gear change indicators - Mr Carrot Cake

Does anyone else find they tell you to change up too early? In my Citroen Berlingo van I can feel the engine labouring if I change up before 1500rpm but the indicator arrow on the display comes on way before then. The engine doesnt feel fully relaxed going into 5th until 1650rpm.

gear change indicators - Stanb Sevento

My wife has had a couple of cars with change indicators, her current panda being one of them. My opinion is they were boyh rubbish, and I would trust your instinct first. Turn it off, cover it up or ignore it.

gear change indicators - RichT54

The gear change indicator in my A3 1.4 TFSI tends to suggest I change up earlier than I normally would; but if I follow its advice the engine is quite happy to pull from fairly low revs.

However, there is a caveat in the owners manual:

The gear-change indicator is intended to help save fuel. It is not intended to recommend the right gear for all driving situations. In certain situations, only the driver can choose the correct gear (for instance when overtaking, driving up a steep gradient or towing a trailer).

gear change indicators - RT

No such thing on an automatic - it just changes gears! Noticeably it changes at much lower rpm at low throttle than at high throttle. Mine changes up to 8th at 1,100 rpm if I'm driving like Hoke Colburn - but 4,500 rpm, the rev limit, at full throttle - yes, it's a diesel!

gear change indicators - RobJP

BMWs, like I'm sure other cars, have driving 'modes'. In Eco, throttle response is dulled and gear changes are recommended once you go past 1.5k rpm. In Comfort mode, normal throttle response, change indicators at 2k rpm. Sport mode, sharpened throttle and no change indicators.

The Eco mode, the throttle response is so dulled as to be almost dangerous. Change up when recommended, and unless you're going downhill the engine is labouring horribly. The only time I could foresee it being of use would be if you were desperately trying to get to a petrol station that was 50 miles away, and you had an indicated 45 miles of fuel remaining.

gear change indicators - Theophilus

The only time I could foresee it being of use would be if you were desperately trying to get to a petrol station that was 50 miles away, and you had an indicated 45 miles of fuel remaining.

I agree - but the way most modern fuel gauges are calibrated if it reads 45 miles to go you've got enough fuel for another 100 miles!

gear change indicators - bathtub tom

My Yaris has the missus using the gears far more intelligently. I've been with her chugging round a corner at 20MPH in fifth before now in a previous car, but with these indicators she actually obeys them.

You should see her struggling with the derailleur on her pushbike!

gear change indicators - Theophilus

I would advise everyone in my family never to look at the gear change indicators, but listen to the engine.

In my opinion they are yet another distraction encouraging motorists to take their eyes off the road ahead.

gear change indicators - SkodaIan

Some are more intelligent than others. VW group cars, with petrol engines at least, do seem to take into account the current throttle demand. My Octavia doesn't suggest changing up until about 4500rpm if the accelerator is flat on the floor, but (correctly from a fuel consumption perspective) will tell me to go into 6th when travelling on a slight downhill at 30.

By contrast, my Kangoo van, and a 1st generation i30 I had for a while both seemed to just have a look up table of speeds and gears. It was something like up to 5mph in first, 10mph in 2nd, 20mph in third etc. and told you that was the gear to select regardless.

The problem with even the intelligent systems (and automatic gearboxes) is that they don't look out of the front window and see the hill, corner, or errant pedestrian in the road ahead, all of which a reasonably skilled driver will take into account when selecting which gear to be in.

Fortunately the display of this seems to be getting less rather than more intrusive in current cars - the original i30 was a particularly bad example with a huge blue arrow about half the size of the Speedo which was really distracting, particularly as it was often wrong so you couldn't change gear to get rid of it!!

gear change indicators - Bromptonaut

Both our cars have them. Mine is a Skoda Roomster and Mrs B's a Citroen Berlingo Multispace, presumably mechanically similar to OP's. Both would have me change up at point where engine is both cruelly laboured and below the torque band. Way below 2k revs never mind the 2.5 to 3k (both are diesels) I'm comfortable with.

Maybe the electronics reduce the fuel flow so as to avoid worst of possible bearing damage from labouring but even so....

Oddity with Berlingo is that when, for example, climbing moutain roads (the continental sort) it'll drop out of the torque band so that acceleration out the hairpins doesn't happen, In the old IDI days you'd feel every detonation to remind you to change down.

gear change indicators - gordonbennet

If i was unfortunate enough, perish the thought, to end up with a car with such a ridiculous nanny adviser, i'd stick some black tape over the light.

Daf lorries had these silly things in the 80's, gave them a good ignoring then too.

gear change indicators - Engineer Andy

Indeed - these features are devices for lazy drivers or, at most, for the first month or so after buying the car - if a driver cannot tell by experience soon after when the best time to change up/down is, then they don't deserve to be driving.

At first, I just used my Mazda handbook as a 'rough guide' figure for driving on the flat without any distractions, then make my own mind up like most people, dependent upon road conditions, the level of acceleration I need and fuel economy I'm reasonably looking to achieve, without unduly stressing or labouring the engine.

gear change indicators - focussed

Teaching beginners the question always comes up.

"What gear do I need to use at X mph"

The rough guide in most cars is "

Up to these speeds use these gears:

10 mph = 1st

20 mph = 2nd

30 mph = 3rd

40 mph = 4th

50 mph = 5th

60 mph = 6 th

Worked for my pupils - works for me now.

Can't abide slogging around in high gears at low speeds, less control over your speed on the throttle, constant unneccesary use of brakes to keep the speed down - bad driving.

gear change indicators - Stanb Sevento

Teaching beginners the question always comes up.

"What gear do I need to use at X mph"

The rough guide in most cars is "

Up to these speeds use these gears:

10 mph = 1st

20 mph = 2nd

30 mph = 3rd

40 mph = 4th

50 mph = 5th

60 mph = 6 th

Worked for my pupils - works for me now.

Can't abide slogging around in high gears at low speeds, less control over your speed on the throttle, constant unneccesary use of brakes to keep the speed down - bad driving.

Did the IAM test many years ago and their advice was much the same 3rd / 30mph 4th / 40mph ect and you should always be in a gear where you have resonable acceloration. I got ticked off for being in 4th in a 30 zone by a police driving instructor. The IAMs policy was never to compromise safety for economy.

gear change indicators - Mr Carrot Cake

Teaching beginners the question always comes up.

"What gear do I need to use at X mph"

The rough guide in most cars is "

Up to these speeds use these gears:

10 mph = 1st

20 mph = 2nd

30 mph = 3rd

40 mph = 4th

50 mph = 5th

60 mph = 6 th

Worked for my pupils - works for me now.

Can't abide slogging around in high gears at low speeds, less control over your speed on the throttle, constant unneccesary use of brakes to keep the speed down - bad driving.

Doesnt work with most 5 speed diesel cars You'll never be able to accelerate properly in 4th at 30mph, or in 5th at 40mph.

gear change indicators - Avant

I agree Focussed - that rule of thumb has always worked for me on manual cars - recent ones anyway. The gear change indicator works better on petrol cars than on diesels, where the engine would labour if you followed it slavishly.

As a variation, my dlesel Volvo V60, with torque-converter auto, tends to labour if left to itself if one's obliged to go uphill slowly. Revs are 1000-1500 rpm, but fortunately can easily be increased to something more comfortable by moving the selector to Sport.

gear change indicators - movilogo

Just get an automatic and do away with all those manual shifting :-)

My petrol DCT changes fairly early on ECO mode but keeps revs bit longer in non-ECO mode.

Computers calculate the force needed to move the car at a specfic speed and compares against the torque generated by engine at a specific RPM (and resultant power being developed). If it sees car will develop enough power to pull at higher gear it will shift (or indicate to shift).

I am yet to see in an auto shifting to higher gear stalled/laboured the engine - which means artificial intelligent algorighm does a good job.

gear change indicators - focussed

And the bit I forgot to add is that 3rd gear at 30 mph is an aid to keeping to the limit, drifting along in higher gears at 30mph tends to let the speed creep up.

gear change indicators - glidermania

People who dont know when to change gear should drive an auto! My wife has no idea even though her Twingo has a change gear indicator. I have to sit in the car while she labours the engine in all gears as suggesting she may want to change up \ down to take the stress off the engine would lead to sharp words!

She wont entertain an auto. I cringe so much when she drives.

gear change indicators - Mr Carrot Cake

And the bit I forgot to add is that 3rd gear at 30 mph is an aid to keeping to the limit, drifting along in higher gears at 30mph tends to let the speed creep up.

This is a very good point. My instructor taught me to do that. He was a retired traffic cop. My dad likes to drive along in 4th at 30, and my mum always did the same until I told her she'd find it much easier in 3rd. Now she uses 3rd at 30mph too.

gear change indicators - galileo

And the bit I forgot to add is that 3rd gear at 30 mph is an aid to keeping to the limit, drifting along in higher gears at 30mph tends to let the speed creep up.

This is a very good point. My instructor taught me to do that. He was a retired traffic cop. My dad likes to drive along in 4th at 30, and my mum always did the same until I told her she'd find it much easier in 3rd. Now she uses 3rd at 30mph too.

These are the IAM recommendations too, probably a good idea for many drivers, but depending on the vehicle characteristics (torque curve/gear ratios) it may be perfectly OK to use 4th at 30 mph on a level, straight, uncongested road provided the driver is ready to drop a gear or two if the need for acceleration arises.

(Anyone who drove carburetted cars with non-electronic ignition learned that flooring the pedal in a high gear at low speed usually resulted in hesitation and or nasty knocking and shaking from the engine)

gear change indicators - Smileyman

I have seen this before on cars I have hired, IMO a total waste of time and space on the dashboard.

I'd rather the manutacturer spent the money on something useful ... like a bulb warning failure system .. the number of people who drive around with faulty lights is amazing ... I can understand faulty lights are not always easy to replace, but high street shops will do that for very little money and much less than a dealer charges.

Now that is something else useful to specify ... easy access to change blow bulbs ... who says manufacturers fit what drivers want?

gear change indicators - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}

My Skoda Octavia is the first car with a gear change indicator I've owned. No problems following the advice unless I see something coming like a hill or bend and need to stay in a lower gear. The 1.4 TSI is very torquey and does not labour anyway. And 30 mph in light traffic can be ok in 4th or 5th gear.

Edited by Glaikit Wee Scunner {P} on 07/05/2017 at 17:58

 

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