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Steptronic transmission: essential information, types, features & technical parameters

Steptronic is a function of manual gear shifting on an automatic transmission. It was created by the ZF Friedrichshafen AG German manufacturer, based on BMW’s design in 1996. It can be seen on BMW, Mini, MG and Rover cars. The gearbox can be controlled using the selector lever or the buttons located on the steering wheel.

To switch to the mode of the manual control performed using the  automatic transmission selector lever, simply place the selector in the "Manual/Sport" (M/S) position. After that, you can push the lever forward to upshift, and back - to downshift.

To control Steptronic with the steering wheel, use the buttons located on the right. The buttons in the front part of the steering wheel are responsible for downshifting, and those in the rear part - for upshifting.

Unlike the Tiptronic system, Steptronic does not allow you to switch to a completely manual control. The onboard computer is constantly monitoring the speed and can regain control of the transmission in certain cases, as follows:

  • drive wheels are slipping;
  • driving downhill without pressing the accelerator pedal;
  • a sudden drop in engine speed;
  • failure detected by the electronic control unit;
  • failure of the automatic transmission control unit.

Steptronic can adapt to an individual driving style. The system remembers the manner of driving and automatically adjusts the gear shifting depending on the driver's habits. To improve driving comfort, Steptronic offers two additional modes: “Kick-down” (sportive) and “stop and go”(economy).

A useful video on this topic:


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