Originally Posted by MaxxMPG
Try starting in 1st (D) and 2nd (2), setting your UG to report TPS and RPM. Compare TPS (throttle position) and engine rpm for each. Specifically, keep an eye on TPS value to get the car moving, and engine rpm as the car starts to move.
In 2, you should see more throttle, and higher rpm as the car starts to move. Starting in D, you should see a little less throttle, and less rpm needed to move the car.
Remember that it takes much more energy to get the car moving than it does to accelerate from a few mph. That's why we try to avoid coming to a complete stop. All that extra energy to get from 0-3mph needs to be sent to the drive wheels, and the added effort can come from the torque converter or from gear reduction.
If you're heading down a hill, and you can let the car start to roll before hitting the pedal, a start in 2 can be the preferred choice. But in normal driving, the theoretical advantage goes to the first gear start.
Thanks for the deeper explanation.
I'm afraid to change the displayed gauges on my UG, the last time I did that some gauges went wacky.
So i'll take your word for it.
I gave it a try on the way home today and noticed the decrease in tps needed to get up to speed.
I had forgotten just how "short" (as in duration) 1st gear was!
I'm going to stick with it from now on and see if I can eventually quantify the difference on my daily grind.
Thanks again Chris!