How do Paddle Shifters work?
Last week we took a look at one of our favorite family-friendly features found in vehicles like the 2016 Toyota Sienna, and for this week’s How’s This Work we’re going to look at one of the best features for sporty drivers: paddle shifters. For those drivers who love the perks of a manual transmission but don’t want to give up the convenience of an automatic, purchasing a vehicle with paddle shifters might be a great idea, as they combine both.
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What are Paddle Shifters?
So what are paddle shifters? To understand the need for paddle shifters, you first have to understand the difference between manual and automatic transmissions. An automatic transmission works just as it sounds, automatically. The vehicle shifts between gears on its own, making sure it’s always working at an optimum capacity. It creates a much more relaxed driving experience as there is less for the driver to worry about. Manual, on the other hand, requires the driver to manually shift gears using a stick shift while also depressing an extra pedal called the clutch. It can get to be a little much.
Why wouldn’t everyone just drive automatic then? There are benefits to a manual transmission as well. While it can be more tiresome and demanding, it does allow much more power to get to the engine, and manual transmissions actually used to be more fuel efficient than automatics. So sporty drivers that one that power perk tethered to manual transmissions without giving up the convenience of an automatic can turn to paddle shifters.
Paddle shifters are found in a type of transmission called semi-automatic. Drivers are able to shift from drive into manual mode, which will then allow them to use steering wheel-mounted paddles to shift up and down, much like in a manual transmission but without pressing an extra pedal or taking your hand off the steering wheel. In turn, it’s much safer while also delivering extra power.
You can watch the video below for a more visual explanation of paddle shifters and how they work. If you have any further questions, feel free to give us a call here at the sales desk and we’d be happy to help you.