Carmakers say that automatic is more efficient than manual but the benefits of driving manual simply can not be dismissed. No matter how powerful a conventional automatic, dual clutch transmission (DCT), or continuously variable transmission (CVT) becomes, driving a vehicle nowadays leaves one feeling a little disconnected. So, let's argue in favor of manuals. Automatic transmission is not just the same as rowing through the gears yourself. Besides having more control, fuel efficiency, more reliability and lower cost are just few of the advantages of driving manual.
Benefits of Driving Manual: Automatic vs. Manual
Before we thoroughly discuss the benefits of driving manual transmission, let us first define driving manual from driving automatic.
The transmission is a metal case that houses a set of gears, hence its nickname of gearbox. It is one of the most complicated components in your car. The transmission helps to power your vehicle by taking power from the engine and delivering it to the wheels. It is in charge of ensuring that the proper amount of power is delivered to the wheels so that the vehicle can run at a set speed.
Each gear has a particular ratio to keep the wheels and engine from spinning at the same rpm. When you accelerate from a stop, your vehicle uses a lower gear ratio to move the car faster and with more fuel. Your transmission uses a higher gear ratio to drive the vehicle at higher speeds while keeping the RPMs down.
Stick shifts are vehicles that have a manual or standard transmission. The driver shifts gears manually with a stick shift as they accelerate and decelerate their car. The shift lever is located on the center console and is connected to the transmission by a linkage.
A manual transmission, in addition to a stick shift, necessitates the use of a clutch pedal, which is positioned to the left of the brake pedal. The clutch system between the engine and the transmission is disengaged when the clutch pedal is depressed. When you press down on the clutch pedal, power is cut off from the engine to the transmission, allowing you to shift gears.
To shift gears, the driver depresses the clutch pedal, transfers the shifter to the desired gear, and then depresses the clutch pedal to reengage the engine-transmission control. It takes some time to master the art of driving a stick shift. If you press the clutch pedal too quickly, the engine will stall; if you press it too slowly, the clutch will wear out prematurely. So you really have to practice to know the perfect timing.
In a manual transmission, the driver takes an active part in the running of the vehicle; in an automatic transmission, the driver simply selects D on the shifter and the car does the rest. The vehicle performs gear changes on its own by using fluid pressure. The planetary gear set is at the core of the automatic transmission. This component is in charge of generating the transmission's various gear ratios.
Automatic transmission fluid provides the pressure required to enable the bands and clutches that specify which gear the vehicle should be in. This fluid not only cools and lubricates the transmission's moving parts, but it also assists in driving the engine.
The drivetrain is equipped with a torque converter, which functions similarly to a clutch in a manual transmission. To change gear ratios, fluid is used to lock and unlock planetary gears. The driver is not required to do anything in order for this to happen.
In the United States 95% of the vehicles sold have automatic transmissions. It’s easier to use and has higher value for resale, not to mention that it is widely available compared to manual. But let’s look and see if the benefits of driving manual outweigh all these advantages.
7 Benefits of Driving Manual
- You will have more control.
Paddle shifters are available on some vehicles, allowing the user to pick the gear or simulated ratio. The clutch, on the other hand, cannot be managed, so if the transmission jerks, you have no control over it. A machine can not comprehend the situation, however a person can.
Manual transmissions give the driver total control over the gearbox's action. Whereas some automatics can be a little erratic when it comes to changing, a manual gives the driver full control over upshifts and downshifts.
You can drive as smoothly as you like and expect your car to accelerate and decelerate as required. When climbing an incline, you should stay in the lower gear to stay in the optimum power band and avoid losing power. Since most automatic transmissions are designed to save fuel and to lug the engine, an upshift on an incline can catch the driver off guard.
Also to control the behavior of an automatic transmission, a supplementary system in the vehicle's ECU is required. When you combine that with various modes and settings that a driver can choose at the touch of a button, you've got yourself a transmission that requires approval before you can use it.
The engine reacts when you step on the gas pedal. You don't have to wait for the transmission to catch up or know you've hit the gas pedal. If you're driving a manual, you just need to make sure you're in a lower gear first before expecting your car to accelerate.
You can tell the engine to rev whenever you like because the transmission isn't connected to the ECU. There's nothing stopping you from lugging it or revving it to redline, although the latter isn't recommended.
- Fuel Efficiency
You have control over how the car performs, and you also have control over how light your wallet will be after your next gas station visit. Although it is recognized that modern automatics are more powerful than ever before, there are several explanations why a manual is simply unbeatable and why fuel efficiency is one of the benefits of driving manual.
Not only do you have control over how fuel efficient your drive would be but you as the driver also have complete control over the engine RPMs and can change to the highest gear from any point in the H-pattern.
It was once widely assumed that cars with manual transmissions get better gas mileage than those with automatic transmissions. The EPA claims that this is no longer the case, but tests have shown that some (but not all) manual transmissions have better fuel economy. Nonetheless, if you know what you're doing, you can boost your gas mileage with a manual transmission. When a light turns red, you can put the car in reverse, coast to the light, and use the brakes to stop.
- Nicer Engine brake
If you've ever driven a CVT in low gear, you'll find that the engine brake isn't as effective as it is in a transmission with hard gears. When going downhill or slowing down, shifting into low gear will relieve tension on your brakes.
True engine braking is available with the manual transmission. When you pick a low gear, the car can slow down significantly, making going down a hill much easier. When choosing a low gear in a manual transmission, unlike CVTs with a L position on the lever, deceleration is much greater.
The manual transmission is nothing more than a box full of gears. That's as straightforward as it gets. Nowadays, we have a lot of options for transmissions. DCTs, CVTs, and standard automatic transmissions can be as basic as two pulleys and a belt in the case of a CVT, but they are all more complicated than your H-pattern gear lever. And since manual transmissions are simpler they also need less maintenance. But at some point, the clutch will need to be repaired or replaced.
- They cost less to buy, maintain and repair plus they are more reliable.
One of the most important benefits of driving manual, besides lower maintenance needs, is the cost of a manual transmission vehicle as a whole. A manual transmission vehicle is almost always less expensive than an automatic or continuously variable transmission vehicle.
Since an automatic transmission has more moving parts, it is generally easier to repair than a manual transmission. Manual transmissions are lubricated with either gear oil or engine oil, and they degrade at a slower rate than transmission fluid. This will help you avoid future maintenance issues.
Automatic transmissions are extremely difficult to master. An automatic costs thousands of dollars to fix or restore when it fails. A manual transmission, on the other hand, is extremely unlikely to malfunction. The worst-case scenario is that you'll need to purchase a clutch, and thankfully, we sell high-quality clutches at reasonable prices.
- Teaches you the real art of driving.
Manual transmissions are becoming increasingly rare, but there are still ardent fans who enjoy the sensation of rowing through gears and downshifting whenever they want. Drivers can learn the importance of mechanical compassion by using these transmissions
Knowing how to drive a manual transmission is a rewarding and character-building experience. It also teaches you skills like heel-toe downshifting and effective upshifting that you wouldn't learn in an automatic. And when you are put in an emergency wherein the only vehicle available has manual transmission, it’s always an advantage that you know how to drive one.
- Less chances of getting stolen.
Manuals are also less likely to be stolen than automatics because they are less common. Only a very few know how to drive them.
The Other Side of the Benefits of Driving Manual
In every pros are cons and here are the other side of the benefits of driving manual:
- Harder for beginners to drive. It takes time to learn how to drive a stick shift. If you've never driven a manual transmission before, don't expect to buy one and drive it off the lot.
- Since many people choose to drive an automatic car, reselling a manual vehicle can be difficult. Many individuals are unable to drive a manual vehicle.
- When driving a stick shift, you must take one hand off the wheel to shift gears, and you must also work with an additional pedal. Constantly shifting a manual transmission's clutch can be exhausting, particularly if you're driving in congested areas. Muscle and joint pain can result in this.
- Driving a manual transmission has become a dying art, and with deteriorating traffic conditions, fewer and fewer people are opting for it.
With this, the benefits of driving manual to some individuals can become a disadvantage to others.
Benefits of Driving Manual: Other Frequently Asked Questions
Is driving manual dangerous?
It's difficult to remember when to change gears, how soon to let go of the clutch, and which gear to shift into when learning to drive a manual. When you're not used to driving with a stick shift, it's really likely to wreck your car. This is not only hazardous to the car, but also to the driver.
Is driving manual more fun?
Yes, indeed. Many people find that driving a manual is more enjoyable after they've tried it. Almost anyone who has driven both manual and automatic cars will inform you that driving a stick shift is much more enjoyable. It's a fun, tactile experience. It's a connection between the driver and the machine.
Do manuals last longer than automatics?
Manual transmissions have a much longer lifespan than automatic transmissions. The clutches, on the other hand, differ depending on the driver. The manual is just as good as the automatic if the driver is good. Good manual transmission drivers, on the other hand, frequently have clutches that have traveled over 100,000 miles (or even many hundreds of thousands).
What's better in snow manual or automatic?
One of the benefits of driving manual is that it is easier when you have to drive in the snow because you are after all the one who is controlling the gears. With a manual, you have more power over the vehicle, so if you're sliding on ice, ease up on the gas pedal so your wheels can gain traction.
Choosing a transmission model for your next vehicle comes down to personal preference; choose the transmission type that best suits your needs. If you do a lot of city driving, an automatic transmission might be easier to handle than a normal transmission in stop-and-go traffic. If performance and the driving experience are essential to you, however, you should consider a manual transmission.