How to Use an Autoshift Transmission

Autoshift transmissions are known by many names. Automanual, manumatic, tiptronic and autostick are some of the more common names given to these transmissions by car manufacturers. What you call it means little; all autoshift transmissions share a common trait: the ability to drive a car with an automatic transmission like a manual transmission if you want to. You can learn the ins and outs of operating an autoshift transmission.

Step 1 Start off in park, just as you would when you drive your car normally. Autoshift transmissions are not equipped with a clutch, so there is no need to put the vehicle in neutral or engage a clutch.

Step 2 Put your foot on the brake to select your gear, but instead of selecting "D" for drive, toggle your gearshift over to manual mode. Some vehicles have an "M" or another symbol; others will have no symbol. You will start driving in first gear. When you are ready to shift, tap down to change gears.

Step 3 Tap the shifter up to downshift, if you need additional passing power. Although autoshift transmissions will not automatically shift up, they will automatically shift down when you are slowing down or coming to a stop.

Step 4 Down shift at approximately 3000 RPM, in most cases. Shifting at higher RPM may yield higher power, but it will reduce fuel efficiency because you engine is spinning faster and working harder.

Pay attention to the indicator light on your instrument panel, next to your speedometer. Most vehicles with autoshift transmissions have digits to let you know what gear you are in.

Tip: The method for upshifting and downshifting may be reverse in some vehicles. Some may require you to tap down to downshift, then up to upshift. Pay attention to the plus (+) and minus (-) signs on your gearshift, these will help lead you.

Warning: Most autoshift transmissions will not automatically upshift when it is time to shift gears. Although modern vehicles have rev limiters to protect you from exceeding the engine redline, bouncing your tachometer off of the rev limiter is not good for your vehicle.