Torque shop

My car has paddle shifters and seven gears. I have the habit of skipping through the gears rapidly, like from sixth to third.

When I was driving a manual car, I used to shift directly from fourth to second gear. There was no damage to my manual car's gearbox then. But if I do it with my current car's paddle shifters, will I damage or wear out the transmission prematurely?

Unlike manual transmissions, it is not possible to shift directly from sixth to third in an automatic car.

You need to run down the sequence, through fifth and fourth, before arriving at third.

In a manual box, the driver did all the clutch work.

In an automated manual gearbox such as a double-clutch transmission, the computer makes all the decisions and commands the actuator to do the "clutch" work.

As the system is computer- controlled, there is no danger of shifting to a lower gear if the speed is too high for the ratio.

No matter how many times you flick the paddle, it will never switch from sixth to first, for example, at a speed of 80kmh.

It works for upshifts too. The transmission will not allow you to select a high gear if the speed is too low.

So there is no risk of damaging your vehicle's transmission if you paddle down (or up) rapidly.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 21, 2017, with the headline 'Torque Shop'. Subscribe