Manual Mode and Column Shifter Death Spiral - 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LT Crew Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LT Crew Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Manual Mode and Column Shifter Death Spiral

November 8, 2013

 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Josh is correct about our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Silverado's execution of manually-selected gear changes. There is, however, one thing about the way GM implements their trucks' manual mode that I've never been fond of.

 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Note the Silverado's PRNDM display above. You engage the transmission's manual mode by moving the column shifter towards you and then down from 'D' to 'M'. You're now in manual mode, and you can use the '+/-' buttons on the lever to select your gear. This half of the manual mode selection process works fine because 'M' is the last detent. You can just pop the shifter down as far as it will go and then manual-shift your little heart out.

It's exiting manual mode where I have a gripe. Too many times when attempting to go from 'M' to 'D', I overshoot 'D' and wind up in neutral. Then equal care is required not to again overshoot 'D' and wind up back in 'M'.

Smooth roads are generally fine. It's when you're bouncing down any kind of bumpy road where the level of finesse required by the column shifter can result in the aforementioned column-shifter death spiral.

For sure, this is a minor gripe. But there's got to be a better way.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor


  • hybris hybris Posts:

    You really shouldn't be shifting around tranny modes unless you are at a stoplight or something to that effect. I can understand you guys going into manual mode on the fly because you are entering terrain that the manual mode would be better suited for. Is it a small gripe? Yes but at the same time I have to wonder if you guys are not using this as intended.

  • banhugh banhugh Posts:

    I'm surprised that you don't have a gripe with the little +/- button on the steering column lever to change gears in manual mode. Does the truck have paddle shifts? That rocker switch looks ridiculous.

  • dan_acosta dan_acosta Posts:

    This is all you have to gripe about? Sheesh!

  • dg0472 dg0472 Posts:

    I had a Sonic as a rental in Las Vegas last week and I had the same issue with ending up in Neutral. I think it was exacerbated by the very short distance between the detents, as I never ended up in Neutral coming out of the manual gate with my Intrepid.

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