The paddle shift is not just something that is installed on rally cars to make them look cool. This part of the car allows the driver to gain more control over the engine power of the vehicle. The paddle shift is a major component in a semi-automatic car control system. Not only does the paddle-shift make driving fun but also comes with several other benefits.
But before we go into the benefits let us understand what Paddle Shifters are.
What is Paddle Shifters?
There are two aspects of this question – what this component physically is and what is its function. These paddle shifts are found just below the steering wheel and they always come in a pair. The paddle shifters are installed on each side of the steering wheel – one for each paddle. Some of the paddle shifters are incorporated with a mounting to enable you to reposition the paddle-shift extension closer or further from the steering wheel so that you can easily use it without leaving the wheel. Just like their name, the paddle shifters look like paddles. There is no complicated design to it.
What is the Function of Paddle Shifters?
Paddle shifters are used on cars that use a semi-auto mode of transmission. Unlike cars with automatic transmission, these vehicles will not change the gears for you and unlike manual transmission cars, there is no clutch pedal in the car.
So, how are you supposed to change gears without a clutch pedal? Here is where the paddle shifters come in.
The Advantages of Using Paddle Shifters:
Now that you know what paddle shifts look like. where they can be found, and what it does, it is time to know why you should use them.
Enhances the Car’s Performance:
One of the major benefits of paddle shifters is that enhances the overall performance of the car especially when compared to the performance of cars with automatic transmission. A car running on automatic transmission will change the gears for the driver. This mechanism was carried out by monitoring the revs of the car and puts more demand on the engine of the vehicle.
However, paddle shifters are not always designed for boosting performance, which is why many Formula One and NASCAR cars come with manual transmission. By installing paddle shifts in the car, you are literally putting the control of the gear shifters in your hands. This means that you can guide the car through the revs and can change the gears to boost the performance.
Extends the Car’s Life:
Paddle shifters allow for smooth acceleration, which is why a semi-automatic car is better at overcoming a slow start than a manual transmission and full automatic car. Moreover, paddle shifters give you more control of the gears and the engine power. It has been seen that many automatic cars cannot gear shift well from a standing start and it places unnecessary pressure on the car’s engine.
And, pulling away from using a stick gear shift requires some skill. So, if you are a newbie and do not know to do this well, the results are the same as doing a standing start on an automatic transmission car. It puts too much strain on the engine. A semi-auto car with paddle shifters is always in the 1st gear, which means that it will always have a smooth start before you change the gear to increase the speed. This keeps the car in good condition for long and extends the car’s shelf life and increases fuel efficiency as well.
Better Safety for the Car:
If the control of the gear is in your hands, you have much more control to make rapid driving decisions that the car technology cannot. For example, though the technology in the automotive sector is growing by leaps and bounds it is still not at the juncture to change the gears to match the weather conditions outside. If it is raining heavily outside during a drive, it is better if the control of the gear is in your hands.
When the major controls of the vehicle are in your hands then you can adapt your driving style to the road condition. So, if it is pouring outside, you can use the paddle shifters to change gears and decrease the speed of the car without using the brakes and risking the car from hydroplaning.
How to Care for Paddle Shifters?
Similar to all car components, the paddle shifter needs to be looked after if you want to last. It is not at all difficult or expensive to care for or maintain the paddle shifters if you keep an eye on them regularly. Carry out regular car servicing and change the transmission fluid after crossing 50,000. Other than this, you do not need to take any special measures to keep the paddle shifts in optimum condition.
Hopefully, this article helps you in understanding the function and benefits of the paddle shifts. This part of the car is pretty simple to use and makes driving a fun activity. So, happy driving and happy shifting!!