Categories Car safety

Why Choose Steering Wheel Paddles


Steering Wheel Paddles: Purpose

Steering wheel paddles: why choose them

Installation of steering wheel paddles

Some cars are equipped with steering wheel paddles. This tool, previously used for racing vehicles, makes it easier for the driver to shift gears, thanks to a system of impulse controls and avoids needing a gearshift. They are also used to equip a vehicle for people with reduced mobility.

Steering wheel paddles: Usefulness

Presence of a robotized gearbox

Previously intended for competition vehicles or grand touring vehicles, paddles are now associated with cars equipped with a robotized gearbox.

This type of gearbox has the particularity of assisting gear shifting: electric actuators replace the driver to shift gears and clutch. They work in automatic or manual mode.

In manual mode, it is the driver who decides to shift gears using impulse controls:

Either by two paddles, placed fixed on each side of the steering wheel, which controls two impulse switches: when a paddle is actuated (one is used for upshifting, the other for downshifting), an electric impulse is sent to the gearbox computer. This one will select the adapted speed and the clutch control through its actuators.

Or by an electrically controlled gearshift that works on the same principle.

Fitting a vehicle for people with reduced mobility

In order to make driving as easy as possible, move most of the controls to the steering wheel. The paddles will not necessarily be dedicated to gear shifting, as the transmission and clutch are often automatic. They can control acceleration and braking according to the type and degree of disability of the driver.

Steering wheel paddles: why choose them


The steering wheel paddles combine the following qualities:

  • faster gear shifting: a few hundredths of a second instead of 0.5 to 1 second for a traditional gearbox;
  • the simplicity of the maneuver ;
  • safety: both hands remain on the steering wheel;
  • increased driving comfort.


If the use of paddles on the steering wheel requires a little adaptation time, some users never get used to this type of equipment.

Good to know: installing paddles on the steering wheel is often optional, and the gearshift can also operate the robotized gearbox.

Installation of steering wheel paddles

steering wheel

Variants of steering wheel paddles

There are alternatives to fixed paddles:

Paddles integrated into the steering wheel are attached to the steering wheel during steering movements for better gear shifting.

Impulse switches: integrated into the steering wheel, they are less bulky than the paddles.


This installation will only be possible on vehicles previously equipped with robotized gearboxes and preferably dedicated to competition or high-end and prestige vehicles.

These are electro-pneumatically controlled adaptive kits composed of a compressor for the air source and an electronic control unit. This type of kit is offered mainly by racing parts sales sites (Sparco USA, OG Racing, etc.) at an average price of $1,200.

It is wise to entrust the grafting of the vanes to an experienced professional ($200 to $400 of labor).

Hope this post has provided you with the information you were looking for. Remember to jot down a few words in the comments below.

Read more about cars here:

– My Car Is Overheating! What Could Be Wrong?

– How to Repair a Locked Clutch Pedal;

– How to Clean an EGR Valve;

– Gearbox Linkage System | How It Works;

– What Is a CVT Car Transmission;

– 5 Steps to Reconnect a Car Battery;

– Clutch Release Bearing: Symptoms, Solutions, and Pricing;

– How to Maintain Your Engine Cooling Radiator;

– How to Maintain Your Clutch Pedal;

– How Do You Maintain Your Battery Terminals?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *