Manual vs. Automatic Transmition

Manual transmission cars with gearboxes and clutches have their ardent defenders, but the facts don’t support some of the reasons cited for the superiority and desirability of this transmission. Here we list the pros and cons of a manual versus an automatic transmission and discuss five common myths about manual transmission vehicles.

Manual Car Pros

  • The vehicle is more engaging for the driver.
  • The driver has full control over gears and when to shift.
  • It’s usually less expensive than an automatic vehicle.
  • The transmission often costs less to repair.

Manual Car Cons

  • A manual can get tiresome in heavy traffic.
  • The learning curve is steep.
  • It requires precise control on hills to avoid stalling or rolling back.
  • It’s harder to find a manual on higher trim levels.
  • Only a limited selection of vehicles offer a manual.

Automatic Car Pros

  • It’s easier to drive in stop-and-go traffic.
  • The majority of vehicles offer an automatic.
  • The transmission shifts quicker and smoother.
  • It offers better gas mileage.
  • A shiftable automatic transmission offers drivers the best of both worlds.

Automatic Car Cons

  • It’s more expensive to buy than a manual.
  • The transmission has more moving parts, which leads to greater repair costs.
  • It’s not as fun to drive — though this is subjective.
  • A transmission with too many gears might shift too often.


How Does a CVT Work?

In order to see how a CVT works, you need to understand a manual and a traditional automatic. A manual has a set number of gears, and the driver determines what gear ratio they need. An automatic also has a set number of gears, but it uses a hydraulic system that responds to pressure created by the conditions to determine the gear needed without any input from the driver.

A CVT is similar to an automatic in that it doesn’t use any input from the driver, but that is where the similarities end. A CVT doesn’t have any gears. Instead, it has two pulleys. One pulley connects to the engine, and the other connects to the wheels. A flexible belt connects the two pulleys

The width of the pulleys changes depending on how much power the vehicle needs. When one pulley gets larger, the other one gets smaller. Since neither the pulleys or the belt are fixed, they can provide an infinite number of gear ratios, unlike the automatic, which has a set number of gears.


How to make your transmission last longer

For optimal function for your transmission, it is important to keep up with transmission maintenances and services. The maintenances you do now can save you a lot later. Also, how you care for and drive your car can affect your transmission.

Transmission Usage that May Cause Damage:

  • Extreme weathers (heat over 99 degrees Fahrenheit or freezing snow)
  • Towing Heavy Loads
  • Traffic with constant driving and braking
  • Driving with emergency brake on
  • Shifting gears while car is still moving
  • Driving too fast through thick mud or heavy snow
  • Anything that overheats transmission



Like any moving parts, the transmission’s parts eventually will wear out. By performing proper maintenance on the transmission, you can make it last longer. Make sure you have a transmission flush done at the intervals that are recommended by the manufacturer. You can either have a shop or dealership flush the transmission, or you can flush it yourself. Make sure you also use the proper transmission fluid for your vehicle when you perform a transmission fluid change.


Regularly Fill up on Fluids

Making sure your car always has enough of the fluids it requires to operate can make a significant impact on how long your vehicle lasts. depleting your car of them can have dire consequences. Always make sure your engine oil and coolant reservoir are always topped up to ensure that your car lasts a long time. The fluids in your vehicle are responsible for everything from lubricating moving parts to keeping your view clear and free of smudges. The main fluids to keep filled in your car include:

  • Engine Oil
  • Radiator Fluid
  • A/C Coolant
  • Brake Fluid
  • Transmission Fluid
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Wiper Fluid

Stick to the Service Schedule

Every car comes with an owner’s manual that details which services and maintenance need to be performed when the vehicle reaches specific mileage points. Use this as your guide and budget accordingly so that you don’t miss the essential services your car needs to stay reliable. In general, you can plan on having minor maintenance performed on the car annually, and more involved maintenance about every two to three years. A properly-maintained vehicle is a long-lasting one!

Don’t Neglect Your Filters

Over time, your car’s cabin air filter can get clogged with dust, pollen, and other debris. In addition, the oil filter can fill up with gunk between oil changes. A trustworthy Frederick, MD auto maintenance shop will replace your filter each time the oil is changed, and will be happy to take a look at your air filter, too. The most common sign that your air filter is dirty and needs replacement is a musty or unpleasant smell coming from the vents.

Keep Your Car Clean

Have you ever heard the phrase “If you look good, you feel good”? This can be applied to your car, as well. If you make a conscious effort to keep your car’s interior and exterior clean, you’ll value the investment more and will be motivated to keep it looking great. Cleaning your car might not seem like something that can affect its longevity, but keeping it clean and dry can help slow down corrosion and prevent rust.