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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 11-15-2011, 08:29 PM   #21
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I do, quiet a bit. Mainly because I have the M3 SMG steering wheel which has paddle shifters that are connected to the M mode shift mechanism. IMO all steptronics should have come with paddle shifters.
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:41 PM   #22
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Bah, soon my friends, we'll all be driving dual-clutch, paddle shifter, 8 speeds where with a flick of a switch, you can drop your feverish F1 driver mode to a relaxing cruise in "auto-mode". You won't miss the third pedal, you won't even think of it. Computer clutching will be superior to any human toe-heel, rev-matching non-sense we attempt today. Sorry to say it brothers but the manual has seen its time.

Of course that 8-speed, paddle shifted beauty will be in a 90 HP electric car (read golf-cart) that will cost $58K new with a 400 mile range between 10 minute recharges. There you have the future. Drive on brothers while there's still time !!!
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:42 PM   #23
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I used to. Then I got a manual car and find automatic to be a luxury when I get to drive one

But I prefer manual. +/- just...just isn't the same
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:47 PM   #24
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Since a large majoriity of the E46s came with automatics, it is highly likely if you buy a clean pre-owned E46 it will be automatic. They are very rare in wagons. When I decided to buy, all I found were 75K miles and up sticks. Sticks are nice, but not worth having a beater versus a nice car, IMO. Sticks are a pain in stop and go metro traffic which they never were designed for.

That being said, I usually slow the car down most of the time by downshifting manually . There is not much benefit to upshifting manually since the car does it automatically far quicker and more efficiently than most can do it manually. I followed the same procedure when I had a car with DSG. In between 8 speed trannys and DSG trannys, the popularity of manuals is diminishing even more, unfortunately.
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:53 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by White_Knuckles View Post
Bah, soon my friends, we'll all be driving dual-clutch, paddle shifter, 8 speeds where with a flick of a switch, you can drop your feverish F1 driver mode to a relaxing cruise in "auto-mode". You won't miss the third pedal, you won't even think of it. Computer clutching will be superior to any human toe-heel, rev-matching non-sense we attempt today. Sorry to say it brothers but the manual has seen its time.

Of course that 8-speed, paddle shifted beauty will be in a 90 HP electric car (read golf-cart) that will cost $58K new with a 400 mile range between 10 minute recharges. There you have the future. Drive on brothers while there's still time !!!
The DSG on my A3 is so much bloody fun. But you've got a point - won't be long before we'll be wobbling along in our gyroscopic electric eggs...
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:55 PM   #26
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Since a large majoriity of the E46s came with automatics, it is highly likely if you buy a clean pre-owned E46 it will be automatic. They are very rare in wagons. When I decided to buy, all I found were 75K miles and up sticks. Sticks are nice, but not worth having a beater versus a nice car, IMO. Sticks are a pain in stop and go metro traffic which they never were designed for.

That being said, I usually slow the car down most of the time by downshifting manually . There is not much benefit to upshifting manually since the car does it automatically far quicker and more efficiently than most can do it manually. I followed the same procedure when I had a car with DSG. In between 8 speed trannys and DSG trannys, the popularity of manuals is diminishing even more, unfortunately.
1) Continually "downshifting" an automatic to mimic the effect of engine braking is bad for your transmission, your clutch packs, your mounts, and just plain dumb when brake pads are about the cheapest maintenance item on a car.

2) Manual will not disappear in this lifetime. Fly international, 90% (if not more) of the cars in Europe, Asia, South America, etc. will be manuals.

3) A car with 100k miles which was meticulously maintained is better than the same car with 50k owned by someone ignorant.

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Old 11-15-2011, 09:31 PM   #27
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Well, I've got an automatic because 90% of the cars in my price range were automatic. Rest Was manuals but in shitty condition. So I've got an automatic. And I use the +/- all the time. When the tranny blows I will replace it with a 5 speed or SMG. =D
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:54 PM   #28
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1) Continually "downshifting" an automatic to mimic the effect of engine braking is bad for your transmission, your clutch packs, your mounts, and just plain dumb when brake pads are about the cheapest maintenance item on a car.



2) Manual will not disappear in this lifetime. Fly international, 90% (if not more) of the cars in Europe, Asia, South America, etc. will be manuals.



3) A car with 100k miles which was meticulously maintained is better than the same car with 50k owned by someone ignorant.
1) Never had to replace any of that stuff except pads.
2) Never said that.
3) We agree on the obvious.
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:06 PM   #29
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1) Never had to replace any of that stuff except pads.
2) Never said that.
3) We agree on the obvious.
Because your tranny hasn't gone out yet it doesn't change the fact that you're still needlessly putting stress on it by trying to get to drive like what it isn't.
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:38 AM   #30
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Because your tranny hasn't gone out yet it doesn't change the fact that you're still needlessly putting stress on it by trying to get to drive like what it isn't.
We will agree to disagree on that one. I've been driving that way for years and years on autos and sticks and never seen it put any stress on any of the cars. Even my wife started doing it. Maybe your image of what I am doing is a bit exaggerated. Besides, if the steptronic goes, that gives me an excuse to consider replacing it with a stick shift.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:16 AM   #31
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That being said, I usually slow the car down most of the time by downshifting manually .
Quote:
Originally Posted by ac_2007 View Post
1) Continually "downshifting" an automatic to mimic the effect of engine braking is bad for your transmission, your clutch packs, your mounts, and just plain dumb when brake pads are about the cheapest maintenance item on a car.
I have to agree with AC. Use your brakes, that's what they're for. Using the steptronic to slow the car down is mind boggling when you have a much more efficient, inexpensive, and better designed device to slow the car down with.

Likewise if you own a manual transmission, do not use it to slow your car down unless your brakes have died for some reason. You do not need to be using your clutch, synchros, and revving your engine when your brakes can do the job better.
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:02 PM   #32
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Unless you're an absolute moron, I do not see how you could money shift your manual BMW. You realize that if you're traveling at a high rate of speed, it's literally impossible to move the shifter into a much lower gear unless you slam it in. There is resistance from the transmission.

If you're a good manual driver and you accidently do shift into the wrong gear, you'll realize your mistake almost instantly as soon as you let your clutch out 75% or so of the way - the RPM's will jump way too high and all you have to do is push the clutch pedal (which your foot is already on) back in.



But you do see topics about Steptronic and SMG transmissions failing because that is their inherent nature.
I'm guessing the dual clutch getrag they use on the E9X M3 is more reliable but the same thing as smg?

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Old 11-16-2011, 01:05 PM   #33
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I do, quiet a bit. Mainly because I have the M3 SMG steering wheel which has paddle shifters that are connected to the M mode shift mechanism. IMO all steptronics should have come with paddle shifters.
I agree. ALL STEPS.
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:27 PM   #34
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I use mine on the same spot daily. It's a long road with a lot of large hills and 25mph speed limit. If I leave it in drive, it will shift back and forth between 3rd and 4th the whole time.

My first car was a stick shift and many cars after it. I'm done with manual transmissions at this point in my life and drive an automatic.
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:44 PM   #35
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I have to agree with AC. Use your brakes, that's what they're for. Using the steptronic to slow the car down is mind boggling when you have a much more efficient, inexpensive, and better designed device to slow the car down with.

Likewise if you own a manual transmission, do not use it to slow your car down unless your brakes have died for some reason. You do not need to be using your clutch, synchros, and revving your engine when your brakes can do the job better.
qft
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:56 PM   #36
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I have to agree with AC. Use your brakes, that's what they're for. Using the steptronic to slow the car down is mind boggling when you have a much more efficient, inexpensive, and better designed device to slow the car down with.

Likewise if you own a manual transmission, do not use it to slow your car down unless your brakes have died for some reason. You do not need to be using your clutch, synchros, and revving your engine when your brakes can do the job better.
Sorry it's Not the same for manuals. When you research/think about it you'll see why.
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:01 PM   #37
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Sorry it's Not the same for manuals. When you research/think about it you'll see why.
You jumped the gun with this reply. Try reading what he wrote out loud.
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:44 PM   #38
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i live in the city and i'm grateful i have an auto.. especially when i'm driving to work at 6:30am. but man, do i wish i had a MT. a girl i dated a few years ago had a MT and it was so much fun to drive around.

i'm hoping in 6 or so years (when i'll have another 3 series as a dd) i can sell my auto tranny (if anyone would even buy it) and put a 6 speed MT and a s54 engine in it.. ahh, the future!
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:47 PM   #39
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You jumped the gun with this reply. Try reading what he wrote out loud.
I did. Correct me if I'm mistaken but he says also for drivers of manual transmissions to use the brakes only to slow the car down unless brakes have died. Also says, "You do not need to be using your clutch, synchros, and revving your engine".

This is incorrect thinking.
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:55 PM   #40
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I did. Correct me if I'm mistaken but he says also for drivers of manual transmissions to use the brakes only to slow the car down unless brakes have died. Also says, "You do not need to be using your clutch, synchros, and revving your engine".

This is incorrect thinking.
Slowing down or keeping the car going at a certain speed by engine braking a manual is normal practice. On the other hand, downshifting to every lower gear when approaching a stop sign causes necessary wear & tear, and is a waste of gas if you're rev matching (which you should be). Coasting in an appropriate gear to the stop and using the brakes is the correct practice. Approaching a stale red is different.

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