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How do you use a geartronic transmission?

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How do you use a geartronic transmission?

Post by bbeels »

Hello Everyone, I know this is kind of an odd post, but I want to be able to use the Geartronic abilities of my 2001 V70 T5, and whenever I search for “How do you use a geartronic?” I’m not finding what I’m really looking for.

When I look online, I get that people use it in the mountains, or on back country roads where they can see what their cars can do. Lots of fun and cornering and engine braking. I even find posts on fluid dynamics and how the transmissions are made, just not how to use them.

My first car was a 62 VW beetle and that was where I learned to drive a manual transmission, certainly no electronics. Gas and clutch pedals and lots of footwork.

My 2001 V70 T5 has geartronic and my quandary is “How do you use a geartronic transmission?”

I guess my real question is, do you need to let off the gas, or do you just move the shifter? Is there a range on the tach that you should shift at, or will the car suspend the gear change until it’s in the right range? Can you just hit the gas and move the shifter without letting up?

Any tips would be nice, as the car is 19 years old, I really don't want to mess up and hurt something that could be expensive.

Thanks!
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Re: How do you use a geartronic transmission?

Post by abscate »

Couple things about your 2001 transmission

From the factory , it had a neutral stop feature that moved the car out of gear when up you stop at a light, even if you were in Drive. Volvo “ recalled” this feature by asking you to bring the car to the dealer and having this removed.

Your car *probably * has had it removed by now by previous owners

You should refresh the ATF with a series of three drain and fills separated by a few hundred miles of driving.

As a starting point for Geartronic all the Volvo manuals are online and free, as long as your car is built after 1965

https://volvo.custhelp.com/app/manuals/ ... /om_id/766
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Re: How do you use a geartronic transmission?

Post by bbeels »

Thanks for the quick reply, I have seen you on the site many times and I appreciate all the help.

I'm sure that the neutral stop has been removed, as I've never noticed the car being out of gear while idling.

I got this one in May of 2016 from Revolvo West in Grants Pass Oregon, it had 180,069 miles and I hope that the transmission fluid had been kept up at that time. In October 2019 at 236,961, I did a drain & fill of the fluid, expecting to repeat it 2 more times, but things got away from me and I haven't redone it yet. I got the ATF from FCP, as the local closest Volvo dealer is almost 200 miles away. Now it's at 247,777. Would it be good to do the 2 additional, or start over and go with 3?

I did check the online manual, but there is no reference to letting off the gas when you move the shifter. I know that when I just floor it, the car goes through the gears when in automatic, If I put it into the manual side, do I need to do anything but shift? So far, I've only toyed with the manual side, moving the shifter to the side to check what gear it's in, then putting it back, since I know what it will do there.
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Re: How do you use a geartronic transmission?

Post by June »

Shift with rpm like a manual. You can upshift or downshift at any accelerator position. Once in Redline territory the computer will just cut the rpm not upshift like in automatic mode. I use the Geartronic feature in my S80 all the time. Doesn't seem to hurt anything to maintain higher rpm via lower gear to control speed. Ie. driving in slow moving traffic in second gear using 2000 - 6000 rpm range to increase speed and then engine breaking to lower speed. Just as you would when driving a manual transmission. You can also downshift to use higher rpm for engine breaking. June
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Re: How do you use a geartronic transmission?

Post by jimmy57 »

If you are looking for some guide as to "proper" use there is none. At some point in the past one of the car makers decided that manual shifting via toggling the gear lever was more sporty than moving the gear lever sequentially to the desired gear. There were toggle shifters in Formula One racing cars and when that was shown on TV it created some customer desire for that feature. This also lead to some cars having levers on steering wheel like the Formula one and other racing cars have. Volvo and many others do have some overrides in their software to assure you never get in trouble with the manual feature. If you forget to upshift the trans computer will shift up at about 50 RPM below the engine speed where fuel injection is shut down to prevent overspeed of engine. If you fail to downshift while in this mode as you slow then trans control will select 1 st gear when you stop. If you were driving along after manually shifting into a higher gear and then depress the accel pedal fully down then it will downshift. This would avoid you deciding to pass a car and then pulling into other lane and stepping into and it refuses to go because the gear selected is too high. If you downshift to a lower gear the trans control unit will not go to the commanded lower gear until road speed gets lower to a speed where selecting that lower gear is safe for the engine and unlikely to cause loss of traction. Go drive it and play with it. If you get bored with it pretty quickly then you are like most people. I would say that I have used it to slow the car to speed limit when I see a patrol car and want to slow to less than ticketing speed without showing brake lights more than for any other reason.
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Re: How do you use a geartronic transmission?

Post by abscate »

You can also downshift to use higher rpm for engine breaking June
:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: How do you use a geartronic transmission?

Post by bbeels »

Hi June, I tried it out today, I was in town so couldn’t really get up much speed, but I did get a feel for that nice “staying in a gear” effect. Certainly noticeable when going down a short hill to a stop sign.

When I had my 62 bug I got to the point where I could shift without using the clutch at all. This isn’t the same, but I think it will be fun to use at times.

Last year I went to Oregon Caves, and the last 10 miles of the road in is narrow, full of switchbacks, & little dips & rises all the while gaining altitude. When I was on that road, the transmission kept trying to upshift, then down constantly with a thud, I really wish that I had thought of using the manual side. I felt like I was wrecking the car just being on that road. Then, we had to go back the same way. Now, I might feel a tad different if I have to go there again.
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Re: How do you use a geartronic transmission?

Post by BlackBart »

June wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:21 pmYou can also downshift to use higher rpm for engine breaking. June
But how do you heel-toe??
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Re: How do you use a geartronic transmission?

Post by bbeels »

Yes, Jimmy57, I think I was looking for something for “proper” use, the manuals don’t speak to the speed to shift at, they just say you move to + or - . There was the underlying fear that dropping the car into a lower gear too soon would bring it violently to a lower speed, like it would have in my old VW. I did play with it in town the last couple of days and it’s nice to see that the downshift comes across fairly gentle. I want to get out on the highway and see if I can get 0-60 better shifting myself, than with the automatic. The last time I checked I’d just replaced the PCV system and 0-60 was about 8.16. I saw some historic reviews showing a range of 6.2 - 6.6 - 7.2 so I’d like to shave a second or more off if I can. So I will play with it and hopefully not get bored too soon. Thanks!
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Re: How do you use a geartronic transmission?

Post by abscate »

BlackBart wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:17 pm
June wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:21 pmYou can also downshift to use higher rpm for engine breaking. June
But how do you heel-toe??
Tough in any fly by wire car without a n ECU flash. Most of them are programmed to chop the throttle once the brakes are on, to prevent Audi 5000 driver error syndrome
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