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2014 Forester XT CVT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just got my 2014 forester xt and of course it comes with paddle shifters.

The problem is, I have no idea how to use them. And what's the point? It's not a true manual right? It's all simulated?

Do you only use them in sport/sport sharp mode? What happens if you "screw up"? I honestly have no idea lol
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT SportShift
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I believe those two modes are more aggressive than the regular start and go mode. When you are in manual mode, the transmission will hold the gear for as long as it is safe for the transmission. Either you have shifted by then or the TCM will perform the shift for you. The TCM will not allow you to damage the transmission by shifting (or not shifting).

But by all means it is not a manual. But it does give you a little more control by letting you select the gear. (to a certain degree) :p
 

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1998 SF 5MT
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So I just got my 2014 forester xt and of course it comes with paddle shifters.

The problem is, I have no idea how to use them. And what's the point? It's not a true manual right? It's all simulated?

Do you only use them in sport/sport sharp mode? What happens if you "screw up"? I honestly have no idea lol
The point is that you can use engine brake in the mountains. Or at least that is what I use it for (in a Legacy MY10 with CVT).
 

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2014 2.0 XT yes
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2,752 Posts
They are good for:
- engine braking down hill, entering a corner, or any other time you feel like it
- starting in a taller gear in a low traction situation (or you could use X-mode)
- spooling up the engine and turbo in advance of a passing maneuver, or any other time you want instant acceleration soon in the future
- then when the deed is done, up shifting to calm the engine down without waiting for the computer to do it.
- manual shifting while keeping both hands on the wheel

You just put it in D and drive it around, and the computer does a pretty good job of keeping things sorted. It can react to your throttle inputs (plus some other sensors), but it doesn't see the road or read your mind. If you find the kick-down delay too long or unpredictable when passing, or you feel like the engine is bogging through a corner, or you want to use the brakes less down a hill then the paddle shifters are for you.

All this with the different SI-Drive CVT programs gives lots of options to play with.
 

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2005 Impreza RS 4EAT (sob)
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431 Posts
what exactly is engine braking?
Basically you keep it in a lower gear down a hill so that it doesn't try to accelerate - the way that my parents explained it to me that at high RPM's of course the engine will brake more "aggressively", because it wants to keep the RPM's down. That's why engine braking works. It might not be right, but it seems to make sense with how the car works. :p
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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Do you only use them in sport/sport sharp mode? What happens if you "screw up"? I honestly have no idea lol
You can use them in any mode... even just regular drive and intelligent mode.

As RE3Rotor said, the computers are not going to let you downshift or upshift if it will harm the vehicle.
 

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2014 Forester XT CVT
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys, I think I have an idea.

I guess the best way is to just experiment (safely of course)
 

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2014 Forester XT CVT - EyeSight
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659 Posts
You can use the shifters even in D mode, but the TCM will override after few seconds, but it's good if you want to downshift earlier than pressing the pedal, or just engine brake quicker
 

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2014 Forester XT CVT
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You can use the shifters even in D mode, but the TCM will override after few seconds, but it's good if you want to downshift earlier than pressing the pedal, or just engine brake quicker
You're right, I accidentally hit downshift in D and I immediately noticed a "shift" lol no pun intended. The car noticeably slowed down before as you said the TCM overrode it.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that its simulated. Do the rpms even change? Why simulate when you can do it for real? I know there are actual "real" paddle shifters out there. I guess the simulation means it can be a safety net.
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that its simulated. Do the rpms even change? Why simulate when you can do it for real? I know there are actual "real" paddle shifters out there. I guess the simulation means it can be a safety net.
Yes, the RPMs will change. It is a simulated downshift because the CVT does not have any real gears to shift through. The "simulation" is simulating a gear, but it does cause the inner workings of the CVT to move resulting in higher RPMs.

A simulated downshift would act the same way as the "Low Gear" indicated in the following picture.

 

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2014 Forester 2.0XT CVT
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366 Posts
You're right, I accidentally hit downshift in D and I immediately noticed a "shift" lol no pun intended. The car noticeably slowed down before as you said the TCM overrode it.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that its simulated. Do the rpms even change? Why simulate when you can do it for real? I know there are actual "real" paddle shifters out there. I guess the simulation means it can be a safety net.
An automatic transmission is still a transmission which has low to high gears. The only difference from a manual transmission is the auto selects the gears for you. In paddle shift mode, you select the gears.
 

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2014 Forester XT CVT w/ S & S#
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Sorry for bringing up a old post. Didn't want to create a new thread just for my question.

Does anyone have a simple explanation for how to engine brake using the paddle shifters on a downhill?

The only experience I have with manuals is in video games, but with my previous automatics, shifting down to the low gear was pretty responsive and easy for engine braking.

With my XT (so far always in 'I' mode) I tried using the paddle shifter to temporarily engine brake on a downhill as the user manual says I can do. On the first downshift it seemed like I was getting little or no slowdown. So I tried shifting down one more and it starts revving at high rpm and still with what seems like little slowdown. What am I doing wrong? Do I have to brake down to a certain speed before I shift down with the paddle?

Thanks.
 

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2016 Forester
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Sorry for bringing up a old post. Didn't want to create a new thread just for my question.

Does anyone have a simple explanation for how to engine brake using the paddle shifters on a downhill?

The only experience I have with manuals is in video games, but with my previous automatics, shifting down to the low gear was pretty responsive and easy for engine braking.

With my XT (so far always in 'I' mode) I tried using the paddle shifter to temporarily engine brake on a downhill as the user manual says I can do. On the first downshift it seemed like I was getting little or no slowdown. So I tried shifting down one more and it starts revving at high rpm and still with what seems like little slowdown. What am I doing wrong? Do I have to brake down to a certain speed before I shift down with the paddle?

Thanks.
Sounds about right. Depends on how steep and how fast you are going, but the engine is only 2 liter which is quite small for the car's weight, coupled with auto trans you won't get a whole lot of compression braking from it. It's okay for the engine to rev to 3k RPM while doing it, but you still need to use the brakes, just not as much.
 

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2017 Tacoma DCSB TRD OR 6MT!!!
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@eboy

Three thoughts in response to your question(s):
1. On the gear shift, pop it over into manual mode. That will keep it in the gear you select under most conditions, as opposed to returning to regular "drive" after a few seconds. It should hold it in the gear you select. When you're done shifting gears, throw it back into the regular "drive" position.
2. Engine braking in this vehicle won't be exactly the same as a true manual; the braking effect will be lessened, at least that's how it feels to me.
3. For more granularity/control, try using S# instead of S; it has 8 fixed gears instead of 6 in S.

Keep playing with it until you get the hang of it.

Good luck!
 
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Thanks guys. I definitely have more practicing and exploring to do. I'll see if Manual and/or S/S# gets the response I'm looking for next time I get a chance.
 

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2014 Forester Ltd. CVT
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So I'm on a 2.5 with paddles added. Let me just say that the engine brake is relative, i.e., relative to what the engine would normally do. Also, whether you need to down shift 1, 2, or 3 gears depends on how fast you're going.
 

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So I'm on a 2.5 with paddles added. Let me just say that the engine brake is relative, i.e., relative to what the engine would normally do. Also, whether you need to down shift 1, 2, or 3 gears depends on how fast you're going.
Thanks I guess I was hoping for something like my previous automatic where you go from 'D' to the low gear and Boom! very noticeable slowdown on a hill. I guess with the paddle shifters the Boom! comes after shifting down a few.
 
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