The shifting comfort of automatic transmissions of diesel engines at low temperatures can be substantially improved by using springs with temperature dependent rates in the control valves. These springs utilize the shape memory effect of Ni-Ti alloys. They provide a simple and economic way to control both shifting pressure and shifting time. The Mercedes- Benz automatic transmission uses two different springs with thermovariable rate (TVR) in the shifting pressure system to adapt the pressure in the switching elements to the lower torque of cold diesel engines. One spring is used in the shifting pressure control valve and one in the accumulator system.