HOW DO YOU GET USE TO THE SHIFT LAG BETWEEN GEARS ?

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It feels just like driving my 48 Chevy or one of my later vehicles with a 4 speed manual. It also reminds me of my Dad's 49 Oldsmobile with a Hydramatic transmission. I kind of enjoy this and don't mind the lag if that is what you want to call it. Your driving technique is important and I find that driving with a steady foot on the accellerator and leaving the transmission in D provides a very predictible almost smooth shift. If you have the 2.0 update done, that will improve shift quality as well in both D and manual mode.
Bruce, before the 2.0 upgrade I thought I would never get used to the shifting, the software upgrade made a big difference to me and after driving some more, I seem to have found a driving style that provides a smooth ride. I also lowered my expectation that the smart would shift like a Lexus, but found that it shifts more like a sports car :)
Hope that helps …. By the way welcome .. do you have pictures of your smart?
Forest said:
Pretend your doing the shifting and it really isn't any different than a manual. I only notice it between 1st and second now. Ans since I do most of my driving in the country it doesn't happen all that often.

Don't try and adjust your pedal pressure when the car shifts. Keep a steady pressure so you don't confuse the computer. If you take you foot off the gas during that first shift it will think you want to slow down and hold off on the shift thinking you may want to go back to first.

DO you have a pure or a passion?
Thank you for your reply I do not own a Smart yet do to the shifting lag. I am very intertested in the Smart. Your answers will help verey much and so does the site.
Thanks again Bruce

Forest said:
Pretend your doing the shifting and it really isn't any different than a manual. I only notice it between 1st and second now. Ans since I do most of my driving in the country it doesn't happen all that often.

Don't try and adjust your pedal pressure when the car shifts. Keep a steady pressure so you don't confuse the computer. If you take you foot off the gas during that first shift it will think you want to slow down and hold off on the shift thinking you may want to go back to first.

DO you have a pure or a passion?
It's hard to believe but....that eventually goes away for two reasons. 1. The car simply gets better at shifting itself as time goes by. I'm not sure if the clutch gets less sticky or what....but it gets better. 2. You eventually learn how to make it shift. I've owned manual shift vehicles most of my life and it took me a while to master the shifting. I finally took someones advice and simply put my foot into it a bit more than used to and left it in one place til it shifts itself.

It's like no vehicle that I've ever owned and many things are different. I'm learning to adapt because I believe that the good very much outweigh the bad.
Two words: manual mode! That's what I use 99% of the time. Although, automatic mode was improved after the 2.0 upgrade. Once everything wears in, it seems to get even better - or it's worn you in. :-)
I know there are those who prefer the manual mode 100% of the time and if it works for them all the better. Personally, I use the "D" mode almost exclusively (except for those times when changing gears NOW really matters) and find the car really does know what to do when you make your intentions clear. As Forest said, keep steady pressure on the pedal; if you want to accelerate quicker mash the pedal faster (although not to the kickdown point.) If accelerating slowly is fine, mash the pedal slower. The computer will have the transmission do what it needs to do to make those things happen. The car really is smart!
The lag got to me too for the first couple of months. I way over-thought the shifting and then let it be in charge. For me it was so much better to just let the car shift and not let up on the peddle.
Everyone slides into what works best for them, but it does get way better.
You think about it in positive terms like "Aww, that's so cute!" and get used to it. It helps to say it in a high falsetto voice like you are talking to your first grandchild, who is offering you a turn on her favorite pacifier after bringing it to you without falling off her bare tiny tipsy tippy toes with those big blue eyes set on STUN!
I'm sorry but this car will never out grow it's baby charm or cuteness.
Unlike Forest and with all due respect, I prefer to manually shift and (yes I do) back off the power just enough to let the little fellar shift only slightly loaded and then ease the gas back on. That lets me enjoy the drive. I feather the pedal just enough to unload without causing engine braking! Makes me happy to have a smooth ride. It takes a little practice. It calms down my passenger! Each to his own style of driving preference. Knock yourself out!
Gotta Luv it!
You do get use to it and you do forget about it.

Not sure where to post but my smart started to jerk in shifting and the engine light went on pulled over checked the fluid and okay.  Just changed the synthetic mobile one at 6,000 miles just to make sure to keep engine good.  It still jerks moving into gear at 25 to 30 and 60 to 65 miles much more than before and going Monday to the smart dealership get it checked out.  I think it is the clutch and may need adjustment any one had issues like this before would appreciate the guidance.  Thanks

Dr. Tom:

If your check engine light came on and suddenly your shifting behavior is different, your car is likely operating in limp mode.  I'd get your check engine light evaluated and go from there.  Your clutch might be fine, the car might be operating in a manner to protect certain components in the engine. 

My general transmission response is:

Takes practice, but the car should shift at roughly the same speed (even faster) as a human being working a true conventional 5-speed manual.  If not, it's generally the coordination of the driver that is off, or the adaptive transmission hasn't 'adapted' to its driver yet (takes some miles and driving cycles to fully set), or it's one of the early '08's/'09's that can benefit from the transmission software upgrade. 

Some people will be better at controlling the shifting than others.  If you're complaining about it, more likely than not you aren't driving it with the same expertise or control as those of us who like the auto mode in the smart car transmission.

For more tips, I recommend reading the transmission section of the owners' manual.  If my memory serves me correctly, an '08-'09 manual doesn't have as thorough an explanation as the '10+ manuals do.

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