A friend of mine once told me that the main allure of his Porsche 911 is that since it has a manual transmission and relatively people know how to drive them, friends rarely ask to borrow it. Despite my friend’s jaundiced views on lending his things out, having a manual transmission vehicle has its pluses and minuses. It’s more complicated than he or other people – who are either deathly afraid of them or who sing their praises -believe. With all due respect to my friend, here are some reasons that owning a manual transmission vehicle is sort of a mixed bag.
Manual Transmission Pluses
- Easier maintenance: Generally, stick shift vehicles are simpler and therefore easier to keep up. Sometimes, problems can arise with the clutch but for the most part serious problems can take many thousands of miles to develop.
- Better fuel savings: Even in this time of relatively low gas prices no one wants a car that wastes fuel. Cars with a manual transmission can increase their fuel economy by as much as 15%. This is because the torque converter and hydraulic pump in automatic transmission vehicles can rob cars of their fuel efficiency.
- Better control: Braking is easier in manual transmission vehicles than in cars with an automatic transmission.
- Less expensive: Finally, with a few notable exceptions – such as my friend’s Porsche 911 or the 2016 BMW M5 – manual transmission cars tend to be cheaper.
Manual Transmission Minuses
- Difficulty climbing hills: Rolling backwards into traffic is a real possibility with manual transmission cars as the driver ascends hills. This can be frustrating as well as dangerous.
- Steeper learning curve: This gets back to my friend’s main reason for loving his Porsche 911. (I’m sure there are other reasons.) People who transition over from driving an automatic to a manual transmission vehicle usually complain about how difficult it is to adjust to using a clutch and to shift timing.
- Poor Availability: According to the site Edmunds, fewer than 2% of all of Toyota’s car sales are automobiles with manual transmissions. This is because technology has advanced to the point where some automatic transmission vehicles are comparable in fuel efficiency to manual transmission vehicles.
At Mr. Transmission of Houston, whether you need a rebuilt transmission of a manual or automatic drive vehicle we can guarantee you a fast, reliable rebuild. We provide rebuilt transmissions in Houston not only to those in our city, but also to surrounding communities such as Channelview, Clear Lake, Pasadena, Deer Park, Baytown and others. Bring in your manual or automatic drive vehicle and we assure you that with 50 years of experience we can have it performing at peak efficiency.