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Old 11-13-2013, 12:57 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Found: manual transmission testing rules; it's not "blanket" rule based on speed

Re: the question to NRCAN, the Canadian department responsible for fuel economy testing here. I just got a reply with a link to the answer in the U.S. as well:

Hello Darin,

Thank you for your inquiry regarding the manual transmission shift schedule during the federal test procedure. To answer your question, manufacturers provide the speeds at which the manual transmission should be shifted for each gear. The specific details are outlined in the US code of federal regulations in the following section Title 40 part 86.128-79. I have also provided a link to that section. eCFR — Code of Federal Regulations

Chris B.
Here's the text from that link, current as of November 8, 2013, with the manual transmission bits highlighted:

Title 40: Protection of Environment
Subpart B—Emission Regulations for 1977 and Later Model Year New Light-Duty Vehicles and New Light-Duty Trucks and New Otto-Cycle Complete Heavy-Duty Vehicles; Test Procedures
86.128-79 Transmissions.

(a) All test conditions, except as noted, shall be run according to the manufacturer's recommendations to the ultimate purchaser, Provided, That: Such recommendations are representative of what may reasonably be expected to be followed by the ultimate purchaser under in-use conditions.

(b) Vehicles equipped with free wheeling or overdrive, except as noted, shall be tested with these features operated according to the manufacturer's recommendations to the ultimate purchaser.

(c) Idle modes less than one minute in length shall be run with automatic transmissions in “Drive” and the wheels braked; manual transmissions shall be in gear with the clutch disengaged, except for the first idle mode (see 86.134, 86.136, and 86.137). The first idle mode and idle modes longer than one minute in length may be run with automatic transmissions in “Neutral;” manual transmissions may be in “Neutral” with the clutch engaged (clutch may be disengaged for engine start-up). If an automatic transmission is in “Neutral” during an idle mode, it shall be placed in “Drive” with the wheels braked at least 5 seconds before the end of the idle mode. If a manual transmission is in “Neutral” during an idle mode, it shall be placed in gear with the clutch disengaged at least 5 seconds before the end of the idle mode.

(d) The vehicle shall be driven with minimum accelerator pedal movement to maintain the desired speed.

(e) Accelerations shall be driven smoothly following representative shift speeds and procedures. For manual transmissions, the operator shall release the accelerator pedal during each shift and accomplish the shift with minimum time. If the vehicle cannot accelerate at the specified rate, the vehicle shall be operated at maximum available power until the vehicle speed reaches the value prescribed for that time in the driving schedule.

(f) The deceleration modes shall be run in gear using brakes or accelerator pedal as necessary to maintain the desired speed. Manual transmission vehicles shall have the clutch engaged and shall not change gears from the previous mode. For those modes which decelerate to zero, manual transmission clutches shall be depressed when the speed drops below 15 mph (24.1 km/h), when engine roughness is evident, or when engine stalling is imminent.

(g)(1) In the case of test vehicles equipped with manual transmissions, the transmission shall be shifted in accordance with procedures which are representative of shift patterns that may reasonably be expected to be followed by vehicles in use, in terms of such variables as vehicle speed or percent rated engine speed. At the Administrator's discretion, a test vehicle may also be shifted according to the shift procedures recommended by the manufacturer to the ultimate purchaser, if such procedures differ from those which are reasonably expected to be followed by vehicles in use.

(2) A manufacturer may recommend to the ultimate purchaser shift procedures other than those used in testing by the EPA, Provided that: All shift procedures (including multiple shift speeds) which the manufacturer proposes to supply to the ultimate purchaser are provided to the Administrator as part of the manufacturer's application for certification, or as an amendment to such application, under 86.079-32, 86.079-33, 86.082-34, or 86.1844-01 as applicable.

(h) Downshifting is allowed at the beginning of or during a power mode in accordance with the shift procedure determined in paragraph (g)(1) of this section.

[43 FR 52921, Nov. 14, 1978, as amended at 58 FR 16033, Mar. 24, 1993; 64 FR 23921, May 4, 1999]
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