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Old 08-15-2018, 02:49 AM
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Sport Mode

I have a 2012 Acura TL Elite and was whenever I drive it in sport mode it only stays in gear 1 for a little while and immediately goes into gear 2. Even when going down to gears I can only go to gear as the lowest gear. Is there anything I can do so I can launch in gear one and shift when I want to? I was looking at the sprint booster but wanna see if there anything I can do to manually get first gear
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Old 08-15-2018, 03:54 PM
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I've heard this more than once on here. I'm not sure if my TL is just special or if everyone else is doing it wrong.

If you punch it from a stop, the transmission will stay in 1st gear nearly to redline. Followed by 2nd and 3rd. If you're in 2nd and you punch it, it will automatically downshift back to 1st, assuming you're not going too fast where downshifting to 1st would cause the engine to redline. If you're already moving, and in 2nd, you won't be able to shift down to 1st manually unless you're going very slow, like <5mph. That's there to help avoid damage to the transmission I'm guessing.

Moral of the story - using the paddle shifters to downshift from 2nd to 1st isn't easy, and not useable if you're looking to accelerate quickly. But if you stomp on it from a stop, or stomp on it when you're not going very fast while in 2nd, it will go into first until redline.

If yours doesn't behave this way the only thing I can think of is to do a transmission fluid drain and refill. Or even a 3x3 which, if you're not familiar with it, is the process of draining and refilling 3 times, going 20-100 miles in between each drain/refill to allow the fluid to mix. I keep my fluid very very clean. I change it every 5000-8000 miles. I'm guessing that maybe the transmission might not shift down to 1st if it somehow detects that the fluid is unsuitable (dirty, bad viscosity from fluid breakdown, low fluid, etc.).
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:52 AM
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Depending on the year, some might be able to hold first gear. I know I can in my 04 TL but it changed later for the other 3G TL's. On my 4G TL the only way to stay in first is to MASH the throttle to ensure I get first as long as possible. The car likes to go into 2nd very quickly, probably uses first gear as a "launch" gear to help RPM's rev up quickly into the powerband.
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Old 08-16-2018, 11:47 AM
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I can confirm in my 2012 shawd that it will launch and hold first to the red line if you mash the pedal from a stop. But it wont downshift to first unless going very slowly and coming to a stop. Otherwise it always wants to be in 2nd. Maybe its to protect first gear and/or the engine from excessive reving because when it revs in first the rpms climb extremely fast.

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Old 08-17-2018, 11:34 PM
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I have a 2012 FWD Tech. Before they did the torque converter update I was able to hold 1st until redline. now I can't, but iirc after the ktune I can again. =)
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Old 11-19-2018, 02:13 PM
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Thumbs up How to shift into 1st gear

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to downshift into 1st gear as well. For my 2012 TL Sh-Awd you have to be in low rpms in second gear and floor it while downshifting using the paddle, this is really fun on corners and sometime the car will slide a bit to if it is a sharp enough turn.
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Old 01-03-2019, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by tdowd7 View Post
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to downshift into 1st gear as well. For my 2012 TL Sh-Awd you have to be in low rpms in second gear and floor it while downshifting using the paddle, this is really fun on corners and sometime the car will slide a bit to if it is a sharp enough turn.
Everything you've said is true with my car as well.

I'll also add that you can get it to do a light 2-1 shift if you give it a well timed throttle blip. After that it held first for a bit while driving steady, which I've never felt before.

My suspicion is that the auto-throttle blip can't perform the 2-1 without jerking the car in most circumstances. To keep it smooth Acura denies that shift unless the driver is giving it enough manual throttle that it can just smoothly surge the car forward with the torque converter. It will allow the shift when you're at full throttle for sure, but there's a lower threshold as well.

I don't think there's really much benefit to it:
1. The car has plenty of torque in second gear
2. Finding that downshift paddle in the middle of a turn is a matter of luck
3. If you leave it in auto it will downshift to first when you mash it anyway

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