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Manual v. Automatic

7041 Views 39 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  cjburn
Okay, here's my dilemma, I'm not sure which one I would want. I have very _VERY_ minimal experience with a manual transmission car. I am not completely inept at it, but I am not very good. Is there a very big benefit to having a manual transmission? It just seems like it would be more work. I mean I understand you can control when your car switches gears and all but it is it really that necessary? Also, it seems to me that if you were to get the manual that you would eventually have to replace the clutch. I am kinda unsure now after reading people with problems with it. Please help!
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Hmm... I guess the ppl who get manuals like the control they have over the car. Its really up to you and what your needs are...

Like for me... I never drove a manual before but I was thinking about it cause I wanted to have more control and also a little fun... but then I remembered I had to sit in 1+ hour of traffic every night when I leave work to go to school... most of the time, I'm studying or eating dinner in my car while I'm in bumper to bumper traffic on the freeway... Because of that... I knew I had to get the auto tranny.... I wish I had a 3rd hand... lol
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Eden - If you drive in a lot of traffic get an auto. Otherwise, get a 5spd and REALLY enjoy the car.

As for replacing the that to replacing an auto tranny.
My current car is automatic, it's like 10 yrs old, i've never had any problems with it. i dunno i dont drive in alot of traffic, atleast not very often. I'll make up my mind as I get closer to *THE DAY.*
Here are few pros that i can think of for both auto and manual...hopefully it helps!

Pros for manual:
1. cheaper to replace clutch than to repair auto transmission (the biggest factor for me was this)
2. for manual lovers, more fun and control of driving

pros for auto:
1. a leg cramp's saviour when stuck in highway or innercity traffic
2. easily use cell phone (even using speakerphone or hands free headset can be cumbersome when receiving or making phone calls in manual transmission car)
3. eating in car while driving
4. long road trips (very helpful when your road trip partner doesn't know how to drive manual)
5. others in family or friends who knows how to only drive auto tranny can drive your car to run errands or in a case of emergency, drive u to the nearest ER
(hopefully this wont happen).
6. Not having to sweat ere time you are sitting on a steep hill awaiting the dreadful red lights to turn to an even more dreadful green.
7. Some days u don't wanna fuss with the gears and just want to drive and relax
8. If u are dead tired the majority of the time u are driving your tC due to busy work, school and other extracurricular activities, an auto will suit your mood.
9. Last but not least, NOT pretending to have three legs to drive when u only have two
hahhahahaha LOL!

With all the pros i have listed for auto tranny, i own and drive a manual tC hahhaha
#1 on the pro list for manual was the deciding factor. I am thinking down the road, in case something happens to the transmission, i wont have a big hole in the pocket. Plus i have been driving manual since i knew how to drive so my decision was somewhat semi hard too but i ended up choosing manual.

Gas mileage for either transmission is comparable for the tC so this wasn't a decision factor at all

Hope this helps! Tell us what u decide when the time comes!
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Lets put it to rest.

Manuals are "cool" to drive, and they enable the driver to be spiritually bonded with their cars (lol). Manuals are better in fuel efficiency, except for the tC (weird). Manuals can pull away from an auto (same car; I think).
i agree with falsetto, replacing the clutch is way much cheaper than auto tranny.
I think more people have to get their auto tranny replaced more than the clutch depends on how you drive your manual.
Treat your 5 speed well, your car would last hella lot longer than those who have auto. With auto, if you stomp on the gas that would put more wear and tear on your tranny but with the 5 speed you can upshift right way

I have owned six 5sp manual cars since i knew how to drive. Autos are no fun but can come handy for the same reason as a few people under this topic.

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For me, the best feature of a manual is the ability to down shift. This enables you to get A LOT more miles out of the life of your brakes.
Lets not forget, having a manual will hurt you come trade-in time

Ive seen rare cases when this was the opposite, like Supra's and other higly desirable sports cars............but with the tC it will definitley be a disadvantage. I drove a manual for years and years, its a nice change but im back to an Auto because its just better for me and my current situation.

I think that there really is no argument for which transmission is better, they both have equal strong/weak points. The only thing I can suggest is to analyze your lifestyle and commuting habits.....look at all of the great pros/cons listed above in this thread, and pick one! Best of luck with whatever you choose- T
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i didnt know manuals can hurt at trade in time. How is that?

I would never trade in a car unless its a push pull drag kinda deal that guarantee $500 or $1000 trade in. You get alot more out of the car if you sell to private party than trade in regardless the tranny.
It's because in most commuter vehicles, a manual is avoided like the plauge. Dealers have a hard time dumping a manual car on another dealer in a trade or just selling it. I think this might even be compounded now that the manual tranny on the tC is developing chronic problems from what I see. - t
what you mean manual tc is developing chronic problems?? what kind of you got me all worried
check out the posts on in the "tc specific" section of the board. You will see that more and more people are having their trannys go bad. Im sure its just a couple flukes so dont get worried because its allllllllll under warranty! - T
already? tc's been out since june and there's probs already with the tranny?
I think tCrazy is right about how you make your decision....base in on your lifestyle.

1) High-traffic areas are NOT 5spd-friendly.

2) The 5spd can be fun, but it can be a bother sometimes, too. (Personally, I got the 5spd b/c I like being more involved when I'm driving...makes it a little more fun for me and I don't get bored quite as easily on long drives.)

3) Manuals are cheaper to repair/replace (it all depends on driving styles, of course....but my old '94 5spd has 126,000 miles on it and I've never had to replace the clutch).

4) Not everyone can drive a manual, so if you normally take long trips/rotate drivers, that's something to take into consideration.

5) Manuals do keep your hands busy, but I'm sorta' glad mine does b/c it keeps me focused on driving and makes it harder to focus on other things (like eating, or talking on the phone, or putting on makeup...which I don't do unless I'm at a stoplight, by the way). SO, for me I'm glad it takes up my "free hand" because I'm less likely to be doing distracting things in my car.

6) I feel I have more control over my car. To be honest, I drift back less with my 5spd at a stoplight on a hill then I do on my parent's automatic because I don't drive an auto with two feet and from the time I take my foot off of the brake until the time I press on the gas, I'm drifting backwards. With my 5spd, you could put a dime RIGHT under my wheel and, on a good day, I won't roll off of it when I take off on the hill.

(I know I repeated some, but just wanted to point out that I agree with those comments and they are good ones to consider.)
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The advantages (joy of driving, control, price of repair) of my 5-speed all outweigh the disadvantages for me... but it's very much a matter of personal choice. Loopy pointed out that it keeps your hands busy... I definitely expect my cell phone bill to be lower since I got my tC.
Originally posted by QSJ Ed@Aug 15 2004, 09:41 AM
The advantages (joy of driving, control, price of repair) of my 5-speed all outweigh the disadvantages for me... but it's very much a matter of personal choice. Loopy pointed out that it keeps your hands busy... I definitely expect my cell phone bill to be lower since I got my tC.
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I thought long and hard about this, and there were two main things that made me decide on an automatic. The first and most obvious one is that I don't know how to drive stick. Sure, I know how to do it in theory, but the last time I tried to, in all seriousness I couldn't even get going. I had to let my totally drunk friend drive instead cause I just couldn't do it (and I was totally sober). It was very embarassing.

At any rate, the point is, I decided that while a manual might be a bit cooler at times, it would not be the best possible idea to learn stick on my brand-new $20,000 vehicle.

The other things was that my father suggested to me that driving stick would suck in Atlanta traffic, and I'm convinced he's right. My current commute consists of a 9-mile drive that somehow takes over 30 minutes (figure out my average speed).
That's a lot of shifting.

Like you guys said though, it's a matter of personal preference.
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yeah i think ill end up with the automatic just because it's easier.
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