My dad’s work requires a lot of driving, whereas my mom drives exclusively round town. On the odd occasion that my father drives my mom’s car, he complains about how the gearbox has “become lazy”, which he attributes to all the stop/start driving.
I have only a basic understanding of how gearboxes work, but I would think it’s a fairly complex assembly with precise tolerances and is therefore pretty set in how it operates. Is it possible for a driving style to, over time, change the characteristics of a gearbox? Or is this “laziness” just due to the comparison between the performance of the manual transmissions of his SUV and her small hatchback? DAMIAN AUSTIN Witbank
Obviously, a manual transmission can only be as “lazy” as its user. There is some truth when it comes to automatic transmissions, though. The shift points of an automatic transmission depend on the engine speed, vehicle speed and throttle position. In the entry-level segment, this calibration is normally xed, with another xed map for those transmissions equipped with a sport mode, where the shift points are moved higher up the engine rev range, the kick-down function engaged earlier and the throttle calibration more aggressive.
In higher-end vehicles, these calibration parameters sometimes allow for a degree of learning to alter the behaviour slightly in a range between the xed values to suit the driving style of the user. In this case, the transmission can appear “lazy” until new values are learned, which happens fairly quickly. Your notion of comparing the performance difference of the two vehicles might just be the correct conclusion.