Detailed Guide on How to Effectively Use Paddle Shifts

Taking a sharp turn above 60mph? A paddle shift makes it much smoother. The automotive industry has already entered the interesting technology transition, which is driving it forward. Today, cars are not just meant to be driven to work. A modern user like you could enjoy the best ride with advanced features in the most comfortable way. It becomes even more engaging when you have to worry less about controls.

A paddle shift offers a driver the best of both worlds. Have you just got yourself your favorite car and got no idea know how a paddle shift works? We are here to help.

What is it? How it works? You will get your answers. Let’s begin with the basics.

What are Paddle Shifters?

Here we go. Before you move forward on how it works, you need to know what do they actually look like and where they are physically positioned.

Two Levers On the Back of Steering Wheel

Paddle shifts are two flap-like levers mounted on the back of your steering wheel. They most often look like a paddle. Obviously, this is where they got their name from—one on the right and the other on the left. One is marked with a positive sign (the right one usually), while the other would have a negative sign (the left one usually). Now go into your car, get on the driving seat, and you can see something like a thumb right across the center of the steering wheel at the steering column. Yes! You got that right.

Allow You to Move Closer or Away From Steering Wheel

Paddle shifts allow you to be moved closer or away from the steering wheel, making it handy to use. So, you don’t have to take your hands off of the steering wheel. They are designed and placed in such a manner that when you put your hands on the steering wheel, you can feel it close to your fingers.

Now that you know where they are located, let’s dive deeper into the topic and talk about what they do.

What are the Uses of Paddle Shifts?

Driving your own car is good, but what if you can do it with a sporty touch? This is what paddle shifts are designed to do.

Do you know that this technology was introduced in the 1980s? Cars like formula one and Ferrari were the first cars to adapt to it. Today, you will find them not just in trucks or sports cars but in an Accord and even in a Ford. This cool technology is the right mix of manual and automatic transmission. When you ask how you can speed up without a clutch, look at the back of your steering wheel.

Yes, paddle shifts are the gismo. They work like a modified shift lever allowing the driver to drive in manual mode and select the gear of his choice without a clutch. This makes the driver more comfortable on the wheels.

You can find it in every vehicle with a semi-auto transmission, simply not manual but not just automatic.  But remember, it is not going to make gearshifts for you. You got to do something by yourself.

Benefits to Enjoy From Paddle Shifts

Now that we have a grip on basics let talk about the real deal. What makes them a must-have in your car? This technology is not just for rally cars or trucks to enjoy speeding. Do you see how your favorite vehicles are also becoming smart? The paddle shifts make it easier to operate. Not to mention, you don’t need special upkeep for it. You should not simply drive your car, you should enjoy it, and this is not all.

Here we list down some added benefits for you to have an idea about what we are talking about, as most of us aren’t familiar with these components.

1. Smooth Drive

With paddle shifts, it’s like having something that doesn’t only enhance the driving experience but also keep it easy on the system inside. While driving an automated vehicle, you don’t have to watch for gears as they shift on their own by monitoring revs. But that’s not the complete picture. To make it happen, the engine of the vehicle has to bear the load for it.

Keeps the Load Off the Engine

Now that you have this feature, you can experience a drive like that of the automated one. This is how it enhances your overall driving experience keeping the load off the engine without your car being completely automated, which destroys the enjoyment that the drive can offer.

You’ll have more control of your drive with it, just like how a driver wants. This is why you wanted to be on the driving seat. Isn’t it?

2. Safety Comes First

Paddle shifts allow you to enjoy the drive without disturbing your focus from the road. The reality is that you cannot completely rely on technology. You need a human brain to make it work at times. No matter how automated or smart car you drive, they are just to run on already fed instructions. Your fully automated vehicle is not ready to run on its own if the situations around you change. What if you are driving on a rocky road or it starts raining heavily while you are out on a drive?

Ability to Change the Driving Style

This is the time when you need your gears to be in your own control. You can change your driving style as the gear can be controlled by you. This way, you can speed up or lower it down depending on the roads and the weather your car is taken out in. You don’t have to rely on the brakes. If you sufficiently know when and how to change the gear and what gear would you require, it becomes safer for you to drive.

3. Longer Car Life

One of the key benefits of using paddle shifts is a smooth drive. It allows you to paddle shift into a lower gear to speed up easily. As mentioned above, you don’t have to shift your focus or move a hand to change it. When you are taking a speedy turn or going around the junction, semi-auto transmission helps you in a better way to stay in control of your vehicle.

Well, you must be thinking that you can get this done in a better way with an automatic transmission. No, you can’t because that works involuntarily and without adapting to the situation. This also demands your engine to put in more power. When you come to the manual option, leaving the steering wheel can tip you off in this situation. Changing gears on an uncertain turn with a manual transmission is really risky. You need a better focus on such roads. Things can go wrong within minutes of the application, and again, putting a strain on the engine.

You driving it with first gear reduces wear and tear. You can drive smoothly with better fuel mileage and efficiency. This is how semi-automated transmission beats the manual and the completely automated transmissions, prolonging your engine’s and car’s life.

Things to Know When Using Paddle Shifters

So, here is the drill. We do know that you have knowledge about the paddle shifts. You know their functionality, and you’re aware of why both of these and their semi-automatic transmission ought to be used.

How Do You Use the Functionality It Possesses?

If you really know about them, you’d know that their use is the exact opposite of how complex they sound.

They’re pretty simple to use. The left paddle moves the gear down, while the one on the right does the opposite of what the left does. They move you gear up. You can see it happening with each activation of the paddle shift. (Activation: pressing the paddle shift with your fingers)

When Should a Paddle Shift be Used?

Like manual transmission, there isn’t any strict set of rules to follow. Someone who has been driving stick for long would know that learning about and understanding the functionality of your car through this method gives this method an added appeal.

What Would be the Best Time for a Gear Shift?

It depends. Weather, road conditions, and traffic density play important roles. Why do you use a semi-automated system with gear paddles? Obviously, to learn this art and for fun. You get to understand the car and its functions, which is a kind of greater insight and provides a more spectacular driving experience.

New to Using Paddle Shifts?

Here is the tip: keep an eye as to when the rev counter needle is somewhere between 1500 to 250 RPM. That’s where you decide to use a paddle shift. You’re welcome.

Finding the Range Pretty Broad?

Well, don’t worry. This range is to ensure that you stay within the range that deems no peril to your engine. Once you become experienced, you can start fine-tuning your shifts, but before that, this range should be your go-to when controlling your car gearshifts.

The art of learning to use your paddle shifts to time gearshifts is actually fun. You’d be amazed as to how these seemingly complex components work.

Maintaining a Paddle Shift

I know that you are convinced to get a paddle shift, but you must be worried about looking after it. Your mind must be coming with things like what if it breaks down or what if it needs a repair every other day. It can also become difficult to fix them.

Automotive Damages Require Expensive Upkeep

Automotive damages, especially the transmission, usually require expensive upkeep, importantly, if there is a breakdown. You know what, you really don’t need to worry about it that much. It’s not given that they are going to cause you such big troubles. You just need your car handbook and keep a gentle hand on it. It is just like taking care of the coolant passage.

Maintenance Tip

Each manual has some maintenance tips for keeping it all together. Here is a tiny heck: if you change the fluid after every 50,000 miles, your paddle shift is bound to stay fine and all set to take you wherever you want. You can thank me later.

Summing This Up

That is all. Period. You know everything that can help you to drive your favorite car with the semi-automation transmission. We have done the job at our best. You know what it is, where it is, and how to use it. Yes, it’s that simple. Go out, get inside your cars, fasten your seat belt, and get started. Enjoy a smooth acceleration with all the control in your hands—no need to worry.