There’s no doubt that automatic transmission vehicles have become more popular over the past decade. Instead of fiddling about with the clutch, it’s far easier to jump into an automatic car and just go. However, there are some advantages to owning and driving a manual car. Whether you’re deciding on your first car or you’re thinking about purchasing another, here are some tips to help you decide on the transmission.
Manual transmission cars cost far less to produce than automatic. When visiting a car dealership, most car models with have both a manual and automatic variant. The manual variant usually costs several thousand dollars less. However, if you’re going to a 2nd-hand dealership or you want to buy a specific car, they might not be available in both transmissions. A couple thousand dollars might be a small price to pay when you consider it’s a car you’re buying, but the savings will add up and you can do a lot with a thousand dollars.
A manual transmission is also cheaper to repair than an automatic system (unless you’re unlucky with a transmission failure). This is because they are generally easier to work with and fix. If you contact a service like Custom-Transmissions.com, they’ll give you quotes on how much you can expect to pay to repair both an automatic and manual transmission, and you’ll be surprised at the difference.
The Driving Experience
Sticks shifts are far more complicated to learn for the uninitiated beginner. When watching an experienced manual driver, they can operate the clutch and gearbox with such proficiency that it looks easy. However, don’t be fooled. Driving a manual transmission car for a long time will build up muscle memory, so don’t expect to be at the same level with just a few weeks practice.
In a manual car, you can “feel” the car and when you should be using the clutch or switching gear. You also have more things to monitor, such as your speed, because you need to shift the gearbox once you reach a certain speed. Not only do you have to press the clutch, you also have to learn to release it when transitioning between gears. If you use it incorrectly, the car will jolt or stall. It’s a complicated process that, as mentioned before, takes muscle memory to operate smoothly.
Automatic, on the other hand, is a far smoother experience. You can stop and start ad infinitum, and there are no complicated hand and feet maneuvers to learn. You simply hit the accelerate, and then brake when you need to.
One of the biggest comparisons you can make with a manual and automatic is during a traffic jam. In a manual car, you need to shift the gears and fiddle with the clutch every time you stop and start. If you’re used to it, then this isn’t much of a problem. However, if you’re new to driving a manual car, chances are this will frustrate you to no end. With an automatic car, there’s no need to play with the clutch just because you’ve stopped the car, and the whole experience is far less hassle.