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Old 04-26-2001, 07:31 PM   #1
subymamma
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Post Automatic transmission: is using 1-2-3 gear in town hard on transmission?

Rather than leave it in drive all the time, is shifting from 1-2-3 gear in town hard on your transmission? Some guy said a friend with a Honda ruined his transmission doing that, wonder about Subaru's?
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Old 04-26-2001, 07:54 PM   #2
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Umm, isn't that why it's called an "automatic"?

Seriously though, it can be hard if you like to downshift the auto alot. Brakes are cheaper than a new tranny. Holding it in gear though and upshifting should be less harmful than downshifting.


$.02

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Old 04-26-2001, 08:02 PM   #3
Keith/BlackRS
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I wouldn't recommend shifting your automatic tranny. It places wear and tear needlessly on parts not designed to take it. I also can see no benefit from doing it either. leave the shifting to the standards and the manumatic trannies out there!! Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-26-2001, 08:28 PM   #4
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Hmmm... OK, just changed from manual to automatic (bad problems developing in left foot from using a clutch so many, many years) and noticed you get faster takoffs from first, going up to drive than when just using drive to start out. Miss taking off with more getup, may just have to be content.....

[This message has been edited by subymamma (edited April 26, 2001).]
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Old 04-26-2001, 11:37 PM   #5
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yeah, the car is noticeably faster when you start out by locking the top gears out (i.e., D3 locking out 4th gear for instance, etc.).. it can cause quite a bit of wear on the transmission and shouldn't be done excessively, however i would imagine that it'd be MORE of a problem for AWD/AT cars (at least subarus) knowing that the power distribution between the front and rear is different for the lowest gears than it is with top gear (90%front/10%rear)
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Old 04-26-2001, 11:40 PM   #6
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Leave your AT in Drive unless you absolutely need to downshift. It can cause premature damages eventually.

The only AT you can shift constantly is the tip-tonic AT (on Audi's, Acura's etc. etc.).
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Old 04-27-2001, 04:47 AM   #7
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For agressive launches I always start in 1 and upshift using the tach as a reference. This gives me far better acceleration than starting in D.

I know of no reason this is harder on the AT than mashing the pedal in D. Am I missing something about how the tranny works?

I do concede that overdoing hard launches is not good in any fashion.

my .02

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Old 04-27-2001, 06:26 AM   #8
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lakepop:
That's exactly what I was doing, using the tach for reference to go up. NOT using the AT to slow me down, I figured that was bad.....
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Old 04-27-2001, 07:31 AM   #9
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"Some guy said a friend with a Honda ruined his transmission doing that"
I resemble that statement.
Oh, so you're C.
Do a search on "My auto trany went kaboom".
Ok, well it was Kevin Thomas and a 13 second 1/4 mile Turbo/Nitrous OBS.

Dennis
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Old 04-27-2001, 07:45 AM   #10
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I have an auto too and I think the whole "mushy D" is the torque converter. I am planning on upgrading mine late this summer, hopefully that should help. It also has to do with the gear ratios for the auto and the manual.
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Old 04-27-2001, 09:38 AM   #11
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I downshift to '3' alot around town. Usually it is when a cop pulls in behind me and turns his radar on.

When I am driving offroad I tend to stay in '2' or '1' depending on the terrain and speed. Engine braking is a GOOD thing when you hit the brakes and car just sliiiiides.

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Old 04-27-2001, 10:42 AM   #12
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Well, this may not be an apples to apples comparison, since long life durability is never tested but ...

At Road Atlanta, when they offered the Advanced Road Handling course w/ the Legacy GT, we would always have the car set to eitehr 1, 2 or 3! In fact, for the whole weekend, we never hit 4th gear. When we did the autocross comp, we left it on 2.

I think most of the cars get over 1k miles w/o any problems (and these are HARD miles).

BTW, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the only real harm done in reving and auto tranny is you put a little more stress on the torque converter (and the fluid)? The gears should have no problem at all. I mean, if you use high quality synthetic fluid and change it regularly (like 30k miles), getting it reved up should be no problem.

Joe
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Old 04-27-2001, 10:49 AM   #13
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Have you asked Subaru what their take is on shifting up? I don't really see why they would have made the unit in the configuration they did unless they meant for it to be used as such. You know what I mean, with the lit dashboard diagram and all. Ask Subaru, and I don't mean Bill Bryan.

PS How about you and me takin' that spiffy Black OBS out for a spin and see where it leads?
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Old 04-27-2001, 10:50 AM   #14
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Until I hear from an autotranny technician or other authoritative source [no offense meant to those of you whose Honda-pals ruined their ATs ], here's my non-expert opinion:

I leave my 4EAT in 3 nearly all the time. For quick starts around town, just mash the go-pedal and the tranny will automaticallly shift 1-2-3 above 5k rpm (mine usually shifts at about 5400; some people say theirs shifts at redline :shrug: ) You've got to put the pedal to the floor FAST to get the TCU/ECU combo to switch to the aggressive map, though.

I manually shift from 3 to D when I go past 55 mph or so on the highway, or any other time I'm more concerned with gas mileage than acceleration/engine-braking.

Manually shift from D to 3 when decelerating below about 45 mph when leaving the highway.

For some fun, leave it in 3 when you hit the highway and feel much better throttle response compared to D. You'll be driving in the 3k to 5k rpm range (the heart of your torque curve with the stock 2.2 engine) at legal and +10 or +20 mph speeds.

Don't start off in 2, unless you're trying to get traction in mud, snow, etc. Second locks out all other gears (even 1) and locks in 50/50 front/rear torque split. Great traction, lousy acceleration.

My 2c


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Old 04-27-2001, 03:21 PM   #15
Jessie James
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After 20,000 miles and manually shifting my automatic I have no problems.

I occasionally feel sorry for what I do to it when I AutoX. Ouch.

So far so good. Besides, don't I have a warranty?
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Old 04-27-2001, 03:29 PM   #16
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Well, it seems 3rd gear suits most driving needs. There is no button on the shifter that is put there like on other cars, and it's a gated shifter. It just looks logical that it's meant to be used?????

No, no nitrous for me!! So, I don't know that I would have Kevin Thomas' problem!!!
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Old 04-27-2001, 03:33 PM   #17
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Oh yeah! RR in DC: I like your theory. Just from what I know so far I can see that it would work. By the way, I have the 2.5, like the RS because I now have a 2002OBS.

I've driven a clutch for almost 30 years, just trying to get a handle on this automatic stuff,it's all new. Sounds like some of you have really put some miles on while shifting, so after a week of shifting my auto I guess I'm in no danger of blowing it up, yet...
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Old 04-27-2001, 03:46 PM   #18
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I traded in a 92 Integra Auto with 300k miles. I put new transmission fluid about every 100k miles or so. I down shifted instead of using the brakes quite a bit, especially on vacations in the mountains. It had two drive positions, normal and sport, and I usually left it in sport. Sport mode shifted up at higher rpm's than the normal mode. I never had any problems with the transmision.

just some more information
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Old 04-27-2001, 04:34 PM   #19
Kevin Thomas
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Quote:
Rather than leave it in drive all the time, is shifting from 1-2-3 gear in town hard on your transmission?
I can't answer that but I can tell you my experiences with doing this.

The Bad:
Doing this repetitively at the dragstrip on two trips, I started to have problems. I hit the rev limiter at least 4 times (no more than 6) on the strip. I was shifting at around 4.5-5k but it took a bit for the engine to actually shift. This can be attributed to a few things like my tranny might have already been going bad, I was testing different TCUs (Transmission Control Units), I shifted at too high an rpm for Turbo or Turbo and Nos, etc, etc.

After the 2nd night at the track of doing this, the next morning I had problems. My car wouldn't come out of 1st gear. OMG!!! It stayed like this for about 7 minutes or so, then it was fine. My wife gave me that (See Kevin you shouldn't be screwing with our family car look) and I never did it again.

The Good:
After shifting from 1-2-3 on the track, acceleration was improved dramatically. Only running on Turbo power, I was bringing my 1/4 mile time down from 15.8-15.9 to 15.3-15.4. My Nos runs then was down from 15.4-15.5 to 14.9-15.1's. It was somewhere in that range but it was a .5-.6 second difference. N/A may be .3-.4 difference or better. I am no expert but this is what happened.

Running the times I have been luckily running lately, I want to try it out again. I can't imagine bouncing off the rev limiter and another tranny dying so I cowardly avoid doing this. Maybe someone else can show results from the track or even a 0-100mph run on a dyno. Good luck folks!
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Old 04-27-2001, 07:34 PM   #20
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When I was trying the 1-2-3 thing I was shifting between 3.5 and 4k rpm which the car seemed to be asking for.
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Old 04-28-2001, 01:11 AM   #21
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i own a my00 RS with the auto tranny,when i do city driving,i leave it in third gear,more throttle response,engine breaking,etc,etc,etc...and if i leave it in the drive position and smack the go pedal,
the tranny will normally shift at redline,
maybe 100 rpm or so from redline actually.
if i drive the car on a dirt road,i'll put it in third and leave it there up to 80mph
or so.coming off the highway,i'll downshift it into third at about 45 mph,never had any problems.and by the way,it's the salesman at the dealership who told me to shift it into third when i'm in town!
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Old 04-29-2001, 12:01 AM   #22
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BTW, I was talking to an employee of SOA who used to work on automatic trannies for a living. He mentioned that he's personally impressed with the auto tranny that Subaru uses as OEM (compared to other OEM - specifically an US one). True, this isn't saying much, since he compared it to a manufacture w/ a history of manufacturing issues, BUT a well build tranny will definately be more capable of being punished harder!
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Old 04-29-2001, 08:35 PM   #23
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Hmm... lots of schools of thought on this one. I e-mailed Subaru of America and wonder if they're gonna take a chicken stance on this because of their "warranty hangups".
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Old 04-29-2001, 10:54 PM   #24
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hmm i usually put the car in drive, but to slow down i down shift to 3 a lot, what does this do to the car???
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Old 04-30-2001, 08:30 AM   #25
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Impreza Guy: How many miles do you have on your car that you have been shifting like this?
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