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Old 04-05-2011, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
12,984 posts, read 13,410,989 times
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For the OP, as already said, it is simply a preference for many. It kinda depends on your approach to driving - do you want to be engaged in driving or not? If you want to participate in the rpm and speed decision or let the car do it for you?

Manual transmissions are also less complex in most cases. Repairs probably less likely and less expensive when required. The clutch will wear out but replacing it is almost never as expensive as repairing a modern automatic.

Manuals are mechanically more efficient, although autos are getting close. Manuals waste less horsepower through friction or other mechanical losses.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patsfan20 View Post
They are more fun, and make you feel you have a bit more control of the car. I love 'em!!!
Bolded the bit that speaks truth. Unfortunatly, feeling isn't fact. You only feel like you have more control over the car. But operating a manual choke also gives you more control over the car. Same with a manual spark advance for the distributor.

But having more to control doesn't make you more in control of the car.

And to judge it's importance, drive down the road in a car with an automatic, where you think you have no control. Now drive down the raod with a manual tans car, but no steering wheel. or brake pedal, or gas pedal. See how far you get...

I prefer a good manual, but let's not start making claims of absolutes (like there is no engine braking in an automatic) when it's apparent that there is a lot of ignorance about automatics here.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:57 AM
Status: "God was not in Stalingrad." (set 5 days ago)
 
13,690 posts, read 17,676,135 times
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Most of the major differences have been slowly eliminated over time as automatics have gotten better and better. At this point, outside of a little less parasitic loss and a better visceral experience there isn't much to set them apart anymore outside of performance applications like rock crawling or autocross.

Now that autos have the same number (or even more) of ratios as the manuals, the fuel economy difference has disappeared. Also, the ability of pretty much all automatics to let you select and shift the gears yourself, negates the other advantages for most situations.

It really comes down to preference.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Texas
13,062 posts, read 6,361,024 times
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A stick shift has advantages in some applications, no doubt. But if you're in stop & go traffic, the advantages of an auto become very apparent.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
4,920 posts, read 5,561,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Now that autos have the same number (or even more) of ratios as the manuals, the fuel economy difference has disappeared.
Also the prevalence of lock up torque converters that have no fluid loss when locked up (they give a direct mechanical connection just like a clutch disk and flywheel do).
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,465 posts, read 5,323,667 times
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I can only answer for myself, but I prefer (and go to great lengths finding) a car with a manual transmission.

The cars I've driven regularly or owned have always been manuals, and I feel more in control of the vehicle, particularly on snow and ice. I also find them to be far more entertaining to drive, a 86hp Corolla with an automatic is probably the most boring vehicle on this earth, an 86hp Corolla with a manual transmission can actually be quite entertaining, given the road it twisty enough.

Another reason why I like a manual, is that it keeps me more alert. Being more "intertwined" with the driving keeps me a little more alert and makes me feel like I'm driving, not simply transporting 2500lbs of steel from A to B.

I have driven automatics I found enjoyable, even if I generally would prefer to drive them with a manual, but if I were to buy, say, a 5 series BMW (not including the M5) I would strongly consider buying it with an automatic, simply because of the type of vehicle it is. I would consider a 3 series with an automatic too, but I much prefer it with a manual.

This brings up another important point for me, automatics in cheap cars simply don't perform in a way I find acceptable. The current model Ford Focus for instance was quite the drag to drive, the dynamics of the vehicle though, surprised me, so coupled with a manual transmission, it could possible be a very entertaining car to drive on a daily basis.

Any improvement in MPG is irrelevant to me, and with the newer double clutch "automatics" it's also not relevant anymore. (I would mention that I am more positive to the double clutch transmissions, because they generally have user control as a very integrated part of the transmission system and the gear changes are very efficient, essentially making it a "manual transmission without a clutch", and though I do prefer a clutch, I can see how it would be a reasonable compromise)

So to sum up, I much prefer manuals because of the feel and the involvement, and I hope they'll stay available for the foreseeable future.

And lastly, I have to add that driving a manual in stop and go traffic doesn't bother me at all, having driven them for a while, it happens pretty fluently, and isn't something I consider tiring, nor work. Of the people I now who drive manuals (quite a lot, coming from Norway, where they're far more prevalent), I don't think I know anyone who thinks it's tiresome either.
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
1,593 posts, read 2,305,255 times
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Automatics will always have some parasitic power loss from pumping the hydraulic fluid that keeps their gears engaged (a couple-few HP worth), where a manual has none. That costs in acceleration and MPG. Given the exact same gear ratios and shift points, the manual would top the automatic every time. But it takes some skill, practice, and constant analysis to drive a manual efficiently, and most people don't want to do that all the time--electronics can handle that task--so an automatic is a better choice for most drivers.
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
4,920 posts, read 5,561,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheViking85 View Post
I can only answer for myself, but I prefer (and go to great lengths finding) a car with a manual transmission.
All teh cars Iv'e bought new have been manuals. I'm going to extra expense and effort to put a manual trans in a car that never ahd one behind an engien enver offered with one. So before you get on that high moral horse, ('casue I know you want to respond to me about it) I want you to know where I stand CLEARLY.

Quote:
I also find them to be far more entertaining to drive, a 86hp Corolla with an automatic is probably the most boring vehicle on this earth, an 86hp Corolla with a manual transmission can actually be quite entertaining, given the road it twisty enough.
Agreed.

Quote:
Another reason why I like a manual, is that it keeps me more alert. Being more "intertwined" with the driving keeps me a little more alert and makes me feel like I'm driving, not simply transporting 2500lbs of steel from A to B.
A personal problem, I'm sure. How about on a long interstate where you never have to shift anyohow? if you need to be sitting there moving the clutch pedal and shift lever JUST TO STAY AWAKE AND ALERT, then I humbly submit you get off the damn road 'cause you're a danger to everyone around you.


Quote:
I have driven automatics I found enjoyable, even if I generally would prefer to drive them with a manual, but if I were to buy, say, a 5 series BMW (not including the M5) I would strongly consider buying it with an automatic, simply because of the type of vehicle it is. I would consider a 3 series with an automatic too, but I much prefer it with a manual.
Again, agreed.

Quote:
This brings up another important point for me, automatics in cheap cars simply don't perform in a way I find acceptable. The current model Ford Focus for instance was quite the drag to drive, the dynamics of the vehicle though, surprised me, so coupled with a manual transmission, it could possible be a very entertaining car to drive on a daily basis.
Againl agreed. I've never wanted to own, nor drve, a car with a sub 2.5 liter engine with an automatic, especially a stock automatic. Stock autolmatics are tuend for smoothenss, which really removes all teh ability from teh transmission and really does not mesh well with the power delivery of a small engine, be it a 4 cyl or a small V6. A bigger, torquer engine can do very will with an automatic, such as the 400 hp V8 in my RX7 or the V8 in my BMW 7 series.

the only exception is a turbo 4 cyl withe built turbo, where teh automatic allows the boost to remain up and even build DURING the shift, which it cannot do witha manual (unless you try to speed shift a manual trans with the throttle pinned, which tends to blow up transmissions)
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
4,920 posts, read 5,561,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thegonagle View Post
Automatics will always have some parasitic power loss from pumping the hydraulic fluid that keeps their gears engaged (a couple-few HP worth), where a manual has none.
Actually, the 90wt gear oil in a manual can give quite a bit of parasitic loss, as well, just from trying to move the gears through it.

Probably never factored that in, have you?
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Texas
66 posts, read 84,179 times
Reputation: 95
My dad in 1964 got a new chevy pick-up (automatic) and gave me his old 59 chevy pick-up (standard).
Even though it was only 5 years old it was pretty dinged up and rusty from being in the construction business. Since I was a teen working for my dad that truck stayed in the construction business, it never got any better looking. Almost 50 years later I've gone through about 5 trucks both auto and manual.
The longest lasting ones and most fun to drive were the (manuals), which is what I'm driving now. There
were some positives to a (manual) already listed but I'll add one more. No one wants to BARROW it, not even my kids.
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