Man­ual vs au­to­matic cars

Lesotho Times - - Motoring -

A new car is a huge de­ci­sion, es­pe­cially if you are un­sure about whether you want one with man­ual or au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. The most im­por­tant thing is to ed­u­cate your­self be­fore­hand in or­der to un­der­stand the dif­fer­ences be­tween the two.

Then you can de­cide which trans­mis­sion type best suits your needs. Here is some help­ful in­for­ma­tion on the pros and cons of both man­ual and au­to­matic trans­mis­sion cars.

Un­der­stand the ba­sics Just like that of a man­ual trans­mis­sion, the au­to­matic trans­mis­sion’s pri­mary job is to al­low the en­gine to op­er­ate in its nar­row range of speeds while pro­vid­ing a wide range of out­put speeds.

with­out trans­mis­sion, cars would be lim­ited to one gear ra­tio, and that ra­tio would have to be se­lected to al­low the car to travel at the de­sired top speed.

If you wanted a top speed of 130 km/h, then the gear ra­tio would be sim­i­lar to fourth gear in most man­ual trans­mis­sion cars. You’ve prob­a­bly never tried driv­ing a man­ual trans­mis­sion car us­ing only the fourth gear.

If you did, you would quickly find out that you had al­most no ac­cel­er­a­tion when start­ing out, and at high speeds, the en­gine would be scream­ing along near red line. A car like this would wear out very quickly and would not be drive-able.

Con­sider power If you want the most power from your en­gine, go­ing with a man­ual trans­mis­sion ver­sus an au­to­matic is most likely go­ing to be your best bet.

while some mod­ern au­to­matic trans­mis­sions, i.e. CVT trans­mis­sions, manu­mat­ics, and con­ven­tional 4 or 5-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sions al­low for some ex­cel­lent ac­cel­er­a­tion, there is still usu­ally a sub­stan­tial dif­fer­ence in 0-60 times be­tween these types of au­to­mat­ics and a 5 or 6-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion.

For ex­am­ple, an au­to­matic equipped Dodge neon has a re­ported 0-60 MPH time of ap­prox­i­mately 10.5 sec­onds.

The same neon when equipped with a 5-speed man­ual has a re­ported 0-60 time of 8.1 sec­onds; a huge dif­fer­ence.

while most cars do not have this large of a 0-60 MPH gap be­tween auto and man­ual trans­mis­sions, 99 per­cent of the time you will re­ceive no­tice­ably bet­ter per­for­mance from a man­ual gear­box.

The ac­cel­er­a­tion of­fered from a labour-in­ten­sive task and can cost sev­eral hun­dred dol­lars if per­formed at a re­pair shop.

Iden­tify your needs The en­gine that your car is equipped with makes a huge dif­fer­ence to which type of trans­mis­sion should be cho­sen. To ex­plain, if you are look­ing to buy a car with a 1.5 liter 4-cylin­der that pumps out 62 horse­power, and 75 lb-ft of torque you will most likely want/need to go with a man­ual trans­mis­sion.

Since power in this case is ex­tremely lim­ited, you will need to make the most out of your en­gine for hill climb­ing, pass­ing power, etc.

On the other hand, if you’re look­ing to pur­chase a car with a V8 or V6 that of­fers plenty of power at both high and low revs, then go­ing with a man­ual trans­mis­sion is more of a pref­er­ence than a ne­ces­sity.

while most driv­ers will still ben­e­fit in ac­cel­er­a­tion and fuel econ­omy by go­ing with a man­ual, it is not as detri­men­tal as it would be with a car that was lim­ited on power.

De­cide what you want Some peo­ple can’t own a ve­hi­cle with a man­ual trans­mis­sion for many rea­sons. They might be un­will­ing to learn to use one. They might have a phys­i­cal hand­i­cap.

They might need to share the car with some­one who doesn’t know how to op­er­ate a man­ual. If this is the case then search for an au­to­matic that com­bines both good shift pat­terns, and good fuel econ­omy.

If you are will­ing to drive a man­ual trans­mis­sion, there are a few fea­tures to look for. Man­ual trans­mis­sions all have their own unique shift­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics.

Many are geared for fuel econ­omy, oth­ers are geared for sport driv­ing, and then there are many that of­fer the best of both worlds.

If you pre­fer to have your right hand avail­able at all times to mul­ti­task then you will def­i­nitely pre­fer an au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

Bear in mind how­ever that mul­ti­task­ing is, for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons, very bad driv­ing prac­tice — not to men­tion illegal in a num­ber of places.

Check that you can mul­ti­task Are you a mul­ti­tasker that can do sev­eral things at once for an ex­tended pe­riod? If you an­swered yes, then you qual­ify for a man­ual.

If you an­swered no, then you do not. Man­u­als need you to con­cen­trate on keep­ing your car on track, shift­ing the gears on time, and road haz­ards. — wik­i­

Volk­swa­gen said pre­vi­ously about 11 mil­lion ve­hi­cles were fit­ted with soft­ware ca­pa­ble of cheat­ing emis­sions tests, in­clud­ing 5 mil­lion at its Vw brand, 2.1 mil­lion at lux­ury brand Audi, 1.2 mil­lion at Czech di­vi­sion Skoda and 1.8 mil­lion light com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles.

Re­fit­ting 11 mil­lion cars would be among the big­gest re­calls in history by a sin­gle au­tomaker, sim­i­lar in scale to Toy­ota’s re­call of more than 10 mil­lion ve­hi­cles be­tween 2009 and 2010 over ac­cel­er­a­tion prob­lems, though dwarfed by the num­ber re­called by mul­ti­ple car­mak­ers due to faulty Takata airbags.

Volk­swa­gen sold 10.1 mil­lion ve­hi­cles in the whole of 2014. The com­pany said last week it would set aside 6.5 bil­lion eu­ros ($7.3 bil­lion) in its third-quar­ter ac­counts to help cover the cost of the cri­sis.

But an­a­lysts think that may not be enough, as it faces po­ten­tial fines from reg­u­la­tors and pros­e­cu­tors, as well as law­suits from cheated cus­tomers. –– Reuters

A driver changes gears of his man­ual car.

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