How to Use Paddle Shifters

Alfa Romeo wheel showcasing a silver paddle shifter on the right side of wheel


When browsing through our inventory, you might find models with paddle shifters. What do paddle shifters do, and what is a paddle shift in the first place? Paddle shifters allow the driver to shift gears manually on an automatic vehicle. Learning how to use shifting paddles can be a lot of fun for Sandy Springs drivers, due to the sporty road feel and the extra sense of control. So if you’re curious about how to use paddle shifters, let Atlanta Autos give you the inside scoop! 

What is a Paddle Shift?

So, what is a paddle shift, and what do paddle shifters do? Paddle shifters are usually found on cars with automatic transmissions. When you use a paddle shifter, you’ll activate a manual shifting mode. Then you can easily switch gears up or down with just the flip of a switch. Paddle shifters are popular because they’re easy to use, and you can actually get better performance and smoother braking if you really get good at using them! And if you don’t feel like shifting manually, you can always flip back into automatic mode in seconds.

How to Use Shifting Paddles

If you’re new to manual mode, learning how to use shifting paddles is much more straightforward than you might think. First, you’ll switch from automatic mode to manual mode. In most models, you’ll simply move the gear shift lever to do so, but check your owner’s manual to be sure! Then you’ll use the left paddle to shift down and the right paddle to shift up. That’s it! 

If you’re worried about harming the engine or any components, don’t be. Your car will not shift in the following circumstances:

  • Upshifting before the engine reaches the lower limit of the higher gear
  • Downshifting before reaching the upper limit of the lower gear
  • Pressing one paddle while holding the other down
  • Pressing both paddles simultaneously
  • Trying to shift to third or higher while stationary

If you need a break, just switch back into “D” mode with your shifter. You can also activate low gear from this point if you’re in need of additional torque in Smyrna

Try Out Paddle Shifters at Atlanta Autos

Now you know how to use shifting paddles like a pro, so how about you put your new skills to the test during a drive? Visit Atlanta Autos in Marietta to see how this technology works in person! We’d love to give you a quick tutorial and get the keys in your hands, so feel free to contact us or stop by if you’re in the Kennesaw area. We’ll help you cherry-pick the best used models with paddle shifters among our discounted inventory of used vehicle specials to maximize your savings! 


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