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Discussion Starter #1
I know this feature of the MZ3 has been discussed in about 2 or 3 threads, however, I was wondering if I could speak with someone in detail about it.

I have read the manual which wasn't much help.

I want to know when and if is it safe to use? Is it just for bad weather? Can you just play with it? When to downshift from 4th gear? Can I switch gears from M to D while driving? Questions like that.

I've never driven a car with this feature or a manual, so it's new to me.
If someone who has played around with it plenty could lead me in the right direction, I'd really appreciate it!!!

Thanks!
 

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well, to tell you the truth, ive fuond myself using it more and more...i just play with it all the time, i switch between manumatic and full auto during traffic...i downshift from 4th anytime i want to pass someone up...i also use it when i want a fast start from the stop =)....just play around with u...have fun with it and you'll feel the groove...any other questions?



and to tell u, this is my first time ever using this manumatic too...and its really fun! just go out there and play with it man...
 

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Actually the manual DOES say about the manu-matic feature...

Here's how it works briefly...
yes u can just play around with it...u can switch from D to M or M to D anytime.


the gears doesn't shift up a gear unless u move the stick..(not like other types of semi-manual transmission)_

basically u can shift down from 4th gear to 3rd when u want more power to pass somebody

if the car is too fast for 3rd gear...the computer will not shift it down (a security feature not to blow the transmission)

Go look more carefully in the manual..it will tell u which speeds r suitable for gear changes and also the limits of each gear (the range of speed of each gear)


Im not sure but i do assume that the american version of the manual should be pretty much the same as the canadian version
 

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I haven't used full out auto yet. The ST is just too fun :)

It took me a couple weeks to get used to where and when to shift. I don't bother shifting down when I'm in 4th and need to stop at a red light... I let the car do it for me automatically.

Also, if you stomp on the pedal hard enough in 4th, it will automatically go back down to 3rd. Trying to pass tractor trailers on the way up mountains can be a pain sometimes!
 

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I use the manumatic most of the time now, probably 90% of all my driving. The 10% that I don't use it is when searching for a parking space at the mall.

I've never driven a manual car before so I find the extra control to be exhilarating. I, too, don't have to use the foot brake when approaching a red light, I just shift down, and down, and down.

One time, I was trying to pass a truck going up an incline. I was in 4th gear and all of a sudden, even in manumatic mode, the car shifted into 3rd gear to help with the passing maneuver. Well, I thought I did some damage to the car b/c it almost redlined, but thanks to the posting by bknauss for making me feel better about it.

And Inno's post clears things up for me too. I did read the manual, but I forgot that the car won't let you downshift to 3 if you are going too fast for it. Glad to know that the times I went from 4 to 3 were not to bad for the car; 3rd gear was revving really high 5000s.

Also, I have bumper to bumper traffic for my commute and I just stick it in 1st and 2nd most of the way. When traffic moves a bit, I go to 2nd, and when people start braking... I go to 1st and so I hardly use the foot brake.

Enjoy the manumatic, it will become second nature to you.
 

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I want to know when and if is it safe to use? Is it just for bad weather? Can you just play with it? When to downshift from 4th gear? Can I switch gears from M to D while driving?
- Use it whenever
-Helps in bad weather, because you can start out in second. Just upshift before moving, less tourquey.
-Downshift for passing/playing. The car will not let you downshift or upshift if it is bad for it. It will also automatically downshift for passing if you suddenly slam on the gas.
-The manual says nothing about certain times to switch D to M. Have fun.

I found myself using it most of the time, and haven't had a problem yet. The manual gives you speeds and ranges for the gears.

Craig
 

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bknauss said:
I haven't used full out auto yet. The ST is just too fun :)

It took me a couple weeks to get used to where and when to shift. I don't bother shifting down when I'm in 4th and need to stop at a red light... I let the car do it for me automatically.

Also, if you stomp on the pedal hard enough in 4th, it will automatically go back down to 3rd. Trying to pass tractor trailers on the way up mountains can be a pain sometimes!
Doesn't that defeat much of the purpose of a shiftable automatic. I'd expect to be able to stomp on the has and not have it downshit on it's own.

Transmissions "deciding" when to downshift for me is probably the thing I hat 2nd most about an auto trans (the torque converter being the most hated)
 

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I tried out the manumatic today during my second test drive, and Ifound it very fun, and easy to use. I like that when you slow down to stop it automatically shift back to 1st, but it is also nice to downshift to help slow down also. I have never driven a "real" manual before, but the manumatic gives the driver a very good amount of control. I decided to reserve my Mazda3 today, and it should arrive by Mid-late March. Can't wait!! :)
 

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raitchison said:
bknauss said:
I haven't used full out auto yet. The ST is just too fun :)

It took me a couple weeks to get used to where and when to shift. I don't bother shifting down when I'm in 4th and need to stop at a red light... I let the car do it for me automatically.

Also, if you stomp on the pedal hard enough in 4th, it will automatically go back down to 3rd. Trying to pass tractor trailers on the way up mountains can be a pain sometimes!
Doesn't that defeat much of the purpose of a shiftable automatic. I'd expect to be able to stomp on the has and not have it downshit on it's own.

Transmissions "deciding" when to downshift for me is probably the thing I hat 2nd most about an auto trans (the torque converter being the most hated)

Well...the whole point of ppl buying an auto is they're not used to full control of the car. Auto-tranny with the manumatic, is still NOT a manual car cuz the auto tranny will monitor over the car and not let any major mistake by the drive on the gas input.

I suppose that when u downshift on the manumatic, it still takes a bit time for the car to engage to the lower gear as compare to us manuals just to engage the clutch
 

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If you stomp it down in 4th, there is no way you want the auto to leave it in fourth. The car is programmed to believe that if you stomp it down that you want to go faster, and quickly. That's not going to happen in 4th gear.

This downshifting is what is typically referred to as "kicking it into passing gear." The tranny will drop you to 3rd, or even 2nd depending upon what speed you are going, then as long as you have it stomped down, it will keep it in 2nd (or 3rd) until it moves closer to the redline and then upshift.

Auto transmissions have been working like this for about 50 years now.

As to automatic's shifting speed, that varies from car to car. Some are pretty slow to downshift. And many don't shift at the optimal points for speed/responsiveness, instead being more oriented for smooth shifts.

Autos continue to improve. Smoother, quicker, sportier. Manuals are disappearing on larger cars as 5 and 6-spd autos come out and are able to run 0-60's in under 6 seconds.

In smaller cars, most of the time an auto will rob so much power that the performance badly suffers. The Mz3 has so much engine that this isn't as much of a problem. I've driven Integras and Celicas with AT that were pokey. Another car with a nice manumatic is the Acura TSX, although that is much pricier.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Man, I wasn't expecting such a big turnout for my post!

Thanks to all that responded, as I have a much better understanding of what the AT Sportshift is, how and when to use it and the safety of it.

I try to play with it here and there, but my wife is like don't do that...your going to ruin your new car! Women! ugh

I will definitely experiment with it more now I know I won't hurt the transmission if I use the Sportsshift a lot. I get a big jerk downshifting sometimes, that is what scared me.

Again, thanks everyone!
 

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raitchison said:
Actually automatics shift faster than pretty much any driver in an MTX, the torque converter kind of masks this though.
But manual transmissions still do better in 0-60 times in most cars.
 

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cuz the torque converter ate up 25% of the engine power........as suggested in other posts
 

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in 1970 i had a hurst dual gate shifter..it was no different than the mazda one i have now...
it is an automatic with a different gate
any automatic will do the same thing
 

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just to chime in....

I have never owned an Auto trans vehicle before, and I must say, while I can't say I am "happy" about driving the Auto, this is the best compromise I have seen thus far.

A feature I find interesting, in Auto mode, the tranny attempts to deliver smooth shifts (slow) when driving, BUT, in "manual" mode, the 1-2 change is sped up, to facilite rapid acceleration (this is in the manual btw). I think this is pretty neat.
 

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Wow.. this is definitely interesting to know
 

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Its definately a great transmission. I love the way that it works in manual mode and it really delivers the best out the engine. The only problem I have with it, is that because it has only four gears (which really isnt a problem in itself) it has a very tall first gear which makes stop-light blowouts a little difficult because it takes a little bit to get to 3500rpm. Once you are there, its home free. Plently of power and the gears are perfectly matched.
 

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Some people in this thread have mentioned leaving the car in 4th, braking, and letting the activematic transmission take it down to first (how I wish for a friendly neutral in the ATX!). However, I find that the car does a little "jump" (well, not that big a word - perhaps stutter? - but hope you see what I mean), when performing this gear change in the Auto-Manual mode, but have not noticed it happening in the pure Auto mode.

Is this bad for the transmission? Am I doing something wrong with the braking? Should I choose to downshift instead?
 

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u mean that the car "jumps" when u downshift for a stop?
or u mean that it happens when u upshift? or both?

please state clearly
 
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