How to Use Paddle Shifters

December 10th, 2018 by

812 superfast steering wheel and paddle shifters

Paddle shifters are a features that’s standard or available on many vehicles, but have you ever wondered why they’re there or how they function? Across the country, we provide the best exotic and collector car inventory, along with the most knowledgeable staff in the market. Today, we’ll talk through what paddle shifters are and how they function.

What are Paddle Shifters?

Paddle shifters are often found on sportier vehicles and exotic cars because they allow faster gear changes without the use a manually operated clutch. They’re usually located behind or near the steering wheel, and one paddle brings you down a gear, while the other paddle brings you up a gear. When you use a paddle, the computer receives an electronic signal for gear change, the clutch engages, a new gear is selected, and then the clutch is disengaged bringing the car into the new gear. This is how single-clutch transmissions work.

For a dual-clutch transmissions, the two clutches work to engage the next gear prior to the paddle being pulled, reducing the time to change gears when you do so. Paddle shifters are easy to use, and they offer more control to help you manage your RPMs better. With correct downshifting, you can even extend the life of your brake pads by using paddle shifters.

How to Use Paddle Shifters

While driving a car equipped with paddle shifters, you’ll want to enter manual mode. This puts you in full control to paddle shift. The right paddle upshifts and the left paddle downshifts, and you can easily switch gears manually as you drive around. With most exotic cars, you’ll pull both paddles simultaneously to select neutral. This is imperative for early sequential manual cars when arriving at a stop to preserve the clutch.

With older systems, feathering the throttle during upshifts and blipping the throttle on downshifts on manual cars will smooth the shifts tremendously. Don’t worry about harming your vehicle when shifting gears, as the paddle shifters won’t change gears if:

  • You upshift before the engine reaches the lower limit of the higher gear
  • You downshift before reaching the upper limit of the lower gear
  • You press one paddle while the other is being held down
  • You press both paddles at the same time
  • You try to shift to third or higher while stationary
  • If you’d rather let the automatic transmission take over for a while, just enter D mode.

Marshall Goldman Models with Paddle Shifters

Across our vast inventory of exotic, collector, and unique cars you’ll find plenty of models with paddle shifters. Some brands you can expect to find paddle shifters on include:

  • Alfa Romeo
  • Aston Martin
  • Audi
  • BMW
  • Ferrari
  • Jaguar
  • Lamborghini
  • McLaren
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Porsche

If you have any questions about which of our vehicles have paddle shifters, feel free to contact us today to learn more!

2019 zo6 interior with paddle shifters
911 GTE interior with paddle shifters

Learn More about Paddle Shifters at Marshall Goldman Motor Sales

To learn more about how to use paddle shifters or to explore vehicles with paddles in person, contact us to set up an appointment, or simply stop by when it’s convenient. Our sales team will be happy to show you the available vehicles, and our finance team can provide finance or lease options. Visit us in Cleveland if you’re in town, or rely on our exceptional Nationwide Delivery service to bring you the vehicle of your dreams.

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