: What's the M by the transmission gear indicator?

11-08-11, 09:04 PM
I've been all over the manual and cannot find what the M is by the transmission gear indicator. The one I'm talking about is:

PS: When it saves it moves the letters. The M is to the left of the D on the indicator.

11-08-11, 09:54 PM
It stands for "Manual". It allows you to shift gears manually, without a clutch, for those performance oriented drivers. You can also use it to stay in low gear for climbing steep hills or driving in snow. Once you shift into "M" by moving the stick to the left of the "D" position, you should see a number "1" just above the "M", letting you know you're in first gear. Pushing the stick forward or backward shifts gears.


11-08-11, 09:59 PM
Sube, thank you for the post. I thought that might be it but was confused why the M stays there even when the car is in automatic mode. I don't use the manual option often but I do like how it works, it is really smooth almost a seamless transition.

11-09-11, 01:49 PM
If you just move the shifter to the left and don't touch it, the car is in sport mode (on the Performance model - not sure about Premium). From the owner's manual:

Manual Mode
Driver Shift Control (DSC)
Notice: If you drive the vehicle
at a high rpm without upshifting
while using Driver Shift Control
(DSC), you could damage the
vehicle. Always upshift when
necessary while using DSC.
Driver Shift Control (DSC)
allows you to shift an automatic
transmission similar to a manual
transmission. To use the DSC
1. Move the shift lever to
the left from D (Drive) to
M(Manual Mode).
If you do not move the shift lever
forward or rearward, the vehicle
will be in Sport Mode. When you
are in Sport Mode the vehicle
will still shift automatically.
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.
displayed in the DIC. See Ride
Control System Messages on
page 5‑39. The word “sport”
will display below the odometer.
The gear position will also be
indicated in the tachometer.
Within Sport Mode there
is a further performance
feature called Performance
Mode Lift Foot (PMLF) Mode.
The feature is activated
automatically when sports
oriented driving is detected,
based on cornering and on/off
throttle application. PMLF allows
the transmission to hold the
current gear instead of upshifting
when the throttle is lifted.
2. To enter M(Manual Mode), press
the shift lever forward to upshift
or rearward to downshift.
An M will be displayed in
the DIC.
3. To return to Sport Mode from
M(Manual Mode), press and
briefly hold the shift lever
The tachometer display on the
instrument panel cluster will
show which gear the vehicle is
in. The number indicates the
requested gear range when moving
the shift lever forward or rearward.
See Tachometer on page 5‑12 for
more information.
While using the DSC feature,
the vehicle will have firmer,
quicker shifting. You can use this
for sport driving or when climbing
or descending hills, to stay in gear
longer, or to downshift for more
power or engine braking.
The transmission will only allow
you to shift into gears appropriate
for the vehicle speed and engine
revolutions per minute (rpm). The
transmission will not automatically
shift to the next lower gear if the
engine rpm is too high, nor to the
next higher gear when the maximum
engine rpm is reached.
If shifting is prevented for any
reason, the currently selected gear
will flash multiple times, indicating
that the transmission has not shifted
While in the DSC mode, the
transmission will automatically
downshift when the vehicle comes
to a stop. This will allow for more
power during take-off.
When accelerating the vehicle from
a stop in snowy and icy conditions,
you may want to shift into second
gear. A higher gear ratio allows you
to gain more traction on slippery

:pow-mia: Never Forget

11-09-11, 08:57 PM
If you just move the shifter to the left and don't touch it, the car is in sport mode (on the Performance model - not sure about Premium).

Yes, you're correct. I inadvertently omitted that one step. Once you move the stick to the left, you have to move it forward to enter manual mode. That's when you'll see the gear numbers. This works the same for all trims of SRX.


11-10-11, 05:53 PM
I tried it today to see how it worked and was a bit puzzled. If you pull it to the left and do nothing with the lever it will shift normally it seems, though the gear is displayed. Does this mode serve any function? I like the manual mode and use it often in traffic and hilly areas. I am confused about the purpose of the sport mode. When I am shifting it myself it displays "Sport Mode" in the DIC and the "M" is displayed in red along with the gear selected. Does that mean that it really is in the manual mode and only shows sport mode because you have to begin in that mode? When I come out of manual mode by moving the lever to the right the DIC says sport mode off.

11-10-11, 07:44 PM
I tried it today also. When you pull the stick to the left it enters the "Sport Mode" which shifts a little crisper and is more in line with driving a circuit or sports type of driving. If you pull the stick to the left and then up or down you''re in the manual mode. I can tell the difference in shifting between Econo Mode and Sports. I forgot to turn off the econo mode to see the different between sports and just the regular transmission shifting, I try that tomorrow.

11-10-11, 07:44 PM
OK, there are three distinct transmission modes, TOUR, SPORT and DSC (Driver Shift Control). TOUR mode (the default) is designed so you don't feel the normal "jerk" when the car shifts gears. There's a smooth transition between gear shifts. More power assist is afforded to the steering and the suspension is softer. Essentially, TOUR mode is designed for comfort. SPORT mode is designed for performance. Switch to SPORT mode and step on the gas heavily. Notice the tachometer. The trans holds a gear much longer before shifting. When it does shift, you'll notice a prominent jerk, likes a sports car. When you want to get somewhere in a hurry or just want more excitement in your driving, SPORT is the way to go. For most situations you can just leave it in TOUR. Mileage is slightly better in TOUR as well. In DSC mode "you" shift gears just like a normal manual transmission, minus the clutch pedal. It's useful for climbing or descending hills, driving in snow and for an even more "driver involved" SPORT mode. When descending hills and driving in snow, you're using engine braking to slow down instead of depressing the brake pedal. By doing this you save wear on the brakes when descending. In snow you prevent the brakes from locking up because the low gear is what's slowing the car, not the brakes. I use this all of the time in the snow. I can drive "downhill" and never even use the brakes until I reach the bottom of the hill. Works like a charm! Remember, anti-lock brakes won't stop a car from sliding on snow or ice. They decrease the stopping distance, but the vehicle will still slide.

TOUR: Use for normal city and
highway driving. This setting
provides a smooth, soft ride.

SPORT: Use where road conditions
or personal preference demand
more control. This setting provides
more “feel”, or response to road
conditions through increased
steering effort and suspension
control. Transmission shift points
and shift firmness are also

DSC: The
vehicle will have firmer, quicker
shifting. You can use this for sport
driving or when climbing or
descending hills, to stay in gear
longer, or to down shift for more
power or engine braking.


11-11-11, 10:55 AM
Sube an excellent explanation of the transmission configuration on our SRX's. I would also like to hear you explanation of ECONOMY mode. So far your write-up makes more sense than the Owner's Manual, Thank You. I'll be using the sport mode in the winter as we have two large hills to transverse every time we leave the house and many times brakes only make you slide.

11-11-11, 12:18 PM
Excellent write up on a subject the manual fails miserably to explain. One caveat though, having been a Porsche owner for many years our forum includes many pro drivers and they all say use your engine to brake if you need the power out of the braking situation but never use your engine to just "Save" your brakes. The idea is that a new tranny, (Wear and tear), is about ten times more expensive than a brake job. Thanks again for the clear explanation.

11-11-11, 12:23 PM
Sube an excellent explanation of the transmission configuration on our SRX's. I would also like to hear you explanation of ECONOMY mode.

I wish I could take all of the credit, but I can't. The bottom paragraphs in my previous post are right out of the owner's manual. I just gave my personal spin on it.

As for ECONOMY mode, I don't have it on my '10. I believe only the Turbo 2010's have that feature. It just changes a series of things (listed below) to optimize fuel efficiency. However, there's always a trade off in performance for better mileage. Play around with it and see which mode you prefer. If you notice no substantial difference in performance based on your individual driving style, leave it in ECONOMY. Why burn more gas than you have to?

Just a word of advice to ALL owners. I would strongly suggest everyone download the PDF version of your owner's manual. You can get it right off of the Cadillac website. By simply pressing "Ctrl + F" you open up a search window that will allow you to instantly find anything in the manual using a key word. The main reason people don't want to use the hard copy of the manual is that it takes forever to find anything. Not true with the software version.

From the Manual:

Fuel Economy Mode

When fuel economy mode is on:

. The transmission will upshift sooner, and downshift later.
. The torque converter will lock–up sooner, and stay on longer.
. The gas pedal will be less sensitive.
. The vehicle's computers will more aggressively shut off fuel to the engine under deceleration.