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-   -   SMG trans normal around town driving? (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=603880)

Magic-Man 02-27-2012 12:05 PM

SMG trans normal around town driving?
 
I drove a couple M cars w/the SMG trans. I played w/the settings in iDrive. Drove in P400, P500, P500 sport, S-5, D5-, comfort, etc etc & no matter what I did it still did the typical dragging ass shifts making it a PITA to drive like a sane person.

So what are the magic settings to make the SMG trans bearable for normal around town driving? I don't mash the gas every time I hit the pedal so the SMG is really a PITA so far.

mustaine 02-27-2012 02:35 PM

It's not only setting/s; it's the seat time that'll make the SMG shine for you, eventually. M cars need some effort on driver's part to extract performance out of them. If you are looking for street light to light race monster, then M is not the car you should be settling for. M cars do not even come alive below 4K-5K rpm and that's where the shifts are seamless and lightning quick.

Magic-Man 02-27-2012 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mustaine (Post 6662259)
It's not only setting/s; it's the seat time that'll make the SMG shine for you, eventually. M cars need some effort on driver's part to extract performance out of them. If you are looking for street light to light race monster, then M is not the car you should be settling for. M cars do not even come alive below 4K-5K rpm and that's where the shifts are seamless and lightning quick.

I am not worried about the performace part. Mash the gas & I get my performance.

I'm looking for input on how to make the SMG trans enjoyable during normal driving.

I don't mash the gas on my cars every time I get behind the wheel. I also don't rev to 5k RPM every time either. I know how to get the performance out of them This is about driving like a normal person.

mustaine 02-27-2012 11:02 PM

I do understand your point. Just out of curiosity, have you driven any other M car besides E60 M5 or E63 M6? What I was trying to say is that when youíll spend some seat time in M5/M6 SMG and get to understand the car better, normal driving in city without mashing the pedal will come natural to you. Even then, one still have to shift beyond 3K rpm otherwise one will get this bucking or bogged down feeling from the engine all the time. In addition, shifting at a low RPM will also yield clunky shifts.
But itíll take some time to learn the nuances of SMG. Moreover, itís a V10 with a rev happy S85, it needs some winding to get it going. Thereís nothing subtle about it. Unfortunately Ö no magical SMG setting/s to give one low end torque for normal driving in the city.
IMHO, the challenge that you are having is comparing your current carsí twin-turbo with a low end torque to a S85 engine, which, only comes alive when itís driven like you own it.
Again, the magic phrase is - ďSpend some seat timeĒ and sees if it checks most of your expectation boxes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magic-Man (Post 6662313)
I am not worried about the performace part. Mash the gas & I get my performance.

I'm looking for input on how to make the SMG trans enjoyable during normal driving.

I don't mash the gas on my cars every time I get behind the wheel. I also don't rev to 5k RPM every time either. I know how to get the performance out of them This is about driving like a normal person.


Magic-Man 02-28-2012 06:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mustaine (Post 6663527)
I do understand your point. Just out of curiosity, have you driven any other M car besides E60 M5 or E63 M6? What I was trying to say is that when youíll spend some seat time in M5/M6 SMG and get to understand the car better, normal driving in city without mashing the pedal will come natural to you. Even then, one still have to shift beyond 3K rpm otherwise one will get this bucking or bogged down feeling from the engine all the time. In addition, shifting at a low RPM will also yield clunky shifts.
But itíll take some time to learn the nuances of SMG. Moreover, itís a V10 with a rev happy S85, it needs some winding to get it going. Thereís nothing subtle about it. Unfortunately Ö no magical SMG setting/s to give one low end torque for normal driving in the city.
IMHO, the challenge that you are having is comparing your current carsí twin-turbo with a low end torque to a S85 engine, which, only comes alive when itís driven like you own it.
Again, the magic phrase is - ďSpend some seat timeĒ and sees if it checks most of your expectation boxes.

I wasn't mashing the pedals the whole time. I also don't want to have to manually shift every time I get behind the wheel. May as well buy a manual at that point.

I wasn't asking for low end torque or power. All I am asking for here is normal around town driving without the trans acting like a pile & throwing any normal driving enjoyment right out the window.

mustaine 02-28-2012 08:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magic-Man (Post 6663844)
I wasn't mashing the pedals the whole time. I also don't want to have to manually shift every time I get behind the wheel. May as well buy a manual at that point.

I wasn't asking for low end torque or power. All I am asking for here is normal around town driving without the trans acting like a pile & throwing any normal driving enjoyment right out the window.

I have nothing more to say. Good luck with your fact finding and decision.

E60 BimManiac 02-29-2012 06:54 PM

Just purchased a 2006 E60 yesterday. beautiful and fun would be the two words i would choose to describe this car if faced with the challenge. the third would be "clunky". Today just going to and from work and traveling around town, i too am facing this same question. I have tried letting off the gas when i expect the shift and resume once it has completed the change...still clunky. messed with different modes...still clunky. This is the first BMW i have ever driven...period. That being said i have nothing to compare it to. I am though, aware enough and car savy to know it does shift quite awkward... in my opinion. I believe Magic-Man and myself were shooting for the same drive experience today. something comfortable around town and dirty when M button pushed and above 5K RPM. From my estimations i dont think this is going to happen. It is a true sports car sedan. it loved to be smashed with the gas. i drove it slow and quiet and got clunky. i drove it "semi-hard" and fast...got smooth. I am sure the engineers knew of this "problem" but technology just couldnt produce a remedy. I am ok with this. I will sacrifice the jerky ride for an unbelievable ride otherwise. looking forward to getting more comfortable with the car and enjoying my time with her. Thank you BMW for the experience.

nhs156 03-13-2012 06:17 PM

My '10 M5 is perfectly enjoyable around town I personally found the key to (relatively) smooth driving to be:

1. "Instruct" the car to upshift via your right foot. If it hangs onto a lower gear too long, lift your foot off the accelerator lightly, and it'll generally shift up. This gets better with time and conditioning as the transmission/car learns how you drive.

2. Keep it in D3 around town. I find that in D4/5 it hangs onto low gears/higher RPMs uncomfortably long, and its much more prone to shifting "luxuriously" in D3. I have never tried D1-2 - they may be even better.

3. Around town, I personally find the car more comfortable to drive/less twitchy in P400 - the less sensitive throttle and lower power output seems to help.

1-3 wil help, in my experience, but it'll still never shift as smoothly as a regular automatic or DSG.

Boompa 04-01-2012 11:16 AM

Not meaning to make my first post a negative one, but I'm afraid I have to agree. I've always wanted an M5 and stumbled across a clean 48k '08 at a Mecum auction this week. (I was there to perhaps purchase a street rod or muscle car.) Anyway- I didn't have a chance to drive the car obviously.

Picked it up yesterday and *HATE* the SMG transmission. Now it's interesting because after I bought the car on Friday, I read a bunch of reviews (Motortrend, Car & Driver, etc.) online before picking it up on Saturday. I kind of thought "uh-oh" as I read them because every single one without exception ragged on the SMG being harsh and unpleasant to drive- and several of these reviews were from SERIOUS enthusiast sites/publicatons. But I thought, "Wimps- how bad could it be" right? :rolleyes:

Now I've owned high hp C6 Vettes with automatics (as well as 6-spd manuals) and I've owned several Porsches including a Boxster S with TipTronic and I've driven a new 911 with PDK automatic. Just drove a 55AMG with great shifting transmission. NO COMPARISON between those vehicles and the SMG in the M5.

All the way home yesterday I was FURIOUSLY fiddling with the Idrive and console buttons trying every imaginable combination looking for any sort of 'livable' shifting experience- nada. And considering BMW has done away with that transmission apparently they heard a LOT of that feedback from folks.

So now what to do? LOVE the car, the performance, funky front seats with 1000 adjustments that GRAB you when you go around a corner, etc. :thumbup: Beautiful styling (to my eye) and build quality.

But if I don't find a solution to the shifting issue it'll be for sale before April is over. I LOVE a fast ride (heck, I own a 2100 lb., 500hp Cobra replica!) but when I'm just going to the dentists office or the grocery store I do NOT want to be kicked in the butt or slammed into the steering wheel every time the car upshifts or downshifts.

I'll be searching for other threads that may offer ideas, but the first several threads I've read don't look promising. If the best answer is "drive it and you'll get used to it" I'll be bummin' insted of bimmin'!

Time will tell I guess. I'll either A: learn to live with it (doubt that) or B: discover a livable shift setting, or C: sell it.

RodgerLogan 05-20-2012 10:14 AM

I have to go with Mustaine on this one. I just bought my '07 M5 w/36000 mi from a local BMW dealer for a song. I traded in my '09 X5 Diesel. As I iterated in another posting, I was fortunate to have the GM of the dealership, who is an "M" fanatic and owner, take me for an "educational" test drive. He demonstrated all the nuances of the various programs and modes. But the thing that stuck out most was "shift between 3000-4000 rpm when street driving". This is unnatural for most of us who are used to low RPM shifting in non high-performance situations. It's the nature of that wonderful V10. With an 8000+ RPM redline, it's torque and horsepower are minimal at low revs. Get used to being at a higher RPM, for a given gear, than you're used to while shifting. Once settled in in traffic you can select up seamlessly for fuel economy. Work with it, not against it. My 58 year old wife loves it! I couldn't be happier!

nhs156 05-28-2012 03:14 PM

I drive mine in D3 around town all the time with minimal issues. Trick is to "tell" the car to change gears by taking your foot of the accelerator ever so slightly when it's time to shift up a gear. With practice comes perfection (or as close as you'll come with SMG). Yes, it'll never be auto-smooth, but it'll be much, much better.

suprlude 09-25-2012 04:54 AM

I was in the same boat as all of you, I had my m5's SMG updated with the EURO SMG specs off a board member on m5 board and i swear its night and day! The car is now more enjoyable around town, no more hard clunks and awkward jerks in traffic. I recommend this to anyone looking for more comfort (and reliability) out of there SMG.

Master Apex 09-25-2012 09:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boompa (Post 6742236)
Now I've owned high hp C6 Vettes with automatics and I've owned several Porsches including a Boxster S with TipTronic . Just drove a 55AMG with great shifting transmission. NO COMPARISON between those vehicles and the SMG in the M5.

The C6 paddle shift, 55AMG paddle shift and Boxster S TipTronic are all fluid based transmission with NO Clutch. Therefore it allows "slip" between gears to smooth out the gear change at the expense of fluid transfer loss.
The SMG has real clutch, the jerk comes from clutching and de-clutching with very little slip that is controlled by logic instead of your left foot on 3 pedals manual car (where you can control the slip of the clutch).

I don't like the D-mode but I enjoy driving the S-mode since I paddle shift it manually and know to expect the clutching action. I also take advantage of the car wide power band and smooth rev by staying in the gear for at least 4k-5k RPM (for relax driving) before shifting and rev it to at least 7k-8k for more spirited driving. Try driving the car by staying in gear longer, this engine loves to rev and the torque keeps building up beyond 6k RPM unlike C6/BoxsterS/AMG where the torque is dropping after 5k RPM and is straining at high RPM. I rarely shift beyond 4th gear when driving in town to keep the RPM above 3K at all time.

Dally 11-07-2012 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Master Apex (Post 7096823)
The C6 paddle shift, 55AMG paddle shift and Boxster S TipTronic are all fluid based transmission with NO Clutch. Therefore it allows "slip" between gears to smooth out the gear change at the expense of fluid transfer loss.
The SMG has real clutch, the jerk comes from clutching and de-clutching with very little slip that is controlled by logic instead of your left foot on 3 pedals manual car (where you can control the slip of the clutch).

I don't like the D-mode but I enjoy driving the S-mode since I paddle shift it manually and know to expect the clutching action. I also take advantage of the car wide power band and smooth rev by staying in the gear for at least 4k-5k RPM (for relax driving) before shifting and rev it to at least 7k-8k for more spirited driving. Try driving the car by staying in gear longer, this engine loves to rev and the torque keeps building up beyond 6k RPM unlike C6/BoxsterS/AMG where the torque is dropping after 5k RPM and is straining at high RPM. I rarely shift beyond 4th gear when driving in town to keep the RPM above 3K at all time.


absolutely...I had a 997 911 carerra S and like that car, this one as well loves the revs...you just gotta wind the thing out...let it breathe a lil...hell, let it breathe a lot and enjoy the damn thing. Its supposed to be cranked up and out and ran like a thai hooker before the world blows up.

Really though...beat it and love it thats what this car is for...why the hell not...lol :dunno:

Stone Roots 01-06-2013 06:09 PM

Or get a manual and drive the machine rather than let the machine drive you. To me the steptronic / SMG trannys is like trying to order a pizza while your wife is talking to you.

abrookey 02-26-2013 10:54 AM

I have only had mine for about 5 months, and I agree. Shifting anytime below 3K rpm and it will drive me nuts, gotta go higher in the rpm range

ohschise 08-01-2013 08:37 AM

Shifting my C6 is a slop-fest at best. I can' t tell you how many times I've hit the limiter on that car while waiting for the tranny to make its move. You have to anticipate the shift point if you have your foot to the floor. I'm just gonna jump in with both feet and take the smg challenge on first hand :)

luckydog 08-11-2013 08:40 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I think the M5 is designed to to quite and stable in low gears. like previously stated its many hrs at the wheel before you understand its concept. If it was designed to be a quarter mile car ,the average buyer would lose control of the car in the first month of ownership. the smg gear shift mimics a petal clutch s pause and power reduction.This is what keeps the car on the road and saving lives. smg also saves tires from wearing out prematurely .I love the way Smg trans is applied on this car.:)

MarkieM5 08-12-2013 03:23 PM

I don't really understand all the whining about the SMG. Full Manual cars (M or not) will jerk and kick a little bit during shifts unless you ride the clutch to death. If thats the case, stay away from any performance car and buy a lexus. I don't get what people who hate the SMG want out of it. Its a sequential MANUAL transmition. It does take a little time to learn and get a feel for but once you've got it down its great to drive. The 7 speeds really lend themselves well to the power of the motor. The gears are close and once you get up to third you can upshift and downshift seamlessly with the SMG. This is where it really shines. Its not made to sit in traffic crawling along at 15mph, sorry. Anyone who buys a 500hp car should kind of get this from the beginning. :dunno:

mcwoods 08-24-2013 01:18 PM

Normal driving = D2 P400, shifting about 2800-3200 rpm.

I bought a 2010 M5 a few months ago and was worried about the "livability" of the SMG after reading many reviews and comments online. After a bit of driving, I've settled on D2 for normal around town driving. It shifts in the 2800-3200 zone and keeps the shifts pretty smooth. The posts above are right on - use the gas pedal as if you were driving a normal manual transmission and the computer "gets it" and will shift for you. Push the gas gently off a stop light, let it run up to about 2500-2800, pause on the gas, and it will shift for you. As MarkieM5 said above, it IS a manual transmission - and you will get little jerks and jumps, just like you would if you were shifting it yourself. With a little experience, I've come to REALLY LOVE the car. It fits how I want to drive perfectly.

The car is built for a particular philosophy of driving. It tends to be a bit intellectual with the different drive, power, and shift modes. To get the most out of the car, you need to tailor the settings to what you want to do at that moment. Then, you have to be thinking ahead to have the car in the right RPM zone for what you are trying to accomplish. I found it really important to play with all the different drive modes, power and suspension settings in order to have a good feel for how the car works. Now I am able to properly configure the car for exactly what I want to do at the time. Around town, D2 P400, shift below 3000 rpm. Warmed up with moving traffic on the freeway, D3 or D4 and keep the revs above 3000 rpm for responsiveness.

The incredibly cool thing about the car is that it's quite possibly the most direct translation of F1 racing technology ever built into a production car. The V10 and the SMG absolutely shine in high performance driving - and get by in day to day driving. It's a race car with four doors and a luxury interior. This, however, does require a compromise for daily driving - just like a Ferrari or any other racing-based high performance cars.

Mercedes has a very different view for their E63 AMG --- it has massive low end torque and a slick automatic transmission. Push the pedal off a light, it will bury you into the driver seat and you won't even notice the gear shifts. If you want a luxury car with effortless power, you'll probably do better with an AMG. If you want a true race car, stay with the E60 M5.

qurtrn10 08-25-2013 07:43 AM

I've had my 08 SMG for a few months now, and I almost always shift it manually. I prefer to shift it because the car shifts when I want it to, and I can keep it at whatever RPM I desire. When I'm in auto mode, the car tells me what it wants, and I simply like being in charge. :)
The one main exception is heavy rain. When it's hard to hear the engine/exhaust, I don't mind letting the car take over then.

SuperTerp 09-28-2013 09:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by qurtrn10 (Post 7795654)
I've had my 08 SMG for a few months now, and I almost always shift it manually. I prefer to shift it because the car shifts when I want it to, and I can keep it at whatever RPM I desire. When I'm in auto mode, the car tells me what it wants, and I simply like being in charge. :)
The one main exception is heavy rain. When it's hard to hear the engine/exhaust, I don't mind letting the car take over then.

I've gotten some weird lag/sluggishness even in s modes granted I didn't try them all and maybe I'm shifting to high or low but I'm really hoping a smg tune will set it somewhat straight. DCT was far from perfect but compared to this it is insanely better (as it kinda should be being so much newer) anywho can't wait to learn it (or start replacing parts :rofl:

08M5V10 11-07-2013 06:13 PM

I live in Miami and traffic is terrible , the other issue I have is my wife not enjoying the SMG at all. Through trial and error, I found that driving in D1 or D2 drives smoothly in traffic. The shifts is a lot smoother and the gears change at lower RPMs saving you from having to buy a neck brace. You might even start at second gear sometimes but all in all it saves me from the evil eye from my wife! Hope this helps.


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