How to Use Paddle Shift on the Honda Fit

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The Honda Fit subcompact car has an available automatic transmission with "Sport Mode." This mode allows the driver to control the shift points electronically, which partially replicates the manual transmission shifting experience.This is done with the steering wheel paddle shifters. Driving with the paddle shifters may take some getting used to, particularly if you aren't accustomed to manually changing gears.

  • Sit in the Honda Fit's driver side seat. Buckle your safety belt and adjust your mirrors, if necessary. Crank the car's engine.

  • Inspect the paddle shifters to become comfortable with them. The shifters are on the outside edge of the steering wheel rim. The paddle shifter on the right side is marked with a "Plus" symbol. You'll use this shifter to move into a higher gear. The paddle shifter on the left side is marked with a "Minus" symbol. You'll use this shifter to move into a lower gear, if necessary, although the Fit's transmission will automatically downshift for you.

  • Put your foot on the brake pedal and move the gearshift down to "S" mode. This is directly beneath "D."

  • Release the brake pedal and begin to coast forward slowly. Gently apply a bit of pressure to the gas pedal to begin driving in first gear.

  • Pay attention to the odometer cluster, next to the mileage reading. This display lets you know which gear you are in. You'll start out in "1."

  • Tap the right paddle shifter forward when you are ready to shift into second gear. Honda recommends shifting at 15 miles per hour. You'll notice the display changes to "2." Tap the paddle shifter again when you are ready to shift into third gear. Honda recommends doing this at 25 miles per hour. Tap the paddle shifter again when you are ready to shift into fourth gear. Honda recommends doing this at 40 miles per hour. Tap the shifter again when you are ready to shift into fifth gear. Honda recommends doing this at 47 miles per hour.

  • Tap the left paddle shifter to downshift into a lower gear, or simply slow down and allow the Fit's transmission to do so automatically.

  • Move the gearshift back into "D" when you are ready to drive the Fit normally using the traditional automatic transmission mode.

Tips & Warnings

  • When using the paddle shifters for the first time, consider driving in an area away from traffic so you can concentrate on learning the paddle shifter operation.

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