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Discussion Starter #1
New owner (about 4 weeks now). I've got a couple of questions regarding manually shifting (manual is my preferred driving mode).

First Question:
When accelerating and shifting up from 1st into 2nd, sometimes I have to push the shifter forwards as many as 3 times before it will shift into 2nd.

Second Question:
When decelerating, do I need to downshift all the way thru each gear from 4th, then 3rd, then 2nd, then 1st? Sometimes I'm not quick enough and it will automatically down-shift for me. If it is made to automatically down-shift for me, I'm happy to let it do it all on it's own. If I'm supposed to be down-shifting, I guess I need to learn to be more pro-active about it.

Anyone else have similar experiences?
 

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Also, if you are attempting to do the downshift at a higher road speed than is allowable for the gear that you are trying to go into, it won't do it. The system is designed (as much as it can ...) to not let you break the car.
 

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I down shift to prepare for a traffic light that's about to change or for engine braking. Otherwise I let it downshift when I come to a complete stop. I don't have any issues upshifting.
 

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Do you have the same issue upshifting when using the paddles? If it always takes a couple of tries to get to the next higher gear when using the shift lever something isn't right (or you're trying to shift too early...) :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'll try shifting with the paddles (I usually don't - so that could be different). Maybe I am trying to shift to early... I don't have a tachometer, so I'm going by feel. My feeling for manual shifting is based off of what I'm used to with my old VW Golf. That's probably my problem. Thanks, all!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, the arrow indicating when to up-shift usually gives me strange advice, telling me to shift up to 4th while only going 27 MPH and not accelerating, or to shift up to 5th while only going 35 MPH. So I usually just use my own judgement regarding up-shifting.
 

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The car's computer is looking for the best possible mpg - unless you tell it otherwise. On level ground, the 451 fortwo can easily hold 35 mph in fifth gear; just don't expect instant acceleration at that point. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Interesting, good to know. I'll keep that in mind. My morning commute is mostly stop and go but occasionally the traffic allows for some mild cruising.
 

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The computer will not allow you to up shift until you have reached the right speed and load for the engine. In most cases, you can't shift 1--> 2 until you are above 10 MPH, 2 --> 3 @ 20 MPH, 3 --> 4 @ 30 MPH, 4 --> 5 @ 40 MPH.

I almost never down shift. The only exception is if I feel the car is lugging a bit on a hill or I feel I need more torque.


Bob Diaz
 

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My Take

In order for either a manual or automatic upshift your smart has to be going a certain speed with the motor under a certain load for the upshift to be completed. The speed for the upshift depends on several things. Throttle position is one of these, there are many more. I normally drive in the manual mode but I let the transmission downshift automatically when coming to a stop. IMHO, if you downshift manually to slow down, you are putting more strain on the motor and transmission. I think it is cheaper to use the brakes to slow if necessary, brake replacement seems to be cheaper than motor, trans and clutch repair. HalRob
 

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Just to be clear, the people that let the car down shift itself leave the car in manual mode while it does? There are no ill effects of that?
 

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It's designed to do that; the car will downshift all the way to first gear by itself in manual mode. :)
 

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I hope nobody minds my hi-jacking this thread, I have a related question. About the only thing that I dislike about the Smart is how it will sometimes hesitate real bad when taking off (I think it's the worst when I don't come to a complete stop). Will using the manual shift mode help this at all?

(Personally I wish the car had a regular 5-speed with a clutch pedal, that's what I'm used to).
 

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If you catch it at precisely the wrong speed - *just* below the minimum allowed speed for 2nd gear - and you try to accelerate gently - then yes, it will do wacky things while it makes up its mind about what gear to be in if you are in automatic mode. (Downshift to first, accelerate for a fraction of a second, upshift to second). Manual mode does help for this, it's still not perfect but it's better.
 

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Define "hesitate"? If you're talking about a second or so before it really starts moving, you're likely talking about the clutch engaging the gear...there's nothing you can do about that.

As for the 1-2 shift, if the car is cold or you're on the edge of the minimum shift speed, it may upshift then immediately downshift.

As for when you're able to upshift, the computer only follows two parameters: Engine temperature and speed.

On a fully warmed engine, you can shift into 5th gear at 30 mph. But if it were cold? At least 40 mph. Same goes for all other gears.
 
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