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How to Take Care of Your Manual Transmission? 10 Simple Tips

How to Take Care of Your Manual Transmission? 10 Simple Tips

If you're looking for “how to take care of your manual transmission,” Follow these simple tips:

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


  • Do not ride the clutch pedal
  • Inspect your vehicle's cooling system regularly
  • Consider a transmission flush
  • Prevent shifting gears when slowing down
  • Perform an annual transmission inspection
  • Shift to neutral at a stop and go traffic
  • Do not rest your hand on the gear shifter
  • Do not rely on the clutch on inclined surfaces
  • Prevent bad habits in traffic
  • Eliminate slamming the gears

In automobiles, there are two common types of transmissions: manual and automatic transmission. You probably came across many vehicles with an automatic transmission but rarely across a vehicle that has a manual transmission. It's not surprising because less than 5% of vehicles are equipped with a manual transmission on US roads as more automakers switch towards automatic transmissions.

Even though there are fewer vehicles equipped with a manual transmission, many drivers are enthusiastic about driving a vehicle with a manual transmission or what is sometimes described as the stick shift vehicle. If you are one of those people, you must understand what needs to be done to take care of your manual transmission, so it serves you as long as possible, and you don't have to worry about expensive repair costs.

This article provides you with all tips and tricks on how to take care of your manual transmission. Once you implement these tips, you achieve a longer manual transmission lifetime and fewer sudden breakdowns.

What is the difference between a manual and an automatic transmission?

Before we dive into the details about “how to take care of your manual transmission,” it is critical that we understand the main difference between automatic and manual transmissions. Both automatic and manual transmissions aim to take care of the engine speed variation and transfer the right round for a minute to the wheel. Hence, the engine works at maximum efficiency all the time.


1.    Manual transmission

The manual transmission is based on a very simple configuration relying on a simple gear set. In a manual transmission, you typically find three sections of gears: the input, the intermediate, and the output. The intermediate shaft is always rotating at a constant speed, and it's directly connected to the input shaft. On the other hand, the output shaft rotates at a different speed because of the different gear sizes between the intermediate shaft and the output shaft.

Note that not all the gears on the output shaft are connected to the shaft because depending on what gear is connected to the shaft, you'll achieve the different rotation speeds in the wheels, and that's where the transmission role comes into play. To switch between gear sizes, you'll need to rely on the clutch pack.

2.    Automatic transmission

On the other hand, the automatic transmission is based on a more complicated Planetary that relies on a set of torques. That's why the automatic transmission relies on a torque converter as part of its system.

In an automatic transmission, you don't have to rely on the clutch to switchgear sizes because it is much simpler, and it's something done internally in your vehicle without your input to change gears here that's why it's much easier to drive a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission than one equipped with a manual transmission.

How to take care of your manual transmission? 10 simple tips

If you would like to enjoy your manual transmission for the longest time possible, implement these simple tips and tricks:

1.    Do not ride the clutch pedal

A very common habit leads to significant damage in any vehicle equipped with a manual transmission, which is riding the clutch pedal. It happens when you keep your foot leaning on the clutch pedal when it's not engaged or when you don't need it. When this happens, you impact the performance of the clutch pedal by adding extra friction that's not necessary.

Therefore, if you're planning to continue driving your vehicle with a manual transmission, we recommend that you learn about all the bad habits that could shorten the lifespan of your manual transmission.

2.    Inspect your vehicle's cooling system regularly

It might sound a little bit weird to discuss the cooling system here when we're talking about the manual transmission. However, if you don't already know, the manual transmission relies on an internal fluid that must cool over time. Your vehicle's cooling system is focused on cooling down the engine. However, it's also responsible for maintaining the optimum temperature level for the transmission fluid as well.

Therefore, it is recommended that you never ignore checking the coolant periodically. When you feel that it's below the optimum level, you should top it off fear it sometimes the coolant might be leaking due to internal or external problems. When that happens, you should reach out to your mechanic and inspect the leak and resolve it before it gets more complicated and because the damage is not only for your engine but also for your transmission.

3.    Consider a transmission flush

Your manual transmission does not require the fluid to operate like what happens in a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission. However, it still requires the fluid to be lubricated over time. Without sufficient lubrication, you can deal with significant damages in the manual transmission, and that's why it's recommended that you inspect the fluid regularly.

At some point, the transmission fluid might get to a point where it needs to be completely removed and replaced by a fresh one, which is referred to as a complete transmission flush. Check your vehicle owner’s manual and know when you have to perform a transmission flush to maintain your manual transmission.

4.    Prevent shifting gears when slowing down

There's a very common misconception that you should switch to lower gears whenever you want to slow down in a vehicle equipped with a manual transmission. However, that's a quick recipe for damaging your manual transmission. If you used to do this, you should stop it immediately.

5.    Perform an annual transmission inspection

Whether you're driving a vehicle with a manual or an automatic transmission, you need to follow the recommendations in your vehicle owner’s manual. Experts recommend checking your manual transmission once a year to check for any early symptoms of potential damages. If your mechanic discovered anything going on with the transmission, you should take care of it immediately and never wait because it could evolve and become a major issue.

6.    Shift to neutral at stop and go traffic

If you're driving your vehicle and city roads, you might experience a lot of stop-and-go traffic. Some automotive experts recommend switching to neutral, especially if you think you're going to be stopping for a long time. However, it is recommended that you never switch to parking in these situations.

7.    Do not rest your hand on the gear shifter

Also, it is recommended that you never build a habit of using the gear shifter as a hand wrist. Many people think that this might not cause any issues with the manual transmission, but that's not the case. Leaning on the shifter causes some pressure that could impact the way the gearshifts and impact your manual transmission functionality.

8.    Do not rely on the clutch on inclined surfaces

Many drivers prefer using the throttle and the clutch as a weight to park their vehicle on inclined surfaces. However, this only causes damages to the manual transmission and results in shortening the lifetime of your transmission. Therefore, in these instances, it is recommended that you engage the handbrake, not the clutch.

9.    Prevent bad habits in traffic

There's a very common misconception that you should put your vehicle on the first year when you're stopping in traffic. However, automotive experts recommend that you should not do that because this will cause the clutch pedal to be depressed and will cause some damage to the clutch disc. Instead, you should switch to neutral.

10. Eliminate slamming the gears

Another very common bad habit that could impact the lifetime of the manual transmission is slamming the gears to pop the clutch. If you do so, all you are doing is causing some premature damages to the shifters, clutch, synchronizers, and other components of your manual transmission

Do manuals last longer than automatics?

“Manual transmissions cars do tend to last longer.” This is a very common concept making people attracted to metal transmissions and think that there lasting more than automatic transmissions. However, that's not always the case.

For example, if you have bad driving habits and you slam your clutch or implement some of the bad habits about driving a manual transmission, it is most likely that your vehicle's transmission will not last as long as an automatic transmission.

On the other hand, while it's been known that vehicles with manual transmissions tend to last longer, recent and more modern vehicles are equipped with more efficient automatic transmissions that allow them to last much longer than manual transmissions. That's why it's not surprising that most automotive experts and automakers are switching towards more manual transmission vehicles.

Are manual transmissions more fuel-efficient?

Yes, in some instances. Since you're relying on manual user input to switch gears, you will be more efficient in using fuel, and that's why older vehicles equipped with a manual transmission tend to save more fuel than vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission.

However, most automotive experts are now switching towards better fuel consumption in automatic transmissions. In fact, modern vehicles with automatic transmissions are now water fuel efficient than older manual transmissions.

According to Edmunds, the simple mechanics of the stick shift vehicle can also play a role. They note that “modern automatics gained additional gears and relied less on a torque converter; they have now overtaken manuals in terms of fuel economy.”

Are manual transmissions cheaper to repair?

Again, yes. Manual transmissions are cheaper to repair because they're not as sophisticated as automatic transmissions. However, when computer repair costs, you should look at the overall picture. Once you understand all that goes into the repairs, you'll be convinced that you should go with automatic transmission.

Think about it this week, vehicles equipped with a manual transmission are very rare now, and it's going to be very hard to find part replacements for your manual transmission even though the mental transmission doesn't have many internal components.

Also, automakers are now designing automatic transmissions to last longer and not deal with major breakdowns at the early stages of their lifetime.

How to take care of your manual transmission? Final thoughts

Most vehicles are equipped with an automatic transmission, and it's not very common to see many vehicles equipped with a manual transmission. While automatic transmissions are much easier to use, many people love to drive vehicles equipped with a manual transmission.

If you want to keep your vehicle with a manual transmission, you'll have to learn specific tips and tricks to implement so you can extend the lifetime of the transmission and prevent sudden breakdowns. This article provided you with ten simple tips to implement, so you don't have to worry about these breakdowns and expensive repair costs.

However, if your vehicle with a manual transmission is broken or requires very high repair costs, it might be time to sell it and buy a better car. Also, if you own an old vehicle with an automatic transmission and would like to sell it so you can switch and try the fun with the manual transmission, you could sell your vehicle today and get the most profit out of it.

If you're planning to sell your car today as of 2021-2022, cash cars buyer is one of the best options that guarantee to remove your car! All you need to do is to reach out to our customer service at 866-924-4608. We are willing to provide you with all details and an instant quote that won't take any time or effort!

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