SMG or not.

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Hey, so I'm in the market for a new car and have my sights set on the M3. I'm thinking about getting it with SMG II, and would like some experience/opionion on it. The main reason for the SMG would be since I
am not familiar w/ driving a manual (but I should have the basics down by the weekend as I'm learning :-) ), but also, although i do most of my driving for the commute to work (about 55 miles, mostly on the major highways), I do also drive around in the city on the weekends and sometimes get stuck in rush hour traffic.
Say if i do pick up the knacks for driving stick by the weekend, before I get my M3, should i get the manual? or because of the limited experience I should just get the SMG (i dont feel like busting up the manual tranny due to my lack of experience).
Im just looking for some feedback, thanks!
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Don't buy an SMG without trying it and make sure the sales person knows how to drive with an SMG box and explains the techniques properly.
A few pointers when you try it. Don't try the auto-mode first (settings A1-5). Make sure its in sequential mode (S) and set the drivelogic to S3 to begin with. When pulling away squeeze the throttle gently then accellerate. As you change gear lift the throttle very lightly, literally flex your toes or relax your ankle a bit. Don't move your foot. The first few miles will be very jerky and uncomfortable but you should get used to it fairly quickly. Then up the drivelogic to 5, you should notice the speed of the changes increases, I find S5 the most comfortable. Finally hit the Sport button as well. Try a few down changes whilst accellerating and it should blip the throttle nicely for you. Heal & toe into a few corners and it becomes addictive, especially at high revs.
I doubt they'll let you play in S6 on a test drive as this means switching off DSC which could be a bit of a handful if you're not used to the car. But S6 makes the car perform as it should with no "interference" from an overzealous DSC.
SMG is not for everyone. There's a misconceptions its an automatic. Its not. Its the same box as the manual just with hydraulic actuators to select the gear and engage the clutch plate. Driving in automode can be attrocious but try it.
Try it and see. I've had both and prefer the SMG, others hate it. A lot depends on what you use the car for. For me its purely driving pleasure, no commutes, just fun.
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Any gearbox that can change gear on its own is an auto - regardless of how it works. Wonder why SMG owners seek to deny this?

Audi have shown that this type of transmission can be made to work tolerably well in auto mode, and BMW will be adopting this twin clutch system in a few years. Goodness only knows why it's taken them so long.
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'Coz it's called a sequential manual gearbox? ;-)
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Don't care what they call it - it's an auto with a degree of manual control.
Think Honda were one of the first to produced a self shifting synchro box, but they called it an auto. ;-)
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On Tue, 30 Aug 2005 13:46:47 +0100, "Dave Plowman (News)"

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Oh dear - another auto driver who thinks because it has paddles it isn't an auto.
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Question is, would an auto-licensed driver (UK) be allowed to drive SMG?
DAS
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
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Oops, too quick to fire here. Just saw TonyK's subsequent post in which he says BMW reports that DVLA declare it a manual.
DAS
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
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They probably just read what SMG stands for. ;-)
It's an auto.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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says...

Obviously you have your cemented-in opinion while the rest of the world differs with you. That's your choice. Sure, it changes gears automatically, but it's a completely different mechanism. Calling it an automatic transmission only muddies the waters. It's a matter of accuracy, not a matter of not acknowledging that it changes gears automatically. When somebody says it's not an automatic transmission, people are saying it's not a slushbox with planetary and sun gears that are involved and that's why people don't call it automatic.
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Something to think about....
Do you put ATF in an SMG? - or - Do you put the same grease in the SMG that you would a manual transmission?
Vernon Balbert wrote:

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Plenty of pure manual boxes use ATF, so that's no guide.

You use grease in a transmission?
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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I called it grease, but it may technically be heavy weight oil or gear lube. For example: 75W-90.
Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

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wrote:

Just filled my 5 speed manual with Redline ATF, as per the recommendation of the friendly fellow at Redline oils. Helped tremendously with cold shifting and dodgy synchros in 1st and 2nd.
-Russ.
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Keith Kratochvil wrote:

Bad choice of criteria, Keith. I put ATF in the 5 speed manual gearbox of my '95 325i as recommended by the manufacturer.
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Maybe that wasn't the best question. I had only older manual cars until my newest (2006 330i). I really don't know what goes in that. I was used things like my 83 VW rabbit. See pics here - http://mysite.verizon.net/kkratoch/VW/index.html - site is down right now, but try later.
Malt_Hound > wrote:

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An automatic transmission is one which changes gear by itself. Regardless of how it achieves this. Epicyclic, belt and pulley, or robotised manual box.
Nor does a torque convertor enter the argument as these have been used with manually selected gears/ conventional synchro box. And it would be possible to make an epicyclic auto with a conventional servo operated clutch instead of fluid drive.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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London SW
What a lot of squabbling.
A [fully] manual gearbox as found on most UK cars allows any gear to be selected from neutral and vice-versa. Since about 1948 they have normally incorporated synchro-mesh (small brass cogs with limited friction which help synchronise the main gears when changing). The gears run on keyways and only the cogs of the gear selected are actually in mesh.
A [fully] automatic box uses an arrangement of planet and sun gears, originally to provide three basic ratios (with the assembly locked, with the cage free to rotate and with only the planetary gears free to rotate). A fluid flywheel / hydraulic clutch completes the assembly and allows the car to move off from stationery. The hydraulic arrangement may also provide some flexibility in gearing (torque converter) and a take off of hydraulic pressure to operate the gearbox. More recent boxes have more gears and solenoids can be used to activate gear changes, however the original Borg Warner and Powerglide boxes had no electronics and the box worked automatically changing gear in response to road speed, power and load.
An SMG box is basically a development of the continuous mesh gearbox found on most motorcycles. All the gears are in mesh all the time, and it works by a dog clutches which can select one gear (or none) at a time, the rest simply rotate around the shaft. Its main advantage is lightweight (hence its use in F1), but the disadvantage is that [usually] you have to pass through all the gears to get to neutral (a pain after an emergency stop on a bike). It is a relatively simple matter to automate selection by paddles using solenoids (on a bike the selector is mechanical and usually operated directly into the gear box with the left foot). There is nothing inside the box to make it change gear, so IMHO it is a manual which can be operated [automatically] by electrical means.
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Q.E.D. :-)
DAS
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
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