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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 10-15-2004, 03:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a '94 318 is automatic. When I go up a steep hill I am always in Drive, but I tried 3rd gear yesterday and it seemes I had more power--should I use 3rd for steep hills. Also, I know when you have an automatic most people keep it in Drive all the time but technically what driving scenarios are 1st, 2nd, and 3rd used for in an automatic.
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Old 10-15-2004, 03:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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usually thats why they had those gears there, steep hill gear is usually the 2nd gear, but depending on speed you can use 3rd gear,, the obvious reason that you felt more power is because the engine holds a higher RPM, where the power is, instead of changing into a higher gear and bogging the car.
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Old 10-15-2004, 10:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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3 while in auto mode is also sport mode. which keeps the rpms a bit higher and (i could be wrong) sharpen throttle response.
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Old 10-16-2004, 12:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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so if you were to defoine 1st, 2nd, 3rd--in automatic, what would it be?
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Old 10-16-2004, 01:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Don't know about automatics but when I go up a hill I'm usually at 3500rpms or higher...and that gives me plenty of power.
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Old 10-16-2004, 09:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm more confused than when he first posed the question. What is "bogging" the car?

They way I've seen it from the drivers seat is,

D in M mode = I've heard this is equivalent to 4th gear in M mode, but in my experiments the car seems to drive similar to when in 3rd in M mode. I'm not completely sure about this arrangement.

3rd in M mode = burning more gas+driving at higher RPM = faster accelaration, quicker speeds, best for racing or accelerating on flat, smooth terrain.

2nd in M mode = Gives more power to push uphill, I'm not sure what is happening under the hood but I believe it gives more push power and less emphasis on speed or acceleration.

1st in M mode = For steep almost vertical downhills. Thats all I know about this arrangement

If you set your car to D in A mode the car will shift between all these modes automatically. However the main difference between A and M modes seem to be Machine (car doing it) VS. Man (you doing it).
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