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      11-30-2010, 05:30 PM   #23
James T. Kirk
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Yes, there is. Here is the description from BMW:

"Based on Formula One instrumentation, the Performance Steering Wheel displays critical data from the powertrain and chassis and positions it where your eyes focus naturally. Intuitive controls and an icon-based interface provide seamless access to a G-meter, a stopwatch with lap timing functions, a quarter-mile timer, an engine temp readout, and adjustable shift lights. Leather and Alcantara® designs add a stylish touch to the vehicle interior and harmonize with other BMW Performance accessories."

Can anyone comment on it's practicality as a gear indicator?
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      11-30-2010, 05:34 PM   #24
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I found a great thread regarding approaching a hard 90-degree turn...

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthr...ct+clutch+mode
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      11-30-2010, 05:42 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James T. Kirk View Post
Ok. I know DCT is supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread, but I am having an issue with the timing of the automatic down-shifting.

I just got a new M3 after trading it in for a fantastic 335i. My 335i was an automatic to which I always utilized the sport shifter. The 335i never messed with the gears unless I came to a full stop. The M3 is a totally different story.

In the M3, when coming in hard to make a 90-degree turn, I do all my braking on the straight-away like a good boy. As a I turn the wheel into the turn, the gear indicator on the dash is obstructed by the steering wheel, the DCT throws me into either 2nd or 3rd gear, and I have NO IDEA what gear I'm in when throttling out of the turn.

This is particularly bad when I think I'm coming in from 4th gear and move to downshift only to find out that the DCT has already put me in 2nd and I inadvertently downshift into 1st! The result is a brutal demonstration of my seatbelt.

Can one of you more experienced DCT guys, help me learn how to drive this thing?
HUH? i have never experienced what you are talking about. go in for the software upgrade. mine is an absolute animal wih no lag or herky jerky moves at all. oh and did your 335 engine catch fire like my friends did 2 weeks ago after they changed the fuel pump during the massive recall? my 335 was only in the shop 6 times in 4 weeks and that is the reason why i upgraded. if the fuel pump and engine didnt go id still be driving it. but the front end would have fallen off after hitting the smallest bumps. the car was a total dissappointment. filed for breach of warranty. then they settled
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      11-30-2010, 08:58 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James T. Kirk View Post
I was taught, however, not to use downshifting as a means to braking. So say I'm driving in 6th gear... I normally slow for a turn using only my brake and then quickly downshift to my exit gear (usually 2nd or 3rd) to pull out of the turn with some good torque.

Should I be downshifting through the braking process? I feel like I don't know how to drive anymore! LOL.
Dude, yes - downshift while braking. I'm not sure who taught you the process you are using now, but it is wrong. Maybe you just misunderstood or something, I don't know. But it is 100% correct to downshift while you are braking. Doing this is far from using the transmission and engine as a means for braking. I mean, sure, they will play a small role, but this is necessary if you want to be in the right gear for your current speed. You should always downshift as early as it makes sense to do so. In other words, keeps the revs up, up, up. As you slow and RPM begins to fall, grab that minus paddle.
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      11-30-2010, 09:17 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James T. Kirk View Post
Ok. I know DCT is supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread, but I am having an issue with the timing of the automatic down-shifting.

I just got a new M3 after trading it in for a fantastic 335i. My 335i was an automatic to which I always utilized the sport shifter. The 335i never messed with the gears unless I came to a full stop. The M3 is a totally different story.

In the M3, when coming in hard to make a 90-degree turn, I do all my braking on the straight-away like a good boy. As a I turn the wheel into the turn, the gear indicator on the dash is obstructed by the steering wheel, the DCT throws me into either 2nd or 3rd gear, and I have NO IDEA what gear I'm in when throttling out of the turn.

This is particularly bad when I think I'm coming in from 4th gear and move to downshift only to find out that the DCT has already put me in 2nd and I inadvertently downshift into 1st! The result is a brutal demonstration of my seatbelt.

Can one of you more experienced DCT guys, help me learn how to drive this thing?
This may help you regain a calm mind

CLICK here for more posts on the subject

And here for a detail Review
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      11-30-2010, 09:18 PM   #28
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A pirate walks into a bar, and he's got a steering wheel sticking out of his pants. The bartender sees him and asks, "Hey, what's that steering wheel doing there?" The pirate says, "Aaarrrr, it's driving me nuts."
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      11-30-2010, 09:24 PM   #29
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I'd like to give you the benefit of my 50k miles of DCT driving but ...




All kidding aside, you just need to get used to it. It will also adapt to your driving style over time. Usually, a couple of weeks.
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      11-30-2010, 09:44 PM   #30
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Hmm, I've never had the DCT shift for me, at all, unless I'm at or under 1k RPM in my current gear. If I were trying to drive quickly, I'd never let it get close to that anyway. Of course, I've only driven mine is S5, I can't vouch for the other modes. As for what gear you're in, just get used to listening to the engine and knowing what shifts you need to make accordingly. You know, the old fashioned way! Of course, if you're keeping your revs in a good place your view of the display won't be blocked when you're shifting.
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      11-30-2010, 09:46 PM   #31
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This is the car being blamed for driver error...
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      11-30-2010, 09:58 PM   #32
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No to thread jack but what mode do you guys drive around in most of the time? I have only had the car for a few days and it is def taking me some time to figure it all out. It is a lot different than my 335, that's for sure! Can't wait to get it all worked out. Car is a lot of fun.
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      11-30-2010, 10:11 PM   #33
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So do you want to drive the car or the car drives you? Pick one and stick with it..
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      12-03-2010, 08:48 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James T. Kirk View Post
Angry about my M3? Are you kidding?? I'm so in love with my car that when my friends ask me how is my baby, I have to ask them if they're talking about my child or my M3! .....

I was taught, however, not to use downshifting as a means to braking. So say I'm driving in 6th gear... I normally slow for a turn using only my brake and then quickly downshift to my exit gear (usually 2nd or 3rd) to pull out of the turn with some good torque.

Should I be downshifting through the braking process? I feel like I don't know how to drive anymore! LOL.
Like you, when driving with a regular manual transmission I slow using only brakes on the straight, then shift just before I turn. With a regular manual there are several reasons for this - you don't take your hand off the steering wheel to change gear until the speed is low, and your right foot is free after finishing braking to apply enough gas to rev match as you select the new gear (no need for heel and toe). Neither of these apply with DCT, so it probably makes more sense to change gear while you are still braking.

However, you can leave the gear change until after you finish braking. You just have to notice the gear number before you start to turn the wheel - and to be aware that the number comes up on the dash a little bit earlier than the actual gear change.

I find either method works well.

BTW, I am really surprised you did not find this issue in your previous car; I have driven several BMW's with Steptronic, and they all changed down automatically at low revs. Unlike the M3 DCT, they also changed up automatically before hitting the rev limiter, whereas the M3 will hit the rev limiter if you don't pull the right paddle in time.

One further point. I like smooth upchanges, so I drive in S1. I also like smooth downchanges, so I use Heel and Toe to apply gas at the same time as braking while making my downchanges. I wish that S3 was set to give you S1 upchanges and S5 downchanges (or that you could choose a setting for upchanges and downchanges seperately). I don't understand why people like harsh upchanges; acceleration tests have shown that the car does not accelerate any faster in S6 than in S1, it just inserts an artificial thunk which can throw the car offline.
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      12-03-2010, 08:58 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James T. Kirk View Post
...
I was taught, however, not to use downshifting as a means to braking. So say I'm driving in 6th gear... I normally slow for a turn using only my brake and then quickly downshift to my exit gear (usually 2nd or 3rd) to pull out of the turn with some good torque.

Should I be downshifting through the braking process? I feel like I don't know how to drive anymore! LOL.
IMO you are correct in that you shouldnt use engine braking alone -- however you do need to brake and downshift simultaneously.

Based on my about four years of track experience racing, tracking and attending track schools on my motorcycles -- at least for bikes I can tell you that you need to brake, blip throttle/downshift at the same time (* This applies only for the track )

So coming down a straightaway into a turn.. I would:
1. Set my body position up (butt to the inside of the turn, tucked in) while still at speed
2. Start braking, throttle blipping (rev match) and downshifting - all at the same time
3. As I start the turn in, I am already setup in the right gear, at the right entry speed and right body position - so my bike is very stable through the turn
4. as soon as I hit the apex, I start rolling on the throttle
5. stand the bike up a bit and go WOT exiting the turn

(an advanced variation of this is to carry your braking right to the apex - this is called trail braking)

I know cars are more stop-and-go at tracks so the techniques are slightly different but I imagine you'd still need to ensure you get all your downshifting and braking done simultaneously before you enter the turn and then be very stable and in the right gear/speed through the turn...

Last edited by w00tw00t; 12-03-2010 at 12:27 PM.
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      12-03-2010, 03:44 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James T. Kirk View Post
Ok. I know DCT is supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread, but I am having an issue with the timing of the automatic down-shifting.

I just got a new M3 after trading it in for a fantastic 335i. My 335i was an automatic to which I always utilized the sport shifter. The 335i never messed with the gears unless I came to a full stop. The M3 is a totally different story.

In the M3, when coming in hard to make a 90-degree turn, I do all my braking on the straight-away like a good boy. As a I turn the wheel into the turn, the gear indicator on the dash is obstructed by the steering wheel, the DCT throws me into either 2nd or 3rd gear, and I have NO IDEA what gear I'm in when throttling out of the turn.

This is particularly bad when I think I'm coming in from 4th gear and move to downshift only to find out that the DCT has already put me in 2nd and I inadvertently downshift into 1st! The result is a brutal demonstration of my seatbelt.

Can one of you more experienced DCT guys, help me learn how to drive this thing?
I could be wrong, but it sounds like you were in a D-Mode--which will downshift for you--and then you manually downshifted using the paddle or shifter in addition to what the transmission selected for you. (In other words, it downshifted to 2nd, you hit the shifter, it went to 1st--bang.)

So, my advice would be to either let the car shift for you or use one of the higher S modes and do it yourself. Don't use D-mode and then try to shift yourself on top of it. In S-mode the car will finally drop gears if you're going uber slow, but it's not going to do that in a 20-30 MPH turn (unless it's FUBAR).
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      12-03-2010, 04:49 PM   #37
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As several people have stated, put it in S4 or above and the car will rev match for you. Your issue should be solved. Plus the sound of the throttle blips when the revs are matched is quite nice .
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      12-04-2010, 11:28 AM   #38
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Make an appointment at your local dealership and have them install 2.39. There is a bulletin to update all DCT software. All I can say is it eliminated completely the lag, the car now improved Drive mode shifts, and feels like a completely new car !
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      12-04-2010, 05:41 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
you should be doing the pre-turn downshifting yourself as well. Maybe I am missing something but I don't understand why you'd want to take the turn in the wrong gear to begin with. If your exit speed requires second gear to properly accelerate, then you should hit second gear as soon as your RPM falls to a reasonable level to allow it, IMHO.
This.
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      12-04-2010, 10:10 PM   #40
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"As a I turn the wheel into the turn, the gear indicator on the dash is obstructed by the steering wheel, the DCT throws me into either 2nd or 3rd gear, and I have NO IDEA what gear I'm in when throttling out of the turn."

You must in the automatic mode for an automatic downshift to occur unless you were slow enough to lug the engine, which does not appear to be the situaiton. In auto, it will downshift to the gear it feels appropriate, then when you hit the selector to drop a gear, it drops one gear and changes to manual mode. You should be in either manual or automatic mode. Changing in a corner would only gets confusing.
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      12-04-2010, 10:50 PM   #41
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Are you driving in "D" mode????

The car will automatically downshift and rev-match to the proper gear when you brake hard (assuming you're in D4 minimum - no reason to drive this car in D3,2,1 for SPIRITED driving - always drive in D4 or D5 (D6 with DSC off)).

If you're in "S" mode, you do the shifting yourself. You can downshift and rev-match as you brake into a turn. If you're not used to it yet, brake hard and double-tap the downshift paddle to drop two gears instantly. You should ALWAYS know what gear you're in when driving in "S" mode - have it in your head. Looking at the dash to see what gear you're in, I just don't drive like that, those seconds or milliseconds can cost you in racing (or in this case confuse you in spirited driving).

If I'm driving in 4th, brake hard to enter a turn, quick double-paddle to 2nd - I know I'm in second and can accelerate out of the turn, I don't need a steering wheel or dash to tell me what gear I'm in.
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      12-05-2010, 05:59 PM   #42
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i know this has been discussed before- but is there a definitive answer on how bad engine braking really is for the car?
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      12-05-2010, 06:21 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11' AW M3 View Post
i know this has been discussed before- but is there a definitive answer on how bad engine braking really is for the car?
I don't think there is a definitive answer but as a general rule of thumb, engine braking is totally fine if done right. There's a reason the car auto-downshifts into gear when breaking (in D mode) and race car drivers and all other forms of performance driving utilizes downshifting into turns and etc.

Just don't go into 1st that often
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      12-05-2010, 11:05 PM   #44
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doing all your braking and downshifting before the turn gets you in optimal gear...you should know what gear you're in when doing this. If you don't, you're passively driving and should engage the auto-drive setting for auto-shifting

this may not be relavent for DCT, but still the same concept -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heel-and-toe

I know it seems really basic, but a good refresher. Gotta keep your head in the game as if you were driving a motorcycle.
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