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      03-14-2016, 06:42 AM   #1
dbramley
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Never driven a BMW Auto - help!

Hi all,
Not new to BMW but I am to their autos and the 5 series.

I'm currently in a BMW 320d Coupe (E92) and I've had it for the last 4 years, prior to that I had a BMW 320si (E90) which I had for about 4 years too. Both manual and both of which I loved!

However time has come to change and I need something with rear doors for my daughter to get in and out of easily and I've been looking at the F10 520d.

Found a nice year old, 13,000 mile example, 520d M-Sport Plus Pack, Auto. Great, happy with price trade in etc. but getting rather nervous about it being an auto! Specifically how the heck you drive the thing!

Few questions if you don't mind....


To set off, foot on brake, button on the side, move to D and accelerate.
To reverse, same as above but move to R.

All well and good, I'm confused about the 'Park' function. Do I also need to press the handbrake switch or does Park do both?

Neutral - when would I use this? I've read a lot online and can't see any situations where I would need it, unless I just want the engine running when its on my drive or something? Or waiting for someone?

Traffic lights, junctions, give way - do I just keep my foot on the brake and then gently accelerate off, leaving it in drive? Am I correct in thinking it won't roll back?

Handbrake, I've read that if you hit the accelerator with the handbrake on ir will disengage so you need to be careful or you could end up flying forward, is that correct?

Anything else I should know? Sorry for the loads of questions, I hope I pick it up easily enough.

Thanks
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Last edited by dbramley; 03-14-2016 at 12:32 PM.
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      03-14-2016, 08:01 AM   #2
AP
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to set off. Foot on brake
Parking brake off (pull "lever" button up)
push button on side of gear knob and pull back once so it goes into drive. It will light up so its obvious what mode it is in.
Once in drive, foot off brake and apply gas.

If you don't end up putting it in drive and end up leaving it in neutral, the car will tell you and sound a gong.

Basically just remember to push the button on the side of the gear knob to change mode. You may have to move it twice, ie from Drive t Park, push twice so it first goes into neutral and then into park.

Neutral, I've never left the car in that mode for anything.

traffic lights, just leave foot on brake. You will fin in traffic at slow speed you don't even have to apply gas as it will creep slowly without any gas. youc an control the speed with just the brake. Apply gas if need be.

It certainly won' roll back , it wants to creep forward.
Additonally, the car is fitted with an automatic handbrake on an incline, so if on a steep slope, the car will hold itself where it is when you take your foot off the brake and then apply the gas, so no need to worry about that.(I don't think it holds for ever but certainly enough to move off)

Handbrake, never tried , I've only ever used it when parked.
Are you confusing it with the autoparking brake? you can switch that on and in traffic , it will apply the handbrake and then you can take your foot off the brake. When you want to go just press the gas pedal and the brake will automatically come off. Handy for heavy traffic.

I think that covers the basics, its all pretty obvious and you'll get the hang of it very quickly. The car won't let you do anything stupid, logic will get in the way.


If you push the gear knob over to the left, it goes into a sport mode. It will hang onto the gears for longer. You can press the lever forward and back to manually change gears. Again the gearbox won't let you do anything stupid and it will protect the engine or change up and down to prevent the engine stalling or over revving.

Enjoy, its a great gearbox.
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      03-14-2016, 10:08 AM   #3
dippo
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The first time you drive an automatic, the most important thing to remember is that you don't have a clutch pedal. As you come to a stop, there's a strong temptation to press down hard with your left foot on the clutch that isn't there. As you scrape yourself off the windscreen, you'll realise you hit the larger brake pedal fitted to automatics.
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      03-14-2016, 10:18 AM   #4
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Tuck your left leg under the seat for the first few drives.
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      03-14-2016, 12:34 PM   #5
dbramley
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Thanks for the replies, I'm kind of afraid of either doing an emergency stop or the opposite and flying into the back of someone!

Shows how used to the 3 series I am too, I just realised I put 320d above when of course I mean the 520d!
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      03-14-2016, 12:44 PM   #6
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I have never used neutral in my last three BMW autos over driving 160k miles. Ever. Drive/Reverse/Park is all I ever do. I never even use the paddles on Sport Auto.

Just forget your left leg/foot when driving an auto. You will quickly get used to it.
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      03-14-2016, 03:49 PM   #7
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In drive and with your seatbelt on, hitting the gas will automatically disengage the handbrake.
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      03-15-2016, 03:55 AM   #8
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Donít worry about it I also switch for the first time to an Auto gear box after 21 years of manual, I have the Sport auto with Pedals, you get used to it in no time!
If you have the Auto Hold, it will save you having to put it on Neutral in traffic and having to leave your foot on the brake when at stand still, I find it spot on, i.e. it holds the car at the very right moment like a temporary hand brake, so it never feels like it is stopping earlier.
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      03-17-2016, 10:40 AM   #9
dbramley
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Thanks everyone - done the deal and it's now mine. Actually surprised myself so far - no left foot on the brakes yet!

It is a lovely car, can't believe the jump in quality from the E90 / E92. Also can't believe the jump in size - it seems MASSIVE round town!!

Does it auto assist with the brakes or do something strange when you're braking? The brakes do feel different, almost like I'm applying pressure and it's helping with the last bit...

Thanks
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      03-17-2016, 11:53 AM   #10
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probably as it changes down: engine braking.
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      03-17-2016, 02:23 PM   #11
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It will be the effect of the regenerative braking... charges the battery! (Efficient Dynamics)
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      03-18-2016, 03:44 AM   #12
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I still bet on downshifts which the OP is unused to - he would have had the alternator under braking on his E92
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      03-18-2016, 10:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xenon View Post
I still bet on downshifts which the OP is unused to - he would have had the alternator under braking on his E92
Same thinking here, the alternator doesn't kick in that hard to feel it retarding the car. Certainly not in my experience and I exploit the feature where I can.
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      03-20-2016, 09:18 AM   #14
dbramley
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Yeah you're spot on, it's the downshifts I can feel, wondered what it was, thought it was assisted braking but feeling it over the last few days that's what it is.

Thanks again!
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