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manual or paddle shifters Post Review

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manual or paddle shifters Q&A Review

If you combine a paddle shifter kit with a sequential (+/-) manual transmission (like the one found on motorcycles and race cars), does the make the sequential now a semi-automatic transmission?

To my thinking the sequential transmission function doesn’t change whether the overall system is automatic, manual, or semi-automatic. It just limits the available shift options to up or down one ratio, rather than having all ratios available all the time. The larger components of auto/manual debate (mainly clutch activation and gear selection control) are the major drivers of that classification, not whether the operator can skip a gear.

How do you properly shift using paddle shifters? I can manipulate them, but they in no way mimic the ability to rev and accelerate like a manual. There is no way to shift your neutral.

A car with paddle shifters is what’s called ,semi-automatic. The proper way to shift is to simply click the shifter up or down, and the car will shift gears for you, theoretically, the best way possible. If you time shifting gears with your revs going up and down, as you do in a manual, you can make the car’s job easier and benefit from swift, seamless, gear changes. While it is not the same as driving a manual shift, it allows all drivers to be more connected with the driving experience. Novice drivers, and especially those who don’t know how to drive a manual, can learn about the timing of shifting gears without worrying about manipulating the clutch properly (honestly the hardest part). Professional drivers can profit from paddle shifters because there is just no way to double-clutch shift as fast and reliably with a manual transmission as can be done with one click of a paddle shifter. So while paddles do not replace the experience of driving a manual, they do have their uses.

Are paddle shifters faster than manual shifters?

Paddle shifters are manual shifters, by manual shifter you probably mean manual transmission with a stick on the floor. Paddle shifters are used on automatic (or semiautomatic) transmissions to allow manual shifts and they are almost always much faster than a stick shift and clutch.

Can an automatic transmission car with paddle shifters reach the same speed as a manual transmission car?

If u are talking about acceleration then the answer must be No. Imagine 2 same vehicles… One having manual and other auto with paddle shifters… Manual transmission directly enggages the gears but the peddle shifter matches the gears once you give the input and ECU sends signal to change the gear to transmission unit and sync the speed for that and chnage the gear… So there is almost a lag of 0.5 sec to 1 sec while this entire process happenes… and in addition to that you have torque converter….However, it becomes unnoticeable since here you pressed the paddle and next sec u r getting gradually increase of power… In manual u will get the power punch at the same time and you will feel like oh what a raw gear shifting and sudden increase in power because gear lever change and clutch pressing will be done at the same time and immediately your transmission gears will match…. No lag of hydraulic system or electronic signals and sync gears etc…. If you want quicker acceleration then the order of choosing the transmission for the same vehicle should be... 1. MANUAL 2. DCT 3. AUTOMATIC 4. CVT and ya.. Drag ratio, power weight ratio etc….conditions apply*

When a car has paddle shifters does it still have a manual clutch?

No, the clutch is automated if you have paddle shifters. However the way those paddle shifters work (and the type of transmission they control) can differ widely. The best use of paddle shifters is with a modern “dual clutch” automated manual transmissions, because in most applications it provides instant shifting, and faster than a human could do it with a clutch/shifter combo. However these days manufacturers are pairing paddle shifters with all sorts of transmissions such as regular torque converter automatics, and the worst….CVT’s. (which don’t even have gears to shift)

What's the name of a manual transmission with paddle shifters?

Pasi Leino, is on the right track, but let me refine their answer a bit. First, we need to understand the very basics of how a transmission works and what it does. What does a transmission do? It converts the circular revolutions of the engine to turning the wheels of a car. All the stuff happening in the engine (and you’ll have to see my other answers for those explanations) results in the crankshaft spinning in a circle, facing the back or the side of the car. We could remove the transmission (and many electric cars don’t have one!), but combustion engines can only spin so fast, and we want to be able to go faster than 30mph. So transmissions have gears with different ratios so that the engine may spin once and the wheels turn twice or in a different gear the engine may spin once and the wheels turn half a rotation. That’s a bit of a subject for another time, but suffice it to say, it translates engine motion into wheels that spin. Rear wheel drive diagram of a drivetrain for simplicity’s sake. So knowing that, we know that we need to be able to change those ratios as we drive around. That means we’ll need to disconnect the engine from the transmission for a moment while we select another gear, right? A traditional manual transmission uses a clutch and pedal to accomplish this. Essentially, there’s two plates with grabby stuff (friction material) that press against each other - the clutch disc and the pressure plate. When you push the clutch pedal, you are, quite literally, prying them apart. We differentiate automatic and manual transmission by whether they use a torque converter or not. An automatic utilizes a torque converter, and a manual utilizes a clutch. Traditional clutch assembly, with the pressure plate on the left in red, the clutch discs in the middle (with the springy-things on the hub) and the flywheel on the right (with all the teeth on it). An exploded view of a torque converter When automatics were invented - and modern automatic transmissions resemble those original automatics only at the most basic levels - they realized that they needed a smooth way to shift, and that a physical coupling wasn’t going to work. They ended up putting two fans in a bath. And I’m not kidding. This is a torque converter: It utilizes a method called “fluid coupling” - basically, you submerge two fans in a viscous fluid (a viscous fluid is thick and harder to move), and when you spin one, the other will spin because the fluid that gets moved by the first one will push the second one. I won’t get into the details of torque converters, but that’s pretty much how they work. That’s why your automatic shifts so much more smoothly than even the best driven manual with a clutch. A Ferrari F355 F1, one of the first cars available with a semi-automatic transmission. Originally, paddle shifted cars like the Ferrari F355 F1 utilized automated manual transmissions, sometimes called “semi-automatic transmissions.” Magnetti-Marelli made this transmission, and it was a full-on regular manual with a clutch, they just removed the pedal and actuated it with hydraulics. Same with the shifter. The Interior of the F355 F1 - not the tiny aluminum T handle where the shifter would normally be, and the black paddles on the steering wheel. The exposed F1 transmission of the F355 F1 and a statement of repair bills. That type of transmission ,was, much faster than a human can shift a manual, but it was rough, each shift was harsh, and bluntly they broke ,a lot,. The F355 is a maintenance nightmare, and the F1 transmission makes it vastly worse. Some of that is due to Ferrari being Ferrari in the 1990s, and some of that is due to the fact that it was a first generation technology (time and experience always makes things better), but eventually, people figured out that there were better ways to do it. Let’s pause and take inventory. We’ve established what a transmission is for, how a manual transmission works, how an automatic transmission works, and what the difference is between them. That’s a lot of information for a question that only asked for the name of something, but it will help you understand the answer. So those better ways to do it? Someone (or some group of people) sat down and said “If we redesigned a manual transmission, ignoring the limits placed on it by a ,human, having to operate it, how could it be better?” Great question, and it led to the development of what’s called a dual-clutch transmission, or more commonly known as a DSG (direct shift gearbox). See, humans only have two legs, and one is operating the accelerator (gas) and brake pedals, leaving only one to operate the clutch. Driving a car is pretty complex, despite how we take it for granted; it uses both our feet and both our hands with at least two simultaneous controls (pedal and wheel) and sometimes as many as four (clutch pedal, gas pedal, steering wheel, and gear shifter). What if we didn’t have to limit it to a single clutch pedal? See, the thinking is, part of the time it takes to shift is separating those clutch plates so the transmission can select another gear, and then letting those plates come back together, but what if you could do both of those things at once? Use two clutches! Once for the even numbered gears, 2, 4, and 6, and one for odd numbered gears, 1, 3, and 5. Each set of gears has its own clutch plates so that when you shift from first gear to second gear, it can engage the even gear clutch at the same time its disengaging the odd gear clutch! Now, this is too complex from a human to do while operating a car, so we put all this stuff under control of a computer, and the shifter in the cabin looks like an automatic transmission with Park, Drive, Reverse, and probably Sport, but this is the kind of clutch that you see most often with paddle shifters. When you pull one, it sends a command to the computer controlling the transmission telling it to shift. There’s not mechanical linkage here at all, it’s sheerly electronic, and could be a button, a paddle, a pull on the shifter, or even a voice-activated input (well, not likely that last one, but they ,could,). Now, these days, it’s not uncommon for sporty cars with full-on regular automatics - like my car, a 2009 BMW 335i with the ZF 6HP electronic automatic transmission - to have paddle shifters, too. There’s one other kind of transmission, called a CVT, or Continuously Variable Transmission, but I won’t cover that in depth here. Suffice it to say, instead of a clutch ,or, a torque converter, it’s basically a belt on a cone that lets the belt move up and down, with the size of the cone determining the gear ratio. There’s advantages and disadvantages to it, but in practical application as of March 2020, they’re flopping piles of crap limited to mediocre economy cars, and I strongly advise against buying one. tl;dr - ,It’s probably a DCT, or dual-clutch transmission (DSG if it’s a Volkswagen), but it might be a regular old automatic. Depends on the car!

Do paddle shifters in sports mode in a CVT car make it behave like a manual transmission?

Thanks for the A2A ,Rishabh,... The paddle shifters in sports mode are provided to override the typical rpms at which the CVTs 'shift' gear. The CVT in its typical configuration is designed to upshift at a conservative rpm saving fuel economy. Engaging the sports mode and using the paddle shifter gives you the control over when you upshift/ downshift. Though this action gives you more control over your CVT, it isn't exactly like a manual transmission, because you still dont have control over the clutch position. There are certain instances in regular driving where you have to drive in 'part clutch' mode. This advantage is lost in any CVT/ AMT transmission. However, the gearshifts themselves are pretty instantaneous (in the order of milli seconds) which do provide an advantage over manuals. Hope I could be of help.

Can I buy a automatic car (say Honda city 5th gen) for manual drive. Actually I like the paddle shifters then the standard gear. My question is that will there be any problem or cons if used in regular basis?

Yes my automatic with manual shift has 6 gears but only changes up as far as third that started a year and 1/2 ago and I just shift the rest of the way manually. 10 years ago when I bought it secondhand the previous owner was a truck driver and only drove it manually and it was still working fine for the next 8 and 1/2 but still drove fine when I sold it 2 weeks ago ( bought another with less miles and rust a year older} You may thing you are better driver than the computer but the only time I found that true is were their are hills the auto can not see and changes up and then down loosing speed that you would have seen and just delayed the shift. I have a Honda jazz with a CVT that has paddle shifters and it does a brilliant job as it has an infinite selection of gears without gaps with the paddle shift it steps the shifts using more fuel and is wearing steps in the cones for a jolty ride like a conventional auto or manual. It is the most economical at 4.7 l per 100km with 3 people on a round trip of 140 km in the hills becides my Prius that got 3.5 l per 100 on a similar trip. Seems a waste to have a smooth shifting car and getting worse acceleration and economy with more noise a stop watch and fills over a measured distance will tell you the truth not a roaring engine and a jolty shift at the guess of a person. I use to be weary of new technology but once it proves its self directly to me in the long term I can be converted and the Honda jazz is working on it at 60,000km and at 760,000 km the Prius got their a long time ago.