Manual vs. Automatic Transmissions: Pros and Cons
With advancements in transportation technology, getting from place to place is becoming more and more convenient every year. This transportation revolution began with the introduction of the automatic transmission, which made driving easier and more accessible to everyone. Since the debut of the automatic transmission, however, drivers have weighed the benefits and drawbacks of automatic and manual transmissions, inciting a heated debate that has gone on for decades.
Often considered the “standard,” manual transmissions have been commonplace since the 1940s. It typically consists of a stick-shift used to change gears. Using a third pedal, the driver needs to release and engage the clutch while shifting gears. Though it seems a far more complicated method than an automatic transmission, stick-shift drivers often describe the experience as extremely fun and rewarding as they develop a deep connection with their vehicle while maintaining complete control.
Drivers who operate a manual transmission will need to learn how their vehicle should be driven to prevent stalls and excessive wear, usually through trial and error. Because of this, learning to “drive a stick” is accompanied by a relatively steep learning curve when compared with automatics. However, once drivers learn how to operate a manual transmission, they can operate a car nearly anywhere in the world. The majority of the vehicles available for rent globally are stick-shifts, offering those who already know how to drive one a distinct advantage during travel.
Although the manual gearbox is an exciting way to connect with a vehicle, it also has its own set of challenges and disadvantages. With such a steep learning curve, stalling in the road, grinding gears, and shifting improperly are common issues among new drivers, increasing the risk of losing control of the vehicle or getting into a collision if they stall suddenly. Improper shifting can also cause severe wear on the clutch, requiring more frequent maintenance than a manual transmission vehicle that’s been operated properly. However, once the driver learns the ways of a stick-shift, maintenance is infrequent and easier than automatic transmissions.
Automatic transmissions are systems that can change gears without any input from the driver. As the most common transmission type in the United States, the majority of Americans only know how to operate an automatic transmission. This proves advantageous to those who prefer automatics because they have significantly more choices in terms of which type of vehicle they drive. For those who prefer manual, there are far fewer options, as domestic manufacturers continue to phase out their manual transmission vehicles.
With automatic transmissions, drivers don’t have to worry about stalling or taking time to learn how to shift gears properly. Driving automatic is just easier. Additionally, automatic vehicles are more comfortable to drive because the driver doesn’t need to worry about hitting the clutch, especially in traffic. Aside from changing fluid occasionally, maintenance on an automatic transmission is infrequent.
Unfortunately, automatic transmissions can be quite boring to drive overall. There’s less of a connection between the driver and the vehicle. When it comes to maintaining an automatic transmission, it can get rather complicated and pricey. All that automatic convenience comes with a number of additional systems that help the transmission operate. When maintenance is required, maneuvering around these systems can be time-consuming. Simply put, there’s more that can go wrong with an automatic transmission, and replacing an automatic transmission may break the bank in a worst-case scenario.
Maintain Your Car’s Transmission with Bessler Auto Parts
In the end, the best transmission is the one with which you’re most comfortable. No matter your preference, Bessler Auto Parts has a huge inventory of recycled transmissions and engines for late model cars and trucks. To learn more, contact us at: 888-482-4568.