My beautiful 2002 M3 I recently picked up shifts automatically when the setting indicates "S" and must be manually shifted when it indicates "A". this appears to be assbackwards...is it? i read the manual and and it sure seems so...
When you look a the display in the instrument cluster, and it says A over on the right, it's NOT telling you that you are in automatic mode, it's telling you that's what to "shift to" to GET automatic mode.
ok...thanks... i guess that makes sense...how do you tell what the optimal shifting setting is? i've got it set third from the left and its pretty snappy but i have to feather the gas a bit...is that normal? also the manual says that there is a visual indicator when going through the gears as to the optimal shift point..i don't see anything...is there a setting or something?
1) As mentioned, that is showing you the SHIFT pattern, not the mode.
2) I leave mine in S5 and feather the throttle for shifts. Optimum setting is what YOU like.
3) The shift lights are on the tach. When running, you will see a series of yellow blocks and 2 red ones. The red ones denote red line. The yellow ones start with a number of them when cold to indicate you should not rev the engine too high until the oil temperature comes up a bit. Once warmed up, as the revs approach redline the segments will start lighting up from red line on down. When and how fast they light is determined by the RPM and how fast the RPM is rising.
The optimum shift point for maximum acceleration for each gear change on this car is red line. For normal driving, it is where you need to shift, like any car, it varies depends on circumstances.
You will not see the shift lights in normal day-to-day driving, only when you get close to redline. And honestly, if you are getting close to redline, you are probably going very fast and shouldn't be staring at your instrument cluster anyway. I've found I can break pretty much every speed law in second gear!
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