Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Damon asks: Do you think paddle shifters are a gimmick to make people feel as though they’re still in control of their car’s shifts?
My reply: It depends!
Electronic control over shifts doesn’t have to be gimmicky. The problem is, many of the systems found in new cars are – probably because of warranty reasons. What that means is the computer will prevent downshifts (or force upshifts) to avoid over-speeding the engine (or over-loading the transmission) which of course never happens with a manual that you actually shift yourself. You decide when to shift up – or down.
But, an automatic can also be set up for full manual control of gear changes. The transmission in my Trans-Am is set up for that. If I want to hold first gear, it holds first gear – and so on.
Electronically controlled shifters also have the upside of being very fast and very accurate. That said, I still prefer manually shifting gears because I simply enjoy doing it.
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Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
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