Manual Transmission vs. Automatic Transmission

Vehicle design fits into two types of transmission: manual transmission and automatic transmission. When you're looking to get a new car, the type of transmission you prefer could be a primary factor.

Apart from choices in forced induction devices such as superchargers and turbochargers to options in drivetrains types like four-wheel drive and front-wheel drive, another significant decision you will also need to make will be between transmission types.

What does Transmission mean?

Car Transmission

The transmission is a case, usually made of metal that consists of a series of gears. It's colloquially referred to as the gearbox. For obvious reasons, transmission is arguably an essential feature in any vehicle.

Essentially, the transmission carries the power generated by the engine and takes it to the vehicle's wheels. That is the power that moves the car. The transmission ensures that the right amount of energy coming from the engine gets to your vehicle's wheels. And this, in turn, determines the speed at which it runs.

Each of the gear functions has a predesignated ratio. A stopgap helps prevent the wheels from running at the same speed as the engine.

For instance, when a vehicle starts from rest, it uses a low gear ratio: less speed and more power. When at high speed, the transmission then switches to a higher gear ratio while keeping the RPMs relatively low. The transmission has two primary components, which are the shaft and the gear.

The shaft transmits the engine's power to the wheel of your vehicle, which causes it to move. The gears, on the other hand, functions to determine the range of the vehicle's speed.

Manual Transmission

Manual transmission

Many automobile technicians also know manual transmission as the standard transmission. Although amongst laypeople, it's typically called a stick shift. In a manual transmission vehicle, the driver employs a stick shift to change the gears as they accelerate and decelerate manually.

The shift is on the center console. The lever of the stick shift links to the transmission. In addition to the stick shift, a manual transmission also requires a clutch pedal to be present in the vehicle. The clutch mechanism between the engine and the transmission disengages by pressing down on the clutch pedal. This disengagement stops power from going from the engine to the transmission.

Furthermore, it will thereby leave the driver with the window to change gears. Before changing gears, you must press down the clutch pedal. After which, you will then move the stick shift to the gear you wish to engage.

Manual Transmission

After this happens, the clutch pedal is released so the engine can relink to the transmission. When the engagement of the clutch pedal is too fast, it will cause the engine to stall. When the engagement is too slow, however, it may cause it to wear prematurely. The clutch pedal sits on the left of the brake pedal.

Advantages of Manual Transmission

  1. Vehicles with manual transmission tend to be cheaper to purchase than the ones with automatic transmissions.
  2. It requires very little maintenance to carry on. And in the few instances when you may have to repair it, it cost considerably less.
  3. Manual transmission cars offer drivers more significant control over the vehicle since they have to shift the gear only when they want it manually.
  4. It has a good fuel economy. Manual transmission reportedly saves anywhere between 5% and %15 on the cost of fuel.
  5. The manual transmission has also racked a superior acceleration, a feature that makes it a favorite among racers.

Disadvantages of Manual Transmission

  1. Compared to an automatic transmission, a manual transmission is a tad more challenging to learn. It generally requires a great deal of practice. We know this because of the mastery it needs to coordinate the clutch pedal, stick shift, and accelerator.
  2. Due to the rapidly growing popularity of automatic transmission, manual transmission vehicles have very little resale value.
  3. It isn't easy to drive in heavy traffic.
  4. It's increasingly becoming unpopular.

Automatic Transmission

Automatic transmission

Automatic transmission[/caption]Unlike the manual transmission, the driver plays an active role in moving the car. That role is significantly irrelevant in an automatic transmission. All the driver has to do to drive an automatic vehicle is to select "D" on the shifter.

The car does the rest of the work. The car changes its gear automatically. Instrumental to the automatic transmission is the planetary gear set. This set is the component that creates the necessary gear ratios that the transmission uses. As seen in the manual transmission, acting as the clutch pad, a torque converter connects to the automatic transmission drivetrain.

Advantages of Automatic Transmission

  1. It's a lot easier to drive than the manual transmission. This simplicity also makes it a favorite among beginners.
  2. It has a considerably higher resale value.
  3. Nowadays, people prefer it, and that translates to its easy availability.
  4. It's easy to drive in case of heavy traffic.

Disadvantages of Automatic Transmission

  1. It's more expensive than a manual transmission. It's also more costly to maintain and repair.
  2. Reportedly less fuel-efficient.
  3. Its control is primarily out of the hand of the driver.

Differences between Manual Transmission and Automatic Transmission

  1. The most obvious difference is that while manual vehicles have clutch pedals, automatic cars don't.
  2. Also, the gearboxes of manual vehicles come into play, stacking between five and six gears. On the other hand, those automatic vehicles are quite simplified to four distinct modes: P - park, R- reverse, N- Neutral, & D – Drive.

Key Takeaway

  • Picking between a manual transmission and automatic transmission is a critical choice when planning to get a car.
  • Which transmission option you go for is down to preference. It's essential to select the one that fits your need seamlessly.
  • This article tailors a way to make the trouble of choosing less arduous.

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