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Automatic VS Manual

ok alot of people out there have been saying that automatic is better than a manual trans and the others say its vice versa. as for me i think manual trans rule. what is your opinion? i like the manual mainly because i feel in total control not half. confusiing? yes but who cares!

so whats your pick? Auto or Manu?

MY pick is my pick, I don’t make recommendations for others other than they should choose for themselves.

The comparison is like apples and oranges.

I choose manual, but I would never claimed it is better.

What’s the definition of “better”? Better for driving a Porsche down Stelvio pass – manual. Better driving a taxi cab in LA rush hour traffic – automatic.

I’ve been a manual transmission BMW guy for 30 years. Having said that, the new PDK/SMG/DSG dual-clutch auto/manual gearboxes are very attractive. No one can shift in 100ms, rev-match every downshift and hit it every time. F1 race cars have been using these for years. My next car (MB, BMW, Audi or Porsche) will have one.


Isn’t this like choosing a religion or picking a horse at a horse race?

I think putting an automatic transmission in a sporty car or on a motorcycle is blasphemous, but for a daily driver it really doesn’t matter. Each one has benefits and drawbacks.

I preferred manuals for many years. Now I prefer automatics.

Newer options include not only the auto/manual setups that Twotone described, but also CVTs. I’ve never driven a CVT, but as manufacturers struggle to meet new CAFE requirements I suspect they’ll become more common, especially in the hybrids.

All-electric vehicles will probably come with one or two speed trannys, like the Tesla roadster does.

Personally, I’d like to see pushbutton trannys, like some of the old Dodge and Chryslers of the 50s and 60s had, return to favor. A row of buttons on the dashboard, P R N OD, and D (or D1 D2 D3) are all you really need. Trannys now are electronically controlled anyway.

Which would you rather have, a hand crank like the Model Ts had or a an electirc starter?

Electric starter. But I don;t see the relevance. Whether the modern tranny is shifted in response to a shifter on the console or a row of buttons on the dash, the shifting technology doesn’t change. Note that I’m not suggesting the old cable system of the '50s and '60s, just a pushbutton-on-the-dash method of directing the shifting.

Pushbuttons on the dash feeding the transmission control unit would be no less advanced than a console shifter doing the same thing, but they’d open up the console space for more storage, another drink holder, ir something more useful. Perhaps, in picjups, even a three-across bench seat!

Regardless what you prefer, much can be said for two considerations. The environment in which you use the car (city, towing, hills and other family driver’s ability ) and consideration for trade in value. There seems to be a bigger difference in used car value of auto v manual then when new and the ability to even sell the car. Consider these factors if it’s a short term purchase.

I wouldn’t mind owning a Model T Ford. It would be a lot of fun to drive in parades, and you could use a drill with a special attachment to start it.

For me, driving a vehicle that requires skill is fun. Part of what makes driving vehicles like semis, motorcycles, and cars with manual transmissions fun is knowing that not everyone can do it. Anyone who has driven a car from the Model T era can tell you those cars required a lot of skill.

We have two cars with manual trans; one with auto. I like manual trans, cheaper to buy new, more power from the engine, better gas mileage and if you run a car into the ground, a manual is cheaper as the trans life is indefinite. I am led to believe from what I see here on Car Talk that 150-175K is usually the end of the life of an automatic trans. I can change a clutch in my garage at home but would not know the first thing about overhauling an automatic trans so in that respect, a manual is also more economical.

Beyond that, it’s do you like McDonalds or Burger King? Either choice is OK.

firstly mcdonalds hands down i cant stand burger king and secondly i guess it wouldve been easier to say auto OR manu instead of versus. my bad. i just want to kno peoples opinion.

for me the further away i get from more and mroe complicated electronincs the happier i am but as some of you mentioned its going to be very hard to avoid it for to much longer

Agree,that would be great,I also love cupholders-something some purists disdain-Kevin

I had a Sumbeam Imp 1965 and you could get the crank for it.

Just to add one thing. If I lived and worked in an area where I often had to drive a lot in stop and go traffic, I would likely get an automatic, but since I am retired and can avoid rush hour traffic, I prefer manual for my type of driving.

I’m sure there have been improvements in manual transmissions over the years but they have not been as dramatic as the development of the modern automatic transmission. 20 to 30 years ago manuals were about 1/2 the weight of an automatic and much more efficent in transmitting power without energy loss in the process.

Today manuals are a bit lighter than an auto but the difference is much less. The auto has reduced slippage to just on start up and the lower gears. Once in the final 2 gears there is a direct hook up via the lock up torque converters which all autos have now.

Therefore it is now a matter of customer preference, to shift or not to shift - that is the question. In towing applications the auto is much better due to smoother application of power. Over the long haul manuals hold up better, but some of that is negated by costs to replace clutches.

For me I prefer manual in some cars and auto in others. For an SUV or large family wagon or sedan I’d go auto. In a small econo car or sports car I’d go manual. Currently I have one manual, and two auto. When I listed my cars owned about 1/3 were manual and 2/3 auto.

Now that most automatics lock up the torque converter in the upper gears, I don’t hate them nearly as much as I used to. It was never about not needing to shift.

Today my preference for manuals is mostly my preference to keep it simple. Same reason my stereo has a manual turntable. I just wish they would give manuals the same deep overdrive high gear that they give automatics. A lot of manuals are real buzz bombs on the highway, you are constantly looking for a non-existant 6th or 7th gear to shift into.
If they gave manuals the same gearing as they give automatics, manuals would still be the gas mileage champs.

Also, unabused manual transmissions are nearly trouble free and if it does break, I can fix it myself.

What’s a “turntable”?

CVT transmissions would get better fuel economy than a manual transmission regardless of the manual’s gearing…unless the manual had at least 15 gears. A CVT is always in the right gear.

If you really wanted to keep it simple, a solid state MP3 player would be a better choice than something with moving parts, like a record player. Also, when you compare a digital signal to an analog signal, you realize the digital signal is much simpler.

Your philosophy explains why you might not have adopted CD and music DVD technology, but it doesn’t explain why you would not get yourself an iPod or another type of MP3 player. I am willing to bet it is about music quality and maybe you are a bit of an technology curmudgeon.

As the miles pile up, at some point, automatic transmissions fail…The cost of repairing them can easily total the car. This should always be a consideration when buying a high-mileage used car…

I’ve got a four cylinder car that’s not too powerful. Getting a manual made it a bit more fun and engaging do drive. Even though 99.9% of the time it’s driven extremely easy, I still find it enjoyable to shift.

If I had to drive in heavy traffic on a regular basis all that would probably go out the window.