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Old 07-18-2015, 11:58 AM   #1
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Manually shift with an automatic?

So we had our 2010 RAM 3500 Cummins Diesel in for service at our favorite mechanics shop. He told my wife since we are towing a 37 foot 5th wheel that I should be manually shifting the gears. I understand when going down a long hill to downshift to save brakes, but to always manually shift? Has anyone heard of doing that? Seems like a lot of work on normal roads.
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:15 PM   #2
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Wow! I do think he's wrong. Just make sure it's in tow/haul mode when towing and let the auto trans do its thing. You gotta love these service centers.
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:30 PM   #3
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NO,NO DANG WAY!

The transmission control module is smarter than who ever told you to "manually shift" the auto.

Use the Tow/Haul mode and all will be fine, it's what I did with my 2010 in Colorado last year when coming down from Eisenhower tunnel.
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:40 PM   #4
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He doesn't know what he is talking about. The 68RFE transmision is as good as anything thing out there. Put it in tow/haul and let her go. I do sometimes use the manual control (+ or -) to keep my 2500 from shifting into 6th gear. Use the engine brake if you have a diesel and you will need to gear down very little.
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:45 PM   #5
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On our trip to the West Coast last year, I would shift manually in the mountains if my EGT got too high. Otherwise, nope.
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Old 07-18-2015, 01:02 PM   #6
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For anything but downhill let the transmission controls work. In tow-haul mode it will do the right thing. For downhill you may need to manually downshift to slow yourself (remember brakes will overheat and fail if applied for to long). For many new model vehicles setting the cruise on a downhill will tell the engine and transmission to slow you the the cruise speed.
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Old 07-18-2015, 01:05 PM   #7
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Have a 2500 Chevy Duramax Z71 & when I'm in the mountains or big hills I just use tow mode. When on relatively level roads I take it out of tow, put it in OD & cruise control. Never a problem. Has the Allison tranny & I believe it makes all the difference in the world.
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Old 07-18-2015, 01:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atcla View Post
So we had our 2010 RAM 3500 Cummins Diesel in for service at our favorite mechanics shop. He told my wife since we are towing a 37 foot 5th wheel that I should be manually shifting the gears. I understand when going down a long hill to downshift to save brakes, but to always manually shift? Has anyone heard of doing that? Seems like a lot of work on normal roads.
That's the craziest thing I ever head of. Ford Idaho is spot on, no way you can manually shift and do better than an electronic transmission control module. Only for down hill situations for sure.
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Old 07-18-2015, 01:29 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the quick replies everyone! It sounded crazy to me, now I know it is!
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Old 07-18-2015, 01:31 PM   #10
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I do

I have a 2008 LR3 and it has a sport shifter. I learned to use it so I could stay in cruise control and just downshift on the uphills as needed to the gear needed. If I tried to use cruise with the 6 speed automatic it would spend way too much time in 3rd. Also, I go no further than 5th gear per service dept. advice. It all probably depends on the particular vehicle and its design for the job of towing.
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