Lately, we have been getting lots of questions from owners of the new 5th generation Camaro SS who are concerned because they sometimes can’t shift into 2nd and are getting a message on there dash telling them to shift to 4th gear. The good news is there is nothing wrong and this nuisance can be eliminated.
CAGS, or Computer-Aided Gear Selection, is a feature on newer domestic performance vehicles equipped with a six speed manual transmission. The purpose of CAGS is to help avoid the “gas guzzler” tax by improving fuel economy under “normal” driving conditions. CAGS is activated in the 2010-up Camaro SS when:
- you are in first gear
- you are using 21% throttle or less
- you are traveling between 15 & 19 mph
- and your engine coolant temperature is greater than 169°F (76°C)
When these parameters are met, CAGS overrides the driver and locks out 2nd and 3rd gear, forcing the driver to shift directly from 1st to 4th gear. Many drivers are unwilling to accept this factory installed nuisance. After all, if they wanted a computer to decide what gear they should be in they would have bought an automatic. For those extensively modifying their vehicle, CAGS can be “turned off” by a performance tuner. For the average bolt on car the safest and most economical way to eliminate CAGS is by installing a high quality Skip Shift Eliminator. These units actually trick the computer into thinking it’s still in control but will not allow CAGS to activate and will not trigger trouble codes or the “Service Engine Soon” light.
A quality Skip Shift Eliminator, like the one manufactured by Apex Motorsports, uses OEM weather-proof plugs and is installed in minutes by simply lifting your vehicle, unplugging the CAGS wiring harness from its solenoid (the solenoid is located on the drivers side towards the top of the transmission in the case of the new Camaro), and plugging the Skip Shift Eliminator inline between the harness and solenoid. Just like that, CAGS is gone.