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Old 08-24-2010, 07:37 PM   #1
jpbales
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How To: Effectively Use Manual Shift Mode

Being raised on automatic transmissions, I have very little experience with stick shifters but I've done some google research to learn more now that I have a G6 with the manual mode. I know that manual transmissions can save fuel and has other benefits, but I want to know exactly how I can use the manumatic of the G6 to gain such benefits. I've read about how to use a manual transmission and I've read the owner's manual, so I know how to shift but not how to maximize the benefits of the manual shifter. I've tried it once or twice before but only for a few minutes (I really didn't know what I was doing and it scared the bejeezes out of me lol). I've got a 2006 GT.
When is the best time to shift up and down? How many RPMs or MPH?
I've heard that the manumatic takes up more gas for some reason (more complex or something), is this true?
What NOT to do when using the manumatic (I don't want to risk hurting the car somehow)
Times when the manumatic is better than the automatic and vise versa.
Any other tips and advice for using the manumatic.
GO!
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:49 PM   #2
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I use it all the time. I guess i get worse gas milage because i let the rpm's get higher before I shift versus what the automatic trans would do. I have learned that if your in fourth gear and you slow down a good amount or stop, then hit the gas it will down shift for you to to first, second or third depending on your speed. .....you really want to watch your rpms if down shifting.

test it out from a start and see how high your rpms get in what gear at what speed, so you know when you can and cant down shift. for example I know if im already going 80 or over and i want to speed up i cant downshift into third, (i only have the 4 speed trans)
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:52 PM   #3
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Convention wisdom was that you always get better mileage with a stick (true manual) than an auto. Used to be true, but with today's modern autos, you actually do better mileage-wise to leave it in auto. Like waterfowler said, in manual mode the idea is to leave it in the low gear as long as possible/prudent, which sucks teh gas but ups teh powa

I suppose you could try to do the opposite and upshift as quickly as possible while being as light on the gas pedal as possible, but more than likely you will still do better just leaving it in D
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterfowler76 View Post
test it out from a start and see how high your rpms get in what gear at what speed, so you know when you can and cant down shift. for example I know if im already going 80 or over and i want to speed up i cant downshift into third, (i only have the 4 speed trans)
and why cant you downshift to third? i downshift to second if im going any slower than 78mph when i pass someone and its only about 4800rpms or so so i have a lil better than 1k RPMs to run up lol, i have the 4 spd auto and third takes me all the way to like 120mph.........

if im gonna pass or anything like that i always put it in the lowest gear the car will let me, id rather be at the top of one gear with only 1k rpms left than the bottom of the next b/c the 4spd auto sucks at the bottom of a gear big time....
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:03 AM   #5
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I've read that you can increase your MPG by forcing it into fourth gear as soon as possible because excess RPMs waste fuel.
That being said, I think the manual mode was added purely to make it more exciting to drive the G6!
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SexyG6 View Post
and why cant you downshift to third?
Ahhh! your right! my mistake I meant to put 2nd not third
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Old 08-26-2010, 05:17 AM   #7
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Very good tips everybody! One more question, is it safe to pop it into manual mode when you're driving and the car is moving or do you have to be stopped first?
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Old 08-26-2010, 07:13 AM   #8
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you can do it while moving...the manual will put it which ever gear your in.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:14 PM   #9
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shiftn

i use the manual mode all the time downshifting should not really be a problem because its not a real manual so if you are going too fast to go down another gear and try to downshift nothing will happen cause the car wont let u do it. it wont let me down shift into first once i go past like 32 mph, 2nd gear goes to around 80 mph i dont go much faster than that so i can always get into 2nd lol, but for saving gas i suppose if u wanna speed up a bit but dont want the trans to downshift u can have it in man so itll stay in 4th no matter how far u push the pedal
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:19 PM   #10
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huh? I didnt know it wouldnt let you down shift. Guess I never tried it at high RPM's.
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:33 AM   #11
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My 4 speed will redline at 40mph in 1st gear and will not let you downshift from 2nd to 1st unless you are below 35mph. Also, if you redline it too long, the engine pretty much throttles your acceleration until you shift.

The car automatically downshifts for you too if your RPM's get too low as well. You can go from auto to tapshift and vice versa while driving which is handy if you get a call while in tapshift.

The main problem I've run into is if you alter the acceleration while the gears are shifting. Say if you press the pedal further while it's shifting, then the gears will not be able to grip and cause them to grind. If you let up on the gas, then the gears will catch but cause the car to hard shift. If you don't move your foot at all, it shifts so smoothly that you don't even notice that you shifted gears.

Just my experience.
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:16 PM   #12
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Driving in the mountains the last couple of spring vacations I found the manual mode to be great,I relied on the engine and transmission to slow the car on steep inclines ,saved the brakes from getting heated up,and with the top down the sound of the engine exhaust was neat.Really made me feel like a kid again.Which is what GM had in mind with the tap shift I think lol.
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:11 PM   #13
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Well get a tune for your car than you won't need to worry about it, the best of both worlds. If you really want to shift you could trade your g6 in for a 6spd GTP, or a 07 GT Sport.
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:55 PM   #14
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Actually I look at it the opposite way - the major selling point of available tunes seems to be the better shift points - well I already do my own shifting so why should I bother getting it ?
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:05 AM   #15
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Hey guys,
I've been using the manual mode for the past couple weeks and it's pretty cool to use. My wife laughs at me since it's not a real manual shifter, but what does she know?lol It's more fun to drive and I feel like I just have more control over the car. I also feel like I can reduce all of the needless shifting that the automatic mode does if you get off or on gas a little or are rolling up to a stop and then keep going, etc.
One last thing I'm sort of wondering about is down shifting when coming to a complete stop. There are a lot of roads around here with speed limit 45 and lots of traffic lights. Should I down shift through each and every gear all the way down to 1st? Sometimes it feels a little rough from engine resistance, even if I keep the down shifting within 15mph increments (ie 0-15 for 1st, 15-30 for 2nd, 30-45 for 3rd, and 45+ for 4th). Sometimes it feels smoother if I down shift from 4th when it gets to 30 or 40 then 3rd at about 25, 2nd at about 15 then 1st at less than 10. Otherwise it seems like there's a little engine resistance when shifting into the next lower gear. Ultimately, if I'm stopping at a light should I cycle through each gear all the way down (which seems like a hassle sometimes) or should I just come to the stop and let the car down shift itself or should I try to shift the gears sort of late like I described above to avoid the engine resistance or what? What do you guys do?
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