In what automatic transmission is still worse than the good old-fashioned “mechanics”

Automatic transmissions are tightly integrated into the lives of many motorists. Today, most drivers would probably agree with the statement that “automatic” is much more convenient than “manual”. Especially for trips around the city. However, it is still early to write off automatic transmission from accounts. At least because automatic boxes have their own minuses.

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“To kill” it is possible and a mechanical gearbox. But in comparison with automatics it is much more difficult to do. The scheduled maintenance and regular oil changes will allow you to drive all 400-500 thousand km in transmission. The resource of a hydromechanical automatic is more modest. Even after 150-200 thousands km run serious problems can appear, even if the unit is serviced regularly and timely. Most often the automatic transmission is broken: hydraulic cylinder, hydroblock, control block. The situation with gearboxes and variators in this respect is even worse.


A car equipped with an automatic transmission is now a priori more expensive than a similar car with a manual. Maintenance of automatic transmissions is also more expensive. Finally, we should not forget that cars with automatic transmission still consume considerably more fuel than cars with a usual manual gearbox. Although it is fair to say that the gap in consumption is decreasing more and more every year.


Hook and roll – this is about towing a car with a manual transmission. With automatics, everything is much more complicated. For cars with automatic transmissions there are known limitations both in a question of towing and in a question of a trailer. Especially this topic is relevant for variators. One should not forget about the fact, that the overwhelming majority of cars with automatic transmission can be towed only for 30-50 km for half an hour at the speed up to 50 km/h, after what the unit needs to give time to cool down and to rest.

Driving safety

Automation allows the driver to “rest”, taking some of the routine operations off his conscience. However, in a number of situations, automation can become a source of problems and danger. Especially it concerns overtaking situations. There is nothing worse than those situations, when automatic transmission “decides”, that a maneuver made by a motorist is not justified and it is necessary to switch to another gear right now. As a result – a drop in speed. For the experienced motorist this is not a problem, however sometimes the situation on the road is such, that it counts for seconds. And here automatics frankly do not “make it”.

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