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Old 03-27-2011, 02:09 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 14,724,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
Manual are not as trouble free either.

We had customers trade in manuals after putting in 3 clutches because the wife or daughter would go through them in a year...

.
*cough* men don't burn out clutches?

I'm female and my manual trans Nissan truck has 247,xxx miles; I bought it new, and it's still got the original clutch. I've never burned out or had to replace a clutch, actually. Except the "three on the tree" shifter in my old '64 Ford truck my brother broke when I was teaching him to drive...

Anyway, I am sure there's differences in quality but what you describe above is a driver issue, not a car issue. And as you point out, clutches are fairly inexpensive to repair or replace, unlike automatic transmissions.

Oh well. I accept that I'm in a minority when it comes to liking a manual! I guess for my golden years I'll have to find a nice old generation Saab or something with very low miles for a fun car and baby it to the end.
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:42 PM
 
25,817 posts, read 49,712,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
*cough* men don't burn out clutches?

I'm female and my manual trans Nissan truck has 247,xxx miles; I bought it new, and it's still got the original clutch. I've never burned out or had to replace a clutch, actually. Except the "three on the tree" shifter in my old '64 Ford truck my brother broke when I was teaching him to drive...

Anyway, I am sure there's differences in quality but what you describe above is a driver issue, not a car issue. And as you point out, clutches are fairly inexpensive to repair or replace, unlike automatic transmissions.

Oh well. I accept that I'm in a minority when it comes to liking a manual! I guess for my golden years I'll have to find a nice old generation Saab or something with very low miles for a fun car and baby it to the end.
I knew my comment would get attention...

I can honestly say no one ever came into the family Dealership where I worked as a teen said their son or husband keeps burning out the clutch.

Now, I know from High School a number of guys were going through clutches, especially when they would time trail at Fremont Raceways... they would just pull the tyranny and put in a competition clutch and be good to go Monday for school.

In the interest of full disclosure, I worked at the Dealership in the 1970's

Also, the majority of the cars I own have manuals... although the vehicles I drive with regularity are automatic.
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:08 PM
 
Location: dfw
314 posts, read 1,250,902 times
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recently while shopping for an used car, the asst. to a used car salesman remarked i could get a good bargain on a stick shift car because the younger generation could not drive it.

when i asked him if he could help me take it to an open flat parking lot where i could test drive it, he said he himself did not know to drive a stick. he was in his early 20s.
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:12 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
12,994 posts, read 17,122,083 times
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People in the U.S. don't like manual transmissions because how are they gonna talk on their cell phones if they always have to have one hand on the gearshift? And Heaven forbid they take the bus!
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:20 PM
 
Location: un peu près de Chicago
773 posts, read 2,002,283 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veyron View Post
I love having control over my vehicle.
Downshift when ever I want and not wait for a stupid computer.
I hate and I mean hate the lag in the shifts.
Not so fast. The computer, not the accelerator pedal, controls the throttle in many new cars and in all cars with stability control (so-called "fly-by-wire"). The accelerator position sensor sends a signal to the ECU, and the ECU decides, depending upon the driving situation, the signal to be sent to the throttle position servo. In particular, the ECU wants to avoid rapid changes in engine speed, as abrupt changes in speed momentarily increases emissions. This means that in manual downshifting, if the accelerator is blipped to increase engine speed to match the transmission speed, it is the ECU and not the driver that controls the lag, size, and duration of the blip. Modern manual transmissions downshift slower than in cars where the accelerator pedal is mechanically linked to the throttle. I have a '91 E30 which has the older set-up, and I can tell the difference.

All in all I prefer the convenience of an automatic transmission.
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:21 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 14,724,368 times
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LOL. Well...since men are the ones who typically take care of the family cars and take them in for service (especially in the 1970s) it is quite possible that you were not getting the whole truth from clients who may have found it more acceptable to blame the burnt-out clutch on one of the little women in the family....

Fremont raceway in California? We must have lived there at the same time.

I have taught several people to drive (both of my younger brothers, my sister, and a female friend) and I have to say that both of my brothers were the most challenging, vaccilating from easily flustered to stupidly reckless while learning - see above re: yanking the column shifter so hard it broke off - and my sister and friend were and continued to be sensible and good drivers who do all the family driving while my brothers between them have totalled four cars and one Triumph bike by being, essentially, nitwits.

But I digress.

I'll be the silver-haired granny in the old Saab.

PS: Funny: Last old Saab 900 I owned was a hoot to take to oil-change places. One: the kids could not find the ignition. (If you're familiar with older Saabs, you get this.) Two: I had, more than once, the amusing experience of having a 20-year old come in and tell me there was nobody in the shop who was capable of driving my car onto the rack because none of them could drive a stick shift.
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:21 PM
 
3,071 posts, read 7,444,911 times
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Because it is very hard to hold a cell phone in one hand,the wheel in the other and shift a stick at the same time....logical answer
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:28 PM
 
25,817 posts, read 49,712,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
LOL. Well...since men are the ones who typically take care of the family cars and take them in for service (especially in the 1970s) it is quite possible that you were not getting the whole truth from clients who may have found it more acceptable to blame the burnt-out clutch on one of the little women in the family....

Fremont raceway in California? We must have lived there at the same time.

I have taught several people to drive (both of my younger brothers, my sister, and a female friend) and I have to say that both of my brothers were the most challenging, vaccilating from easily flustered to stupidly reckless while learning - see above re: yanking the column shifter so hard it broke off - and my sister and friend were and continued to be sensible and good drivers who do all the family driving while my brothers between them have totalled four cars and one Triumph bike by being, essentially, nitwits.

But I digress.

I'll be the silver-haired granny in the old Saab.
I taught a lot of my High School friends how to drive a stick... since most families didn't have a manual to learn on and I had access to cars... sold a few this way too.

Still remember being 12, 13 and 14 years old and going for test drives with someone trying out a car... everyone wanted to know how the car would do on hills... more than a couple of times I had to switch places with the driver because he or she couldn't start on a hill after stopping for the stop in Maxwell Park or the upper High Street area.
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:46 PM
 
30,882 posts, read 24,219,681 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
I grew up in Europe and still visit; manual trans cars are still common there. In fact, last time I was in the UK, it was cheaper to rent a manual trans car than an automatic - do US rental agencies even rent manual vehicles, exotics excepted?

Anyhow - to this day I vastly prefer them. For many reasons:
More power and performance. (More fun!)
Better control in adverse or hilly conditions.
Cheaper - better gas mileage, less brake wear, much cheaper to replace - my 1995 Nissan beater pick-up with almost 250,000 miles still has the original clutch.
When my Chevy Venture needed a new transmission at 160,000 miles, the cost of having it done at a shop almost exceeded the value of the van; I sold it.

I've also owned a Saab Viggen and a Porsche 944S - both very nice sports cars and I cannot imagine them being nearly as much FUN to drive with an automatic! I adore driving, though.

The Advantages of Buying a Manual-Transmission Vehicle — Edmunds.com

"There is no question that manual transmissions "resonate with customers who still enjoy the act of driving," said Marie.
...To many people, driving is just getting from Point A to Point B. ... In recent years, consumers have been willing to pay more, get fewer miles per gallon and have less control of the vehicle — all for the sake of convenience."

I've asked people I know and the most common reason they prefer automatics is because they're "easier to drive in traffic." Maybe it's because I'm used to driving a standard, I don't put any conscious thought into it; in fact it's automatic. LOL.

Is it a convenience factor? Are newer automatics better, cost-wise? (I haven't owned anything newer than ten years old in several years but the article I linked to suggests they are.)

An aside - I think driving a standard makes a person a better driver, because it's a bit more interactive. For several years back in the 1980s I drove a semi over the road; having 18 speeds does make you more conscious, especially when how you drive impacts fuel economy and your bottom line! (I was a company driver but got fuel bonuses.) Maybe I am an old fogey, but I also prefer stiffer steering and brakes and guages instead of warning lights; because it seems to me I pay more attention to the act of driving generally. I've driven hundreds of thousands of miles on several continents and different countries without an accident and I wonder if learning to drive in a more conscious, interactive way makes people more attentive drivers in general?
Quote:
Originally Posted by vmaxnc View Post
Lots of reasons, some have been posted:

1. We're lazy.

2. Traffic. My previous manual was like using a leg press machine. I sat in an hour of stop and go traffic so many times that my left leg was bigger than my right. OK, maybe that's an exaggeration, but I can say that after sitting in that traffic my left leg was throbbing many times.

3. We're too stupid to learn. My neighbor decided to get down to one car for he and his wife. She is seemingly incapable of learning to drive a manual, so he has to buy an auto.

4. We aren't driving enthusiasts. Look at how many Accords, Camrys, and other front drive generic sedans are on the road. Few people are interested in the performance benefits of a manual.

5. Even taking the performance benefits into account, modern paddle shifters and SMGs are so good that manuals don't provide any real benefit for most people in the cars where they're available. I think I read somewhere that either Porsche or Ferrari is no longer offering a manual.

That being said, my GTO is a 6M, and my F150 is a 4EOD. The GTO is very easy to drive, but there are times when I don't want to change gears. I had a series of knee and ankle injuries a few years ago, and couldn't have driven were it not for my auto F150.
i think vmaxnc said it best, but left out a few things. in europe the emphasis has always been on fuel economy and performance with small engines, and when that started in the late 50s in europe, automatics drained the power from the average small engine, along with the fuel economy. in the US we didnt have the high gas taxes, so we were not limited to smaller engines, and thus automatics started to become popular with the people.

also in the 50s in america, automatics were actually more reliable than manual transmissions, especially in a performance application, though that was changed in the early 60s with the advent of the four speed borg warner, muncie, and ford top loader transmissions.

i have driven cars and trucks with both transmissions, including older trucks with the non sychro "crash boxes". most people these days are too lazy to want to learn how to drive a manual transmission, other are just not coordinated enough to drive them. personally i prefer an automatic these days as it is easier on my left leg(my hip doesnt flex like it did when i was younger), but i still have two cars that have manual transmissions.
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:51 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 14,724,368 times
Reputation: 10227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
I taught a lot of my High School friends how to drive a stick... since most families didn't have a manual to learn on and I had access to cars... sold a few this way too.

Still remember being 12, 13 and 14 years old and going for test drives with someone trying out a car... everyone wanted to know how the car would do on hills... more than a couple of times I had to switch places with the driver because he or she couldn't start on a hill after stopping for the stop in Maxwell Park or the upper High Street area.
My very first experience with driving a stick shift (apart from driving a small farm tractor in Scotland in the early 1970s) was when a friend and I went clubbing in San Francisco for the night in her then-new 1979 MGB roadster. She got much too drunk to walk and talk, let alone drive, so at 3 am I was thrown to the wolves in the San Francisco hills for the first time (except for the tractor) trying to get us out of the city.

I was only marginally less drunk than she was but somehow I managed to get us onto the freeway and it was a bloody miracle I got all the way back to San Jose without wrecking or killing anyone, given both my rank inexperience and advanced inebriation. I remember stalling repeatedly on hills and at lights, and my friend telling me that the trick was to shift so smoothly that a passenger would not be able to detect a hitch in the accelaration. I very much doubt I managed that.
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