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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,
I have a PM 2500 with gas, automatic transmission. This is the first time I've owned a big vehicle with an automatic and no way to downshift when going down a steep grade so as to use the engine to slow the vehicle and save the brakes (and maybe my life). I do have the tow/haul feature on mine (but I'm not towing). There's a weird little +/- symbol next to the "D" on the auto transmission shift, with no explanation I could find in the manual on what to do for driving downhill. In my previous big camper, a Roadtrek Chevy Express 3500, downshifting on steep grades was a MUST. What do you guys do with the Promaster?
Thanks,
Vince.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So slow it with the brakes to the speed I want, then push the transmission handle over to the left and down a bit? Mine didn't seem to want to stay there.
 

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2014-159 HR in CT
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3,709 Posts
Never tried it on my PM, but on every other auto trans car I own...

First, when in D, push the lever to the left, then
Every push of the shifter forward to the + will upshift one gear.
Every push of the shifter back to the - will downshift one gear.

It's not a switch, it's a pushbutton so you can go up or down more than one gear.

OR, as stated in the Owners Manual:
The transmission shift lever has PARK, REVERSE, NEUTRAL,
DRIVE, and Electronic Range Select (ERS) shift
positions. Manual downshifts can be made using the ERS
shift control (refer to “Electronic Range Select (ERS)
Operation” in this section for further information). Moving
the shift lever into the ERS (-/+) position (beside the
DRIVE position) displays the current gear in the instrument
cluster, and prevents automatic upshifts beyond
this gear. In ERS mode, toggling the shift lever forward (-)
or rearward (+) will change the highest available gear.
NOTE: If the shift lever cannot be moved to the PARK,
REVERSE, or NEUTRAL position (when pushed forward)
it is probably in the ERS (+/-) position (beside the
DRIVE position). In ERS mode, the transmission gear
limit (1, 2, 3, etc.) is displayed in the instrument cluster.
Move the shift lever to the right (into the DRIVE [D]
position) for access to PARK, REVERSE, and NEUTRAL.
 

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2014 Ram Promaster 2500 159" diesel
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1,492 Posts
Tow haul mode is just a name you don't have to be towing to use it. It was designed to limit up / down shifts on hilly roads when hauling a load. On my Chevy I can dial in a gear and it won't up shift past that. I have never used it on the PM so don't know how it works.
 

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The transmission will down shift when descending a hill automatically and rather aggressively too. It's a little discerning at first so be prepared. It will even let the engine rev to 5000-6000 rpm to hold the speed down.
 

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The transmission will down shift when descending a hill automatically and rather aggressively too. It's a little discerning at first so be prepared. It will even let the engine rev to 5000-6000 rpm to hold the speed down.
Personally I would prefer to use my brakes to slow the van if I want to. Sometimes I would prefer to let it roll for the next uphill but the transmission will not let you do that.
 

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Engine braking is a handy tool to use when going down very long, steap hills especially when loaded to max. It keeps the brakes cool so they are there when you need them. If you only use the brakes they may overheat, fade and possibly result in a crash or you becoming intimate with a runaway truck ramp.

Driving on ice in lower gears help maintain control better than leaving it in D and having the tires lock up when you touch the brakes. ABS is good for preventing lockup but gear selection is a bit more control for speed and more gentle.
 

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Engine braking is a handy tool to use when going down very long, steep hills especially when loaded to max. It keeps the brakes cool so they are there when you need them. If you only use the brakes they may overheat, fade and possibly result in a crash or you becoming intimate with a runaway truck ramp.
On some of the rolling but longer hills I have been on I would prefer to have the choice to brake or use the engine, or not brake and just let it roll up some additional speed. In its normal mode it downshifts much to soon for me.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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2,126 Posts
Hi,

If you want to shift down: while in D, push the shift lever over to the left and let go. The gear you are in will be shown on the dash display. To shift down a gear, push the shift lever toward the "-" and let go -- this will shift it down to the next lower gear. The display should change to show the lower gear number, and the RPM's will jump up. If you want to shift down two gears, just push the shift lever toward the "-" again.

Sometimes the computer will not allow the down shift -- I suppose to keep from damaging the engine.

You can shift up a gear by pushing the shift lever toward the "+".

When you want to go back to the regular drive mode, push the shift lever to the right -- the display will then show a "D" rather than a gear number.

Gary
 

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The tow haul on my dodge diesel truck locks the tourque converter and on later models may change shift points

Sent from my VS990 using Tapatalk
 
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