Can you shift gears? Do you have a car with a manual transmission?

  • FRE0

    Posts: 4862

    Nov 25, 2011 1:38 AM GMT
    I learned to drive on my mother's 1950 Chevrolet and my father's 1953 Austin Healey, both of which had manual transmissions. About 95% of my driving has been with manual transmissions, and I intend to own only cars with manual transmission. But recently, I learned something very disturbing.

    Few driving schools have cars with manual transmission, therefore few new drivers have the opportunity to learn to shift gears. The AAA recommends that new drivers have cars with automatic transmissions because the AAA thinks that they are safer. But are cars with automatic transmissions really safer? I have been unable to find any statistics which show whether they are or not. In any case, if a new driver does not learn how to shift gears, he probably never will. That can be a problem because most cars still have manual transmissions and he could easily be in a situation where he would not have a car available with an automatic transmission. Before disagreeing with this, think very carefully!

    There are some types of accidents which happen with automatic transmissions which would be unlikely to happen with manual transmissions. Take backing up, for example. With an automatic transmission, the driver may turn to the right in the seat to expedite looking out through the back window and simply let the car creep backwards with both feet off of the pedals. Then, when he wants to stop, he may accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake with unfortunate results. With a manual transmission, if he were backing up at a creeping speed, probably he'd have his left foot on the clutch and therefore be unlikely to lose track of where the brake pedal is. And if he did hit the gas by mistake instead of the brake, with his left foot on the clutch not much would happen.

    Also, driving in traffic with a manual transmission requires paying more attention to one's driving, so one is more likely to remain alert.
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    Nov 25, 2011 1:57 AM GMT
    Nothing wrong with automatic transmission cars. They're like the best thing in the world when you're sitting in stop-n-go traffic. But all of my cars (past and present) have been manual transmission. Mainly because I enjoyed spirited driving and automatic slush boxes are a buzzkill.

    But I do believe people should learn to drive on a manual transmission car, as well as take the drivers license exam. I wouldn't say it automatically makes you a safer driver. But it does make you more aware of how a car works.
  • SwimBIkeRun94...

    Posts: 480

    Nov 25, 2011 1:58 AM GMT
    I love manual transmissions.

    My last three cars have been manuals (I've had to special order them) but this most recent one I finally caved and got an automatic mainly because its predecessor was the same vehicle, and it's a bigger car so I wasn't getting the enjoyment out of the manual.
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    Nov 25, 2011 2:00 AM GMT
    how does an auto make stop start traffic easier? I drive a manual (stick shift) and even in dense sydney city traffic I'll take a manual over an auto, at least then I'll have something to do besides sit there bored outta my brains completely!
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    Nov 25, 2011 2:11 AM GMT
    I can drive a manual and have owned three in the past but my current and last few have been an automatic as buying off the lot that is what you usually get. In the days before traction control and stability control, for me it seemed I always had better control on icy roads with a manual.
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    Nov 25, 2011 3:33 AM GMT
    My first car was a manual.

    I got it as a birthday gift when I was 17.

    I did NOT want it because I did NOT know how to drive it.

    By the end of that day though, I honestly was a pro.


    Every car after that has been an automatic.

    I would never go back to manual though living in Chicago.
  • waccamatt

    Posts: 1918

    Nov 25, 2011 3:41 AM GMT
    Yes, I only drive cars with a manual transmission as my last 4 have had a straight drive. My current one is Thor.

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    Nov 25, 2011 3:47 AM GMT
    I can drive manual, but haven't for years. I've never heard the automatic was more safe. My current vehicle is a hybrid with continuously variable transmission (manual is not an option).
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    Nov 25, 2011 3:49 AM GMT
    I couldn't drive a manual to save my life (or anybody else).
    don't think I would have a manual if I did,for me it would't feel comfortable with 1 hand on the wheel the other on the stick 1 foot on the clutch,1 foot on the brake and I would need a 3rd foot for the gasicon_confused.gifI like automatics,just sit back relax and let the car do the driving.
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    Nov 25, 2011 3:54 AM GMT
    i just learned in the past 2 months just because of work and now i love it. the next car i buy is going to be manual for sure. the best thing about working at a car dealership is i can practice on a lot of different cars, now i can drive anything.
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    Nov 25, 2011 3:55 AM GMT
    discojim saidI couldn't drive a manual to save my life (or anybody else).
    don't think I would have a manual if I did,for me it would't feel comfortable with 1 hand on the wheel the other on the stick 1 foot on the clutch,1 foot on the brake and I would need a 3rd foot for the gasicon_confused.gifI like automatics,just sit back relax and let the car do the driving.



    Anyone I've ever known that had to drive a manual for the first time said something like this and within hours they all had it down.
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    Nov 25, 2011 4:01 AM GMT
    Once you go manual you never go back! icon_wink.gif
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    Nov 25, 2011 4:04 AM GMT
    real men drive stick

    i want that on a bumper sticker. I have NEVER owned a car with an automatic. My first car was a Ford Ranger with a five speed club shifter (by which i mean you could've used the shift lever as a club had you found the need), followed by my five speed civic 4dr and my current 97 Miata is, of course, a five speed as well (and what a gearbox! hey ho!). If someone gifted me a Ferrari i'd hock it and buy an Audi R8 since the latter can be had with a stick.
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    Nov 25, 2011 4:04 AM GMT
    I have 2 cars , one is an automatic ( kia Cerreto) and the other a manual (Toyota Land-Cruiser type 105 ) , either transmissions are fine with me .
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    Nov 25, 2011 4:06 AM GMT
    lilTanker saidhow does an auto make stop start traffic easier? I drive a manual (stick shift) and even in dense sydney city traffic I'll take a manual over an auto, at least then I'll have something to do besides sit there bored outta my brains completely!


    in some people's minds it doesn't make it easier so much as less aggravating. Honestly, if i had to commute in dense, LA-esque traffic every day and could afford a second car i'd buy a hybrid with a CVT for commuting and keep my roadster for everything else.
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    Nov 25, 2011 4:07 AM GMT
    Have one of both... love the manual Honda civic Si, just fun to drive, but in town stop and go, the automatic is much easier.
  • safety43_mma1...

    Posts: 4251

    Nov 25, 2011 4:09 AM GMT
    love them
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    Nov 25, 2011 4:16 AM GMT
    all real men should at least KNOW how to drive a manual. Love them, but rarely do i get to drive one. Auto is so 'mindless'... even if it is a 6 speed auto.
    I used to drive big rigs... now thats a STICK!!.. icon_lol.gif
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    Nov 25, 2011 4:47 AM GMT
    I was back visiting the mother land of India and my cousin decided the evening rush hour traffic would be a perfect time to teach me to drive a manual. Now I learned to drive in Michigan suburbia so driving on the opposite side of the road in rush hour had my heart running. But I would love to attempt it again someday.

    calcutta8pn.340154315_large.jpg
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    Nov 25, 2011 5:33 AM GMT
    Only manual, autotragics suck balls.

    And who said manuals are harder in traffic???? Clutch in to stop clutxh out slowly to roll forward in crawlig traffic. No.brake or gas needed. If you can't do this, pity,as I find a auto way more annoying. I can sit in neutral with nothing, you have to hold.the brake in slushboxes,cuz if you go into neutral youre defeatig the purpose and acting like its manual. :p
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    Nov 25, 2011 5:35 AM GMT
    Ps, the new camry is only auto, toyota feels manual is no longer needed. Its been nice knowing you toyota, enjoy bankrupcy. ( toyota sells way more manuls worldwide then slushboxes) can t wait to see them phase out manuals
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    Nov 25, 2011 5:40 AM GMT
    All my cars have been manual except my last two. I got sick of my leg hurting in LA traffic. I am going to get a 302 as a weekend car. That one will be a stick.
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    Nov 25, 2011 5:42 AM GMT
    I love my manual transmission, my last two cars (Out of 3 I have owned) have been manual.

    The only time I DON'T enjoy having a manual is after an intense 4 mile mountain hike, or leg a workout... My left leg will tremor on the clutch for a bit..
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Nov 25, 2011 6:14 AM GMT
    if you like being in more control of your driving (and the are more fuel efficient) a manual is great, but this debate is kinda like those people who make fun of you for cooking out of a box or ordering in instead of making everything from scratch in a super foodie way... which reminds me, i'm one of those foodie people.
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    Nov 25, 2011 6:16 AM GMT
    ThePenIsMyTier saidI love my manual transmission, my last two cars (Out of 3 I have owned) have been manual.

    The only time I DON'T enjoy having a manual is after an intense 4 mile mountain hike, or leg a workout... My left leg will tremor on the clutch for a bit..


    oooh, mine does that after skating. kinda freaky, innit?