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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 02-21-2012, 01:59 PM
SteveO8 SteveO8 is offline
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Paddle Shifters vs. Gear Selector in a 335

Leftover 335d 2011 dilemma: Need a automatic transmission for other drivers, yet I prefer a manual tranny. Getting a 335d with Sport Package for many reasons, but best deals happen to be without the paddle shifters.

1) Can I get the same experience using the gear selector, considering I won't be racing on the track? I'll just be having some fun in the early morning hours on some local winding roads. Having the shifters on the wheel sounds nice, but as long as the gear selector works the same, mechanically, as the paddle shifters, that will suffice, as I am used to a stickshift on the floor of my current car.

2) For those who think the paddles work better, etc., what do you think they are worth over the life of the car, in $$?

Thanks in advance for your insight!
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2012, 02:02 PM
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LarkHouston LarkHouston is offline
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I don't find I use the paddles much in daily driving, even spirited driving. Maybe it is because I am used to a manual (see Z4) that I just automatically (no pun intended) reach for the gear shift instead of the paddles when I want to be frisky.
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2012, 02:50 PM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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I was using the shift selector today in my 335d, perfectly fine experience.
IMO, the paddle shifters are nice, but not necessary. I basically only use the paddles or shifter to downshift. The car's so fast that I almost never use them for upshifts unless it's already in manual mode.
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  #4  
Old 02-21-2012, 02:59 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveO8 View Post
Leftover 335d 2011 dilemma: Need a automatic transmission for other drivers, yet I prefer a manual tranny. Getting a 335d with Sport Package for many reasons, but best deals happen to be without the paddle shifters.

1) Can I get the same experience using the gear selector, considering I won't be racing on the track? I'll just be having some fun in the early morning hours on some local winding roads. Having the shifters on the wheel sounds nice, but as long as the gear selector works the same, mechanically, as the paddle shifters, that will suffice, as I am used to a stickshift on the floor of my current car.
Nothing can replace the sensual feel of manually feathering a clutch, feeling the torque as you control the application.

Nothing.

But all things considered, I have the Step + paddles, as city driving and heavy traffic w/manual is beyond annoying. For this ol' boy, manual's best appreciated on country roads.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveO8 View Post
2) For those who think the paddles work better, etc., what do you think they are worth over the life of the car, in $$?
$99 - frankly, wouldn't miss 'em as I most often use the shift lever in manual mode. Either way, tire pressure's critical for sa-mooth performance. I clearly feel 1 psi off ideal.
.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 02-21-2012 at 03:07 PM.
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  #5  
Old 02-21-2012, 03:13 PM
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boramkiv boramkiv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Nothing can replace the sensual feel of manually feathering a clutch, feeling the torque as you control the application.

Nothing.
Couldn't agree more. Ive only used paddle shifters on loaner cars and the feeling is cool and you could really get involved in the drive on a nice twisty. Overconfidence will set in, at least for me. My X has the gear selector which bumping it forward and back is not as involving. To me though a third pedal makes me feel as if i'm in total control of every aspect of the vehicle. I wouldn't mind paddle shifters as a daily driver though. I would use that more than the gear lever and would option for them. Not worth more than like $200 mainly because I love the traditional rowing through the gears and would do it every chance I get, but it is becoming difficult to get new cars with that.
To me paddles would only get used during spirited driving which isn't every day (for me at least).

Last edited by boramkiv; 02-21-2012 at 03:20 PM.
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2012, 03:15 PM
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Pat_X5 Pat_X5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floydarogers View Post
I was using the shift selector today in my 335d, perfectly fine experience.
IMO, the paddle shifters are nice, but not necessary. I basically only use the paddles or shifter to downshift. The car's so fast that I almost never use them for upshifts unless it's already in manual mode.
This is my 3rd BMW and in my 335d which there is no manual tranny option which is a bummer, but I find I don't use the paddle shifters at all. I tend to have my hand on the gear shifter and slide it to the left for Sport mode which then I down shift when my V1 radar detector goes off.

This allows the car to slow down quickly without the obvious brake light showing. Have avoided a lot of traffic tickets thanks to my V1 and the quick flick of the gear shifter.

I find that I have grown to do this with my hand on the gear shifter because of the years I have had that feature on my past BMWs - it's instinctive for me.

But then a new BMW owner might get used to the paddle shifters as instinctive as I do with the Sport/Manual mode shifter.

So the paddle shifters on the sport package was a waste IMO.
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2012, 03:46 PM
DnA Diesel DnA Diesel is offline
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To be honest, the only thing I use my paddles for on my 335d is the occasional 'bump' to force an upshift when I'm driving in economy mode. For spirited driving, I'll use the shifter in M/S mode, since I prefer the more solid feel of fore-aft shifting action versus flipping paddles.

The one thing that paddles would give you (either original fitment, or dealer-installed) that the shifter doesn't, is a temporary effect of gearing change...it reverts back to D after several seconds. With the shifter initially moved into the M/S position, the car will operate in automatic DS mode, but as soon as you shift, it will change to Manual mode and stay that way until you return the shifter to regular D mode position.

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  #8  
Old 02-21-2012, 04:21 PM
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I have been teaching myself to use the paddles because they are quicker....but the stick is just fine in anything but a race & more natural to drive.
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2012, 05:28 PM
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3ismagic# 3ismagic# is offline
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No paddles = no sport package = no sport seats = no sport suspension = no style 195 wheels.
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2012, 05:34 PM
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TXPearl TXPearl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3ismagic# View Post
No paddles = no sport package = no sport seats = no sport suspension = no style 195 wheels.
Not true. I have a paddle-less sport package 335d.
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  #11  
Old 02-21-2012, 05:40 PM
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3ismagic# 3ismagic# is offline
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That's one of those rare occasions where BMW changed the ordering such that ZSP didn't automatically add the paddles and the CA screwed up by not adding them. You'd be hard pressed to find many of those.
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  #12  
Old 02-21-2012, 06:07 PM
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TXPearl TXPearl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3ismagic# View Post
That's one of those rare occasions where BMW changed the ordering such that ZSP didn't automatically add the paddles and the CA screwed up by not adding them. You'd be hard pressed to find many of those.
Read the original post. There are plenty of sport package vehicles without paddles. Maybe not Msport cars.
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  #13  
Old 02-21-2012, 08:42 PM
kurtfriedrich kurtfriedrich is offline
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IMO, the steering ratio is not quick enough to allow the paddle shifters to be useful. They are fine driving on a straight road. Would be great for a drag strip. But when I am doing the twisities, way too many times I have to cross over hand to get the turn angle I want, at which point the paddles are out of reach. I have tried twice to seriously use them, and both times gave up after a few very tight turns.

If I could increase the wheel ration by about 50%, I would actually love them.
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  #14  
Old 02-22-2012, 08:54 AM
hyperzulu hyperzulu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurtfriedrich View Post
IMO, the steering ratio is not quick enough to allow the paddle shifters to be useful. They are fine driving on a straight road. Would be great for a drag strip. But when I am doing the twisities, way too many times I have to cross over hand to get the turn angle I want, at which point the paddles are out of reach. I have tried twice to seriously use them, and both times gave up after a few very tight turns.

If I could increase the wheel ration by about 50%, I would actually love them.
If you actually make a good attempt to learn to use them, you'll find they are actually great. And for spirited driving, the versatility is actually better than simply having a stick and clutch. You have paddles on the steering wheel for quick and effortless shifting, and in those moments when you need to make a sharp turn, you still have the gear selector to make changes.

I do this all the time. I drive in manual mode quite a bit and if I'm making a left hand turn at a light, I'll use the gear selector to shift mid turn, or if I'm driving spiritedly and decide I want to kick it down a gear at the last minute while I'm already turning the wheel.
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  #15  
Old 02-22-2012, 09:13 AM
haskindm haskindm is offline
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I have both on my car as do many others. I rarely use the paddle shifters. I instinctively reach for the gear lever when I wan to manually change gears. Would not miss them if they weren't there.
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  #16  
Old 02-22-2012, 09:26 AM
ctorrey ctorrey is offline
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I thought the paddles would be fun, but not so much. Maybe if the car would stay in manual mode and let me fully control the up/down shifts (except over-rev situations). As soon as you get going, the car switches back to D and you have to figure where you are gearwise.
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  #17  
Old 02-22-2012, 09:29 AM
hyperzulu hyperzulu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctorrey View Post
I thought the paddles would be fun, but not so much. Maybe if the car would stay in manual mode and let me fully control the up/down shifts (except over-rev situations). As soon as you get going, the car switches back to D and you have to figure where you are gearwise.
pull the gear selector to the left to go into DS mode. Is the DCT transmission different in this regard? Mine stays in manual mode unless I am in normal D mode and engage the paddles. It is programmed in that case to switch back to D after 20 seconds without another paddle flip.
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  #18  
Old 02-22-2012, 09:59 AM
ctorrey ctorrey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperzulu View Post
pull the gear selector to the left to go into DS mode. Is the DCT transmission different in this regard? Mine stays in manual mode unless I am in normal D mode and engage the paddles. It is programmed in that case to switch back to D after 20 seconds without another paddle flip.
The Step is different from the DCT transmission. That said, my issue is still the automatic switch to D after some/any period of time. Let me keep it in full manual mode until I put in D/DS myself. I can't understand why it needs to automatically switch modes. I wind up moving along in 3rd with revs on boil and just when I'm ready get into it, the car is in D and gear is 5th or 6th. Makes for an awkward double downshift.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:05 AM
hyperzulu hyperzulu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctorrey View Post
The Step is different from the DCT transmission. That said, my issue is still the automatic switch to D after some/any period of time. Let me keep it in full manual mode until I put in D/DS myself. I can't understand why it needs to automatically switch modes. I wind up moving along in 3rd with revs on boil and just when I'm ready get into it, the car is in D and gear is 5th or 6th. Makes for an awkward double downshift.
You lost me. I know that DCT is different from both the GM and ZF autos. My point was, (I believe you have the ZF tranny) is your transmission different in the regard that you can't stay in manual mode when you have pulled the lever to the left to put it in DS mode and engaged one of the paddles?

I have driven a 135i with what I suspect was the ZF tranny and it didn't kick me back into D mode when I engaged manual mode in the above-stated fashion. I was driving the car pretty aggressively the whole time though, so I don't know if that had anything to do with it.

I'd like to say I'm just uninformed, but I think you're just doing it wrong.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:07 AM
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Zooks527 Zooks527 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctorrey View Post
The Step is different from the DCT transmission. That said, my issue is still the automatic switch to D after some/any period of time. Let me keep it in full manual mode until I put in D/DS myself. I can't understand why it needs to automatically switch modes. I wind up moving along in 3rd with revs on boil and just when I'm ready get into it, the car is in D and gear is 5th or 6th. Makes for an awkward double downshift.
You need to start in DS. If you're in D and use the paddles, it reverts back to auto mode. If you want manual, pull it to DS. When you use the paddle, it will switch to manual mode and stay there. If it doesn't stay in the selected gear while in DS (excluding over/under rev situations), there's a problem with the system.
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  #21  
Old 02-22-2012, 10:36 AM
TickTack TickTack is offline
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I drive a 335d Sport pkg (not M-sport) without paddles. It is my first automatic tranny. For the last 30+ years I have only driven MT's. That said, I drive 98% of the time in D and ~2% in DS. Even in DS, the auto does a great job of shifting, so I rarely shift myself. The torque band is so broad on these cars that gearing doesn't seem as important as on a higher revving naturally aspirated motor. Just my 2 cents.
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  #22  
Old 02-22-2012, 11:11 AM
ctorrey ctorrey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zooks527 View Post
You need to start in DS. If you're in D and use the paddles, it reverts back to auto mode. If you want manual, pull it to DS. When you use the paddle, it will switch to manual mode and stay there. If it doesn't stay in the selected gear while in DS (excluding over/under rev situations), there's a problem with the system.
I'm going to give this a try. I thought I had done this before to no avail, but now doubting my memory. Thanks for the tip!
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  #23  
Old 02-22-2012, 11:45 AM
Scorchpa Scorchpa is offline
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I love my paddle shifters. I would get them in a second. It looks like you can buy them aftermarket and install yourself for less than $200. You might want to research that option
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  #24  
Old 02-22-2012, 05:29 PM
RGBiMMER RGBiMMER is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctorrey View Post
I'm going to give this a try. I thought I had done this before to no avail, but now doubting my memory. Thanks for the tip!
I think I know what you are doing wrong. You do need to be in DS mode, but you will get an awkward shift if you start from a stop in DS as that is still auto. From a stop i put into DS (2nd gear), then downshift to 1st. Now it will be full manual. It does downshift for you automotically under braking if you don't do it.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:42 PM
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Save the stick!

Proper gearbox's in proper cars
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