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What gear do you drive on the freeway in most?

  • 3rd, rap it out baby!

    Votes: 1 2.6%
  • 4th, nice compromise between fuel economy and power

    Votes: 5 13.2%
  • 5th, take it easy

    Votes: 32 84.2%
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2001 M3:Stick, what else?
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Huh---- 3rd on the highway??? You've gotta be driving real slow for that... I'm redlining 3rd on the highway.
 
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The E36 M3 is geared such that, even in 5th, you've got the RPMs sitting pretty high and the car will respond well when you punch it without having to downshift. This is a car that needs a 6th gear.

At what I consider highway speeds, how could anyone still be in 3rd. I'll hold 3rd (if necessary) to maybe 60 mph. But you can't run in 3rd at 85. And if you don't go 85 around here (okay, at least 75), you'll get run over.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
JPinTO said:
Huh---- 3rd on the highway??? You've gotta be driving real slow for that... I'm redlining 3rd on the highway.
I've actually run in 3rd for awhile. Even though my car is well "broken in" (30K) I still like to mix it up in the gears occasionally. I don't want the car to get used to 3 - 4k revs.
 

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Around sixty, I'm usually in fourth, by 75 I go to fifth.
 

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Double Bimmers
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in_d_haus said:
What gear do you drive on the freeway in most?
Huh.. Why the hell would someone not use 5th!

I also use 5th in the city. 5th does fine at 35 MPH, so on the freeway... of course I am going to be in 5th.
 

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Traffic Surgeon
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I voted '4th', but I guess it's pretty evenly split between 4th and 5th. When traffic is heavy, it's just easier to keep it in 4th. When it's wide open and running smoothly, 5th works just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: Re: What gear on freeway?

CD-55 said:


Huh.. Why the hell would someone not use 5th!

I also use 5th in the city. 5th does fine at 35 MPH, so on the freeway... of course I am going to be in 5th.
In the 325 there isn't enough low end torque to use 5th in the city, gotta have the revs up.
 

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2001 M3:Stick, what else?
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in_d_haus said:


I've actually run in 3rd for awhile. Even though my car is well "broken in" (30K) I still like to mix it up in the gears occasionally. I don't want the car to get used to 3 - 4k revs.
You must must run close to redline in third.

I use 3rd and 4th on the highway all the time. But I don't "drive" in 3rd or 4th for any length of time.
 

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2001 M3:Stick, what else?
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Re: Re: Re: What gear on freeway?

in_d_haus said:


In the 325 there isn't enough low end torque to use 5th in the city, gotta have the revs up.
True... I never use 5th under 60mph.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
JPinTO said:


You must must run close to redline in third.

I use 3rd and 4th on the highway all the time. But I don't "drive" in 3rd or 4th for any length of time.
I'll run mine up to 6500 or so for say 5 miles then shift. One thing I learned as a mechanic, if you drive a car slow you get a slow car. Engines tend to take a set if you run them at a given rev all the time. If you drive a car that someone runs at 4000 revs and drive another car that is run around 600 revs or varied revs you will be able to tell the difference
 

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Plenty of "punch" in 5th to pass, even up hill, in my 330ci, but if I really want to get around someone in a hurry, I'll usually downshift to 4th. My concern isn't a "Slow car vs Fast car"...mine is a "Reliable" car. ;)
 

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Since BMW manuals have a 1:1 ratio in 5th and not an overdrive gear like most other cars, 5th is fine for all highway needs unless you need to pass someone very quickly -- and i'm talking about a 325i-- w/ a 330 there'd be even less need for a drving in a lower gear. I would kind of like to have a 6th gear as an overdrive for when I'm really just taking it easy, loafing along on an interstate and tyring to conserve gas. It'd be nice to atleast have that option. The way these cars are geared means that even 4th gear is not enough for highway speeds- you can do it but probably wouldn't want to for very long for fuel economy and may engine wear reasons. I think many of us who come from other brands of cars still think of 5th as being an OD gear-- in which case 4th is usually something approximating 1:1. Definitely not the case here...
 

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King of Rear Clunks
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Man, if I drove around the fwy in 4th it'd be hovering in the 6k area. Its not unusual for it to be turning over 4000rpm in 5th as it is.
 

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Re: Re: Re: Re: What gear on freeway?

JPinTO said:


True... I never use 5th under 60mph.
Many people are like you. I dunno, anything 50km/h and up and I'm in 5th if I have no intention of accelerating hard. :dunno:
 
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What gear on freeway?

Mystikal said:


Many people are like you. I dunno, anything 50km/h and up and I'm in 5th if I have no intention of accelerating hard. :dunno:
Was that a typo? 50 km/h is, what, ~ 34 MPH. You can't possibly be in 5th at 34 MPH.

And even if you meant MPH, 50 is still pretty early. I usually don't hit 5th until 70 or so.
 

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The convertible must be geared different, or maybe it's a 330 thing, but 3rd takes me all the way to 80ish before redline. I'm too lazy to go look up max engine speeds but I've been known to use 3rd for passing on the freeway if I need a really quick burst.

I hate the spring loaded five foot stretch to 5th so much that if traffic's not moving beyond 60-65 I'll leave it in 4th. But 5th only drops revs about 400rpm anyway.
 
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