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Old 03-31-2011, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Scranton
1,384 posts, read 2,614,439 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zea mays View Post
By using logic, why would taxi fleet owners in large American cities overwhelmingly choose automatic transmissions over manual? They know their business and they have their maintenance records at hand. Do you think they care about the comfort of their drivers? Phfft! They choose automatics over manuals because they have the lowest maintenance cost. It's not a question of more parts and increasing complexity; it's a question of economics, proven over hundreds of thousands of miles of city driving. Follow the smart money.
Taxi fleet owners have autos because the vehicles that they use (Crown Vics., minivans) are not available with a manual. Another incentive for them is lower training costs regarding taxi drivers. If you go to Europe, where everybody knows how to drive stick, you'll see that taxicabs are stick.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:22 PM
 
Location: un peu près de Chicago
773 posts, read 2,001,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trucker7 View Post
Taxi fleet owners have autos because the vehicles that they use (Crown Vics., minivans) are not available with a manual. Another incentive for them is lower training costs regarding taxi drivers. If you go to Europe, where everybody knows how to drive stick, you'll see that taxicabs are stick.
If taxi fleet owners wanted manuals, Crown Vics would have come with a manual option. That's a lot of money laying on the table.

Do you think fleet owners give training lesson? It's a jungle out there.

Yes I know that European taxis are stick. We are ahead of them in that regard.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:26 AM
 
25,801 posts, read 49,697,815 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meet4 View Post
I am not an automatic transmission expert, but by using logic... how can a system become more reliable by adding more parts and increasing the complexity to do same task?
Because it reduces operator error by taking much of the opportunity to burn/slip the clutch, lug the engine and mis-shift.

You do have a point in terms of longevity... Not much to go wrong with my Model A Ford Transmission if I were to park it for ten years in my garage or longer... Automatics often do not like to sit for decade without use... lots of intricate parts and passage ways that could seep internally or get plugged.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:28 AM
 
25,801 posts, read 49,697,815 times
Reputation: 19248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trucker7 View Post
Taxi fleet owners have autos because the vehicles that they use (Crown Vics., minivans) are not available with a manual. Another incentive for them is lower training costs regarding taxi drivers. If you go to Europe, where everybody knows how to drive stick, you'll see that taxicabs are stick.
Funny you should mention this... I have a friend that has several cabs in Salzburg Austria... his new ones have automatics.

To add fuel to the fire... I have a 62 corvette that is stock with a 4spd... no power steering, or power brakes with a 327 engine. I do sometimes wish it would have an auto... one trip to San Francisco on Labor Day Weekend... no fun at all.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 11,484,624 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleet View Post
It is amazing how many auto transmissions will last even when not checked regularly. If an automatic transmission is built right (and not abused) they will typically last a long time.

Why can't you check the fluid in yours?
BMW lifetime fill, no dipstick. My Range Rover is the same way. Oh you can check it by removing the trans and getting to the fill hole on top, but that's a bit of a pain.

One of the guys in my owner's group has come up with a billet dipstick for the transmission that can be installed in a hole that was drilled oout for a sensor on a different version of the transmission, but blcoked off on ours. Really slick part that means you can check and fill like a normal transmission. I'll probably install it on my next E38 7 series.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 11,484,624 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
They wouldn't be easier to sell nor would they sell at a higher price point if there wasn't demand for them.
And the damens was caused by the higher resale value historically of the luxury features on American cars (rememebr, we're talking the majority of the traditional American market, not Subarus)

Quote:
And when there isn't demand for them, they don't sell as well. Shop used WRXs for instance, and when you find one that's priced too good to be true, there's a very good chance it's an automatic. In fact Subaru got the message and dropped the automatic option altogether.
This is often the case with small run manufacturers of more sporty cars, unless they go to PDK/DSG type manumatics for performance reasons. Miatas with autmatics sold well new, but have lower resale value when used. But Miatas and WRXs aren't boring, mid size sedans. An Accord or camry or malibu or Fusion will be worth less on teh used market with a stick. OTOH, my old SVT Contour only came with a manual, and I wouldn't have it any other way (of course, I'd never buy a 4 cyl car, or really any sub-3 liter car, with an automatic, unless it was a built up turbo car that you wanted it to continue to build boost DURING the shift...).
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 11,484,624 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meet4 View Post
I am not an automatic transmission expert, but by using logic... how can a system become more reliable by adding more parts and increasing the complexity to do same task?
Domestic planetary gearsets wer decidedly more reliable than other options. GM automatics especially have been the choice of luxurty car makers for a long time. the only really relaible part of a '7os and '80s jaguar XJ12 or XJS was teh GM autoamtic transmission. Rolls Royce used GM automatic transmissions as well, as they met their reliability and durability standards.

They may be complex, but the engineering of them is amazing if you ever rebuilt one yourself and saw how it all goes together.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Birmingham
11,790 posts, read 12,635,810 times
Reputation: 10007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zea mays View Post
If taxi fleet owners wanted manuals, Crown Vics would have come with a manual option. That's a lot of money laying on the table.
Ummm, no - don't think so. The tail does not wag the dog. The Crown Vic (and its cousins the Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car) started out as retail vehicles. And as retail vehicles they were built the way grandma, grandpa and Jeeves wanted them - with automatics. They eventually became fleet darlings to the police and to taxis. Most taxis are retired police interceptors. The police are the only ones that have the clout for a company like Ford to build a special model the way the like it (heavy duty alternator, upgraded shocks, blacked out trim, etc) The police also made it so that the column shifters only go "P, R, N, D" instead of "P, R, N, D, 2, 1" or whatever because in a high speed chase where they pull a Rockford Turn or whatever, they don't want to have to worry about missing D when yanking the shifter down.

Now that the 'Vic is no longer in production (this is the last year, I believe - and its for fleet only) the taxi companies are moving into other vehicles which are still automatics.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 86,797,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc63 View Post
And the damens was caused by the higher resale value historically of the luxury features on American cars (rememebr, we're talking the majority of the traditional American market, not Subarus
Ultimately, the demand is caused by consumer... well, demand. People just plain want automatics -- it's just that simple. And they don't just want them just for resale value, or else the resale value wouldn't be higher in the first place (as shown by the examples we both provided where the market does not support higher resale for automatic transmissions).

We have reached the point where automatics are so ubiquitous that they are no longer considered a luxury item. And they still outsell manuals about 20-fold (I'm guesstimating). Why? Not because they're luxury items (they're not anymore), not because of resale concerns (which will only be supported by actual demand), but because people want automatics.
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 11,484,624 times
Reputation: 4846
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Ultimately, the demand is caused by consumer... well, demand. People just plain want automatics -- it's just that simple. And they don't just want them just for resale value, or else the resale value wouldn't be higher in the first place (as shown by the examples we both provided where the market does not support higher resale for automatic transmissions).

We have reached the point where automatics are so ubiquitous that they are no longer considered a luxury item. And they still outsell manuals about 20-fold (I'm guesstimating). Why? Not because they're luxury items (they're not anymore), not because of resale concerns (which will only be supported by actual demand), but because people want automatics.

*sigh* I'm not saying they don't. But the average person buys what they buy due to being told what to buy, and for decades, that has been slanted towards automatics for reasons other than simply being lazy, which is the ONLY reason manual transmission fans ever trot out.

it's the wsame for manula fans. They no longer remeber WHY Sports cars had manuals only, they only know that sports cars are fun, therefore manual transmissions are fun BECAUSE sports cars had them. Few peopel even remember WHY sports cars had them. And they can't understand why NOW sports cars are moving away from manuals the way they moved away from drum brakes back in the day (and like disc brakes back in the day, Ferrari was one of the last to really embrace manumatics in their sports cars).

So it's no surprise to me that most manual transmission fans can't see any other "logical" reason other than being lazy to buy an automatic.
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