Manual VS Automatic

Modern technology has enabled vehicles to come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Likewise, the ways in which engines are constructed have evolved over the years. One of the most important concerns when purchasing a vehicle is whether it employs a manual transmission or the mechanism is automatic. Each of these options has several benefits as well as a handful of potential drawbacks. Let's examine each method in a bit more detail to appreciate which one may be the best for you.

Automatic Transmissions: Pros and Cons

It is no secret that automatic transmissions tend to be the easiest to adapt to. Driving is streamlined, as there is no need to shift between different gears. Some will argue that those who are just learning to drive should be trained using an automatic transmission. As there is no clutch involved, there are no chances of the car stalling out when driving.

Another point to mention in reference to automatic transmissions is that many newer vehicles offer these as an option. In the past, automatics were said to be less efficient in terms of fuel. This would normally lead to higher gas charges. However, modern technology has now enabled these systems to become much more effective. In the majority of cases, miles per gallon are no longer a real concern.

There are still some drawbacks associated with automatic transmissions. The first is the cost. Automatic models tend to be much more expensive than their manual counterparts. This could be financially crippling if you are on a limited budget. Another downside revolves around maintenance. Nearly every mechanic will observe that automatic transmissions are much harder to service while parts can likewise be quite costly. Even the most common of issues may indeed require a large financial investment. Finally, automatic transmissions could need to be replaced entirely under specific circumstances. Manuals are much more modular. It is very rare that the whole unit will fail.

Manual Cars

One of the main reasons why drivers shy away from manual vehicles is that they believe it is much harder to learn how to drive and adapt to such systems. Some will even give up entirely if the vehicle stalls after a few attempts. The clutch and the gear shifter need to be used in synchrony and some drivers are decidedly intimidated by such mechanics.

Another potential issue is that shifting from park into drive while on a steep incline can be frightening, as the vehicle will naturally roll backwards until first gear is engaged. This can make manual transmissions problematic in hilly or rural areas.

Finally, those who have problems with joints in their left leg or knee could find that the manipulation of the clutch become painful or difficult over time. Although this is more of a medical issue than a driving concern, it should still be mentioned.

Still, the benefits of manual transmissions cannot be overstated. Some of the most pronounced are:

  • An amazing level of fuel efficiency.
  • The ability to safely navigate roads under inclement conditions (such as snow or ice).
  • As there is no traditional transmission, the lifespan of the engine can be massively increased.
  • Manuals are much easier to service than their automatic counterparts.
  • Those who learn to drive manual will have no problems when operating an automatic vehicle.
  • Manual vehicles tend to be much cheaper when compared to automatics.

Your Choices and Needs

Ultimately, both systems offer their own merits. The final decision is naturally up to you and your preferences. Although it could be argued that every driver should learn how to drive a manual, this may not be entirely necessary. Each individual will have his or her own unique preferences and these can naturally influence your final decision. It is still important to compare such factors as comfort, fuel efficiency, cost and safety. This is a quick guide aimed at helping you to make an informed choice. Always remember to test drive either type of car before committing to a purchase.