99 Concours: SHIFTING 101 for IDIOTS
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Cadillac DeVille 1985 to 2005 including:
1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, 99 Concours: SHIFTING 101 for IDIOTS in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Help me out guys! As you may know this is my first Caddy and my first automatic. 25 years of ...
  1. #1
    jersey dude is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    99 Concours: SHIFTING 101 for IDIOTS

    Help me out guys! As you may know this is my first Caddy and my first automatic. 25 years of manual shifting habits are hard to break. I've asked around and I am still confused because I get no one answer. And NOBODY apparently has ever shifted into 3 or 2 let alone 1.

    1) Right now I just leave it in DRIVE-which covers everything on my routine commute from blasting down 695 to stop-n-go in downtown Baltimore. If I know I will be sitting at a light for a full cycle or similar not-moving-anytime-soon situation I will shift to NEUTRAL. And right into DRIVE when the moment arises. On the 99 Concours I understand DRIVE to incorporate an automatic OVERDRIVE. I do not understand fully what OVERDRIVE is other than I think it improves fuel efficiency at highway speeds (I guess like 5th on the old Accord).

    2) You know how it is. Sometimes at a light you just have to beat a hasty retreat. I will shift into 3 (I assume this is for stronger starts) and once underway into DRIVE. Is this correct?

    3) Approaching those LONG tollbooth lines in Delaware or traffic because of an accident 7-miles ahead: In my manual days I could pretty much get along in second to keep an even pace and avoid riding the brakes. So now-with the automatic-can I use 2? I tried this with some success but I feel guilty 'shifting' the automatic.

    4) Same in snow/ice. (God help me with an 11 billion ton Boatillac). Keep it in 2 in those seriously bad situations when you can't (shouldn't) go above 15 mph? And knock it into NEUTRAL when I have to stop (brakes not fighting the drivetrain)?

    5) Should I feel guilty 'shifting'? Will I need a new transmission in a month?

    And yes, I have read the manual (too general and written in that vague GM 'our lawyers have been through this and sanitized this into meaninglessness'). I will not ever be towing anything or climbing steep mountain roads and do understand the bit about not shifting DOWN from DRIVE into 2 at 90 mph. That is the one part obvious even to myself.

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  3. #2
    elwesso's Avatar
    elwesso is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 99 Concours: SHIFTING 101 for IDIOTS

    To be more technical, putting the selector in 3, 2 or 1 doesnt mean your in THAT gear, but it actually (at least on my car, i assume that its the same) prevents you from going HIGHER than that gear...... For instance, on mine, when I put it in 1, i can stay at the redline for as long as I want to..... it wont shift until i move it over...... Theres probably some sort of dea that once it gets to the redline it shifts, thats the way it is on our GTP......

    So Ill go over your individual questions......

    1. Overdrive is simply where the input speed is slower than the output speed....... Controlled by the Torque converter....... So yes, it does improve fuel economy because you can go fast and the engine goes slower (uses less fuel)

    2. Shifting into 3 wont do anything for you, except not allow 4th or the TC....... Id shift into 2nd, that way you get 2 redline shifts.... If you want to keep going, then select D......

    3. That wont do anything.......

    4. I dont see any advantage in that either.......

    5. No..... No biggie

    In conclusion, keeping it in D will give you the optimum results...... If you want to goto a higher gear, then you downshift.....

    I leave mine in drive at all times unless Im doing a redline shift, then I can wait to shift when I want to.......

  4. #3
    Katshot's Avatar
    Katshot is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 99 Concours: SHIFTING 101 for IDIOTS

    You go Wes!
    The automatic trans in your car gives you total freedom from having to care what gear you're in at any given time. Sitting in traffic, in drive won't hurt it. That's what it's designed for. If you are sitting stationary for a while and not moving, I'd slide it into park or neutral myself but for short periods of time, stationary, I wouldn't bother.
    Your trans is a 4-speed automatic with a lock-up converter. When you select "D", it will give you optimum fuel economy for a couple reasons. The PCM will allow a 3-4 shift which will allow better fuel economy due to a higher gear, the torque converter to "lock-up" which creates a basic mechanical link through the converter which eliminates ALL slipping of the converter clutches. This effectively lowers the engine RPM even more and thereby increases fuel economy. The other thing it does is disengage the "overrun" clutch pack in the trans which will basically make the car feel like it's gliding along in neutral as you let off the throttle. This too will keep fuel economy at it's best. Unfortunately, these features tend to be counter-productive for "enthusiastic" driving. By dropping the shifter to "3" you will notice a lot more energetic throttle response for a couple reasons:
    1. The "overrun" clutches are enabled which will give you a good deal of engine braking on trailing throttle.
    2. Keeping the car in 3rd gear keeps the engine in a beefier portion of the powerband.
    3. Throttle tip-in will be immediate due to the lack of having to unlock the converter and no 4-3 down-shift.
    Bottom line: If you want to drive around in 3rd for a more sporty feel, have at it, you'll only be sacrificing fuel mileage.

  5. #4
    elwesso's Avatar
    elwesso is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 99 Concours: SHIFTING 101 for IDIOTS

    Actually, on NICO, it has been advised to drive in 3rd when your driving in town...... Below 40mph, there isnt much difference in RPM whether its in 3rd or 4th..... that being said, as you vary speeds, it shifts a lot...... So you put it in 3rd to relieve some shifts, extending tranny life (somewhat, probably not much), and not really doing much for fuel economy......

    But yes, when your gonna be stationary for a while, put it in neutral..... When you are sitting, its like a furnace for the tranny....... And heat is the no1 killer of transmissions, not heat.!!!

  6. #5
    jersey dude is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Thanks!

    As usual-quick and perfect responses to my lame questions. You have no idea how many people I have asked about automatic shifting and none could provide me answers. Now I know the WHY of it all. (I figure I spend hours behind the wheel of this beast and oughta' at least have a clue as to how it works). Thanks!

  7. #6
    elwesso's Avatar
    elwesso is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Thanks!

    No problemo

    Also...... Some people wil tell you that manually shifting the auto tranny is bad........ Only true if you try and downshift to 2nd going 100....... And theres things that wont let you do that......!

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