Up until recently, most cars were manual. Automatic transmissions became popular in the 1950s. Since the 1970s, automatics have dominated the marketplace, and today, only 5 percent of Americans choose a manual transmission and only 10 percent of all the cars sold in the US even offer one.
Although not popular in the US, there are plenty of reasons why you should consider driving a manual car.
While automatics have become more fuel-efficient in the past few years, they still can’t compensate for the fuel efficiency of most manual cars. If you’re driving an older, made before the year 2000, then a manual car is your best bet for maximizing fuel economy.
Most automatics up until that point were only four speeds, versus five or six in the manuals. In some cases, in modern cars, automatics can give a better fuel economy, but it can depend on the car.
Manual transmissions are more reliable than automatics. When automatic transmissions go wrong, repair costs can stack up into thousands of dollars. Manual transmission cars, on the other hand, have a much lower chance of failure, and if something does go wrong are usually much cheaper to fix. Manual transmissions are generally less expensive to maintain in the long run than automatics.
Better Control In Wet Conditions
If you’ve ever driven in the wet, you know it requires a different skillset from driving in dry conditions. If you’re driving a manual transmission in the wet, you have full control over the speed you go.
When approaching a bend in the road, you can move down the gears to make sure you navigate the curve safely. This allows you to have greater control navigating a tricky corner in wet conditions than if you’re traveling in an automatic transmission vehicle.
Jumping The Batteries
If your battery dies while you’re driving a manual transmission, then you don’t have to sit there and wait for help. If you can get the car moving, then you can put the ignition on, get the car in second gear on a gradual downslope and let the clutch out quickly. If you do this fast enough, then the engine can restart.
If you’re driving an automatic then you have to wait for help to arrive. Even if you have jumper cables, you’ll need to wait for another car to come by to help boost your battery.
Changing the Transmission Fluid
Changing the transmission fluid in a manual is a more straightforward process than doing so in an automatic transmission. Doing so in a manual involves draining the oil and refilling it, and you’re done. Changing the transmission oil in an automatic can be a more expensive process as it requires a filter and gasket set.
The professionals at Jiffy Lube can help you change your transmission fluid, whether you drive a manual or an automatic. Changing the transmission fluid in both automatics and manuals at regular intervals can help prevent premature wear and damage to the transmission.