Does "sport mode" on the CTS tranny eventually cause more wear and tear than Auto?
Cadillac
 

Cadillac Forums | Help Us Help You | Advertise | Cadillac Parts | Cadillac News | Cadillac Classifieds / (Old System)

Cadillac Technical Archive | Cadillac Dealers | Cadillac Reviews | Cadillac Dealer Reviews | Cadillac Vendors

CadillacForums.com is the premier Cadillac Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 14 of 14
Like Tree1Likes
  • 2 Post By Wag-O-Neer
2008-2013 Cadillac CTS General Discussion Discussion, Does "sport mode" on the CTS tranny eventually cause more wear and tear than Auto? in Cadillac CTS Second Generation Forum - 2008-2013; I read an interesting article in a local paper from a car columnist. He was asked this question by a ...
  1. #1
    mkelch is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2011 CTS Coupe, Metallic Black Ice
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Age
    61
    Posts
    61

    Does "sport mode" on the CTS tranny eventually cause more wear and tear than Auto?

    I read an interesting article in a local paper from a car columnist.

    He was asked this question by a reader.... "If I use my transmission manually to gear-down as a way of slowing down the car (engine braking) instead of using just the brakes, does this save my brakes from increased wear and tear or am I causing more wear and tear on the tranny which, in the long term, will cost more to fix than just getting new brakes?"

    He answered the question by saying that you should usually use your brakes since they are cheaper and easier to replace than a tranny repair and that engine-braking can cause damaging heat-building within the tranny.

    I can understand his answer relative to a normal car equipped with an automatic tranny designed to be operated in Auto 99% percent of the time.

    But in the case of the CTS tranny which has the Sport Mode that seems to encourage the use of the CTS's automatic tranny in manual mode, I wonder if this is still an issue?

    Am I wearing out my tranny faster in Sport Mode than if I just left it in auto and used the brakes to slow down?

    I'm running the CTS 2011 Coupe (not the V).

    Just curious. Thoughts?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    CadillacForums.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    tonyfort's Avatar
    tonyfort is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): Former owner 2008 CTS
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    228

    Re: Does "sport mode" on the CTS tranny eventually cause more wear and tear than Auto

    I highly doubt you would cause any more wear and tear unless you are acting like an idiot with the thing (driving in the wrong gear for speed, etc).

  4. #3
    Wag-O-Neer is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2010 CTS-4 Wagon Premium 3.6 w/FE2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    212

    Re: Does "sport mode" on the CTS tranny eventually cause more wear and tear than Auto

    The fact that our cars have the rev-matched downshifting (throttle blipping) feature, it eliminates the shock on the transmission and driveline when downshifting manually. In automatic transmissions not equipped with this feature, I can see the point that the columnist is trying to make. But I can't see it really harming the tranny in our cars, when running in sport mode.
    mkelch and mkelch like this.

  5. #4
    mkelch is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2011 CTS Coupe, Metallic Black Ice
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Age
    61
    Posts
    61

    Re: Does "sport mode" on the CTS tranny eventually cause more wear and tear than Auto

    This was the answer I was looking for. Many thanks for the clear and concise reply.

  6. #5
    SpeedracerZ06 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 08 CTS-4 DI FE2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Age
    40
    Posts
    30

    Re: Does "sport mode" on the CTS tranny eventually cause more wear and tear than Auto

    I know you only asked about the transmission but your engine is running at higher revs than non-sport mode so you are putting more wear and tear on your engine. Even in sport mode I'm not happy with the shift characteristics of the auto transmission.

  7. #6
    MKWAGON is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2010 AWD Sportwagon, Diamond white, 3.6 DI
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario Canada
    Age
    54
    Posts
    192

    Re: Does "sport mode" on the CTS tranny eventually cause more wear and tear than Auto

    Bear in mind, the engine is designed to make power, not absorb it. These trannys are meant to be manually downshifted to bring the engine into the correct power band for acceleration, not to brake the car. Racers don't use their engines for braking either, they downshift to bring the engine rpm into the right powerband too accelerate out the corner or away from a slowdown. Engine braking causes abnormal temp swings in the cylinders. It's one thing to use your engine to help brake going down a long grade to help avoid brake fade, it's another to do it any time you need to slow down. You're not driving a transport with an engine specifically designed for braking as one of it's duties. While it's doubtful to ruin your engine, why bother when you've got a great braking system that is designed for that express purpose and really isn't a costly maintenance item in the grand scheme. Besides the brake system will provide balanced braking at all corners, unlike the unbalanced braking of the rear alone that you'll get from engine braking, since the CTS is a rear drive based car. I hope this helps. Enjoy the car. MK

  8. #7
    tonyfort's Avatar
    tonyfort is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): Former owner 2008 CTS
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    228

    Re: Does "sport mode" on the CTS tranny eventually cause more wear and tear than Auto

    IIRC if you're not manually downshifting, even in sport mode/manual mode as you slow down the tranny acts just as it would if you were in normal "D". So unless you are manually downshifting all the time, you wouldn't have to worry about the engine braking aspect.

  9. #8
    mkelch is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2011 CTS Coupe, Metallic Black Ice
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Age
    61
    Posts
    61

    Re: Does "sport mode" on the CTS tranny eventually cause more wear and tear than Auto

    MK, really appreciate your comments. Your remark about the braking system providing balanced braking makes a lot of sense. Based on the comments I have seen in this thread, I think I will only use sport mode to shift gears and not for engine braking, except when driving through the mountains of New Hampshire where downshifting is, in certain hilly situations, almost a requirement.

    BTW, noted that you drive the wagon. I drove across Canada and the US in 2011 (about 20,000 kms in all) on a deluxe road trip and I have to say that your car is a rare bird. I think I saw only two out there on the Interstates. I love the look and almost bought one myself but the coupe won the day.

    Of course, I hardly see any Coupes out there too, speaking of rare birds.

  10. #9
    MKWAGON is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2010 AWD Sportwagon, Diamond white, 3.6 DI
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario Canada
    Age
    54
    Posts
    192

    Re: Does "sport mode" on the CTS tranny eventually cause more wear and tear than Auto

    I am very envious of your trip! All those kms in that car. Yes these cars are surprisingly rare compared to the sedans, which is kind of neat. I think if the coupe had been out when I was buying, it could have gone either way. That's how I use mine too and that's probably what they intended when they designed it. MK

  11. #10
    TorontoWorker's Avatar
    TorontoWorker is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 11 CTS Sport Coupe, 2000 Carrera GT3, 2008 Sebring Cab
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mississauga, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    83

    Re: Does "sport mode" on the CTS tranny eventually cause more wear and tear than Auto

    Quote Originally Posted by MKWAGON View Post
    Racers don't use their engines for braking either, they downshift to bring the engine rpm into the right powerband too accelerate out the corner or away from a slowdown.
    Not even close to the truth. Downshifting to accelerate?? Not at the rev limit you don't!

    I have several thousands miles of laps at my home track in all kinds of vehicles, some full on race cars others street legal. If you use your brakes for more then a few laps at race speeds at any sort of demanding road course you will find yourself flying off the course with brakes smoking and gravel flying everywhere as you hit the tire barriers!

    You must use your brakes AND gearbox in combination as you enter the braking zones - this applies to manual or automatics. You do this while braking by matching the engine rev's with the rear wheel axle speed as you select a lower gear. There is no need to be synchronizing anything while up-shifting - that's what the synchro's are for!

    While I retired my race cars a few years back and currently have street legal cars to use for lapping days, I have never experienced any wear and tear outside of normal maintenance due to using auto transmissions in combination with the brakes while lapping at Mosport. In fact many people who use manuals at track days experience way too much brake wear as they employ the wrong heal and toe method or none at all.

    I currently have a 2011 CTS Coupe which I have done several lapping days in while using the sport setting for the transmission and have found no issues. Tire wear? Yup, but that's another issue!

    Last fall I ran in a group that included a 2011 Porsche Panamera (non turbo s model) that simply couldn't keep up with me - boy was he ever surprised. One note however; I run in manual mode with the stabil a trac off where as the Porsche's system was kept on which could have accounted for his car snaking around under cornering as the system seems to 'worry' too much and apply the brakes on different corners to control slides. I would worry about excessive brake wear in that mode and in that type of setting quite honestly.

    I also have a 911 with the early version PDK (No one but a German can say the damn name for what they call this tranny!) and again I've never had an issue with it. I don't run it in auto mode although I know some who do (they say they can concentrate better on their lines through corners) and many 6 speed owners wonder if they have made a mistake ordering a manual after a few hours in traffic. I have the best of both worlds.

    The CTS sport mode simply will not allow you to downshift too early - the 'M' starts FLASHING in the speedo area and won't downshift until the ECU program says it can. You'll also note that even in so called manual the car will downshift by itself if you fail to do so as you slow down and it's downshift points are not much different then what you would have selected.

    I'm not too sure on the program the CTS is running under and if it is adaptive as I rarely get a chance to use the car as the spouse mostly 'owns' it. The Porsche does adapt to 'how' you drive it while in auto mode and has several different map settings from around town to aggressive shifting mode based upon sensing your driving. In aggressive mode (if I feels that way!), it draws out the up-shifts right up until red line before shifting. Fun when you have an unaware passenger... (grin)

    Chears

    If your not downshifting while braking... then your going shopping to the mall mode. (which is fine for that use)

  12. #11
    RAB's Avatar
    RAB
    RAB is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 2011 CTS Premium AWD Sport Sedan w/FE5 - RadiantSilver|Ebony
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,912

    Re: Does "sport mode" on the CTS tranny eventually cause more wear and tear than Auto

    For average day-to-day driving I almost always move the shift lever to the right to engage SPORT MODE, and in that mode I'll normally allow the transmission to just shift by itself, automatically. Per my '11 CTS owner's manual, when in 'automatic' Sport Mode.. "The transmission may remain in a gear longer than it would in the normal driving mode based on braking, throttle input, and vehicle lateral acceleration".
    I regard the transmission's Normal driving mode as the default eco-mode. Sport Mode is what the vehicle designers and engineers (and God) intended for the CTS.

    On 2010 m-y and newer CTS's, on selecting Sport Mode - but not moving the shift lever forward or rearward to engage DSC - you are immediately presented with the current gear numeral in the tachometer display. This isn't the case on 2008-2009 CTS's (i.e. no gear numeral display when in automatic Sport Mode on early m-y 2nd Gen cars - on those vehicles the gear numeral appears only when manual DSC is engaged).

    On those occasions where I engage DSC I find I'm really enjoying the Tap Shift controls located on the back of my steering wheel (a feature of the FE5 19" all-season tire package).

  13. #12
    ctsfan2009 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2009 CTS4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    240

    Re: Does "sport mode" on the CTS tranny eventually cause more wear and tear than Auto

    I don't use the full on manual mode all that often, but I do frequently put the trans in sport mode. To me, this should be the default mode as the shift points are much better for this type of car. Does anyone know of any tricks to get the car to default to sport mode? I'd love to not have to notch the transmission to the right once I shift into gear(my problem is I forget and then do an upshift when trying to go to park!), although I will say the lever vibrates much less when in the sport position.

  14. #13
    The_Judge's Avatar
    The_Judge is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): '11 CTS 3.6 Premium, Black on Black, 19" Summer Tire Package
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Hermosa Beach, California
    Posts
    1,195

    Re: Does "sport mode" on the CTS tranny eventually cause more wear and tear than Auto

    Just get in the habit of shoving the shifter to the right when you put the car in drive. No other way to do it that I'm aware of.

  15. #14
    RAB's Avatar
    RAB
    RAB is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 2011 CTS Premium AWD Sport Sedan w/FE5 - RadiantSilver|Ebony
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,912

    Re: Does "sport mode" on the CTS tranny eventually cause more wear and tear than Auto

    Quote Originally Posted by ctsfan2009 View Post
    I don't use the full on manual mode all that often, but I do frequently put the trans in sport mode. To me, this should be the default mode as the shift points are much better for this type of car. Does anyone know of any tricks to get the car to default to sport mode? I'd love to not have to notch the transmission to the right once I shift into gear(my problem is I forget and then do an upshift when trying to go to park!), although I will say the lever vibrates much less when in the sport position.
    ctsfan2009, I believe it would be pretty easy to get the car to default to Sport Mode rather than normal mode. I'm guessing it would only take a jumper wire or similar to be applied across the Sport Mode (i.e. Power/Enable) activation switch, down inside the console-mounted shift lever assembly. I've attached a link below to the electrical drawing for "IMS Tap Up/Tap Down" for a 2009 CTS, which includes connection detail for the auto transmission shift lever, specifically the manual shift switches . There are a total of 3 switches - Power/Enable, Tap Up and Tap Down. The specific switch to jumper would be the one located at the right-hand side of the rectangle on the drawing, with the power symbol shown next to it.
    I've also included a link to the instruction for removing the front floor console shift opening trim plate (automatic transmission).
    I may give this a go sometime!

    - 09 CTS IMS Tap Up/Tap Down Schematic: http://www.mediafire.com/?95z1doo2574rfk8
    - 08 CTS Front Floor Console Transmission Shift Opening Trim Plate Replacement Instruction: http://www.mediafire.com/?adxyemrrub2ced8

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Register Now

Please enter the name by which you would like to log-in and be known on this site.
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.

Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Bookmarks

Cadillac Posting Rules

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Read about Lincoln | Buick | Kia Forte Forum
Need products for your Cadillac? Check out your options at the links below:

custom floor mats | Cadillac Chrome and Black Chrome Wheels | window tinting