Tiptronic Gearbox

Posted on  by admin

A Tiptronic gearbox is almost an in-between of a manual and automatic car. It is basically an automatic gearbox that gives you the ability to change your gears manually. This allows you to have greater control than with an automatic and can be especially useful for going uphill. Tiptronic transmissions let the driver enjoy both the seemingly lazy driving style of automatic transmissions, or, the engaging driving experience of manual transmissions — without the necessity of a clutch pedal. A Tiptronic transmission is an automatic transmission that can be controlled like a manual transmission. In a standard automatic transmission, a computer selects which gear the car should operate in, but a Tiptronic transmission gives this control to the driver. The Transmission manufacturer is ZF, the attache file is the recommended fluids for the 5HP19 transmissions. I changed my ATF in my 1999 Tiptronic car and used the VW Audi fluid. Its all the same Oil just repckaged for each dealer.

While manual gearboxes still dominate vehicle sales in the UK, automatic transmissions are regarded as the future of the automotive industry. In fact, since 2007 the UK has seen a 70% increase in automatic sales and a steady decline in manual gearboxes popularity. As the name suggests, the main difference lies in whether or not you prefer to manually change gears depending on the speed you want to achieve or focus on accelerating and braking while the vehicle does the job itself.

But what if you don’t want to give one up for the other? What if you could have a manumatic gearbox? We are happy to let you know that you can. Automatic transmissions have come a long way since they were first introduced in 1921 and there are now a few variations, including the Tiptronic gearbox which is considered to be manumatic.

What is a Tiptronic Gearbox?

You may be wondering how this sort of automatic transmission works, well, it allows you to override the automated system and use paddles that are located behind the steering wheel to manually change gears, without the use of a clutch pedal. This way it gives drivers the option to choose whether they want to drive automatic, or manually.

This is the first automatic transmission to offer this enticing choice and it was developed by Porsche and was first used on the 1990 Porsche 911. The name ‘Tiptronic’ was trademarked by Porshe, however, the manual shifting automatic transmission has since been licensed for use by many other brands such as Audi, Lamborghini and Land Rover.

Is Tiptronic better than Auto?

The benefit of having a Tiptronic transmission system is being able to switch to manual mode, giving you more control when needed. For example, when needing to go up or down a steep hill, you can manually change gear to allow for a smoother, safer drive.

Most drivers also report loving the authentic feel that the Tiptronic transmission offers. The paddles being located behind the steering wheel gives it a similar layout to many sports cars.

When driving in manual, the Tiptronic system can turn itself back on if drivers fail to use manual shifting for a certain amount of time. Once this happens the Tiptronic software will begin automatically controlling the gears once again. The driver must then manually turn on the manual shifting if they wish to switch back to this mode.

So, which type of transmission should you choose? This all depends on your budget, the make and model of car, and the type of performance that you are looking for.

As auto transmissions experts, The Mechanical Workshop team has a passion for automatic gearboxes so, if you need us to point you in the most suitable direction for you don’t hesitate to get in touch on 0116 2863896. We stock a wide range of reconditioned gearboxes from a range of leading manufacturers at very competitive prices.

A Tiptronic transmission is an automatic transmission with manual shifting capabilities. Tiptronic is a registered trademark of Porsche, part of the Volkswagen Group, which also produces the Audi, Bugatti and Lamborghini brands, among others. Nearly every automotive manufacturer offers what is colloquially known as “manumatic” transmissions, which supply a clutch-free way to control transmission shift points.

Pair This Engine

Engines and transmissions work together. The engine is tasked with sending power to the transmission, and the transmission sends that power to the wheels — usually to one axle but sometimes both, depending on the vehicle. The engine and transmission are among the main components found in a vehicle’s powertrain system.

Most transmissions have gears, and each subsequent gear ensures the right amount of power goes to your wheels at a given speed. With a manual transmission, you must manually shift gears up and down, depressing a clutch each time a gear change is required. Instead of two driver pedals — brake and accelerator — a manual gearbox requires a third pedal, the clutch, found on the left. The brake is in the middle, and the accelerator or gas pedal is on the right. With an automatic transmission, a torque converter does the clutch work for the driver automatically.

Tiptronic Gearbox

Tiptronic Gearbox

Finding a Middle Ground: How a Tiptronic Transmission Works

A manumatic transmission — Tiptronic (Porsche), Sportmatic (Kia), Steptronic (BMW) or some other marketing name — offers a middle ground between automatic and manual transmissions. Here, such transmissions behave as an automatic in default mode but can also operate like a manual transmission once shifted into sport mode.

Typically, an automatic transmission shift pattern shows P (park), R (reverse), N (neutral) and D (drive) with D representing each of the forward gears offered. For instance, if your vehicle is equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission, there would be six steps marked as you work your way to top gear.

Some shift patterns add M/S (Manual/Sport) or +/- symbols representing manual shifting. To operate, you would place the gear shift in Sport or +/- mode and press your foot on the accelerator. You’ll then hear the engine become louder as you pick up speed. To control shift points, you’d “tip,” or shift, the gear shift lever (usually forward) to reach the next gear, allowing the engine to settle or reduce RPMs, then continuing to shift upward as you build speed.

Downshifting requires moving the gear shift lever in the opposite direction. Notably, most manumatics switch to first gear automatically when you come to a full stop. All this shifting is accomplished without the benefit of a clutch pedal, supplying what some consider a happy medium between automatic and manual transmissions.

As a footnote, some vehicles include steering wheel- or column-mounted paddle shifters, providing a supplemental way to shift the transmission. The advantage here is that both hands can always remain on the steering wheel.

Not Quite a Manumatic

There is another type of automatic transmission that may be operated in manual mode, depending on its design. Continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) dispense with traditional gears and use a rubber belt or chain-driven pulley instead. Instead of fixed-gear ratios, a CVT simulates an infinite number of shift points, aiming for greater efficiency.

Just like an automatic, some CVTs (Nissan Xtronic, for example) offer a manual mode, allowing the driver to adjust the shift lever to switch gears. In this case, the automaker adds computer-controlled steps to mimic an automatic, achieving a similar feel as a manumatic.


Check out all the drivetrain products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on a tiptronic transmission, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.


Related Articles

Tiptronic Gearbox Problems

Matthew C. Keegan View All

What Is Tiptronic Audi

Matt Keegan has maintained his love for cars ever since his father taught him kicking tires can be one way to uncover a problem with a vehicle’s suspension system. He since moved on to learn a few things about coefficient of drag, G-forces, toe-heel shifting, and how to work the crazy infotainment system in some random weekly driver. Matt is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association and is a contributor to various print and online media sources.