Automatice gearbox setting questions - Pontiac Solstice Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Automatice gearbox setting questions

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Originally Posted by Small Dealer View Post
AUTOMATIC OVERDRIVE (D): This position is for normal driving. If you need more power for passing, and you are:

• Going less than 35 mph (55 km/h), push the accelerator pedal about halfway down.

• Going about 35 mph (55 km/h) or more, push the accelerator all the way down.

The transmission will shift down to a lower gear and have more power.

FOURTH (4): This position is also used for normal driving. However, it offers more power and lower fuel economy than AUTOMATIC OVERDRIVE (D).

Here are examples for using FOURTH (4) instead of AUTOMATIC OVERDRIVE (D).

• When driving on hilly, winding roads.

• When going down a steep hill.

INTERMEDIATE (I): This position is also used for normal driving. However, it offers braking from the engine for slight downgrades where the vehicle would otherwise accelerate due to steepness of grade. If repetitive shifts occur between third and fourth gears on steep hills, this position can be used to prevent repetitive shifting. Fuel economy will be lower than AUTOMATIC OVERDRIVE (D). A time you might choose INTERMEDIATE (I) instead of AUTOMATIC OVERDRIVE (D) is when driving on hilly and winding roads.

LOW (L): This position gives you even more power but lower fuel economy than INTERMEDIATE (I). You can use it on very steep hills, or in deep snow or mud. If the shift lever is put in LOW (L), the transmission will not shift into Low gear until the vehicle is going slowly enough.
99% of the time I drive stick so I do know little to nothing about the settings of the automatic transmission, I only use D, N and R.

So don't shoot me for these questions . . . . :-)

What setting would give the faster acceleration from a stand still ?

When do you guys go to neutral ? Already when waiting for a light ? Or only when waiting for longer times, like a long freight train or open bridge ?

How fast, if at all, would the auto overheat when not driving and keeping it in D ?

Last edited by RedOne07; 05-10-2019 at 11:43 PM. Reason: Fixed typos
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOne07 View Post
99% of the time I drive stick so I do little to nothing about the settings of the auto, I only se D, N and R.

So dun shoot me for these questions . . . . :-)

What setting would give the faster acceleration from a stand still ?

When do you guys go to neutral ? Already when waiting for a light ? Or only when waiting for longer times, like a long freight train or open bridge ?

How fast, if at all, would the auto overheat when not driving and keeping it in D ?
Get a linelock installed and go to town !
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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:-)

Nah, I have Michelin Pilot Super Sports with only 10000 miles or so on them.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOne07 View Post
99% of the time I drive stick so I do little to nothing about the settings of the auto, I only se D, N and R.

So dun shoot me for these questions . . . . :-)
I have a good friend that moved to the USA from Spain a number of years ago. He was about 32 years old at the time and came to the University of Michigan to get his PhD in Neuroscience and graduated near the top of his class.

We were on a trip somewhere and he volunteered to be our DD and we had to teach him how to drive an automatic transmission equipped car - he had never done it before!

Anyway...

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Originally Posted by RedOne07 View Post
What setting would give the faster acceleration from a stand still ?
They will all be the same. There is no change in engine power available, and first gear is still first gear. With that said - there are some automatics, typically in larger trucks that vary rarely use their first gear unless towing or hauling, and in those cases using a tow/haul mode can save a small amount of time because the computer doesn't have to start in 2nd gear, realize you really want to boogey, change gears down to first, and then go. It will just start in first gear.

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When do you guys go to neutral ?
Pretty much never. Most people will only ever use it to go through one of those automatic car washes that pull your car through them. Otherwise it's only there in case for some reason you need to move the car without the engine running. There's no clutch, so that N is the only way to disconnect the driveline from the engine. Which brings us to:

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Originally Posted by RedOne07 View Post
How fast, if at all, would the auto overheat when not driving and keeping it in D ?
It will never overheat from doing this. However, there are still some people (virtually all of them are well into the closing years of their time on earth,) who will still shift to N when at a stop, no matter how short the stop is. They are convinced that it saves wear and tear on the torque converter or something, or can improve fuel economy by letting the engine idle freely. If it does save any fuel, it's not a measurable amount, and the extra wear and tear on the shifting components will far outweigh any potential fuel savings. Of course, to be completely fair, I have yet to hear of a trans failing because the owner shifted into N too often.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOne07 View Post
99% of the time I drive stick so I do little to nothing about the settings of the auto, I only se D, N and R.

So dun shoot me for these questions . . . . :-)

What setting would give the faster acceleration from a stand still ?

When do you guys go to neutral ? Already when waiting for a light ? Or only when waiting for longer times, like a long freight train or open bridge ?

How fast, if at all, would the auto overheat when not driving and keeping it in D ?
To add to phil's respomse:

If sitting for a longish time, the better options are to shift to P, so the car won't roll, and even to shut it off, unless you need AC or lights, or something.
One time it is preferable to shift to N at a short stop is when the roads are icy, as the rear drive can cause the rear to come around when braking.
I will shift to N in stop-and-go traffic on a really hot day if the coolant temperature starts getting high, as it does reduce engine load. Worth it? Maybe not, but it can't hurt.

One thing you do not want to do with an automatic is to sit with the engine at any speed above idle. Holding the car on a hill by increasing engine speed slightly will overheat the torque converter and transmission. Always let the engine idle and use the brakes.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 09:51 PM
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I have never experienced the tranny over heating.

I normally drive the car in drive, unless playing in the twisties. Then it never sees Drive.

"I" gear is 1st thru 3rd and it will truly haul ass in this setting, shifting to fourth on occasion.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the good insight guys.

Seems there are various opinions on the acceleration (which is based on torque and not on power I think) for the various settings.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 02:46 PM
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There is no actual change in acceleration in any of the settings, only increased chances of being in the correct gear for maximum acceleration when you are in "I" and not having to wait for a downshift.

"I" more or less makes the car drive like a video game automatic, where it only upshifts at redline, and downshifts as soon as it can safely do so. This is obviously bad for fuel economy.

In "D" the car always seeks out the highest possible gear to maximize fuel economy and comfort. Only if the computer sees the throttle open significantly will it downshift a gear.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 09:48 PM
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 08:21 AM
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Somewhat related.

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Originally Posted by ChopTop View Post
Due to Kappa owner turnover & transmission issues I thought it would be helpful to give this answer a dedicated posting.

2009/WELCOME EDITION/Solstice/Pontiac Performance/Front cover: Rear view pic Mean GXP (matching yellow license plate TRC 432)
INSIDE:
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER -
LEARN ABOUT YOUR SOLSTICE

Pg 8
Q: My Solstice has a 5-speed automatic transmission with shift indicators of PRNDIL. When do I shift into 4, I or L?

A: The D position (overdrive gear) is used for most normal driving situations. It allows the transmission to shift into fifth gear, which provides the fuel-economy* advantage. The fourth postion (4) prevents the transmission from going into fifth gear. It's used for driving around town when you don't need overdrive.

The I position prevents the vehicle from shifting past third gear and should be used when driving on hilly or winding roads.

The L position prevents the transmission from shifting past second gear. It should be used only at extremely low speeds, such as in parking lots or when driving through mud or deep snow.

*EPA estimated mpg 19 city/27 hwy (Solstice GXP with auto); 19 city/24 hwy (Solstice with auto.).

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Mr & Mrs ChopTop's 09 Fastback & 06 Vert Mods thread:https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...session-75468/ Original join date; Oct 2005 under LowLife handle.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 08:40 AM
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If you are "racing" on a road course and have a stock transmission cooler, then you "might" get the transmission to overheat. Or if you are driving up into the mountains with a fully loaded (4 adults and 200lbs of luggage and it's uphill for more then 5 miles) you again, might get the transmission to overheat. You'll know when it's overheating because it will start to miss gears. The new 1/4 ton trucks all have transmission temp gauges in their DIC.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 09:59 AM
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........(4 adults and 200lbs of luggage and it's uphill for more then 5 miles) .........
Not a situation that you are likely to have in a Solstice, of course.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
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Thanks for all the good insight guys.

Seems there are various opinions on the acceleration (which is based on torque and not on power I think) for the various settings.
Its both you need torque to keep you in the power range and RPM to get your speed. The new 10 speeds have vary little RPM change between gears. Can shift it faster than even the best drivers. Less gears are a compromise
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Ghost View Post
If you are "racing" on a road course and have a stock transmission cooler, then you "might" get the transmission to overheat. Or if you are driving up into the mountains with a fully loaded (4 adults and 200lbs of luggage and it's uphill for more then 5 miles) you again, might get the transmission to overheat. You'll know when it's overheating because it will start to miss gears. The new 1/4 ton trucks all have transmission temp gauges in their DIC.
Little more on this mines a 1/2 ton has the gauge. Torque converter dosnt lock up til trans temp reaches 105. May unlock in certain conditions if in the wrong gear when up to temp. Average temp 175 winter 195 summer running empty. Drag racing its faster in trailer mode as all the shift points are raised might let the converter slip a little not sure on that part though
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