Although the vast majority of motorists consider the automatic transmission more preferable and convenient in operation, manual transmissions do not cease to be in demand. There is no doubt that there are some obvious flaws with the manual – for example, significant discomfort when shifting gears in traffic, but the transmission also has important advantages. And even nowadays, when almost all cars are equipped with automatic transmission, there are true admirers of manual transmission among drivers, who argue their choice by the following reasons.
Gaining full control over the car
The exploitation of the vehicle with a manual transmission requires the constant participation of the driver in the process of gear shifting, while with an automatic gearbox these tasks are solved by electronics.
At first glance this may seem to be a disadvantage, but in practice it allows full control over the car and decides for oneself when to accelerate and shift to a higher gear. In the case of the automatic transmission the driver only needs to press the gas pedal and take no further action.
By changing gear manually, it is possible to get maximum dynamics from the engine or reduce fuel consumption. Depending on driving conditions, you can change gear earlier or later than recommended, accelerate sharply, or drive in one gear at one speed.
To learn how to shift gears in time on a manual transmission, the driver needs to gain certain skills and experience. You will also have to develop the reaction, which will allow you to respond faster to events occurring outside the car, and learn to calculate situations – for example, when you need to move from a place in traffic or reduce speed in front of the stream, which is slowing down.
In cars with automatic transmission such reaction will also not be superfluous, but since the driver is only holding hands on the steering wheel, it has a negative impact on concentration.
Lower cost of the car
Cars with manual transmission cost less than versions with automatics. In this regard, the choice in favor of a manual transmission allows you to get serious savings and direct the remaining funds to the search for a newer and more comfortable car.
Endurance and durability
Mechanical complexes are famous for increased wear resistance and long service life. And in today’s realities, when such a system is brought to impeccable condition, its resource looks almost inexhaustible.
The only thing required from the driver is to follow the basic rules of shifting gears, not to clutch the clutch pedal while standing in traffic instead of shifting to neutral gear, etc. Considering such requirements, you will be able to drive your car with a “manual” for many years without encountering any troubles.
Cheap and easy to maintain
In the previous paragraph, we pointed out that manual transmissions have excellent endurance and can “pass” a couple of hundred thousand kilometers, even if no routine maintenance is performed. In addition, such a unit has a simpler design than even the cheapest “automatic transmission”. The difference between manual transmission and variable and robotized transmissions is enormous.
Certainly, separate accessories of a manual transmission are expendable – for example, clutch, but with observance of operating rules and timely repair/maintenance they will serve faithfully for many years. As for automatic transmissions, they fail more often because of the complex device, and unscheduled repairs will cost a pretty penny.
Manual transmission as protection against theft
In the domestic space, this point is rarely considered an advantage, since on Russian roads there is a huge number of cars with manual transmission. But in European countries and the U.S., where almost everyone drives an “automatic”, cars with manual transmission are not stolen at all.
The thing is that they are cheap and not in demand, that is why, having found a gearbox lever in the cabin, the intruder will simply pass by in search of a more perspective “victim”.
A car with a manual transmission as an investment
Today’s car market is switching to automatic transmissions en masse, both on diesel and gasoline models. Hybrids and electric cars are equipped by default with automatic transmissions. In this connection, buying a car with a “mechanic” you are more likely to sell it at a higher price due to its rarity. And if it was stored in a garage or in a closed parking lot and was kept in good condition, it will be a significant plus in value.
As an analogy, you could compare an automatic box to fast food. Undoubtedly, it is delicious, simple and accessible food to satisfy hunger, but “mechanics” is comparable with a luxurious dish cooked according to a special recipe. These are the principles that will guide people in the future when faced with the question of choosing a car.
Manual transmissions are clearly superior to automatic transmissions in terms of fuel efficiency. The energy of the crankshaft rotation does not go into the torque converter, since the shafts are directly coupled. Automatic complexes with an unlocked clutch use up to 30% of the energy required to heat up the transmission.
Additional heat sinks are required for heat dissipation, and manual transmissions don’t need them. Against this background, the economy in traffic jams and at low speeds is substantial.
Also a plus to the economy is the ability for the driver to control the revs himself. When moving between lanes, entering curves and other maneuvers on the road it is very useful. Those who like dynamic driving style or drifting in lower gears will appreciate the full control over the driving process. Moreover, according to the statistics, sports cars are usually delivered exactly with manual transmission.
Differences between automatic and manual gearboxes
The key difference between the automatic transmission and manual transmission is the principle of driving the car. Also, these transmissions differ in other characteristics:
- “Mechanics” have much less weight and simplified design, which provides simplicity and lower maintenance costs. In turn, the automatic has an impressive weight and is difficult to repair;
- The manual transmission does not require a battery. In critical conditions it can significantly help the driver. Automatic transmissions are 100% dependent on electric power;
- Many novice drivers give up on cars with “manuals,” thinking they won’t be able to learn how to shift gears. However, this is a myth, and after a few lessons with a car instructor any doubts will disappear;
- Cars with a manual transmission are much more economical than models with an automatic transmission. They consume at least 10 percent less fuel.
Many drivers often wonder if an automatic transmission can be replaced with a familiar “manual” transmission. Probably not! Since the leading car companies do not make cars with manual transmissions for many years, and it is unlikely to find compatible parts to convert the transmission.