Automatic vs Manual Transmission

5. November, 2014

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Manual Transmission Image

Difference Between Automatic and Manual Transmission

 

When buying a new car, it’s important to be familiar with the differences between automatic and manual transmission. Most cars in the United States have automatic transmissions, as fewer people learn how to handle cars with a manual. Although these cars are less prevalent, it’s good to be educated on both types and keep options open.

The reason why manual transmission, often referred to as stick shift, is becoming less popular in the US is because automatic cars are more efficient. They are easier to drive because the gears shift automatically as long as the transmission is put into “drive”. With manuals, drivers must shift gears according to changes in speed. This gives drivers better control of their vehicles, but also requires them to focus more while driving. Drivers must be able to multitask and concentrate on road hazards while shifting gears. People prefer the automatic option because it’s simple to operate and not as stressful.

So why would anyone consider manual cars? While automatic cars may be easier to drive, the stick shift still has its advantages. Although these cars may seem more “dangerous”, one may argue that it requires drivers to abstain from distractions such as cell phones, making it the safer option. People who choose stick shifts often find driving challenging and fun because they provide faster acceleration and more power than automatic transmissions, which can play a big factor when buying a car.

Stick shifts can also be more appealing because of the lower costs. When a model offers both types of transmission, the car with a manual is likely to be cheaper than the one with an automatic transmission, usually by $1,000 on average. Not only do stick shifts have lower upfront costs, but they are also more fuel efficient. Driving manual can increase gas mileage by over 5 mph. Maintenance of stick shifts can be cheaper as well. Automatic cars are costly to repair and are serviced more often over time. Transmission problems tend to be rare with stick shifts, so owning one can save money in the long run.

Given these differences between the two transmission types, it all comes down to personal preference. Even though cost may be a factor, people usually decide on a car based on the model and how comfortable they are driving it. While many Americans prefer automatic transmission, manual transmission is still a great option for those interested in purchasing a new car. It’s best to understand the basics of both transmissions before choosing a car. Learn more about your transmission and get a free diagnostic check over at West Coast Transmission!

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