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Thread: Manual Shifting your 500 Automatic

  1. #1

    Manual Shifting your 500 Automatic

    Hi All,
    Was wondering how many of you automatic transmission owners use the manual shifting option AND if you think it helps with mileage and/or performance? I have been playing around with it lately, just to get some more fun out of my Pop. I have experience with a manual transmission, although I have not driven once since 2010, so kind of appreciate the clutchless shifting. LMK your thoughts.

    Thanks and Happy Fourth of July to All
    Mokie
    Mokie Johnson
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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mokie View Post
    Hi All,
    Was wondering how many of you automatic transmission owners use the manual shifting option AND if you think it helps with mileage and/or performance? I have been playing around with it lately, just to get some more fun out of my Pop. I have experience with a manual transmission, although I have not driven once since 2010, so kind of appreciate the clutchless shifting. LMK your thoughts.

    Thanks and Happy Fourth of July to All
    Mokie
    My experience with the automatic is limited to a couple days with a '15 Sport loaner. I had to learn quickly ... I inadvertently took off from the studio directly on to a freeway entrance ramp in manual mode and for a few seconds, couldn't figure out why it wasn't shifting . The seat of pants accelerometer says the car felt quicker in manual mode but only an actual test could say for sure- it is definitely lots more fun. Don't know about mpg. I'm generally not a fan of automatics in general and especially in small cars- 1000 miles in six days in Chevy Spark rental was a miserable experience but FIAT got this one right, especially for the North American market. Left alone, it shifts smoothly and has adequate acceleration; manual mode brings out the 500's sporting nature. The only thing I'd change is perhaps the addition of paddle shifters.

    A Happy Fourth to you too and to all here.

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    I have a 2015 AT. When going up some hills coming home the car seems to lug if I don't give it a lot of gas. So, I usually put it into manual mode and on these hills it is usually in 3rd or 4th gear .... and no lugging anymore.

    Would be nice to know if the gas mileage is the same if someone left it in manual mode.

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    Senior Member bryanintowson's Avatar
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    It's OK - it's actually not a bad little gearbox. I find that I wanted an automatic gearbox so I just let it shift for itself 99% of the time.

    Definitely can be fun in sport mode in the twistys.

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    Member NSngineer's Avatar
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    With the SPORT button on and the GoPedal set, I think our 2015 Abarth does fine, although I might miss having the downshift on a standard transmission.
    I got new knees in 2012 but my 72 year-old shoulders, elbow and ankles say, "Thanks AT."
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  7. #6
    I am going to do some "training" for the next month and then see if there is a mileage improvement at all. I am sure any mileage improvement would be contingent on relatively skilled shifting. As for performance, it already seems much better Off The Line in the manual mode.
    Mokie Johnson
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    My wife and I bought our 2014 Sport one year ago. We both were driving manual transmission cars before then - my wife's PT Cruiser is still in the garage, so we still are.
    In my case, it is the first auto transmission car I've driven regularly since 1979.
    I use the manual shift option reasonably regularly. Not to save gas, but for the control it gives me, and the fun too. I rarely drive all day in manual mode. Instead, I'll use it during parts of most drives, and let the auto transmission handle the rest.
    Downshifting is great, and I would miss having the choice. But I also enjoy letting the transmission do what it can do by itself when I'm driving on the highway with the cruise control on (it works better in auto).
    I'll tell you though, when it comes to stop and go traffic, the automatic clutch is the best thing since Italian spirit.
    Followed closely by "Hill Assist", which is a gift indeed.
    Last edited by mlkfiat; 07-03-2017 at 10:27 PM.

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    This is only my honest opinion but I have no data yet. I do believe that using the automatic transmission in manual shifting in city traffic condition would help not only to consume less gasoline but also be more in control of your car. I find out that the automatic transmission would go down to the 2nd gear when instead I would remain still on the 3rd gear for example. I think for sure there will be an increase in performance with overall less gasoline consumed.

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    Senior Member lammie200's Avatar
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    I have used the Autostick mode extensively on both the Sport that I used to have and the Abarth that I have now. For just flat land driving you won't get better gas mileage than letting the car shift itself. It also won't be any faster. For challenging driving it is essential to manually shift because you won't be in the torque power band on hills, acceleration on demand like passing, in corners and turns, etc.

    If the AT didn't have this function or if it wasn't laid out with the + going downward and - going upward, I would have opted for an MT. It is very ergonomic. If you really want fun you should purchase a TMC Autoflash. Search for it. It will tune up the AT in good ways.
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    Premium Member Southernroadrunner's Avatar
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    I agree with a lot of you guys on this issue, but if you go in and find the video that explains the automatic shifting set up on the Abarth and I am referring to the video of the lady that developed it, its a very good explination of the way to drive it to get maximum performance and mileage out of the car. It's set up for fuel mileage and if you think about it she states in there it is made to stay in gear just like your using a manual shift transmission. I really noticed that when we did the Abarth experience. I will be interested in the comments of you folks when you get done testing the car by manually shifting it to see if you get more mileage or not. The really increased mileage on the car I noticed the most was when I put the EC 4.1 on and it went up 1-2 mpg with no computer enhancement.
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