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Hello Folks....got a 2018 Big Horn and I know what the gear + - buttons do on the steering wheel...but what situation would you run into when you would use those? Anyone use them at all? Thanks
 

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You use them for 1 of 2 functions.


1. Turn off your MDS, as long as it is in 8 (or less) MDS will be disabled.


2. To limit excessive shifting - say you are traveling along at about 65 mph and there are constant rolling hills that cause your transmission to downshift and upshift almost constantly between 8th and 7th gears. You would just lockout 8th by pushing the minus button until the 7 appears in the dash - this will limit the top gear to 7th gear and most likely stop most if not all of the constant shifting.
as an example.


2 - is much more common, esp. when loaded or towing.
 

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I very seldom use them as I want MDS for the mpg and with 3.92 gears my truck doesn't shift as often once up to speed as the 3.21 trucks do.
 

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In my old 2009 ram i used them to downshift to get more engine braking downhill. My 2018 seems to do that pretty well on its own.
 

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With all the hills around here I put mine in 7th any time I am on I-44 until I get West of Springfield. I went to run an errand and spent about an hour driving round trip and my trans temp was at 174*
 

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I went from 3.92 gears in my 14 sport, to 3.21 gears in my 18 sport, man does this 18 hunt for gears alot. But i dont worry about it, my 18 is ALOT smoother shifting than my 14 was. Dont even feel it shift. So, it can hunt gearing all it wants, its doing what its supposed to do. If this ram 8-speed bothers some folks, go drive another brands 10 speed...lol, talk about gear huntin`
 

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my 17 usually runs with a trans temp of 185-194 degrees... seemed high... limited research suggests thats normal but I'd love for it to be down at 174
 

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mostly easy fix for the MDS around town and no tune required.
also not that i have dynoed the truck but it can hold 6th (1:1 ratio) for dyno pulls, makes it easier and safer.
same as paddle shifters on newer cars but just buttons not paddles. same effect though
 

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You can't force an upshift with them.

If you think your trans is hunting, the buttons are to keep it from constantly going in and out of gears. If I let mine go into 8th then I'd be downshifting to pull a hill every half mile
 

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No manual upshift in the trucks, but my wifes hemi RT charger, you can force the upshift manually.
 

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What about down shifting if say going up or down a rough grade switch back in the mountains. Is there any reason to do a downshift like I did with my 5 speed?
 

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You can force it to downshift with the buttons, but if it really needs to you can get it to with the gas pedal. These transmssions are good about shifting when they need to
 

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Tpony is spot on. Going into tow/haul mode will change the shift program as well. In tow/haul, mine down shifts rather responsively when going down hill. When i use the +/-, i drop into 8th gear, it too, causes mine to down shift sooner when going down hill.
 

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My 1500 engine and everything will turn itself off. Almost instantaneous the engine starts again as does does electrical components. The transmission indicater showed it changed from D to +/-, and a 6. In order to get it out of +/-, puts it into neutral and back into drive and the engine then continue runs again. What is going on?
 
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