Most of us learned how to drive a car using a manual transmission, and, in fact, most driving schools will only utilize manual cars for driving training and instruction. So, you have to shift the stick, while managing the clutch, acceleration and brake pedals in between. I have never sweated like that before, and admittedly, my legs were shaking like a leaf. I guess most of us had this experience when we tried out driving for the first time. The feeling doesn’t get any better if you're doing your first drive in a manual transmission car.
Well, manual cars are fun, especially when you're good at managing it. However, manual cars are gradually phasing out, as advances in automatic transmission technology gain ground and more cars are now driving themselves around autonomously. Anyway, before delving into the advantages of manual transmission, let’s understand how manual transmission works for a start.
1. How manual transmission work
Remember the car engine generates tremendous amount of power at very high speed. Such speed is definitely too high for us to manage if we were to attach our tires directly to the flywheels. Therefore, to be able to utilize the power generated by the engine in a safe manner, we apply a manual gearbox transmission system to transfer just the right amount of power from the engine to the wheels. The gearbox, in this case, a manual transmission system utilizes the gear ratio principle.
To effectively utilize the engine's power, the gearbox makes use of a combination of several gear systems generally referred to as gear train to reduce the engine speed to a nominal speed that will allow us to easily operate our car safely. To achieve this, a gear train, a synchronizer ring, a sleeve, along with a shift stick is utilized to systematically manage the engine's power.
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Watch the video below to gain a better undrestanding of how manual transmission work!
Video: Manual Transmission, How it works?
Now that you’ve a fair idea of how the manual transmission works, let's get to know about the pros of the manual transmission. Manual transmissions may not be overly popular these days but there are still very much used in several modern cars. In fact, most people specifically request for manual drive cars when making car purchases. For what are the benefits of a manual transmission;
2. Advantages of manual transmission
2.1. Easy to maintain
One of the main advantages of the manual transmission is that it is very much easier to maintain when compared with automatic transmission. Generally, the manual transmission is much less complex and less prone to defects and malfunction when compared to the more complex automatic transmission. So you’ll only have to make minor expenses relating to maybe oil change or clutch plate replacement, expenses you will only have to make between several months.
2.2. Longer gear oil duration
The automatic transmission generally makes use of automatic transmission fluids that are normally more expensive than the manual oils utilized in most manual gear systems. These manual oils take much longer to degrade and sometimes will only be changed when major repair work is carried out on the transmission itself. This suggests that the manual gear oils can be used for tens of months without any need for change
2.3. More affordable
The manual transmission is generally cheaper, in fact, cars built with manual transmissions go for much less when compared to similar models built with automatic transmission. For example, the Allure Model of the 2019 Peugeot 2008 SUV 1.2 liter 6-speed manual transmission petrol engine has a manufacturer stated retail price of $27,577 (~N9.9 million) while the same 1.2-liter petrol engine built with a similar 6-speed configuration automatic transmission has a manufacturer stated retail price of $28,335 (~N10.2 million).
2.4. More fuel saving
Automatic cars are known to consume more fuel volume per mile compared to manual cars. As a driver, you can very easily optimize your cars fuel consumption in a manual transmission car but that is not so easy with automatic cars where your car is constantly changing gears provided the required conditions are met. Although recent advances in the design of automatic transmission system has really improved their fuel economy, still manual cars are better when it comes to fuel economy ratings.
For instance, the 2013 Toyota Corolla with a 4-speed automatic transmission offered fuel economy of 26 mpg in city drives while a similar S model with 5-speed manual transmission offered fuel economy of 27 mpg in city drives.
>>> For those learning to drive a manual car:
2.5. Better driving control
So most people see having more control when driving a car as a serious advantage. Well, you are not allowed to fault them for their preference. People enjoy that sheer joy of being in control of their car especially possible when cruising around in your manual transmission car. It’s not always easy to give up driving the manual stick, so many guys just can’t quit.
3. Disadvantages of manual transmission
So there are still some cons associated with manual transmission system which I will just highlight below:
3.1. Difficult to go uphill
We know how much easy it is to start off from rest even when your car is seating on a sloppy hill with an automatic transmission car. However, it’s not so easy for some people especially for new and inexperienced drivers who will struggle to keep the car from rolling backward when trying to start off on a sloping hill in a manual transmission car.
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Driving a manual car uphill might be a nightmare to every driver
3.2. Harder to acquire driving skills
One major turnoff of the manual transmission is the perceived difficulty in learning how to drive using a manual transmission car as compared to driving lessons with an automatic car. It generally takes longer to master driving in a manual transmission car than it takes to do the same with an automatic car.
3.3. Stress while driving
So, since you will have to engage the clutch pedal now and then with your left leg, it can get a bit sour sometimes from the stress. But if you’re not a commercial long distance driver, this aspect can be endurable or even neglected.
Scary as it is, it gets easy when you get better at it, in fact, you’ll end up preferring a manual car when starting up on a hill. So let’s go get a manual car sharp-sharp!!! Thanks for reading our article on Advantages of Manual Transmission, hope you enjoy!
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