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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought a 98 M3 Convertible with auto-manual transmission, but there is no owner's manual with the car, so I don't have any "instructions" for the Auto-manual. I'm sure I could figure it out, but I usually only think about it driving down the road, and I didn't feel it wise to start pushing buttons at 60MPH. I have had an Audi with Tiptronic transmission, so I assume this is similar, but the Audi had a different shifter location and gears were changed by pushing the shifter forward or backward in the Tiptronic position. Does anyone have a simple explanation of the auto-manual transmission for me, or could point me to a guide where I could read about it? Thanks.

PS - A note to Bimmerfest - great site but I can't get the search feature to look for something like "auto-manual" or 'auto manual' - it always searches for all words, and basically returns every post with the word auto or manual in it, which isn't much help. Maybe you could allow the use of "quotations" so search strings could be used. Thanks.
 

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there should be an A and M button next to the shifter. Just push the button so that the M lights up and than you can shift with using the 1 2 and 3 below the D.
 

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i copied this directly out of the e36 owners manual a while back, and have cut, and pasted it many times.
i hope this helps.

A/M button

E36 owners manual:
This program is for driving conditions under which the selected gear is to be retained. The transmission then remains in this gear both when starting off, and during acceleration. With this program you drive only in the 3rd gear in position D.

It is advantageous e.g. on slopes, or when towing a trailer, to drive in selector lever position 1 or 2, or in winter on slippery roads in the selector position 3, which enables gentle start-offs, and prevents undesirable shifting.
this is how the "sport" feature works
E36 owners manual: 3-sport program, direct control

This sport position is designed for performance-oriented driving, and features delayed upshifts for optimal utilization of the vehicle's power reserves.

When D is engaged, the transmission may respond to certain conditions by repeatedly shifting between 3rd, and 4th gears. You can select this position to suppress upshifts into 4th gear, and prevent the transmission from hunting this way.
 

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I've found you can do pretty much anything you want with this transmission. Using the S or E mode, the transmission will shift for itself as intended with the S mode putting the shift points higher up on the rpm scale. In either S or E you can also manually use the gear selector (example...being in 4th and approaching a curve, you can downshift to 3rd and then to 2nd and the transmission will respond accordingly. Once around the curve, the trannie will then stay in your selected gear until you upshift). You can use this same method when starting out from a stop....trannie placed in lowest gear (2nd on the selector) and you decide when to upshift (sore point being that you are not able to select 1st gear or maintain 1st gear past what the trannie decides is prudent). In short, you can treat it almost exactly the same as you treated the Audi other than the minor differences in gear selection (Audi is + or - while the BMW is numeral selection). The M mode completely overrides automatic selection (except for 1st to 2nd) and all gear changes are entirely left up to the driver. Unlike the Audi, if you forget it's in M mode and stop while in 4th or D (which is overdrive), the trannie will stay in that gear when you start to proceed again. As to be expected, car doesn't respond well to this.

I have the 99 M3 vert..the auto was a wifey must have. Wife drove car once and hated it (she went back to her Audi). I went on a mission to completely abuse the auto to the point of destruction so that I could replace it with a manual. After two years...trannie hasn't missed a beat and I've given up on trying to kill it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info!

Thanks to everybody. This is perfect.

Gryz-I had not tried the search on title only, as I hadn't found that. Thanks. It did provide better hits, although it doesn't really use the search string, so it still finds every thread discussing manual vs auto which isn't really what I was searching for. Most search functions I've seen will accept single or double quotes as a qualifier so you can search for strings. I just thought it might be a suggestion for whomever maintains the site. Regardless, it's still an awesome site. :thumbup:
 
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