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What would you prefer to be manual in your car?

I rode in an old Land Rover some 40 years ago. It had a manual over-ride for the windshield wipers: a lever on the inside. I remember the first windshield-wiper-fluid pump on the Volkswagen ‘Beetle’: a tube from the spare tire. I thought those were elegant.

I see threads about people whose automatic windows and doors have stopped working; I can’t imagine why a physically-able person would put up with it. I’m unhappy when I drive an automatic and disagree with its gear choice and can’t push-start it.

I met a guy who complained about the expense of keeping his car running, so he went back to riding a horse. I don’t want to give up my pickup but I’d hate to lose control if I ever have to replace it.

What automatic would you-all rather have manual?

I agree with manual windows, IF that increases the reliability.

I’ve had 3 or more cars with manual windows and one reliability issue that I can remember (crank handle broke). And 3 or more with power windows, and one reliability issue also.

So, tiny sample size, about equal reliability.

The only issue I can think of: the controls accessible to the operator, the crank versus the push button. The crank would be more liable to breaking, as the operator can apply lots of force.

The only automatic thing I’m having problems with is the ‘auto-dimming’ function on my inside rear view mirror. It rarely dims, I’d much rather do it by hand.

Not a big problem, that’s for sure. I’m happy with power windows and the automatic trans.

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I have bought a stick shift car, so there goes the first pet peeve. I have had two power windows fail on me. One was a passenger side in freezing temps/midnight drive back to home for 60 miles with two very young kids at the time. I was able to pull it up a bit and jam a screwdriver there to hold it but still a pain.
Now, my stick shift car came with a push button start/stop, so I guess I am still not going to be able to push start it.

I’m “gruntled” ! I can’t think of any automatic things I’d want to be manual or any manual things I’d want to be automatic on our fleet of GM cars! Those guys did their homework.

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I’ve never had a problem with power windows. I want to be the one that decides when they open though. I’d also just like a knob back for changing radio stations. You know, turn the knob for changing stations, like in the old days. What could be simpler? I’m not even sure how to do it now without checking the manual.

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While–in theory–automated/electronic devices might be more troublesome than those of a manual nature, I have NEVER had a failure on any automated/electronic device on any of my cars, and that includes those that went for more than 10 years/130k miles
And, as to…

My brother’s '64 Beetle had that accursed, incredibly primitive windshield washer system, and while it might have seemed innovative, the reality of the situation was that VW did not engineer the tanks properly, and after a few months of use, most of them sprang a leak because they could not hold the air pressure from the spare tire with splitting a seam.

And, even before the tanks failed, more than a few people wound-up with underinflated spare tires, simply because they had used their windshield washer.

I sold Volkswagen parts in that era and owned a sea blau (blue) bug. I sold lots of those bottles.

Not only was there a tire pressure issue as regular maintenance, but if one got a flat tire and put on the spare…

There were 2 problems… a flat spare and NO washers! Add that to the NO heat and defrost (when everything was working right) & it was a thing of beauty. I drove with snow mobile boots on and a window scraper in hand, no joke.

I actually had a (partial) solution for that problem with my Karmann Ghia.
I chiseled the heater duct under the rear parcel shelf apart, and inserted the heater blower from a '55 Chevy.
I then had heating/defrosting…albeit only on the driver’s side of the car.

I never got around to doing the same thing on the passenger side duct, and–in any event–the electrical system was probably too weak to have accommodated two blowers going at the same time.

P.S.–My brother’s '64 Bug was also Zee Blau!
Nice color…primitive car.

Your G6 has no knob for tuning? Ouch! I’ve got 4 GM cars (2 Chevrolet, 2 Pontiacs) electronic radios, all with tuning knobs.

I am pretty happy with electric windows, auto headlights,auto trans, less happy with ABS, Can’t say it has ever really helped me in 8 years with it and 30 without, not sure how I wil be feeling about future automatic things, such as

Automatic breaking
Automatic cruise control to maintain a safe distance come to mind.

My G6 has a knob but my Acura doesn’t.

That is a very bad feature!
I prefer cars that break on a non-automatic basis.


I hear you. I have it on all of my cars. I think it’s one of those things for newer drivers, like drivers who call it “turning my car on,” rather than “starting my car,” and folks who while sliding down the road are debating in their minds… “Do I turn in the direction of a skid or away from the skid???”

Those of us who grew up with bias-ply tires, single-circuit drum brakes, RWD, no idiot lights, no air bags, no seat belts, etcetera, are cut from different cloth!

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Yep we actually know how to drive having lived with all those manual controls. Same reason I prefer airline pilots that have actually been shot at and had to handle a plane with holes in it. I sat next to a pilot deadheading on the way back from Florida. It was a nice landing in a heavy wind and I asked him who landed the plane, the computer or the pilot. He said it could have been either. Made me feel better thinking the pilot had the skills to land it if the computer went nuts. Getting up in the air is one thing but then you’ve got to get it down again.

Oh man! I don’t really care for ABS, either. That gives me pause for buying one of these new wonder cars. They should make a “feeling lucky?” model for some of us older guys!

I’ve never been one to like help with anything unless I ask, first. :wink:

I’ll take that new car over there with the automatic braking, start/stop feature, all the latest technology, etcetera…

Hold the automatic braking, start/stop feature, all the latest technology, etcetera…!

I have a strong personal “keep it simple” bias. I don’t mind high tech if it actually solves problems or makes the car more reliable or efficient. There’s no way I’ll ever go back to a carburetor on a motorcycle after experiencing one with EFI for example.
It’s the frivolous gimmicky stuff I hate, push button start-stop, heck, I’d just as soon cars still had foot pedal starters. The push button automatic transmission gear selectors found in Edsels and other cars of that era are another good example of technology for its own sake.
Fortunately, the gimmicky stuff found in cars is for the most part not mission critical.

I wouldn’t want to completely eliminate the starter motor feature on my vehicles, but I’d like it if they had a hand crank option, for when the battery turned up dead.

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I began driving 50s model cars and trucks that were about as basic as most would imagine and I’m quite certain that I could get in anything post WW II and drive it without a problem today. When properly maintained they started quickly and were quite simple to operate. Above 45 mph they don’t handle very well though. 30 mph on wet streets. We had to know our limitations back in the good ole days. And I have hand cranked a few cars. It beats walking.

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Dual power seats, driver with memory. Automatic dual temperature zones. Power lift gate. Noise control volume for sound system. Power sun roof. Remote entry. Ability to set head lamps shut off time so we can see to go in house.

What would we prefer that was manual? Can’t think of a thing.

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