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Manual vs Automatic

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Which type of car is better: a manual (also known as “stick shift”) or an automatic?

The answer is entirely up to you, your driving habits, and your needs. Here is an overview of the pros and cons of cars with automatic transmissions and those with manual transmissions, to help you decide which is a better fit for you.

Financial Aspects
Cars with manual transmissions tend to cost a lot less than cars with automatic transmissions. It is not uncommon for new versions of stick shift cars to be far cheaper than the automatic cars in the same model. Manual transmissions also require less service, cost less when they do need to be serviced, and are more fuel-efficient.

On the other hand, it is important to not only consider the initial costs, but to also consider the price you will be able to sell your car if that were ever necessary. In today’s day and age, most people want to buy cars with automatic transmissions instead of stick shifts. Because of this, it may be very difficult to sell a car with a manual transmission, and you will probably have to sell it at a lower price than if you had bought an automatic.

When cars with manual transmissions are used properly, they will require far less maintenance, as they are less mechanically complex than their automatic counterparts. They are far easier for mechanics to service, so it will cost much less when they do need to be repaired. This ease also provides a great benefit for those who like to repair and maintain their car on their own, or who are interested in learning to do so. Cars with manual transmissions use gear or engine oil, which deteriorates slower than automatic transmission oil, and therefore needs to be changed less often. Cars with automatic transmissions will cost more to maintain, need to be maintained more often, and need to have their fluids changed more frequently.

The torque converter in an automatic transmission keeps a car constantly moving forward, requiring drivers to keep their foot on the brake when stopped at a red light. Cars with manual transmissions do not have this torque converter, and this tends to make braking easier. This is a great feature on freeways where you will find yourself needing to frequently alternate between accelerating and braking.

Of course, it is much easier to learn to drive in a car with an automatic transmission. Learning how to use a clutch and how to time shifting can cause problems, such as jerking, missing shifts, stalling, and bucking. Cars with automatic transmissions tend to be safer and more comforting when staring out on a hill, as they help prevent the driver from rolling back into traffic. For this reason, an automatic might be an easier and safer choice for drivers living in a city. Cars with automatic transmissions might also be better for city conditions where there is heavy traffic, as the driver will not have to continuously work the clutch pedal.


This article was contributed by Vito Sanchez, a car enthusiast who hopes to help you become a better driver. He recommends getting transmission repair from Circle D for all your transmission needs. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!  

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