Why drive a manual?


You made me laugh, connecting a couple conversations, and taking driver assist to the extreme, should we be looking forward to races some day between driver-less cars? Robots competing against robots. What fun.


Thirty minutes in a pressure cooker, you don’t want the flavor of the steak to overpower the ketchup.


Shooting a hole in each task with an elephant gun is preferred. A .375 Holland and Holland magnum at the minimum, but better yet a .458 Winchester Magnum or a .470 Nitro express. Something where pulling the trigger is like being in a car wreck.


People have pretty well covered the benefits of a manual. I had a manual in a corolla I owned several years ago and liked the control and sense of connection it gave me. Many car snobs look down at automatics, but I’m more practical. Currently I have a 2017 A4 with an automatic. it has a manual shift option but to be honest I’m quite happy with the automatic and never use it. There are some definite benefits of automatics, too:

  • If you injure your leg/foot/ankle, an automatic can be driven with one foot. Likewise if you have arthritis or other knee issues.
  • Automatics are much better in heavy traffic. I drove my corolla in rush hour traffic every day and man was that a pain!
  • Automatics are generally better for towing. Most semis have manuals, but they have manuals specifically designed for towing. A manual you get in a passenger vehicle won’t be happy towing anything
  • The number of people who can drive a manual is diminishing; if you need someone to drive your manual car for any reason you may be in trouble
  • Manuals are getting virtually impossible to find. Back in '99 I got a Toyota Corolla and had to search to find a manual. (Audi has actually dropped manuals for the A4 and A5.) If you insist on a manual, you may significantly limit your choices
  • It used to be that manuals were cheaper, but automatics are generally the same price anymore
  • You may actually hurt the resale value of your car because many people don’t want an automatic.

Ultimately, it really depends on the quality of the transmission. A good automatic will beat a bad clutch any day. Likewise, if you get a bad automatic, all bets are off.


They are already being developed. 1 to 1 scale slot cars lacking the hand held controllers. How exciting…


Why not? Competition is competition whether or not a human is involved. Besides, instead of driving the car, the challenge will be in the programming. There would still be the paint swapping, crashes, need to exchange consumables like tires etc so plenty of areas to differentiate. Who cares if a human is driving it or not? Nobody rides a dog and yet they seem to do okay from a spectator/betting perspective…


I also support local small businesses when possible.


For those motorists who like to shift gears, I have developed an automatic to manual shift kit. The parts I use in my kit are actually available at Walmart. I go to the plumbing department and pick up a short handled plunger. From the auto department, I select a gearshift knob. I attach the gearshift knob to the handle of the plunger. I then put a little Vasaline on the rim of the suction cup of the plunger and affix it to the floorboard between the seats. The motorist can shift any time without stripping the gears.
I am purchasing late night television time to sell my automatic to manual shift conversion kits. I will be offering these kits for $19.95 plus shipping and handling. For the first 50 customers, I will be offering a second conversion kit absolutely free for that second car. The customer only has to pay shipping and handling for the second kit.


Heh heh. Oh for the days of old when we could only get four snowy channels. No info-mercials and just selling stuff like Bayer Aspirin and can’t remember that other life giving stuff to take. You got the right idea though. The money is in the shipping and handling, not the plungers.


… Cigarettes, @Bing. We had choices; those our doctor recommended, those that made us seem intelligent(despite smoking,ha-ha), those that made us look like a REAL MAN, or those that came with coupons. But the times were good.


In a conventional torque converter automatic, the engine is essentially driving a propeller that flings transmission oil toward a turbine. This means your engine has to accelerate the fluid before the car catches up. This is one source of efficiency loss. In the geared part of the transmission, a pump has to run to clamp onto certain clutch packs to stay in gear. That’s another source of efficiency

As you may have noticed, a manual is solidly connected to the engine after you completely let your clutch out. The response is much more immediate without much parasitic power draw

Our last manual car was flooded by a recent typhoon in south east Asia. We are planning on buying a minivan. This time, I’m choosing the automated manual. It’s the kind of automatic that’s getting popular in the trucking industry


Because that’s not what people want. 30 years ago stock-car racing was about the driver and the machine. Now with the cars all being 99.999% the same the emphasis has been on the driver. People don’t follow car manufacturers anymore, or a specific car…they follow the driver. It’s all about personality. And it’s the main reason I don’t watch it anymore. But there are a lot more people who watch it now then 30 years ago. I’m in the minority.


Because they can.
Sometimes the simplest answer IS the best answer.


So Mike, you admit the focus has changed over the years. What makes you think it won’t CONTINUE to evolve?


I don’t. But I’m not the one making predictions on where and if it will evolve.


Actually, you are when you refuted my assertion that human involvement may not matter in the future “Because that’s not what people want.”. So you are making predictions whether you think you are or not.


Seems like in racing, there’s a thrill and danger aspect that’s appealing. Not much danger in remote control cars. I don’t think I’d watch an automated Evel Knevil bike jump the fountain at Caesar’s Palace. And I probably wouldn’t watch a driverless car race. Just my opinion, though.


Maybe they can have spectators act as pedestrians crossing the track to get to bathrooms and concessions. That would liven it up!


Useless elderly pedestrians. like “Death Race 2000”!


Hee hee. I’m biting my tongue a little picturing a stadium full of people watching robot cars race each other. Instead of the guy selling beer in the stands it would be steaming hot chocolate served with marshmallows no less. A cheering crowd following the action on their smart phones, rating the skills of the programmers, and some guys even in their pajamas with feet in them. Like Bobby Kennedy said “Some people see things that are and ask why, I dream of things that never were and ask why not?”. Robot races indeed. No thanks. Back to the days of Ford and Chevy stock cars battling it out on a dirt track. And the smell of beer and smoke in the stands and I don’t drink.