTOH, a Cayman with 7sp PDK + paddle shifters sounds like a lot of fun.

A car like this would end up faster than a M/T on a race track because you can focus on your braking and not have to fidddle with downshifting and revv matching.
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Old 31st October 2012, 21:43   #247
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Default Re: Tips on driving an automatic

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Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Yea the worst is when you are taking a corner aggresively and it downshifts at the exit....I hate that.
Downshifts? Don't you mean upshifts Talking about that, was taking a corner in 2nd gear doing about 70-80 in the Accord, when 3/4th through the corner it decided to upshift. Damn thing almost sent me into the railing. Since then I keep it in keep it in D3 or lower if taking a really sharp corner fast.
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Old 31st October 2012, 21:46   #248
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Default Re: Tips on driving an automatic

It could be either, or depending on the car...but the edict is that you should always be in the right gear before you enter the exit (pun unintended lol) of the corner and nail it.
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Old 31st October 2012, 22:23   #249
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Default Re: Tips on driving an automatic

I did not much care for the E92 M3 DCT, nor for the 997 PDK i drove at Lime Rock. The best of the automated manuals are still not as involving, as satisfying, as connected to the driver as 3 pedal manuals. This is not an extreme opinion either. In some thread, i posted quotes from car and driver road tests on dct/dsg equipped porsches, M3s, R8s, RS4s, Gallardos where they say what I've just said. I have yet to see the DSG/DCT version of any sports car car declared preferable to the 3 pedal manual transmission version in any american or british car magazine or tv program.
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Old 1st November 2012, 17:56   #250
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Default Re: Tips on driving an automatic

In some ways true, but myself personally am not good with this heel and toe business with revv matching and DSG would help me brake deeper and focus of getting the apex and exit right.

Most F1 and competition cars are 2 pedal for this very reason
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Old 1st November 2012, 18:27   #251
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Default Re: Tips on driving an automatic

If you're racing, sure, automated manuals will work the best. But I am not racing. I drive for pleasure, not victory. For me, crappy heel toeing is a very acceptable weakness for all the involvement, engagement, intimacy I get with the machine and that I get only with 3 pedal manuals.

At track days, on tracks I am intimately familiar with and know exactly where gear shifts happen and what gears are selected, I would be perfectly happy with a DSG/DCT. On unfamiliar tracks and out in the real world, give me a 3 pedal manual.

The only place I have prefered automatics in the madly chaotic urban India. Not even in Manhattan.
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Old 3rd November 2012, 12:56   #252
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Default Re: Tips on driving an automatic

Hey guys, apart from ANHC, are there any other automatic cars/SUVs with paddle shifts under 20L??
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Old 3rd November 2012, 13:06   #253
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Default Re: Tips on driving an automatic

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Originally Posted by pamishra View Post
Hey guys, apart from ANHC, are there any other automatic cars/SUVs with paddle shifts under 20L??
Why do you even need paddle shifts? They are not that useful. The tip tonic in Vento, Cruze, Laura work the same way.
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Old 3rd November 2012, 18:24   #254
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Default Re: Tips on driving an automatic

In a normal manual, you 'dictate' the machine what you intend to do, and the machine oblige(or rather it doesn't have an option of not to). But in an automatic, once you learn how it behaves, its then a game between man and machine. Its about how well the machine will 'read' your mind and perform.
Such moments are truly a bliss while driving. Donno how it is for others, but when i drive and when the Civic up-shifts, just at the moment i think of slotting it to the fifth, is something that puts a smile on my face.
Well i see automatics this way


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Hey guys, apart from ANHC, are there any other automatic cars/SUVs with paddle shifts under 20L??
Yes, there is, the Civic
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Old 4th November 2012, 13:06   #255
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Default Re: Tips on driving an automatic

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Originally Posted by pamishra View Post
Hey guys, apart from ANHC, are there any other automatic cars/SUVs with paddle shifts under 20L??
I remember Jetta AT and Superb AT had them. Superb may be slightly over 20 though.
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