If you find that your automatic floor shifting handle seems to be slipping a little, you might be tempted to drive in a totally different gear until you can fix the problem. Noticing that your vehicle has a shift designation for "S", and a sidebar shifting for "plus (+)" and "minus (-)", you might be wondering what these are for, and whether or not they can take the place of the slipping gear. First and foremost, you need to know what "S" stands for, and then whether or not you can actually use it like a typical automatic gear.
"S" Is for "Sport" Gear
Yup, that is correct. The concept is that you will want the vehicle to shift up and down into high and low gears on its own according to the terrain on which you are driving. When you put the vehicle into "S" gear, the transmission revs up to higher RPMs before it releases the vehicle into motion. This is very useful if you drive on rocky roads that climb upwards, or if you reside in a very steep, hilly city like San Francisco.
The Plus/Minus Side Panel Lets You Kick It up or Drop It Down
The plus and minus signs you see in the shorter gearbox across from the S-gear allow you to increase or decrease the power the transmission delivers. For instance, if you want your transmission to drop and slow down, you manually shift the transmission handle down into the minus position. This helps you slow down and take your time coming down steep hills.
What Happens When You Choose S+ or S- Instead of Other Gears
So, the long and short of it is this: Your S gear is only as good as your other gears when operating your vehicle's transmission. Yes, you put your car in S-gear, but S-gear will move up and down through other gears by auto-sensing what you need the transmission to do. When you already have a gear or two that are slipping when you shift into them, S-gear really cannot replace those gears because of how S-gear operates. Additionally, the plus or minus features would cause the transmission to slip into the already slipping gears, and that does not help the transmission at all.
Ultimately, Transmission Repair Is Still Needed
So, using the mysterious S-gear and its sidekicks plus and minus in place of slipping gears is a bad idea. It could make the transmission issues you are having much worse. Then the transmission repairs your vehicle badly needs will end up costing you much more than you expected. Just get your car's transmission fixed instead.
To learn more, contact an auto shop like Redford Auto Repair.