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      02-13-2013, 05:37 PM   #1
stom_m3
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Gear Shifter or Paddles in manumatic

Does anyone else find it hard to use the paddles vs the gear shift lever in their manumatic? I've driven manuals in all my previous sports cars and I find it hard to adapt to the paddles vs moving the gear shift lever. With a manual, there's a huge timing component when charging hard into a corner; brake, down shift, heel/toe, match revs, and hit the apex. I find my timing completely off because I no longer have to use so much movement. In the end, I know it'll be faster from a timing perspective but I find myself always using the gear shift as opposed to the paddles. Anyone else have this issue or am I just the old dog that can't learn new tricks...
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      02-13-2013, 05:46 PM   #2
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You'll get used to it in a few weeks. I came from a manual and had the same issues that you are currently going through. It took me a few weeks to adapt to it. I hit the windshield wipers and high beams by accident on several occasions.
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      02-13-2013, 06:04 PM   #3
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I use both and actually find downshifting to be easier because I only need my left hand to do it (cell phone, radio, cup of coffee can now be in right hand while I slow down). I've only driven manuals and while the timing still gets me every now and again I always find myself saying 'damn this is fast' and 'wow its so smooth'
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      02-13-2013, 11:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stom_m3 View Post
Does anyone else find it hard to use the paddles vs the gear shift lever in their manumatic? I've driven manuals in all my previous sports cars and I find it hard to adapt to the paddles vs moving the gear shift lever. With a manual, there's a huge timing component when charging hard into a corner; brake, down shift, heel/toe, match revs, and hit the apex. I find my timing completely off because I no longer have to use so much movement. In the end, I know it'll be faster from a timing perspective but I find myself always using the gear shift as opposed to the paddles. Anyone else have this issue or am I just the old dog that can't learn new tricks...
I'm a long time MT driver. This ZF sport AT is an amazing automatic, but I think my F30 335i driving experience would be more fun if I had stuck with the MT.

To your question, I too prefer using the lever instead of the paddles.
I do think it's because of all the years with MT.
Also, there's so much less to do when driving the AT that I find using the lever gives me at least something to do.
When I use the paddles it seems even more clinical even though they are easier access, just lift a finger and pull.
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      02-14-2013, 12:47 AM   #5
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The paddles are designed for when you are driving the car at 11/10....

the auto gear leveR is great for going up the mountain...

For everywhere else, the MT is the best (including the above two points)

Last edited by DrivenByE30; 02-14-2013 at 01:10 AM.
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      02-14-2013, 12:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrivenByE30 View Post
The paddles are designed for when you are driving the car at 11/10....

the auto gear level is great for going up the mountain...

For everywhere else, the MT is the best (including the above two points)
I have no idea what this means.

Anyways, to the OP... If you're used to driving with one hand on the wheel (ala gangsta lean), then the paddles will remain foreign to you. If you drive like you should (both hands on the wheel), then the paddles will get much more love.
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      02-14-2013, 01:12 AM   #7
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Translation:

The paddles are ideal if you are driving you car on a race track and push your car to the limit (trying to get the best time lap).

Usually when you go up big bear (or any other mountain range), and you drive enthusiastically, you tend to want the transmission to hold for a specific gear, and i find (personal preference) it more comfortable to use the gear lever.

For all other situation, if you are an attentive and considerate driver, driving a manual transmission gives you the most satisfaction...

But nowadays, it seems that the AT is catching up, to the point where driving an Auto box and leaving the task to the machine is quite comfortable and pleasurable...

To each its own...
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      02-14-2013, 01:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrivenByE30 View Post
Translation:

The paddles are ideal if you are driving you car on a race track and push your car to the limit (trying to get the best time lap).

Usually when you go up big bear (or any other mountain range), and you drive enthusiastically, you tend to want the transmission to hold for a specific gear, and i find (personal preference) it more comfortable to use the gear lever.

For all other situation, if you are an attentive and considerate driver, driving a manual transmission gives you the most satisfaction...

But nowadays, it seems that the AT is catching up, to the point where driving an Auto box and leaving the task to the machine is quite comfortable and pleasurable...

To each its own...
Actually at the performance center the professional drivers and instructors use the Lever not the Paddles. When the wheel is 180 degree turned you can't use the paddles. They slam the DCT like a shifter which makes sence.
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      02-14-2013, 04:01 AM   #9
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Paddles are handy when you're in D and need manual control for a short burst, before letting the trans returns to D by itself.

If I want to drive in full manual mode I'll use the lever. Paddles are useless when the wheel is inverted.
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      02-14-2013, 05:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcg71 View Post
Paddles are handy when you're in D and need manual control for a short burst, before letting the trans returns to D by itself.

If I want to drive in full manual mode I'll use the lever. Paddles are useless when the wheel is inverted.
This.
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      02-14-2013, 11:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrivenByE30 View Post
The paddles are ideal if you are driving you car on a race track and push your car to the limit (trying to get the best time lap).

Usually when you go up big bear (or any other mountain range), and you drive enthusiastically, you tend to want the transmission to hold for a specific gear, and i find (personal preference) it more comfortable to use the gear lever.
This doesn't really make sense to me. Just seems like it's a personal preference issue.

It's not like I've ever wished I didn't have to take my hand of the steering wheel to shift on the track.

I don't get why holding a single gear "in the mountains" (and here I'm not sure if you're talking about enthusiastic mountain road driving, or gear holding because of the grade) would cause you to choose the shift lever over the paddles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by buildbright
Actually at the performance center the professional drivers and instructors use the Lever not the Paddles. When the wheel is 180 degree turned you can't use the paddles. They slam the DCT like a shifter which makes sence.
If you're hooning, it doesn't really matter when you shift, but I can't think of any other reason to shift while turning the wheel so aggressively that you couldn't use the paddles. You really should only be shifting when you're going (relatively) straight.
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      02-17-2013, 08:18 PM   #12
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I love the paddles. Gives you that feeling of driving an F1 car.
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      02-17-2013, 11:27 PM   #13
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Using either works well, but paddles do require you to get used to them. Most people today do not drive with two hands on the wheel, so the use of paddles is not going to be very fluid for everyone.

I have track raced, and for most road tracks, the paddles on my 2002 M3 SMG were fantastic and far better than using the joystick. Most tracks do not require you to completely or mostly invert the wheel. The training tracks/programs where you learn driving skills, like with the Performance Center, will have you doing much tighter maneuvers and when you would go to shift in the turn, you might not be able use the paddles.

My M3 was my DD also, and when just cruising around, I used the joystick. I only used the paddles when I was getting aggressive in curves or when hauling tail through traffic and doing lots of lane changes.
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      02-18-2013, 12:23 AM   #14
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Paddles were gimmicky, I skipped them.
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      02-18-2013, 09:58 AM   #15
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Paddles were gimmicky, I skipped them.
But then you didn't get the higher performance AT...
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      02-18-2013, 04:22 PM   #16
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But then you didn't get the higher performance AT...
I would be hard pressed to tell the difference since this is my DD.

For AutoX'ing, when I get back into it, I'll get an M variant of some sort
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