Holding a Gear in SelectShift™ Automatic Transmission

MarkX

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Hi, all. I prefer to put the transmission into "Sport" with the Adaptive Cruise Control on when I am in a slow stop-and-go traffic situation. That is because I do not like the transmission shifting up to a higher gear as the car accelerates building momentum when the traffic starts temporarily moving again. If I hold it in second gear (or even third in some situations), engine braking will avoid having the car charge ahead prematurely. The only thing I don't like about that is that, even in Sport, the SelectShift drops down to first when the car stops, or nearly stops, causing one to have to shift up to second when there is room to move forward.

However, one day last week coming down through the Rockies between Vail and Denver there was a major closure of I-70 that created a miles-long backup that included me. I don't know what I did to cause the following but somehow the car, in Sport transmission mode, stayed in second gear! This was great because the car certainly has enough torque to move off from a dead stop in second and then use some engine braking to slow down to zero when appropriate. The car operates just fine in second gear alone from zero to about thirty-five MPH. As I said, I don't know what I did to achieve this and I have been unable to replicate it since, either. I would like to do this more in the future but I do not know to lock out first in similar situations; any thoughts? This would also be good in very slippery conditions where it is often a good idea to start off in a gear higher than first.
 

brucelinc

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Minneapolis
Interesting. You can paddle to 2nd from a dead stop in sport mode but mine always drops back to 1st if I have to stop again. Like you, I would prefer it stay in 2nd in the conditions you describe.
 

MarkX

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I will attempt to answer my own question.

After a little further experimentation, I find that if I toggle the right paddle shifter to 2 while the car is in Sport mode and is fully stopped with my foot on the brake pedal, it will stay locked in second gear regardless of speed. This seems to be the case for second gear only. One caveat: I have not tested this up to high engine RPMs. This is cancelled if you shift up or down or select the D Drive mode and returns to normal operation.

In this way, I find that I can drive all around town at legal speeds in just one gear: second! The 3.0L engine has plenty of torque so there is no problem starting out from a full stop and it gives you a smoother ride (with no shifts) and easier control over the speed of the car (using more of the gas pedal and less of the brake). I like it!
 

brucelinc

Member
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Minneapolis
I will attempt to answer my own question.

After a little further experimentation, I find that if I toggle the right paddle shifter to 2 while the car is in Sport mode and is fully stopped with my foot on the brake pedal, it will stay locked in second gear regardless of speed. This seems to be the case for second gear only. One caveat: I have not tested this up to high engine RPMs. This is cancelled if you shift up or down or select the D Drive mode and returns to normal operation.

In this way, I find that I can drive all around town at legal speeds in just one gear: second! The 3.0L engine has plenty of torque so there is no problem starting out from a full stop and it gives you a smoother ride (with no shifts) and easier control over the speed of the car (using more of the gas pedal and less of the brake). I like it!
Just so I understand: After starting in 2nd gear, if you stop again, it remains in 2nd gear? Mine doesn't. It reverts to 1st. My car was a relatively early build so apparently there was a change at some point.
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MarkX

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After starting in 2nd gear, if you stop again, it remains in 2nd gear?
Yes, exactly. I have done this multiple successive times and the transmission stays in 2nd gear while stopped. It even works with AutoHold.
My car was a relatively early build so apparently there was a change at some point.
That's interesting and possible. And that might account for why it is not documented in the Owner's Manual. I did a Google search and could find nothing exactly on point although there are some videos on YouTube showing what can be done with Ford truck automatic transmissions. There might be a ForScan code for this if you are into that sort of thing or your dealer maybe able to revise if it is just a software variable.
 

MarkX

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Mine doesn't. It reverts to 1st..
Just so I understand, you are fully stopped in Sport mode, you select 2 with the right paddle shifter and the car starts in 2nd gear and runs in 2nd until you stop? You have not shifted up or down? Then, the car down-shifts to 1st and you accelerate in 1st? What happens if you select 2 again when the car has down-shifted before you start off again?
 

jhartz

Junior Member
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Virginia Beach, VA
I need to give this a try: would be useful to save wear and tear on the clutch pack when caught in real creep-along traffic (becoming all too frequent these days).
 

MarkX

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would be useful to save wear and tear on the clutch pack when caught in real creep-along traffic
I have found that combining second-gear lock-in with adaptive cruise control saves wear and tear on the driver and passengers but I don’t know about the clutch pack.
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brucelinc

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Minneapolis
Just so I understand, you are fully stopped in Sport mode, you select 2 with the right paddle shifter and the car starts in 2nd gear and runs in 2nd until you stop? You have not shifted up or down? Then, the car down-shifts to 1st and you accelerate in 1st? What happens if you select 2 again when the car has down-shifted before you start off again

I can start in 2nd by using the upshift paddle. It will stay in 2nd as long as the car is moving. Once it stops, it goes back to 1st. I can paddle to 2nd again but it always goes back to 1st when I come to a complete stop.
 

MarkX

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@brucelinc Am I correct in having the impression that you have a Livernois tune on your car? Might that have included a software change that forces a down-shift to first in Sport? Otherwise, it might be a "generation" issue as you speculated a few days ago.
 

brucelinc

Member
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Minneapolis
OK, I was WRONG. It does stay in 2nd as long as you haven't up shifted to 3rd. I would have sworn that I had tried this before and it went back to first when you stop. Apparently, I had up shifted to 3rd when I tried it before.
 

MarkX

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OK, I was WRONG. It does stay in 2nd as long as you haven't up shifted to 3rd. I would have sworn that I had tried this before and it went back to first when you stop. Apparently, I had up shifted to 3rd when I tried it before.
Thanks for the clarification!
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