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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 08-11-2004, 10:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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there's a button next to the gear shift on my 96 convertible 328 and i have no idea what it does. it has A - M on it. any ideas?
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Old 08-11-2004, 10:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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the A-M is supposed to be how you switch from driving your A - Automatic in M- manual mode. ie, press on the M, then drop the lever down to (1) and click through the gears as needed. However, in M- mode you only get use of your first three gears until you press the A again. I also notice you can do the same thing while in A the whole time, but I assume it may be better on the Tranny?
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Old 08-11-2004, 12:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally posted by coversion@Aug 11 2004, 11:32 AM
the A-M is supposed to be how you switch from driving your A - Automatic in M- manual mode. ie, press on the M, then drop the lever down to (1) and click through the gears as needed. However, in M- mode you only get use of your first three gears until you press the A again. I also notice you can do the same thing while in A the whole time, but I assume it may be better on the Tranny?
yeah you can do that in a too but i havent heard if its better for the tranny or just deletes the electronic overdrive or what!

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Old 08-11-2004, 12:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I thought that button was to change the way the auto tranny shifts gears. A being for normal driving, and B for more agressive driving.
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Old 08-11-2004, 01:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I am confused, I always use it as a manual mode which allow me to shift all 4 gears when i want them.


1,2,3, and D is the 4th gear.

This has been working fine for me for a long time.
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Old 08-11-2004, 02:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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D is not 4th gear, but when you select D and push a then it is 4th gear...

This is VERY usefull for me...
now that my rev limit is 7,000 instead of 6,500
i can drop it (at 40mph) to First gear and throw 200 horses to the drivetrain instantly...
way cool
but if your in A then your computer shifts for you, usually at 6450 or so
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Old 08-11-2004, 02:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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*before in my stock 325, i could only floor it at 40 in second gear, pushing 120 or so horses, so chips rule for autos...
I'll get a video of what i'm talking about tonight...
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Old 08-11-2004, 03:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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In the e36 manual it says D is the 4th gear when you're using the M (sports mode).

If its not the 4 th, just wondering what is D when you're in the M mode.
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Old 08-11-2004, 03:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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trust me D is not 4th, or atleast not in my car
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Old 08-11-2004, 03:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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At least on mine, when you switch to D in M-mode, there is no gear change until you press the A button. Clicking up to D keeps you in 3rd until you push A
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