What is the S mark on shifting coloum for with the auto trans


Asked by Dec 25, 2011 at 10:26 AM about the 1985 BMW 3 Series

Question type: General

Its below the D mark which is for drive, has an S next ? Why?

9 Answers


The S position is similar to D except only the gears from 1st to 4th are used. It's purpose is to prevent cycling between 4th to 5th gears when you are in stop and go traffic or if you are driving around town and making many stops. I have also used it when going down a long hill to use the engine braking.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Hey Thanks rfhendrix; That makes sense,am first time owner of BMW so had no clue,as to its meaning or use.Shangxxx


"S" = Sport Mode which is common a BMW, though on Mercedes (especially with the 4Matic system AWD) there is a "W" and "S" mode for Winter (starts in second for less torque in slippery or icy conditions and "S" for Summer, if you will, or Standard mode.


additionally... is what was mentioned: sport mode does not "cycle between 4th and 5th gear". As 5th gear is an over drive or taller gear for the best fuel economy. As you can see about half way through my video (93 BMW 740iL I used to own) it displays on the console the sport mode by and "S" and what gear is selected http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5hKDGYSaxM&list=UUOfjCW-081GjAx9MA8E9TSQ&index=1&feature=plcp

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Best Answer Mark helpful

I was answering on the Honda Fir forum I don't know how my post ended up here. Sorry everyone for the confusion.


DOH!!! ☺ lol


Oh and "R" is for "Race". Select that, then floor it. L☺L

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

An updated video of some of my past vehicles for you enjoyment ☺ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHV0RWb-_Dw&feature=youtu.be

How can I change the s mode to d mode first time owner of BMW n I don't know how to change it back

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