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Discussion Starter #1
We're about to pick up our new Acadia this week and the salesman who sold us the car couldn't tell us what the +/- button the tranny shifter does (I hope the majority of GMC sales people are better informed about what they're selling). Can one of you owners on this forum enlighten me please before our vehicle arrives? Thanks,
 

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It overrides the automatic and allows you to manually shift the gears. + is up one gear. - is down one gear.
 

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It's Acadia's version of a manumatic transmission, allowing you to manually shift which gear you are in. You have to switch from D to L to use it.
 

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A clarification on this point. It does NOT allow you to select the GEAR you are in, but rather the RANGE. It's a top gear limit. If you have L4 selected for instance, shown on the DIC, you can get 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears. It shifts just as if you were in D, but won't let you go above 4th gear. Using the +/- button just allows you to change the top gear allowed.
 

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lzwhb2 said:
A clarification on this point. It does NOT allow you to select the GEAR you are in, but rather the RANGE. It's a top gear limit. If you have L4 selected for instance, shown on the DIC, you can get 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears. It shifts just as if you were in D, but won't let you go above 4th gear. Using the +/- button just allows you to change the top gear allowed.
Thanks for the clarification, lzwhb2.
 

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Peter, you also might want to check out my post on "idot proof" trans if you are going to use the buttons.
 

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lzwhb2 said:
A clarification on this point. It does NOT allow you to select the GEAR you are in, but rather the RANGE. It's a top gear limit. If you have L4 selected for instance, shown on the DIC, you can get 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears. It shifts just as if you were in D, but won't let you go above 4th gear. Using the +/- button just allows you to change the top gear allowed.
Are you saying it's just a top gear(s) overdrive ( O/D ) lock-out button like there has been on some auto shifters for decades ? Then why have +/- toggle on the shifter handle ? Should only be on/off. Or asking a different way, if that button only locks out 5th and 6th gear , why bother even having "L" on the selector ? Please elaborate. Mag articles I've read said it was to select gears , like many cars ( even many GM models ) have had these "manumatic" selectors for years , whether paddles/tip buttons/toggle of gear lever ,etc.
Here's a typical quote from Autoweek's recent write-up:

"The six-speed automatic comes with a nice shifter button on the side of the shifter lever, which we used in the twistier stuff to hold gears as appropriate. It worked just fine."

TIA !
 

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Acajun said:
lzwhb2 said:
A clarification on this point. It does NOT allow you to select the GEAR you are in, but rather the RANGE. It's a top gear limit. If you have L4 selected for instance, shown on the DIC, you can get 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears. It shifts just as if you were in D, but won't let you go above 4th gear. Using the +/- button just allows you to change the top gear allowed.
Are you saying it's just a top gear(s) overdrive ( O/D ) lock-out button like there has been on some auto shifters for decades ? Then why have +/- toggle on the shifter handle ? Should only be on/off. Or asking a different way, if that button only locks out 5th and 6th gear , why bother even having "L" on the selector ? Please elaborate. Mag articles I've read said it was to select gears , like many cars ( even many GM models ) have had these "manumatic" selectors for years , whether paddles/tip buttons/toggle of gear lever ,etc.
Here's a typical quote from Autoweek's recent write-up:

"The six-speed automatic comes with a nice shifter button on the side of the shifter lever, which we used in the twistier stuff to hold gears as appropriate. It worked just fine."

TIA !
I just used L4 as an example. You can select L1-L6 and thus limit the top gear to anything you like. Most magazine articles get it wrong. The Lambdas use Tap Range while the Aura for instance, which has the same basic trans, uses Tap Gear. The distinction is often confusing. Tap gear will hold the gear, 3rd or 5th for instance, no matter what you do with the pedal. Tap range will upshift and downshift if in L3 or L5, but just won't go above 3rd or 5th gear. You still have all the lower gears available to you. Hopefully this is a bit clearer?
 

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Acajun said:
Are you saying it's just a top gear(s) overdrive ( O/D ) lock-out button like there has been on some auto shifters for decades ? Then why have +/- toggle on the shifter handle ? Should only be on/off. Or asking a different way, if that button only locks out 5th and 6th gear , why bother even having "L" on the selector ? Please elaborate. Mag articles I've read said it was to select gears , like many cars ( even many GM models ) have had these "manumatic" selectors for years , whether paddles/tip buttons/toggle of gear lever ,etc.
Here's a typical quote from Autoweek's recent write-up:

"The six-speed automatic comes with a nice shifter button on the side of the shifter lever, which we used in the twistier stuff to hold gears as appropriate. It worked just fine."

TIA !
This is not an overdrive lockout. In the past GM would typically have P R D 3 2 1 for example on a 4spd auto.
With the Acadia, you have P R D L_ where L_ is replacing the 3 2 1 in my example. You use the +/- button
to select the actual range you want. In this way, instead of needing 6 spots on the shifter, you only need 4.
 

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So you are saying that if I'm driving a fun , winding ,road with elevation changes , I can't select 2-3-2-3-4-3-2 ,etc that gives me pleasure as I see fit and that the vehicle selects what gear ( up to the selected upper limit ) ? so that in this driving example , it may decide to stay in third gear the whole time, sometimes too high and sometimes too low or ,to me ,shift at the " wrong time " on this stretch of road ? That's dumb- the Acadia should have " tap gear " , not tap range , IMO. :angryfire:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the posts on my question. I figured that it had to be something simple, but I never would have guessed about the "tap range" thing. As Acajun sort of stated, it sure seems strange to have a tap range rather than tap gear. Tap-gear I could see using, but I doubt if I'll ever use or choose tap range unless I do it unknowingly.
Thans to all again. :thumb:
 

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peterAcadiaAtl said:
I doubt if I'll ever use or choose tap range unless I do it unknowingly.
I seems to me it may be most useful to hold a gear (or range) while climbing or descending a hill.

Kelly
 

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Acajun said:
So you are saying that if I'm driving a fun , winding ,road with elevation changes , I can't select 2-3-2-3-4-3-2 ,etc that gives me pleasure as I see fit and that the vehicle selects what gear ( up to the selected upper limit ) ? so that in this driving example , it may decide to stay in third gear the whole time, sometimes too high and sometimes too low or ,to me ,shift at the " wrong time " on this stretch of road ? That's dumb- the Acadia should have " tap gear " , not tap range , IMO. :angryfire:
This is somewhat true. You can use the +/- button to select the range you want and in effect create the scenario you describe. As you tap down, you'll get the gear you're looking for as long as it is available. This is no different than tap gear. You can't get 2nd gear at 100 mph for instance. Where the difference comes in is if you tap up to get an upshift, with tap gear it shifts, but with tap range it may or may not upshift depending on your speed and pedal. This is off the subject, but there are also algorithms that prevent upshifts and give you downshifts to help with this type of driving. Those work for you while you're in D. If you pull it down into L, you can control the shifting and true it's not exactly tap gear, but you can achieve almost the same functionality. You just have to use the button a bit more.

Maybe it takes some getting used to, but it can be an effective way of "manually" shifting the transmission.
 

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kjf said:
peterAcadiaAtl said:
I doubt if I'll ever use or choose tap range unless I do it unknowingly.
I seems to me it may be most useful to hold a gear (or range) while climbing or descending a hill.

Kelly
When climbing a grade in Drive, the trans will "hold" the gear for you. This is a bit more complicated to explain. When going down a grade, dropping it into L and controlling the gears can be helpful to give you "braking" and keep your speed in check. If you don't do this however, the trans will do it for you while in Drive if you ride the brake.

You can't get an appreciation for this everywhere, but for those that drive on grades often, pay attention next time and maybe you'll see what I'm talking about.
 

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I am driving a borrowed 05 Malibu. It has the exact same feature. Your drop the trans into low and can select the highest gear that you want the transmission to go to. So, if you set it to 3 for example - it will shift from 1st to 2nd to 3rd, and stay there. It is good for long hills, but even better for long downhills.
 

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lzlwhb2,thanks for the clarification. Maybe the admin can add to the poll of future features " tap gear instead of tap range ", since I'm sure their marketing people and engineers are monitoring this site constantly for real world feedback for these all new lambda platform vehicles . :thumb:
 

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I have talked to about 5 different sales folks at a few different dealerships. One visit was only a week ago. Each one pointed to the +/- on the shifter and stated you can shift like a manual transmission. No mention about a top gear selection. I just assumed it was like our VW with tiptronic. Seems obvious from this thread that it is a top gear selection. What mis-guided info they are providing.

As a prior post stated, it seems kind of dumb. Probably too confusing to mess with. Good to know what it actually does though.
 

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Both explanations are correct. ???

It acts both ways. From a start or at any point you can shift into "L" and change the gears accordingly. You can drive spirited upand down curvy roads changing fro 2-3-2-3-4-3-2 or whatever. The car will stay in whatever gear you are in until you shift it.

When you come to a stop it remains in the highest gear you were in. At that point, if you do not shift down to 1 or whatever else it will just use that gear as the top gear. It will start in first but will stop shifting when it reaches that top gear.

Just want to clearup any confusion.
 

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Good job Joe I was just about to say the same thing.
 

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NY_Joe said:
Both explanations are correct. ???

It acts both ways. From a start or at any point you can shift into "L" and change the gears accordingly. You can drive spirited upand down curvy roads changing fro 2-3-2-3-4-3-2 or whatever. The car will stay in whatever gear you are in until you shift it.

When you come to a stop it remains in the highest gear you were in. At that point, if you do not shift down to 1 or whatever else it will just use that gear as the top gear. It will start in first but will stop shifting when it reaches that top gear.

Just want to clearup any confusion.
Now you're confusing me. When you say that the car will stay in whatever gear you are in until you shift it, do you mean with the button? If so, that's not entirely correct. If you are driving in L3 for instance, you won't get above 3rd gear, but if you are driving around 25 mph and step on the gas, you can get a downshift into 2nd or 1st gear without doing anything with the button. It will not stay in a gear, but rather will not go above a gear.

When you come to a stop it does not remain in the highest gear you were in either. The range remains whatever you selected. The distinction is subtle, but an important one.
 
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