automatic vs manual transmission

Manual vs. Automatic transmission – Pros, Cons & Information

In Transmission by Magnus Sellén1 Comment

automatic vs manual transmission

Cars with manual transmission have been around since the mass production of cars.

Today most cars have automatic transmission. The absence of the clutch makes driving easier. In cars with automatic transmission the gear change is automatic when you increase speed. When you buy a car, you need to know the difference between the two gearboxes, as they have different maintenance costs and handling.

If this is the first time you own a car, you may find the automatic transmission easy to drive – especially on congested roads.

Cars use a range of gear ratios to move the car. In a low gear you have a lower speed but more power. Higher gears help you to drive higher speeds, but with less power. Gears are crucial for the distribution of power while driving.

With an automatic transmission, this happens without the driver’s intervention. All the driver has to do is press the accelerator or brake pedal.

Manual transmission cars

Most people call the manual car a stick shift. This is because you have a gear stick between the driver’s seat and the passenger seat. In some cars the gear stick is under the steering wheel. The clutch pedal is located on the left side in front of the brake and the fuel tank.

In the engine, there is a clutch that is located between the gearbox and the engine. You operate the manual car by releasing the clutch while changing gears. Problems with the manual system occur when you try to move the car from a standing start.

If you release the clutch too quickly, the car stalls, or if you do it too slowly, you wear out the clutch. Starting uphill requires some practice. If you drive a car with a manual gearbox, you must constantly listen to the engine. In the beginning, most cars were equipped with three gears, later on with four. Nowadays we have five and six gears.

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If you have an empty battery, you can start the car when you are driving downhill with a manual transmission. Just let the car run and then quickly release the clutch. This will bring the engine back to life. This is impossible with an automatic car.

Pros
  • Better control of the car
  • Costs less to maintain
  • Cheaper than an automatic transmission
  • Depending on efficient gear change, the car consumes less fuel
Cons
  • Requires a higher level of concentration due to changing manually changing gears with hands and feet
  • Tiring balancing the clutch in heavy traffic

When driving, you have better control of the car if you use a manual transmission. However, you need to concentrate and balance your feet when using the accelerator, clutch and brake pedals. Your hands are constantly on the gears. Maintenance costs are lower with a manual car than with an automatic transmission.

Cars with manual transmission are always cheaper to buy than cars with automatic transmission. When you buy a car on a low budget, you choose the manual transmission. Because the cars weigh less, you save fuel. It is estimated that drivers with manual transmission save up to 10% to 15%.

Automatic transmission

automatic transmission overheatingThese came later and were mostly installed in luxury cars. Today almost every car model has an automatic transmission. With automatic transmission you have a hydraulic torque converter. The gear change does not require any input from the driver, but the car realizes the need for gear change depending on the speed of the car and the accelerator pedal.

A car with an automatic transmission offers a smoother ride because you don’t have to clutch properly while driving. It is even easier to drive an automatic car in a traffic jam. Automatic cars have a dual-clutch, which is very effective for changing gears. This is possible in a few milliseconds. Originally, most automatic cars had four gears, but now we have five, six and even eight gears.

If you are an inexperienced driver, it can be difficult to drive up steep hills with a manual gearbox. This is especially the case when the vehicle has come to a complete standstill. With automatic cars, you can concentrate on the steering, as you don’t need one hand for the gear stick. You also forget those embarrassing moments when your car comes to a halt in the middle of a traffic jam. Driving an automatic car is less stressful in a traffic jam. You don’t have to constantly press and release the clutch.

Another common type of automatic transmission is the continuously variable transmission (CVT). In this case, the gears are changed using a series of belts and pulleys. In this case, there is no shifting of the transmission, and this gives the car a range of infinite gear ratios. The CVT has the added advantage of smooth acceleration.

Conclusion

The decision to buy a manual or automatic transmission is a personal one. With a car with a manual transmission, you have low purchase and maintenance costs. However, a car with manual transmission is difficult to drive because you have to constantly change gears with one hand while your feet balance the brakes and clutch. The manual transmission is difficult to learn when starting uphill. However, they allow the driver to better control the car. Manual cars are tiring when driving through traffic jams.

Automatic cars are enjoying increasing use. They have become more and more common. Compared to manual transmissions, however, they are more difficult to maintain. However, they offer a smoother ride. They also give a lower chance of the car stopping or stalling. Today we have automatic transmissions with more gears – five, six and even eight. If you are buying your first car and are looking for a car for your daily commute, it is advisable to opt for an automatic transmission.

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Because of the many advantages and disadvantages, many people find it difficult to choose between the two. Your car budget will be a decisive factor. In most cases, you will find that a car with manual transmission is cheaper than a car with automatic transmission.

Hello I'm Magnus, the owner and the writer of this website. I have been working with cars since I was 16 and I'm specialized with in-depth Automotive diagnostics. Also been driving drifting for the last 6 years. I'm here to give you answers to all your automotive questions and I hope that you enjoy our content.

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