Photo of a manual transmission.
Should you drive a car with an automatic or manual transmission? CC by h0usep1ant/Flickr

A person should know about the car she is looking at buying, be it online, at a dealership, or from a  neighbor. Make sure to account for the transmission in the vehicle involved. Each type of transmission has pros and cons. Usually, automotive transmissions come in two varieties. There are manual transmissions and automatic transmissions. There are plenty of things to think about. A person should know what they are getting into.

Good and bad points for both

A manual has some definite benefits, for those acquainted with the clutch. Cars with manual transmissions are more economical usually. Efficiency increases as drivers shift manually within an optimum range called the power band. A stick shift usually gets two miles to the gallon more than their automatic counterparts. Not only that, it’s about $1,000 less up front. That said, with computer technology in modern cars, the gas mileage advantage is diminishing.

Location, location, location

Car buyers should bear in mind the area where they live and drive the most. People who don’t live around steep hills don’t really need to be concerned one way or the other about their transmissions. Drivers in cities on waterfronts, such as San Francisco or Seattle, known for steep hills, should think about an automatic. Manual transmissions involve more activity while driving. If a person is on a hill in traffic, the steering, clutch, brake and gas have to managed precisely. Also, if the drivers have to stop on a hill, they must use the parking brake, too. That aside, some hold the opinion that driving a manual is simply more fun.

Not a Catch 22, but a catch nonetheless

Vehicles that produce more torque and horsepower put greater strain on transmissions, so buyers should do their homework on any car they are interested in buying. When a transmission goes, even a warranty will not spare you the mental discomfort of the event. Automatics are far more complex to repair, so DIY repairs are difficult and more expensive. Transmissions are not cheap to replace. A qualified mechanic may be expensive, but when it comes to transmissions it will save you money in the long run from botched repair costs.

Post By bryanh (1,420 Posts)


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