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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 11-28-2003, 10:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I am new to BMW with recent purchase of 2004 325 Cic. The steptronic transmission is fun but the gears change automatically in upshifting from first to second and from second to third. It definitely revs higher before the gear change than in normal drive or sport mode, but doesn't steptronic mean clutchless manual, i.e. that it should not change gears at all unless I tell it to?
Also, what is the difference between normal drive and sport mode (SD)?
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Old 11-28-2003, 11:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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no steptronic is an automatic transmission. SMG is a manual without the clutch pedal that can be made to perform like an auto. The steptronic sport mode just lets the car shift at higher rpm's
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Old 11-28-2003, 12:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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welcome aboard studio945!! B)

here is a little description given by BMWNA on the Steptronic transmission:

"BMW's optional five-speed Steptronic automatic transmission features three modes of operation. Put the selector in "D" and let Adaptive Transmission Control take over. It automatically "learns" and adapts its operation to how the vehicle is driven. By tracking accelerator pedal movements, Adaptive Transmission Control recognizes how aggressively or gently you drive - and shifts gears accordingly. It also detects steep downhill driving, slippery conditions, stop-and-go traffic, and cornering, which are then factored into the shift patterns.

The Sport mode is engaged by moving the selector lever left from "D" to a second gate. Sport mode allows the engine to shift at higher rpm, for sportier driving.

You may also choose Steptronic clutchless manual shifting. From the "Sport" mode, simply tap the lever backward (upshift) or forward (downshift) to select another gear ratio."


yes, you can change the gears in the clutchless manual mode, you will see the "+" and "-" down by the selector. also, in your instrument cluster, it will show you what gear you are in should you choose to drive the clutchless manual mode.
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Old 12-09-2003, 08:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Steptronic was correctly described above (no surprise since it's BMWs definition). However, the Steptronic tranny program will upshift to prevent engine damage, i.e. you cant leave it in second and just run the engine at redline- it WILL upshift. Also, it will downshift when coming to a stop if you dont. For example, coming to a stop from 5th, and you dont downshift, it will automatically downshift to 3rd, then 2nd, to keep you from stalling when you start to go again. So basically, its a little bit of manual and auto. HOWEVER, it is not a replacement for a true manual or SMG transmission, since it doesnt allow for "heel and toeing" throttle blips on downshifts, and because it will take over it you arent paying attention.
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