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Old 11-06-2011, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Northridge/Porter Ranch, Calif.
18,031 posts, read 14,852,240 times
Reputation: 4334
Quote:
Originally Posted by wade52 View Post
Short answer: most Americans can't drive them.

Practical answer: most American drivers probably have to deal with city traffic. Auto transmissions are much superior to manual in stop-go-creep-forward-a-few-yards situations.

I know. I've driven both in those conditions.
Correction: Most Americans prefer not to drive them. Before automatic transmissions were common, Americans were driving cars with manual transmissions. My mom used to drive a 1951 Plymouth with a manual trans.
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Scranton
1,235 posts, read 1,285,841 times
Reputation: 1340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleet View Post
Correction: Most Americans prefer not to drive them. Before automatic transmissions were common, Americans were driving cars with manual transmissions. My mom used to drive a 1951 Plymouth with a manual trans.
Bullcrap! That would've been correct in 1980. Not anymore. Most people that I know, outside of the trucking industry, couldn't drive a stick if their life depended on it. Even inside the trucking industry, many of the new drivers that we're getting are coming from transit agencies and bus companies and can't drive a manual transmission truck. That's why I keep seeing more and more Allisons everyday.

If you owned a trucking company, why would you buy an auto truck that gets less MPG and costs $20,000 more than the same truck with a 10 speed Eaton? Not to mention the added maintenance of the auto compared to the stick. The only reason is that it is getting harder to find drivers that can shift proficiently.
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Northridge/Porter Ranch, Calif.
18,031 posts, read 14,852,240 times
Reputation: 4334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trucker7 View Post
Bullcrap! That would've been correct in 1980. Not anymore. Most people that I know, outside of the trucking industry, couldn't drive a stick if their life depended on it. Even inside the trucking industry, many of the new drivers that we're getting are coming from transit agencies and bus companies and can't drive a manual transmission truck. That's why I keep seeing more and more Allisons everyday.

If you owned a trucking company, why would you buy an auto truck that gets less MPG and costs $20,000 more than the same truck with a 10 speed Eaton? Not to mention the added maintenance of the auto compared to the stick. The only reason is that it is getting harder to find drivers that can shift proficiently.
I'm not referring to the trucking industry; I am referring to the general public. What I posted is accurate... before automatic transmissions were common, most Americans knew how to drive a car with a manual.... they had to, if they wanted to drive!

"Most people I know." How many people, out of the 310 million in country, do you know personally? And do you have any statistics showing how many Americans know how to drive a stickshift-equipped car?
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Old 11-06-2011, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Sloooowcala Florida
1,291 posts, read 1,332,216 times
Reputation: 978
Why does a manual transmission get more MPG?
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
12,630 posts, read 12,816,787 times
Reputation: 7531
Quote:
Originally Posted by smartygurl View Post
Why does a manual transmission get more MPG?
While a person who does not know much about manual transmission-shifting would probably use as much gasoline as if driving an automobile with an automatic transmission, an experienced manual transmission driver saves fuel by shifting to the right gear to keep the engine RPM down as much as possible.

For example, lets say that I am driving a Subaru Forester that has an automatic transmission with 4 gears on a flat road at 45MPH. The transmission will shift into 4th somewhere around 45-50 MPH. But if I drive the same 2009 Forester with a manual transmission (it has 5 gears), instead of keeping it on 4th, I can shift to 5th and easily cruise ahead at a lower engine RPM.

Did you ever watch a Formula One car race in the past when manual shifting was the norm? When the driver knew that the tank was getting short on fuel and he or she needed to run a few more laps before the end a race where the driver was far ahead of the field, what he or she would do was to short-shift the transmission to save fuel.

Something else. Lets say that I am driving a 1981 Ford F-150 that has an inline-6, 300 motor. I save a little fuel by taking off from a stop on flat ground on 2nd gear instead of first. First gear has way too much torque, so I would only use it when taking off from a stop on a hill or incline, or when the truck is heavily loaded.
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Chicago
35,651 posts, read 53,323,154 times
Reputation: 24024
Quote:
Originally Posted by smartygurl View Post
Why does a manual transmission get more MPG?
They don't necessarily any more. The following explanation is more relevant right up until just a few years ago and it still applies in some cases... traditionally, manual transmissions had more gears and a lower final drive ratio. Also, automatic transmissions "slip" by nature of their design and only "lock up" or create a direct no-slip connection between the engine and drive wheels above a certain speed.

But nowadays automatic transmissions have at least as many gears as manuals, sometimes more. Just a few years ago, most automatic transmissions had 4 forward gears. Now they're considered outdated if they don't have at least 5 or even 6. And we're starting to see 7-speed and even 8-speed automatic transmissions. Having more gears means the car can upshift sooner to keep engine speeds lower as the car accelerates. Additionally, car's computers are programmed to upshift as soon as possible under the driving conditions to maximize fuel economy. The torque converters also lock up sooner and more frequently than the designs of old -- that is, if the automatic in question even uses a torque converter any more. The newest breed of "automatic" transmissions eliminate the torque converter altogether by using a clutch-and-flywheel design that is basically two automated "manual" transmissions in a single casing -- one clutch activates the odd-numbered gears while the other activates the even-numbered gears, and one clutch engages while the other disengages simultaneously to affect gear changes without cutting engine power during the shift in gears.

The result of all of this is that the fuel economy gap between manual and automatic has mostly closed, and in some cases automatics now achieve better fuel economy than their manual-transmission counterparts.

Last edited by Drover; 11-06-2011 at 05:20 PM..
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
6,945 posts, read 4,087,497 times
Reputation: 4998
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayinAK View Post
Did you ever watch a Formula One car race in the past when manual shifting was the norm? When the driver knew that the tank was getting short on fuel and he or she needed to run a few more laps before the end a race where the driver was far ahead of the field, what he or she would do was to short-shift the transmission to save fuel.
They still do with the autoboxes... not sure what your point is.

Quote:
Something else. Lets say that I am driving a 1981 Ford F-150 that has an inline-6, 300 motor. I save a little fuel by taking off from a stop on flat ground on 2nd gear instead of first. First gear has way too much torque, so I would only use it when taking off from a stop on a hill or incline, or when the truck is heavily loaded.
Today's autos will do that too.

Ten years ago, autos did get worse mileage. These days, it's more even with a slight nod to autos, especially those horrible CVTs. I still prefer a manual for the driver involvement and because I'm cheap.
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:34 PM
 
1,109 posts, read 1,094,052 times
Reputation: 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
They don't necessarily any more.
Actually the Chevy Cruze ECO gets 42 mpg hwy with the 6 speed manual, 3 more than the automatic model. Same exact numbers with the Jetta sportwagen diesel.
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Chicago
35,651 posts, read 53,323,154 times
Reputation: 24024
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsh56 View Post
Actually the Chevy Cruze ECO gets 42 mpg hwy with the 6 speed manual, 3 more than the automatic model. Same exact numbers with the Jetta sportwagen diesel.
Uh huh... and?
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:41 PM
 
19,617 posts, read 13,767,729 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsh56 View Post
Actually the Chevy Cruze ECO gets 42 mpg hwy with the 6 speed manual, 3 more than the automatic model. Same exact numbers with the Jetta sportwagen diesel.
When comparing specific cars, it may be true... but there has been advancements in the last decade that basically makes it not true anymore.

If someone is looking for more fuel efficiency, that is not a good reason to get a manual. Especially for someone who typically drives an automatic.
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