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  #1  
Old 12-31-2012, 01:45 PM
Driver72 Driver72 is offline
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Default 8 speed KNOB reliability

We all know that electronic anything often has cliches, hiccups, and just quite frankly F's up from time to time.
I was thinking about his new 8 speed auto and the knob it's going to come with.

I am assuming here, but probably correct in that it will be an all electronic gizmo.
Well, that mildly concerns me.

The thing is, when you hop into your car, whether it be new or 10 years old, there is always a chance one of your electronic do-dads won't work.
Happens ALL the time, even on brand new cars.

That's not a huge deal if it's a power window, a radio, a window defogger, a seat heater, your bluetooth, etc etc etc.

However, it IS a HUGE deal if it's your electronic transmission and you want or need to go somewhere!
It's an even bigger deal if you are pulling off a 3 point turn on a busy street and you go from drive to reverse and well, nothing happens. Suddenly you are stuck in the middle of a busy road cuz you can't back your truck up.
Or say you went camping in a remote area and suddenly you start your truck up and turn the little knob to "D" and well, you are still in Park.

I know Jaguar has used this knob tranny for a couple years now, but it would be interesting to talk to Jag service people to see how often it has failed on a 2-3 year old car, much less when they are 6, 7, 10 years old and parts may be hard to come by.

It makes me wonder, and still has me thinking more and more about going out and getting a current 2013 Ram with the good old fashioned shifter on the floor that won't have an electronic cliche in it and not shift when I move the shifter from P to D or from D to R.

Anybody else think about this and have concerns with this new tech knob for a gear shifter?
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2012, 02:19 PM
kev12345 kev12345 is offline
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Isn't the current 6 speed shifter electronic too?
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:26 PM
OAG18 OAG18 is offline
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It probably won't fail any more than your ignition switch. But with all the electronics on any new motor these day that could disable your vehicle today, I don't think it is much to worry about. Something to think about, but not a big deal.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:50 PM
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Electronic shifting isn't anything new and has been used for few years already. In fact the 8 speed ZF has been used on BMW's, Audi and even Bentlys all with electronic shifting. Just so you know there is a override lever under the dash that will put it in Neutral if your battery goes completly dead or the knob switch fails. The chance of a simple electronic switch failing is alot less then a linkage or cable failing. Other then faileure of the ECU is probeble but since ECU's have been used since the early 90's they have become very reliable.

It has been proven that something mechanical has a better chance at breaking then something electronic. mainly due to wear and tear on moving parts.

Also for those that don't know. you can also change gears manually to get that manual shifter feeling using controls on the steering wheel.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:58 PM
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Well, i think about things like that also, American made vehicles have used similar things in the past.
I also remember other electronic shifters in the past, i recall dash mounted push button shifters, i recall push button shifters in the center of the steering wheel.
i also recall a vehicle back in late 1940s or early '50s that had several redundant features, if the buttons did not work, a shifter handle was mounted under the seat, you took it out of the clips, moved back a piece in the transmission tunnel covering, stuck the spare shifter right into the top of the transmission & then you could manually shift the vehicle, i believe it was a NASH that had it & i may have the years wrong, it could have been earlier.

Remember, there is no manual mechanism between your gas pedal & your Throttle Body, it is drive by wire, there is a aftermarket mechanical conversion that you can buy, but i have not heard of anyone using it.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:38 AM
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All good points and true in most cases.
Same with steering these days too.
All electronic now, but the artificial feel of most of them is hard to get used too.
Still love me a nice hydraulic steering where you actually FEEL it, not a video game feel to the steering wheel.

Oh and Dodge, buttons on the steering wheel stink for shifting gears, make them paddles in the next version. However, realistically, it's a truck, doubtful anybody is going to use the buttons or paddles to shift gears in a truck. I used them quite often in my BMW's but in a truck, doubtful if I (or anybody else) would feel compelled to do so.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:09 AM
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People act like drive by wire is new technology but it's not. Aircraft have been using the same technology for over 30 years with one difference - they have redundancies built in, so if one of their systems fail, it's rarely an issue and you almost never hear about it.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:50 PM
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If I remember correctly the transfer case on 4X4s have been operated by switches for a while now. Does anyone want to go back to the manual lever on the floor?

Last edited by mars1957; 01-06-2013 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:10 AM
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Default Electronic vs Mechanical

I had the transfer case fork break in my old truck and that left me stuck in neutral. Mechanical is not always better.

Last edited by mars1957; 01-06-2013 at 10:08 AM. Reason: Dup
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