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Old 05-16-2010, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,416 posts, read 25,226,429 times
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I have driven friend's cars with manual transmissions and its pretty fun, but never actually owned one. Just wondering if anybody has experience driving a car with a manual in heavy traffic and if it is worth getting one if I will be in constant heavy traffic? I'll be in LA, so basically think of driving in your traffic and make it worse and explain how you would feel driving in that with a stick shift

Thanks!
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Old 05-16-2010, 05:57 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
5,996 posts, read 13,301,599 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
I have driven friend's cars with manual transmissions and its pretty fun, but never actually owned one. Just wondering if anybody has experience driving a car with a manual in heavy traffic and if it is worth getting one if I will be in constant heavy traffic? I'll be in LA, so basically think of driving in your traffic and make it worse and explain how you would feel driving in that with a stick shift

Thanks!
Is it worth getting a manual transmission if you're driving in heavy traffic? The answer is that only you will know.

I live in the Bay Area and spend a great majority of my time driving in San Francisco or stuck on one of our glorious freeways during rush hour. That said, I would still prefer to own a manual vehicle as a daily driver.

I'm sure there are plenty of others that will complain at the sight of a single hill while driving a manual and their answer would be a simple no.

So basically this thread won't help you at all until you spend a good deal of time driving one yourself in the conditions you listed.
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:24 PM
 
404 posts, read 1,210,187 times
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i've driven a manual up, down, and every which way in L.A. its never bothered me, but i learned on one

once it becomes routine, its perfectly natural to drive a manual. even on hills and in traffic and what not. it becomes second nature

it all depends on the driver and their own personal comfort level. if you are comfortable "rowing your own" gears and have no physical limitations which might hinder you, great. if not, just get an automatic
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,416 posts, read 25,226,429 times
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The main reason I'm looking to get one is because you can typically get the car at a better price. If after time I won't notice I'm driving a manual in any situation then it is definitely worth my time.
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:57 PM
 
Location: occupied east coast
824 posts, read 1,851,405 times
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As others have said, it's up to you on whether it works or not.

I can tell you this, as a life long driver of the manual transmission, in a short period of time, you don't even think about it. It becomes second nature.

You will eventually ignore the tachometer and such, and drive by feel and sound.

BTW, I come from the New York metropolitan area where traffic can become quite heavy, and never noticed any disadvantage.

BUT...that might just be me.
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:35 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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There really is nothing like the feel of control you gain from driving a manual transmission. Even the best automatic transmissions don't match up with the kind of shift control you can get from a traditional manual.

The latest DCT transmissions are pretty solid too and I believe some of them let you switch between auto and paddle shift modes while still providing a solid feel of control because they still transfer power through a clutch. This is not the same as many of the manumatic type transmissions with manual shift modes that transfer power through a torque converter (and feel sloppy as a result).
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Old 05-16-2010, 10:30 PM
 
Location: Purgatory (A.K.A. Dallas, Texas)
5,010 posts, read 12,819,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
I have driven friend's cars with manual transmissions and its pretty fun, but never actually owned one. Just wondering if anybody has experience driving a car with a manual in heavy traffic and if it is worth getting one if I will be in constant heavy traffic? I'll be in LA, so basically think of driving in your traffic and make it worse and explain how you would feel driving in that with a stick shift

Thanks!

No, it's not. It's a huge pain in the ass, is a source of constant annoyance, and will murder your knee.
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:40 AM
 
232 posts, read 496,535 times
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I have driven manuals most of my life, in and around San Fransico.....with bad clutchs. Was interesting merging into traffic on hills from a stop....

I didn't think it was a problem in traffic with the manual, but always thought it'd be easier with an automatic. Been driving rentals the last 2 weeks with autos and let me say, I think I like driving a manual better in traffic. With the auto, I was braking with the..brakes too much. With a manual, I put it into second and can mostly just slow down and speed up with just the gas pedel.

Also, my new (to me!) car surprised me. When I first got it and was driving around, I ended up at a light on a very steep hill and sure enough, some guy edges his car right up behind mine. I was worried about rolling back when I take my foot off the brakes, but there was zero roll back. I didn't realize they came out with such a thing, but I think when I have clutch and brake pedles pushed in and take my foot off the brakes, the brakes remain on till I actually apply gas/take the clutch out. No more worries about rolling back!
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 14,930,459 times
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I agree with other posters, driving a manual becomes second nature after a while. Personally, I like having an automatic in heavy traffic while the manual is my "toy" that I can take out on weekends. To each his own but manuals definitely have the fun factor you don't get in an automatic .
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 24,635,498 times
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I have done it for years. I think the only time I don't like it is when the traffic is stopped dead (like a car accident that blocks all traffic).

It does become second nature quickly. I have three kids, and all know how to drive a manual.

Most medium to small cars today have great clutches and shifters. I think the Mazda Miata still has one of the best manual transmissions ever made. Hondas also have particularly good manual transmissions.
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