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I've got an automatic and I've found that when I'm in manual mode I really like being in second gear when im driving on the backroads bc thats where I get the quickest acceleration once im in motion.
I like it so much that I would like to leave it in second most of the time. If im in second my RPMs are constantly btwn about 3k-6k (when I'm driving up to 65 mph). Has anyone else noticed that its the most fun in the automatic to be in 2nd? Is this bad for the engine or the tranny to keep it in second at this speed for an extended period of time?
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Well with how stupidly tall 2nd gear is, you don't exactly have a choice but to use 2nd gear to do most of your power runs. I mean you can do 0-70 all in 2nd gear. I personally wish they had just put in one more gear so that you could hit redline more easily through the first two gears.
I keep it in 2nd when puttering around town, but sometimes I wonder if that's good for the transmission...I mean with normal automatics it's bad to keep the car in the lower gears for too long as it can overheat the tranny.
Last August, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, we had a Mazda track day. I spent pretty much the whole time in second gear. It was great!!! There were 3 straights where I briefly went to third. The manual guys were using 2, 3, and 4, while I was using mainly 2. It's pretty much good from 20 to 80, or so. :D
I use 2nd gear a lot. I also use 3rd quite a bit on the freeway. I never use 4th unless I'm cruising. I don't think it hurts anything. Just watch the temperature, and don't drive at 7000 RPM for 30 minutes at a time.
You can get to 81 mph in 2nd. I did it for the first time a week ago and made my jaw drop. I definatley feel like 2nd gear in the autos is the sweet spot. Once past 4k on rpms and you floor it, feels so sweet to take to redline then shift to third. Doesn't even feel like your going fast until you shift to 4th.