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I just put an exhaust on my 2012 1lt & ive been using it in Manual Mode since i got it installed, im loving the way it sounds & im getting used to shifting properly. But i was curious if using Manual mode all the time is bad? Ive been hearing a lot of people tell me ill burn up my transmission fast if i use it but i doubt it with how casual i am when i use it.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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You will not burn up your transmission any faster using M than using D, with one possible exception: if you use it to downshift for engine braking.

I have a 2011 with the V6 and use M for engine braking, but I also keep that in mind. It has 147,ooo+ miles on the original transmission.

What you need to know about your 6-speed is that it shifts automatically no matter what. All you're doing when you put it in M mode is sending a shift request, not a command, to the BCM and/or TCM, which then uses a LUT (look-up table) to determine if it will allow the request or deny it. When a request is allowed, the transmission shifts the same as it would in D, except that you are the one who made a request rather than the TCM.

Also, as you are probably aware but which your 'friends' may not be, is that it is not a DCT - dual-clutch transmission. It is an automatic that allows user input through a switch (or switches in earlier models with the steering wheel-mounted buttons). It uses TM - torque management - to reduce the amount of throttle being applied, shifts to the next gear, then reapplies the throttle. It can adjust the throttle because it is DBW - drive by wire - and so the throttle plate is controlled by an electric motor, not a physical cable as in years gone by.
 

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You will not burn up your transmission any faster using M than using D, with one possible exception: if you use it to downshift for engine braking.

I have a 2011 with the V6 and use M for engine braking, but I also keep that in mind. It has 147,ooo+ miles on the original transmission.

What you need to know about your 6-speed is that it shifts automatically no matter what. All you're doing when you put it in M mode is sending a shift request, not a command, to the BCM and/or TCM, which then uses a LUT (look-up table) to determine if it will allow the request or deny it. When a request is allowed, the transmission shifts the same as it would in D, except that you are the one who made a request rather than the TCM.

Also, as you are probably aware but which your 'friends' may not be, is that it is not a DCT - dual-clutch transmission. It is an automatic that allows user input through a switch (or switches in earlier models with the steering wheel-mounted buttons). It uses TM - torque management - to reduce the amount of throttle being applied, shifts to the next gear, then reapplies the throttle. It can adjust the throttle because it is DBW - drive by wire - and so the throttle plate is controlled by an electric motor, not a physical cable as in years gone by.
Thanks a ton! I have a 2012 2.4l 1lt & i just love the feel of M mode for some strange reason. thank you for calming my curiosity down, was looking for answers everywhere LOL!
 

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You will not burn up your transmission any faster using M than using D, with one possible exception: if you use it to downshift for engine braking.

I have a 2011 with the V6 and use M for engine braking, but I also keep that in mind. It has 147,ooo+ miles on the original transmission.

What you need to know about your 6-speed is that it shifts automatically no matter what. All you're doing when you put it in M mode is sending a shift request, not a command, to the BCM and/or TCM, which then uses a LUT (look-up table) to determine if it will allow the request or deny it. When a request is allowed, the transmission shifts the same as it would in D, except that you are the one who made a request rather than the TCM.

Also, as you are probably aware but which your 'friends' may not be, is that it is not a DCT - dual-clutch transmission. It is an automatic that allows user input through a switch (or switches in earlier models with the steering wheel-mounted buttons). It uses TM - torque management - to reduce the amount of throttle being applied, shifts to the next gear, then reapplies the throttle. It can adjust the throttle because it is DBW - drive by wire - and so the throttle plate is controlled by an electric motor, not a physical cable as in years gone by.
This brings me comfort, but also more questions. My 3.6L with 67k I noticed would shift really hard sometimes. When accelerating hard, or especially when using M to shift. It was almost like the car was not "used" to shifting at the times I was making it shift, and it would shift slowly and hard as a result.

I just got tranny fluid changed and so far ALL shifts are way, WAY smoother and I have yet to really try it much more out of fear of damaging things (would shift hard in M but not much in D).
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Doing the trans fluid service was a huge plus in extending the life of the transmission. When it was changed, it probably was only half changed. Draining it gets only about half. You may want to see about doing it again in about 5ooo miles (next oil change?) so you end up with about 75% new fluid. I did it 3x a while back to end up with about 88% new fluid.

Shifting in D is accomplished at the RPM that the computer decides. Shifting in M could be at a higher RPM and will therefore increase the fluid pressures, so even with TM (torque management) involved in the process, it'll still hit harder.

What you may want to consider is a remapping of the shift tables using HP Tuners or a similar tuning app. Mine was done for me by another member and it totally changed the personality of the car, and this was without any changes to the engine tune. Cruise Control works better on hills, and TM was reduced by 75%. When I shift from 1st to 2nd in Drive at about ¾ throttle, it chirps the tires. I can do it anytime I feel like it, but I usually don't. I want to keep the car!
 

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Doing the trans fluid service was a huge plus in extending the life of the transmission. When it was changed, it probably was only half changed. Draining it gets only about half. You may want to see about doing it again in about 5ooo miles (next oil change?) so you end up with about 75% new fluid. I did it 3x a while back to end up with about 88% new fluid.

Shifting in D is accomplished at the RPM that the computer decides. Shifting in M could be at a higher RPM and will therefore increase the fluid pressures, so even with TM (torque management) involved in the process, it'll still hit harder.

What you may want to consider is a remapping of the shift tables using HP Tuners or a similar tuning app. Mine was done for me by another member and it totally changed the personality of the car, and this was without any changes to the engine tune. Cruise Control works better on hills, and TM was reduced by 75%. When I shift from 1st to 2nd in Drive at about ¾ throttle, it chirps the tires. I can do it anytime I feel like it, but I usually don't. I want to keep the car!
Yeah I was considering this before you even said that. Problem is, I don't really have a lot in terms of resources, know-how, or even good spots to work on the car (I'm at an apartment complex), so I can't really do this myself. And apparently my garage charges a fair bit for transmission fluid changes. Nothing horrible, but more than an oil change.
 

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This brings me comfort, but also more questions. My 3.6L with 67k I noticed would shift really hard sometimes. When accelerating hard, or especially when using M to shift. It was almost like the car was not "used" to shifting at the times I was making it shift, and it would shift slowly and hard as a result.

I just got tranny fluid changed and so far ALL shifts are way, WAY smoother and I have yet to really try it much more out of fear of damaging things (would shift hard in M but not much in D).
Ill have to do the same thing & get mine flushed, but i experience the same thing at times especially when im down-shifting while hard-braking. But its just the CPU getting used to your driving i assume, not being used much in M mode probably puts a caution on the car until it sets. Mine is fine so far with it having 114k on it (knock on wood) & mine is the 2.4l
 
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