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Do you use the paddle shifters?

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E-Class (W212) 2010 - 2016: E 350, E 550

Do you use the paddle shifters?

 
Old 04-10-2019, 09:40 PM
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Do you use the paddle shifters?

I grew up driving stick shifts. I find the paddle shifters unnatural in feel.

The few times I have used the paddles for extended periods - it is nice to be in a rev band / optimum gear where both immediate power and engine braking is available.

Today I was trying again and found myself driving at 4,000 rpm in say 3rd gear ... waiting for a break in traffic to hit the gas & upshift.

When in automatic mode the revs at 4,000 +/- as the car shifts under steady acceleration - the car sounds so good.

When cruising at 4,000 rpm - I feel like I am pushing the car too hard.

The trick of holding the down shift paddle and the car shifting down on its own to the optimal gear ... is great.

Your thoughts? Suggestions?

Leave it in Drive and let the automatic transmission do the work - is my typical thought.
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:57 PM
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My manual overdrive last for about 10 seconds and unless I do extreme maneuver, it will switch back to automatic.
Pretty useless as I need to do DPF regeneration, what call for low speed at high rpm and 10 miles of distance was constant gear correction.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by kajtek1 View Post
My manual overdrive last for about 10 seconds and unless I do extreme maneuver, it will switch back to automatic. ....
Do you mean your manual down shift by hitting the - (left hand) paddle? That should hold as long as you want till red line ... then automatically will up shift for you.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:15 PM
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We are talking different use. Don't remember if that is 10 or 15 seconds, but if you drive with steady speed, the computer forces auto setting.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by kajtek1 View Post
We are talking different use. Don't remember if that is 10 or 15 seconds, but if you drive with steady speed, the computer forces auto setting.
So you are trying to reduce the revs at a given speed (overdrive as you wrote) - right?

Is the car not designed to do that, for fuel economy? Maybe MB has already optimised that.

A different use for manual paddle shifting - I had not thought of.
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:04 AM
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Nope, once you drive a good auto for a while you feel out the gas pedal input and where it needs to be to shift. 7 gears is too much to keep track of with paddles.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:46 AM
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OP's 2011 E550 has true M mode i assume. (I also think his E550 is 5.5L NA engine.)
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Old 04-11-2019, 04:47 AM
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The only time I've used them is driving down the mountain in snow. Other than that...they're pointless. Any transmission without the matching third pedal is just disappointing.
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Old 04-11-2019, 07:42 AM
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I've driven manual gearboxes my entire life. I tried the paddles once... for about a minute. The experience brought me no particular satisfaction or better control of the vehicle here in flat, warm Florida.
Since then, they have remained untouched.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:06 AM
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I've toyed with the paddles a couple times.

Then I remember that I'm driving a 2-ton, 4-door family sedan and it brings me to my senses.

I agree that without the clutch pedal it seems disconnected (ie., pointless).

Last edited by DFWdude; 04-11-2019 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:43 AM
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The only time I use the paddles is on a 2 lane road to pass. I drop down a couple gears with the paddle and then go around Ms Sunday driver.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by KEY08 View Post
The only time I use the paddles is on a 2 lane road to pass. I drop down a couple gears with the paddle and then go around Ms Sunday driver.
That was the technique I was using on European highways a lot, where slow cars were driven below 40 mph.
But in USA I drive 99% freeways and driving diesel, it will do fast 60-80 mph acceleration without dropping the gear.
Than in rare occasions when I need it, 7G drops 2 gears in about a second, so pretty satisfactory.
Still remember how 5G with gas engine put me in trouble few times, when I punched the pedal for cutting into traffic and transmission took 2-3 seconds to "think about it"
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by KEY08 View Post
The only time I use the paddles is on a 2 lane road to pass. I drop down a couple gears with the paddle and then go around Ms Sunday driver.
I use the paddles going downhill on mountain passes, and for overtaking on two lane roads. What I do like about the paddles is when you hold the downshift paddle, it will go to the gear with rpm/power perfect for quick overtaking.
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Old 04-11-2019, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by JSch View Post
I use the paddles going downhill on mountain passes, and for overtaking on two lane roads. What I do like about the paddles is when you hold the downshift paddle, it will go to the gear with rpm/power perfect for quick overtaking.
This is interesting. Does it shift back right after you let go of the paddle? If you continue to hold the paddle and gun it does the car still shift if it redlines (or nears redline)?

I've only ever used the paddles just to ensure they worked. Aside from that they hold no interest to me. I miss having a clutch to stomp on and dropping the car down a gear (or two) and making the car rocket off.

Last edited by TeeEl; 04-11-2019 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:06 PM
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I also think they are pretty useless. I learned to drive on a manual and most of my cars were manuals. Maybe the paddles appeal to drivers who 'think' they are driving a stick .
Put me on the list of owners who never use them.
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:33 PM
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If I used them at all, it is just for highway merges ramps or passing situations like other have mentioned. Two taps on the left and then hold the right to return to D when I'm settled. I have tried to 'shift' with them and it feels unnatural having driven a stick many moons ago.
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:39 PM
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I have to say, my car downshifts pretty nicely if I apply more than a little pressure to the accelerator. Do you guys use the paddles just to be a little more engaged? Because I can't imagine the car really needs it...
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Old 04-11-2019, 04:49 PM
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TeeEI, No, you have to up-shift manually, but if you hold the up-shift, it goes back to A (Auto) mode.. I have not tried taking it to the redline!
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Old 04-11-2019, 05:34 PM
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I use mine all the time for downshifting and using engine braking in the Bluetec. The V6 diesel has lots of engine braking, so I only lightly use the brakes when needed.
On the other hand, my SL55 has to be switched to manual mode for the paddles to work, and then the car stays in whatever gear you have it in. Fully Manual, which a rarely use, unless I like to hear it sing.
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by TeeEl View Post
This is interesting. Does it shift back right after you let go of the paddle? If you continue to hold the paddle and gun it does the car still shift if it redlines ...
I miss having a clutch to stomp on and dropping the car down a gear (or two) and making the car rocket off.
To be clear - pull the left (-) paddle and within a second or so the car shifts down to the optimal gear, release and be in that gear ... cruise there, slow down or speed up a bit in that gear, or choose the moment you want immediate acceleration when hitting the gas. Because from that optimum gear - no down shift is necessary to unleash HP and Torque.

From that optimal gear while accelerating you can pull the right paddle (+) to match gear with a rev you want, you can pull and hold the right paddle and the car will shift back up through the gears in a second or so back to the Automatic mode ... or if you forget to upshift out of the optimal gear and revs get too high - the car will automatically upshift for you.

Since you “miss having a clutch to stomp on and dropping the car down a gear (or two) and making the car rocket off” ... it might be interesting for you to perfect the above referenced procedures. Minus a a clutch to stomp on & a stick - it produces the same end result !

I hope I got that right and made it sound interesting. I would say give it an hour and you will be a pro ... rocketing & engine braking at will.
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
I hope I got that right and made it sound interesting. I would say give it an hour and you will be a pro ... rocketing & engine braking at will.
Thanks! I may play with that this weekend. I did do the ( - ) downshift during my lunch yesterday and found that I had to upshift... but it's good to know that if I abuse the revs too much it'll do it for me. I might have to look for tutorial videos of making the most of the paddle shifters.
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:38 AM
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Rarely .. use to love using them on my old e63 , as it's truely manual and stays in manual unlike my current e400 sedan.which kicks back in auto .. so what's the point !!!?
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:15 AM
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I had the same car OP, never used them, but did once by accident haha.
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:32 PM
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Honestly guys, when I think about using them I have visions of over torqued motor and transmission mounts and the cost to replace them. That kewls my jets pretty quick. LOL

Last edited by FireRx Captain; 04-12-2019 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by FireRx Captain View Post
Honestly guy, when I think about using them I have visions of over torque motor and transmission mounts and the cost to replace them. That kewls my jets pretty quick. LOL
Yeah, that's my concern about overrevving... but I'm at 110k so I'll probably need motor mounts before too long anyhow.
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