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When stopped...

I notice in 'M' mode that the car will start in '2' unless I downshift into '1'.

When using 'D' mode, does it also start in 2nd?

How about 'S' mode?
 

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Head-In-Sand Dumbass
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I believe the car "starts" in 2nd because you've put it in manual mode, and it kind of acts as a safeguard from going from S -> M mode accidentally while moving... if you start to drive away in 2nd like that and then stop again, I believe it goes to 1st (IIRC, it's been a bit since I drove a step).

At least you can downshift to 1st, unlike the IS300 eshift. =/
 

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webguy330i said:
I believe the car "starts" in 2nd because you've put it in manual mode, and it kind of acts as a safeguard from going from S -> M mode accidentally while moving... if you start to drive away in 2nd like that and then stop again, I believe it goes to 1st (IIRC, it's been a bit since I drove a step).

At least you can downshift to 1st, unlike the IS300 eshift. =/
Ehhhhh, that's why on the 8th day, God made manual transmissions. So you can choose which gear you're in at all times. No stinkin' car' is going to do the thinking for me. :D
 

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D starts in 2nd unless your car senses you've been doing some aggressive driving, in which case it starts out in first. D prefers the higher gear, so it will upshift early and tend not to downshift to 1st unless you really urge the pedal.

S starts out in 1st all the time. It prefers a lower gear whenever possible, shifting to 5th in highway conditions, but will downshift faster into 4th or 3rd.

M starts out in 2nd if you don't manually nudge it into 1st at a complete stop.
 

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alee said:
D starts in 2nd unless your car senses you've been doing some aggressive driving, in which case it starts out in first. D prefers the higher gear, so it will upshift early and tend not to downshift to 1st unless you really urge the pedal.

S starts out in 1st all the time. It prefers a lower gear whenever possible, shifting to 5th in highway conditions, but will downshift faster into 4th or 3rd.

M starts out in 2nd if you don't manually nudge it into 1st at a complete stop.
Puttin tha smack down... :bigpimp:
 

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When in drive, my 01 330Ci starts out in 1st. I have had the same equestion because I noticed when shifting to the manual mode at a stop, the transmission is in 2nd until shifted manually to 1st.

However, on several ocassions, I have started out in Drive in auto mode and counted the number of shifts the transmission makes and it has always shifted 4 times. To me, that indicates that the transmission starts in 1st and the four shifts are from 1st to 5th.

One poster said that the transmission only starts in first if the car has been driven aggressivily. I really don't drive mine hard, so I suspect that they all start in 1st. I have found nothing in the owner's manual stating that the transmission starts in second in Drive.
 

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I was curious too

I drive 90% of the time in M and it does start in 2. I have started to drive more in S and thought it started in 1. I don't use 1 that often although it is nice to go down a garage ramp without riding the brakes. I think Al is 100% correct, as usual.
 

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Vexed,

Try doing as I said in my post and start your car in "D" in auto mode and simply count the number of shifts the car makes. Make sure you are on an open road so you can accelerate smoothly without having to stop. I think you will detect 4 shifts which means the car is starting in 1st gear, not 2nd.

A few years ago, BMW had a S/W switch on their automatic transmissions that signified either summer or winter shifting mode. When in the "W' mode for winter, the transmission did start in 2nd gear, to assist in starts in snow or ice. That switch is not on the Step transmission in the 330Ci. The last two Mercedes I had, a 99 CLK and a 2001 SLK both had the S/W switch and the function was the same as when on the BMW's.
 

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Gs330Ci said:
Vexed,

Try doing as I said in my post and start your car in "D" in auto mode and simply count the number of shifts the car makes. Make sure you are on an open road so you can accelerate smoothly without having to stop. I think you will detect 4 shifts which means the car is starting in 1st gear, not 2nd.

A few years ago, BMW had a S/W switch on their automatic transmissions that signified either summer or winter shifting mode. When in the "W' mode for winter, the transmission did start in 2nd gear, to assist in starts in snow or ice. That switch is not on the Step transmission in the 330Ci. The last two Mercedes I had, a 99 CLK and a 2001 SLK both had the S/W switch and the function was the same as when on the BMW's.
I had a MB too before this a 1998 E320 with the S/W selector, I never used W for obvious reasons. I will try it, now I am wondering why does it default to 2 in the M mode? I always assumed the difference between S and D was the shift pattern, I could tell it started in 1 in S since at times I had to put it back in M but pulling on the shifter and if I was at a stop it would go into 2.

Now I need to find a nice open road...:D
 

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Gs330Ci said:
One poster said that the transmission only starts in first if the car has been driven aggressivily. I really don't drive mine hard, so I suspect that they all start in 1st. I have found nothing in the owner's manual stating that the transmission starts in second in Drive.
The key here is that the transmission is adaptive. Drive gently for a few days, and the transmission changes the shift pattern accordingly and gives more 2nd gear starts. Drive more aggressively, revving over 4500 rpms starts to retrain the transmission and it will adapt accordingly.

It is constantly changing. However, as a general rule of thumb, unless you urge the tranny otherwise, D starts in 2nd, SD starts in 1st.
 

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Alee,

I drive my car easy practically all the time. Very few shifts above 3,000-3,500 rps, and many below that. Mine always starts in 1st. You are correct about the transmission being adaptive, but that normally adjusts the shift points and not whether the car starts in 1st or 2nd.

As I said, just try simply starting you car in "D" and count the number of shifts. I am pretty sure you will count 4.

By the way Vexed, you mentioned that you needed to find an open road. You do not need to accelerate the car hard to detect the number of shifts. You just need enough open road so that you can accelerate through the gears without having to stop for traffic. Up to 45-50 mph should do it.
 

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I must say that 'S' mode in bumper to bumber traffic is the best. Stays in 2nd the whole time. No need to use the brakes as all you need to do is let off the gas and modulate the pedal.
 

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Gs330Ci said:
Alee,

As I said, just try simply starting you car in "D" and count the number of shifts. I am pretty sure you will count 4.

One of those "shifts" you are feeling is probably the torque converter locking up at its preset speed. The revs drop when it lock up, so it could easily be mistaken for a shift.
 

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alee said:
D starts in 2nd unless your car senses you've been doing some aggressive driving, in which case it starts out in first. D prefers the higher gear, so it will upshift early and tend not to downshift to 1st unless you really urge the pedal.

S starts out in 1st all the time. It prefers a lower gear whenever possible, shifting to 5th in highway conditions, but will downshift faster into 4th or 3rd.

M starts out in 2nd if you don't manually nudge it into 1st at a complete stop.
so....if u floor the car.....S mode SHOULD have a faster acceleration right ?..... for some reason...the D feels faster with a lil more pull..... anyone notice this ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Jon...how about some help here?

I was hoping Jon would help us here, because what I did NOT want was to have a lot of guessing. I even wrote the Tech guy at the Roundel, and NOBODY seems to be able to give a documented right answer. Honestly, what's the big secret? It's just an operational question, not a trade secret. Go figure.
 

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asura0s9 said:


so....if u floor the car.....S mode SHOULD have a faster acceleration right ?..... for some reason...the D feels faster with a lil more pull..... anyone notice this ?
There will be no difference if you start in 'S' or 'D' mode if you floor the car off the line.

They both will start in 1st (only when floored)
 

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Gs330Ci said:
Alee,

I drive my car easy practically all the time. Very few shifts above 3,000-3,500 rps, and many below that. Mine always starts in 1st.
This is not noraml if you are driving easy . .

'D' starts out in 2nd gear unless driven aggressively which inturn would then start in 1st.
 
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