1987 325i dial on the console

Ok let see if i can explain this. I have a 1987 325i with auto trans. in the middle of the console i have a dial that state S/E/123 i think E stands for Sport / E for economy and the 123
is probably for manual. now my question is shoul I be using E when in the City and S on the highway, or the other way around...s
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You are right.
S stands for sport - this means that your engine changes up a gear at higher revs; with your foot down it will nearly red line before upshifting.
E stands for economy the engine upshifts much sooner - even with your foot down it does not go above 4500 revs.
3.2.1 means you can select your gear manually as you say.
The problem is that "Sport" setting will never select 4th gear and hence always seems to be in one gear too low when you are not racing around. "Economy on the other hand is hopeless if you are trying to race around at some pace as you always feel in a gear too high.
If you are racing around choose sport. Otherwise choose economy for driving anywhere it is much more economical and more relaxing. In addition above 53 mph 4th gear locks up ( it feels like another up shift but isn't ) This removes the torque converter from the equation and increases the economy still further.
Also for reasons that I can't understand you are not allowed to select 4th in 3.2.1 mode either.
Dave M chewb40 wrote:

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But surely kickdown still works?
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

I find the transmission changes down before the bottom of the pedal travel - then it can change down again as the kickdown button is depressed. In sport this can be quite scary!
The best way to get used to it is just to choose a setting and drive around in it for the day - see what it does.
Another thing that I noticed is if you start the engine in sport or 3.2.1 mode it automatically changes to economy - watch the switch as you do it - peculiar.
Having said all this I still prefer a 5 speed manual.
Happy motoring
Dave.
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Yes. But in economy mode it changes up a gear at lower rpms than if you are in sport mode.
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The last box I had with this feature changed up at the correct speed in E - and too high in sport. I dislike a transmission that hangs onto low gears unnecessarily. In other words, in sports mode it would rev too high on light throttle. On near full throttle there wasn't much difference. Of course later boxes adapt to how the car is being driven and come much closer to the ideal.
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Or even above the red line - ooh er.

Not necessarily, especially if you kick down, however it was an embarrasingly long time before I discovered just how tough the spring was on mine to make it happen!

It will select 4th eventually, but probably not much below 100mph.

Correct, although it is more like 55mph.

Because it is the same as D, unless you have more gears in the box (like my 740i) when you can.

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thanks for all the replies..much apprecited..

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