Driving a car with a manual transmission is quite different from driving an automatic one. In a sense, when you drive a manual car, you have more control. You get to decide when to shift gears instead of letting the car decide for you. Once you have decided, you have a third extra pedal (the clutch) that moves a lever to pull apart enmeshed gears, and then puts the gears back into the mesh. In an automatic car, the gear change happens automatically.
New car sales also reflect the trend toward automatic transmissions but what are the main benefits of driving an automatic?
Benefits of automatic transmissions:
– Thanks to modern technology and computers, automatic transmissions these days are so efficient they offer fuel economy that is competitive, and in rare cases superior to that of a standard transmission.
– Automatic transmissions allow the driver to have his/her right hand free for other purposes.
Disadvantages of automatic transmissions:
– Although they are undeniably more efficient than they used to be, automatics still return slightly inferior fuel economy in all driving conditions.
– Automatics cost more. In most cases, ordering one will run you at least an additional $1,000. They are also much more expensive to repair, as modern automatic transmissions are loaded with sophisticated electronics, microprocessors, sensors and so on.
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