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The Benefits of Automatic and Manual Transmissions

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, you have a lot of options to choose from. Not only do you have to decide between different makes and models, but you also have to make a decision between a manual or automatic transmission.

Automatic Transmission vs. Manual Transmission

Most people are more familiar with automatic transmissions – especially younger adults. If you were around to see cars develop and change over the years, you may be a little more familiar with standard transmissions.

The most obvious and biggest difference between these transmissions known to most people is the driver engagement. Automatic transmissions are hands-free, but manual transmissions require the use of a stick shift throughout your drive. To some, driving a manual is too much work. For others – mostly car enthusiasts, it can be a lot of fun!

When cars were first introduced, automatics didn’t exist. Everyone drove stick. Over the years, the car industry grew and technology improved. Thus, bringing in the production of automatic cars! This was an exciting time, but not everyone traded in their car just yet. Automatics tend to be a little pricier than standards – even to this day. Over the years, manufacturers have learned how to make automatic transmissions a little more affordable. There’s a higher demand and car technology keeps getting better, so automotive manufacturers are moving towards bettering themselves, too.

Some car companies are ending production of manual transmissions. They aren’t as popular as they once were, so sales are down. In fact, less than 3% of the cars sold in the U.S. have manual transmissions. Even Ferrari doesn’t sell manual cars. Ferrari’s product marketing chief Nicola Boari said they chose to end all manual transmission production because demand was “close to zero.”

There are various benefits to each transmission, but ultimately it depends on you, your wants, and your needs.

Pros of Automatic Transmissions:

Easy to Use. Driving stick isn’t very difficult, but it can be a hassle. It can take some practice to get used to it, and many drivers aren’t comfortable behind the wheel. Automatics are a driver-friendly option. It takes much less time to learn how to use and offers fewer distractions.

Less Restrictive. Manual cars are more restrictive than automatics. Even though we have all been taught to drive with two hands on the wheel, most of us switch to just one hand on the wheel over time. With manual cars, you can take one hand off the wheel, but it has to be used for shifting gears.

Better for Driving Through Hills. If you’re new to driving, you may notice that it is a little difficult to drive stick shift through hilly areas. Automatics get rid of this issue and allow your car to operate efficiently – no matter how steep the hill is.

Low Risk of Stalling. If you ever stall out in an automatic vehicle, it is due to a mechanical problem. You most likely won’t have any issues with a stalled automatic.

Better for Driving in Traffic. It takes more work to start, accelerate, decline, and stop if you drive a manual transmission.


Pros of Manual Transmissions:

Inexpensive to Purchase. If you are shopping on a tight budget, there is doubt that a manual transmission is your best option. Manuals are thousands of dollars less than automatics.

Cheaper Maintenance. Automatic transmissions contain a lot of extra parts and machinery. The more parts that need to be maintained means there is going to be more money needed to maintain all those parts. Standard vehicles require very little maintenance, if they do require maintenance, it isn’t too expensive. However, the clutch is the only part of the car that a manual has to worry about that an automatic doesn’t have to worry about. If the clutch quits working, you could be in for trouble.

Fuel Efficient. Manual transmissions are generally less complex, lighter, and contain more gears. This means you will end up getting more miles out of the petrol. It is estimated that manual transmissions can save drivers between 5% and 15% on their fuel costs.

More Control. Automatics are taught to choose the gear they believe is best, but sometimes their guess isn’t always correct. When you drive a stick shift, you have greater control over the vehicle.

Transmission SA

Once you have found the perfect vehicle, trust Transmission SA with all your transmission needs. If you are having transmission problems, come visit us as soon as possible. Transmission SA is a discount transmission repair shop, so you don’t have to worry about spending high dollars to stay safe on the road. The customer is our first priority! Call us today at (210) 239-1600 for more information.