The battle of supremacy between manual vs automatic transmission rages on as car drivers continue to debate the merits and demerits of using either. Though there are many advantages of a manual transmission, it would be wrong to give it the ultimate edge over its counterpart. I have decided to structure up this feature since Zimbabwe is now a major player in car imports within the SADC region.
By Cisco Eng. Shingie Lev Muringi
Many drivers today prefer to drive manual transmissions, for they consider it to have some unique characteristics. Sometimes, they exaggerate some of the benefits of manual. So, what’s the real deal about all these manual vs automatic transmission myths? Let’s dissect it further.
Myth #1: Stick Shifts are Fuel Efficient
When it comes to the automatic vs manual gearbox question, we tend to give the green card to manual transmission for good. Though initially manual transmission has had more efficiency, with the technological advancement, nowadays automatic transmissions are no less fuel efficient. And if still there is a difference in terms of automatic vs manual gearbox fuel efficiency, it’s minimal.
Myth #2: Stick Shifts are Less Expensive
This is also partially accurate. While in some cases the manual versions are cheaper, the trend is declining. Nowadays the practice is to price the both version the same.
Moreover, not every car comes with a manual version.
Myth #3: Stick Shifts Take Less to Repair
Although replacing a manual transmission costs less than replacing an automatic, you rarely have to change modern automatic transmissions. In the case of manual transmission, you may change it once or twice which is costly in the long run.
Myth #4: Stick shifts Are Mandatory for Sports Cars
Manual transmissions are widely used in sports cars but the option for automatic is also often available. Nowadays manufacturers are constructing sports cars with clutch-less paddle shifters. So sports cars with automatic transmission are a reality now.
Myth #5: For Heavy-Duty Works, Stick Shifts are the Best
People believe that for heavy-duty jobs, there is no alternative to manual transmission. But in reality, the clutch in manual transmission may wear out. On the other hand, automatic transmission doesn’t have any clutch at all, making it more reliable. Further, many heavy-duty vehicles with automatic transmission have towing package to get the job done.
These debunked myths in a way show us the manual vs automatic transmission pros and cons. Even though today automatic transmission is becoming the first choice, a manual transmission has some fixed advantages. For example, when a car is stuck somewhere, it can be rescued if there is another vehicle nearby with manual transmission.