• 2019 BMW 4 Series Steering Wheel Background

    How To Use Paddle Shifters

    More and more drivers are realizing that active shifting can make one’s daily drives a whole lot more enjoyable, and paddle shifters are perfect for the driver who wants to experience the difference for themselves. With this in mind, you might be wondering, what do paddle shifters do? Simply put, these components let you take control of your vehicle’s gear shifts on the roads near . If you have been wondering how to shift with paddle shifters, find out more by reading on!

What are Paddle Shifters?

So, what are paddle shifters, and what do paddle shifters do? Drivers who prefer sporty vehicles and performance focused trims generally have good things to say about paddle shifters. Why use paddle shifters? These features let you exercise manual control over your vehicle’s transmission, and since they’re usually mounted upon the steering wheel, they’re a great option for the driver who likes things within easy reach.

Having more fun on the and roads isn’t the only reason to upgrade with paddle shifters. Correct, precise upshifting and downshifting can help to keep your engine in good condition and reduce wear on your brake pads.

How to Use Paddle Shifters

If your vehicle is equipped with both an automatic transmission and paddle shifters, you’ll want to enter manual mode each time you plan on using these components. One paddle, generally on the right, will bring you up to the next gear. The other will bring you down a gear.

Drivers who aren’t quite familiar with manual transmissions and using paddle shifters might worry about harming their vehicle. However, paddle shifters have been designed to stop you from wreaking havoc on your gearbox. Learning how to drive with paddle shifters is actually quite simple.  These features have been designed to prevent dangerous shifts with respect to each of the following contingencies:

  • You’ll stay in the same gear if you try to upshift before the engine reaches the next gear’s lower limit.
  • You’ll also stay in the same gear if you try to downshift before reaching the lower gear’s upper limit.
  • If you press one paddle while the other is being held down, you’ll maintain your current gear. The same applies if you press both paddles at the same time.

Because your vehicle has an automatic transmission, you can always take a break by switching back to “D” mode with your shifter. Your vehicle probably also has a separate low gear for especially strenuous driving situations.

How to Drive Using Paddle Shifters

Wondering when you should be using paddle shifters? It’s difficult to give a concrete answer to this common question. Similar to getting comfortable with a manual transmission, you need to understand how your particular make and model works. When to use paddle shifters depends on several factors, such as road conditions, traffic density, and even the weather. However, there is a general rule of thumb for beginners. When driving paddle shifters, look to shift when the rev counter needle falls between 1,500 and 2,500 RPM.

Try Out Paddle Shifters for Yourself!

If you’re ready to get a hands-on feel for how to use paddle shifters, stop into your local Sam Leman Automotive Group dealership and take your favorite new vehicle for a test drive! Not sure if a given vehicle offers paddle shifters? Contact us today to get the information you need!

If you’re interested in enjoying superior performance on the roads near you, you’ll also want to find out when to replace spark plugs, and learn the difference between premium and regular gas! Curious about the other features you’ll find in a new model? Compare sunroofs vs. moonroofs with our team today!


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