How To Use Paddle Shift: The Essential Guide

The paddle change. It’s not only something that appears awesome on rally vehicles, it is nowadays a far more and popular way to regulate the engine power in a car. The paddle shift system is a key component in a semi-auto vehicle control system. These can be one of the most fun ways to drive a car, but also have a number of benefits too.

In this article we are going to take a good look at the paddle shift control system. We’ll look at what it is, why it works so well – and how you too can use it to get the most from your car.

But before we get to all that, there is one basic question to tackle first:

What are Paddle Shifts?

Let’s obtain directly into this after that, precisely what the heck are paddle shifts? Well, to begin with there may be the query of what they literally are. After that there may be the question of what they do.

First things first, if you have never seen a set of paddle shifts on a car then they can be found immediately behind the steering wheel. They will always come as a pair and they will always be mounted with one paddle on each side of the steering wheel. Many paddle shifts are installed in a mounting with some ability to reposition the shifts closer or further away from the steering wheel. That is because they are designed to be used with your fingers, with your hands never leaving the wheel.

What do they actually look like? Well these are very much a Ronseal style of product, in that they do exactly what they say on the tin. Or in this instance they look exactly like what they say on the tin! Paddle shifts look likeā€¦ paddles.

Who could have seen that coming?

What Do Paddle Shifts Do?

So that is where the paddle shift is placed in the vehicle, and what it looks like. But exactly what does it do?

Well once we stated a paddle change is utilized on a car that runs on the semi-automatic transmission. These kinds of transmissions have become cool little innovations that sit down in a middle floor between automated and manual transmissions.

Unlike a computerized transmitting, a vehicle having a semi-auto transmitting won’t make gearshifts for you personally.

Unlike a manual transmitting though, a semi-auto car still just offers two pedals – there is absolutely no clutch pedal.

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The way the heck is it possible to change gears with out a clutch though? Well, with a couple of paddle shifts, that’s how!

The advantages of Paddle Shifts

So right now guess what happens the paddle shift looks like, you know where it can be found on the vehicle and you know what it can. Next up it really is probably smart to have a look at why you need to make use of paddle shifts. They are after all not really parts or control strategies that lots of people will know about.

That, to us at least, can be a real pity, because paddle shifts possess several benefits and advantages.

  • Better Efficiency

Among the key great things about using paddle shifters can be to ensure a much better overall performance from your own car, particularly when compared to automated transmissions. A computerized car will make equipment shift for you. It does this by monitoring revs and the demand on the vehicle engine.

It is not always deigned to change gear with performance in mind however, which is why most race cars from NASCAR to Formula One all have manual transmission. By using paddle shifts in your car, you are putting the control of gearshifts – literally – back into your hands.

That means you can ride the revs and change gear to enhance performance.

  • Better Safety
paddle shift

This other benefit is usually along the same lines as the one above, by putting the control of gearshifts back to your hand. The simple truth is that even while cars obtain smarter and smarter there is absolutely no car yet made out of the cleverness to adjust gearshifts to complement external climate. That is particularly true during a fast shift in climate – say, for instance, if it abruptly starts pouring rainfall during a get.

If you are in control you are able to adapt your generating design, including gearshifts, to complement the road circumstances as you find them. Take the example above, the sudden downpour of rain. When you control the gearshifts with your paddle shifters, you can gear down and lower vehicle speed without relying on the brakes. This can help to prevent skids and powered slides on wet road tops.

  • Prolong Car Life
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A great point that paddle shifts allow is easy acceleration. A semi-auto is better at getting away from a slow begin than both a complete auto in addition to a manual transmitting.

It beats a complete car for the same cause that made both benefits above – you control the gears which means you control the power. Many automatic cars do not gear sift well from a standing up start, placing unneeded strain on the engine.

Pulling aside having a manual transmission is, as anybody who has powered stick will understand, something of an art. Once again, when the drivers does not do that well it could be a similar as a badly tuned automatic transmitting, placing pressure on the engine.

A semi-auto is normally always in initial gear. Which means it begins smoothly each time, before you change up as the quickness increases. That really helps to prolong automobile and engine lifestyle, and additionally, it may go quite a distance to increasing gasoline efficiency.

Pretty good for the coupe of very little paddles, huh?

How exactly to Make use of Paddle Shifts

Ok, okay, we hear you! You understand where in fact the paddle shifts are, guess what happens they actually and you understand why you need to consider using both them as well as the semi-automatic transmitting that they support.

Now you intend to learn how to use the stuff!

The truth is though that another of the big benefits of these devices is just how simple they may be too use.

The paddle shifts themselves are easy to use. The paddle within the remaining will typically move the gears down, the paddle on the right will typically do the opposite and move you up a gear with every activation (i.e. squeeze with your fingers) of the paddle shift.

We say typically there because for the most part that is the layout of the paddles – down with the remaining, up with the right. But we have seen set-ups where this is reversed so always check before traveling a paddle shift equipped car for the first time.

When to use the paddles is definitely a different query entirely! Just as with a manual transmission, it is tough to give solid rules here. Whoever has spent a great deal of period traveling stick will know that part of the appeal of this traveling method is definitely learning to go through and understand your car.

paddle shift

Therefore you will know when is the best time to shift gears, and this will be based on a range of things too, like weather, road conditions and traffic density. It really is part of the fun of using a semi-auto system with gear paddles. It is a far more organic generating experience what your location is a lot more in tune with the automobile.

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If you’re not used to using paddle shifts though there’s a guideline you should use in the first phases. Essentially, you should turn to be moving when the rev counter-top needle can be between 1,500 to 2,500 RPM.

Given that is a fairly broad range with regards to revs, right? It really is, but offered you stay within that range you won’t perform any injury to the engine. Employing this range as the inspiration for controlling the car gearshifts, as you gain experience you can begin to fine-tune your shifts.

Again though, learning to time the gearshifts with your paddle shifts really is part of the fun of using these handy little components.

How to Look After Paddle Shifts

So yeah, paddle shifts are pretty cool, right? Yes they are, but we bet you’re worrying that they may be difficult to maintain. Just like when an auto car transmission breaks down, it can be more expensive and difficult to fix than a simple manual, right?

Well not necessarily. If for example you keep an eye on the maintenance of the paddle shifts they may be no more more likely to trigger issues than some other element on the automobile. Browse the automobile handbook for maintenance ideas, but generally speaking if you’re changing the transmitting liquid every 50,000 kilometers (and setting it up examined over by an expert at exactly the same time) there is absolutely no real dependence on any special actions.


That’s it people, the finish of our short trip through paddle shifts. Hopefully, we’ve completed a good job of explaining just why they are so useful (and cool!). We also hope you have a better idea of how and when to use them – but again, one of the key benefits of paddle shifts really is just how simple to use they are!

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