Paddle Shifter in Automatic Transmission Car

What is Paddle Shifter in Automatic Transmission Car?

Paddle Shifter in Automatic Transmission Car
Paddle Shifters (in Red mark)

These days, a huge competition in the automobile market. And here, the toughest challenge is to provide better features on a tight budget. Automakers are understanding customer demands and choices. They are offering some cool features that improve driving comfort and make it joyful. A paddle shifter is also a special feature in an automatic car. This paddle shifter also changes gear, just like a gear stick in a manual car. This is a useful feature, especially for those customers who want to enjoy automatic car driving similar to manual cars. Yet, this does not mean that it will work the same as manual cars. This is why? we will discuss.

Paddle Shifter
Paddle Shifter in Car
Courtesy –

As we have read in the previous post, in a manual car driver need to select the gear as per situation like speed, load etc. But in an automatic car, a sensor, ECU and actuator do that. The driver just needs to push the gear selector to (Drive Mode) select from N (Neutral) or R (Reverse). Here gear selector is the synonym of gear lever or paddle shifter as well. Some automatic cars have + and signs on the gear selector. As you can see in the below image.

You are reading: Paddle shifter vs manual transmission in a car

Paddle shifter vs manual transmission in car
Signs on Automatic Gearstick


Why is Plus and Minus Symbol in an Automatic Transmission Car used?

In the above image, you have seen the letters and signs on the gear lever. Here, did you think about the use of the plus and minus symbols? Gear shifting is manually possible in automatic cars by toggling the lever towards these signs. “+” sign means increasing the gear number and the “-” sign means reducing. But this feature works for some time only. Once we toggle the lever +/- signs from drive (D) mode to +/- signs, this will go automatically again in drive mode after 30-60 seconds OR what time is programmed in TCM (Transmission Control Module). Usually, when the driver wants to run the car in Sports Mode OR Manual mode, he needs to select the +/- (Sports / Manual Mode) using the gear selector knob.

Once driver goes into manual or sports mode, driver will match the speed of the manual cars. There is no role of the Clutch lever. If the driver wants to enjoy driving manually, but not use the gear lever. Then Gear Shifting Paddles are the best options for him. 

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How do paddle shifters work in an automatic transmission car?

Paddle shifters are not available in all automatic cars. Generally, these paddle shifters are provided in high-performance and racing cars. But these days, it is an attractive feature for customers. So car makers provide this feature in middle-budget automatic cars as well.

Just like the gear shifter, paddle shifters are also toggling levers that operate the switches. And that switches give signals to TCM (Transmission Control Module) to shift the gear. Here, ECU does not interfere in the gear shifting process. Instead, Human (Driver) does the process like ECU. Two gear shifting paddles are mounted under the steering, as you can see in the above image. The right one having a “+” symbol means it shifts gear higher from lower. And the left side lever has a “-” symbol. It shifts down from higher gear.

Honda Amaze, Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Hyundai Creta, are the Middle segment cars having this amazing feature. If we talk about the utility of this feature. There is not any special utility, instead of fun. Because, in an Automatic cars actually, there gear shifting in not required.

If you have more information about the paddle shifters, please feel free to suggest us in the comment box. We hope you have enjoyed this article. Please also read our other articles on this blog. And, for the designing related videos please visit us on our Youtube channel. And for regular updates like our Facebook page.


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