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      01-16-2014, 09:48 AM   #1
dopper99
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Whats the point in having Kick Down?

Might be a dumb question, but coming always having driven manual’s all my life, what the point in kick down on an auto ‘box? ie the resistance point at the bottom of the throttle when you floor it.
I can see it drops a gear (or two) whilst in kick down, but why have the resistance point? Surely it would still work without the resistance point as full throttle can still be detected ie when you put your foot to the floor?
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      01-16-2014, 09:57 AM   #2
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I've thought that too, especially on the old 6spd Slushmatic that haunted the E90 generation. On the 8AT, particularly the DCT quick Sport Auto, I can perhaps see it making more sense as it can skip gears and so perhaps this kick-down notch is the thing that really gees it up to get to the lowest gear as quick as possible. Maybe it's purely for driver satisfaction? But yeah, I completely get what you mean...

I was driving an E63 AMG recently and its kick-down notch didn't seem that operational really - it would just continue to pull from medium rpm to redline without dropping 1 gear as I expected it would. Mind you, that's what >700NM is for.

EDIT: Just as a side note, my E90 LCI 330d 6MT had a kick-down notch. Obviously, completely redundant but it still had one. However, it went in for service (about 60,000mls I seem to recall) and it came back without one. Don't know if I got a new accelerator pedal unit or what. I'm pretty sure my old E60 520d 6MT had one too.
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      01-16-2014, 10:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeRandomer123 View Post

EDIT: Just as a side note, my E90 LCI 330d 6MT had a kick-down notch.
Strange!!
I also had a E90 LCI 330d 6sp manual (rare car!) and it never had any resistance point! Neither did my pre LCI 330d.

Sounds like they put the wrong components in yours when it was built?
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      01-16-2014, 10:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dopper99 View Post
Might be a dumb question, but coming always having driven manual’s all my life, what the point in kick down on an auto ‘box? ie the resistance point at the bottom of the throttle when you floor it.
I can see it drops a gear (or two) whilst in kick down, but why have the resistance point? Surely it would still work without the resistance point as full throttle can still be detected ie when you put your foot to the floor?
Pushing round a corner, and not wanting a kick down to unsettle the car?
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      01-16-2014, 10:11 AM   #5
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Kick down is triggered by the rate in which the throttle is depressed, not by a switch generally.

The fleet of 320d's we have at work all have this notch you are talking about and they all are manual.
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      01-16-2014, 10:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dopper99 View Post
Strange!!
I also had a E90 LCI 330d 6sp manual (rare car!) and it never had any resistance point! Neither did my pre LCI 330d.

Sounds like they put the wrong components in yours when it was built?
Very rare car eh! Last of the N57s with an MT! Was so f**king good wasn't it? Miss mine dearly. That second gear acceleration was epic, it just climbed and climbed hard.

Ha, it does doesn't it! It was built May 2009 if I remember rightly. Had an oil leak twice on it and a glow plug control unit failure but other than that it was faultless. Really enjoyed that car, did not want to give it up.

And being MT, with that much torque and a stiffer setup than the F30, it just went sideways everywhere
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      01-16-2014, 10:17 AM   #7
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Not every driver has good throttle modulation, some know no difference between WOT and mashing the pedal to the floor. Kick-down, what's that?

I have always found a slight resistance point between WOT and kick-down a good feature, simply like a switch.

I remember having my Cortina GT (with the Weber 28/36 twin choke carb), where even the throttle had a 'hard spot' when you went through to the second choke. Easy to modulate 'economy' driving, on the one choke. Was viewed as a positive feature, a bit more control using the senses, same for kick-down as far as I'm concerned.

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      01-16-2014, 10:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeRandomer123 View Post
Very rare car eh! Last of the N57s with an MT! Was so f**king good wasn't it? Miss mine dearly. That second gear acceleration was epic, it just climbed and climbed hard.

Ha, it does doesn't it! It was built May 2009 if I remember rightly. Had an oil leak twice on it and a glow plug control unit failure but other than that it was faultless. Really enjoyed that car, did not want to give it up.
Yes, very good car and a little bit quicker than the pre-LCI 330d. At the time, I wanted a manual and couldn't find one second hand anywhere so ended up ordering new, just to get the manual.

I had no problems mechanically with it but then I only did 20K in it. But...... had A LOT of annoying rattles/squeaks/creaks ...... it driven me around the bend and was in and out the dealers trying to fix them. Apart from that, good car.
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      01-16-2014, 10:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waitey View Post
Kick down is triggered by the rate in which the throttle is depressed, not by a switch generally.
You'll get down changes for sure with speed of throttle movement, but the idea is you can use WOT, say in Drive using step' mode without a change down. You can then deliberately pass the WOT position to get a kick-down. It has been like this for years with BMW autos.

Remember a full (aggressive) kick-down in the 8-speed can block change from 8th to 2nd gear in one move. That is one "wake up" manoeuvre you want to control.

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      01-16-2014, 10:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dopper99 View Post
Yes, very good car and a little bit quicker than the pre-LCI 330d. At the time, I wanted a manual and couldn't find one second hand anywhere so ended up ordering new, just to get the manual.

I had no problems mechanically with it but then I only did 20K in it. But...... had A LOT of annoying rattles/squeaks/creaks ...... it driven me around the bend and was in and out the dealers trying to fix them. Apart from that, good car.
Really, that rare? I hope my 6MT has gone on to be loved by someone then! I think mine ended up about 80,000mls but it was still great. Never had any creaks or rattles but I had about 5 new windscreens in it over its life so after 100mph, it started to whistle slightly which was annoying. But also a handy alert...
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      01-16-2014, 10:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeRandomer123 View Post
Really, that rare? I hope my 6MT has gone on to be loved by someone then! I think mine ended up about 80,000mls but it was still great. Never had any creaks or rattles but I had about 5 new windscreens in it over its life so after 100mph, it started to whistle slightly which was annoying. But also a handy alert...
I too had one! I loved it till it got to 70k miles and the worn suspension caused it to tramline horrendously! It was a company car and lease company wouldn't fix it

But we do a lot a stop start driving so I opted out and replaced it with an auto the same. The E90 auto was ok but often caught out in wrong gear i felt. And sport was in too high a gear half the time, so i used to drive it with the paddles mostly.

Back on topic... have to agree, don't see that much point of kick down on these modern autos. They are intelligent enough to mostly interpret your needs pretty well without it, and I would rather use the paddles any situation where I think kick down would be of relevance.
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      01-16-2014, 11:08 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Tengocity View Post
Back on topic... have to agree, don't see that much point of kick down on these modern autos. They are intelligent enough to mostly interpret your needs pretty well without it, and I would rather use the paddles any situation where I think kick down would be of relevance.
I sense it is more for those who want to simply drive in 'D' and use the full auto mode, driven like that the fastest overtake is best served with a kick-down.

I don't use kick-down that often, far less in the 8-speed than in the days of the 5-speed. I'll use the paddles to give me the gear I want. But if I'm in lazy drive mode, I'll just kick-down for a fast overtake.

Must say I do like the option to be there, as it does have a definite and useful function.

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      01-16-2014, 12:58 PM   #13
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I also had 2 x 330d MT's pre and post LCI. The MT LCI in particular was epic apart from in the snow!

Getting back on topic, I hardly ever use kickdown on the 8AT. I prefer to use paddles to drop a couple of gears and then enjoy the swift changes up the box
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      01-16-2014, 01:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
I sense it is more for those who want to simply drive in 'D' and use the full auto mode, driven like that the fastest overtake is best served with a kick-down.

I don't use kick-down that often, far less in the 8-speed than in the days of the 5-speed. I'll use the paddles to give me the gear I want. But if I'm in lazy drive mode, I'll just kick-down for a fast overtake.

Must say I do like the option to be there, as it does have a definite and useful function.

HighlandPete
Interesting, Comfort and D is me. Rarely use the paddles. I just give it a bit on the throttle and it drops a few gears for quick overtake or just kick-down if I really wanna fly past. Sometimes just knock it into D/S (M/S) for the quicker changes.
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      01-16-2014, 06:05 PM   #15
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Can it really block change from 8th to 2nd?!!!
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      01-16-2014, 06:14 PM   #16
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Can it really block change from 8th to 2nd?!!!
Certainly so, according to ZF. (I'll find the technical detail). I can't be sure mine has changed from 8th to 2nd but certainly enjoyed the urgency of an instant change to 2nd gear while gently cruising, 6k rpm in milliseconds. Very aggressive response in the 535i to a fast throttle kick-down.

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      01-16-2014, 06:17 PM   #17
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interesting. thank you
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      01-16-2014, 06:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
ZF Wrote
Those who appreciate agility will be happy to know that the most modern adaptive shift strategies are used which enable direct skip-shifts over multiple gears, even allowing for extreme downshifts such as 8th gear to 2nd gear.
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      01-16-2014, 06:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
Certainly so, according to ZF. (I'll find the technical detail). I can't be sure mine has changed from 8th to 2nd but certainly enjoyed the urgency of an instant change to 2nd gear while gently cruising, 6k rpm in milliseconds. Very aggressive response in the 535i to a fast throttle kick-down.

HighlandPete
Same here in the 328i - I think it's done 5th to 2nd before but I don't kickdown often. But due to the free-revving nature of our engines, it is milliseconds to 6k isn't it! The diesel's don't exactly hang about though do they...
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      01-16-2014, 07:00 PM   #20
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Same here in the 328i - I think it's done 5th to 2nd before but I don't kickdown often. But due to the free-revving nature of our engines, it is milliseconds to 6k isn't it! The diesel's don't exactly hang about though do they...
I'm sure I've had a 7th to 2nd shift, (certainly a 6th to 2nd shift) but I also don't normally make such an aggressive downshift. I'd normally moderate the throttle speed/movement to get just a couple of gears down the box.

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      01-16-2014, 07:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
I'm sure I've had a 7th to 2nd shift, (certainly a 6th to 2nd shift) but I also don't normally make such an aggressive downshift. I'd normally moderate the throttle speed/movement to get just a couple of gears down the box.

HighlandPete
Same here, and usually don't require full power to get past unless I'm feeling particularly excitable.
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      01-17-2014, 01:19 AM   #22
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I'm starting to think that I'm not using these gearboxes to their full extent. I dont think I have ever needed to deliberately initiate a kick down using the bump in the pedal. I've just never seen the need. A substaintial press is all I've ever needed to do to give me all the power I need with the appropriate gear change. If I've wanted to go down more than one gear I've put the trans into manual and chosen the gear myself. I've always found a full prod enough to initiate an uncomfortable jolt while the transmission wakes up, changes gear and applies my now 8/10ths throttle. Perhaps i need to try it.

By the way I am quite familiar with autos, had at least one for around 5 years now. DSG golf GTD, E60 M5 SMG, BMW X5, disco 4
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