Maintenance cost for manual vs automatic transmission: which is cheaper?


Posted by: Oluwaseun Solomon

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Many newbies and even some casual drivers often ask: is it really cheaper to repair and maintain manual transmissions than automatic ones? Find the answer here! at countless times get faced with too many questions concerning the maintenance cost between manual transmission and automatic transmission. That's why we have this post to answer those once and for all!

1. The manual generally costs less than automatic in maintenance & repair

First, we will like to directly point out that, manual transmissions are always or usually found to be cheaper in repair and maintenance than the automatic transmissions mainly because the automatics are by far more complex and normally posses more parts or functions that can just fail at any time but that really depends on a driver’s driving style though.

A typical automatic transmission would have hundreds of hydraulic, mechanical as well as electronic helpers that usually work together in harmony just to smoothly shift the gears for a driver. Whereas, the manual transmission is comprised mostly of mechanical gears which just rely on a driver mostly to engage the vehicle’s clutch & shift whenever needed.


Automatic transmission generally costs more to repair & maintain because of its advanced nature

The total cost of replacing an automatic transmission fluid alone can get as high as ₦36,000 ($100) sometimes depending on the type of vehicle and also who is to do the transmission fixes. Manual transmission on the other hand also requires a periodic fluid change, but its cost tends to actually be always half of that for automatics.

We need to also stress that transmission repair costs will vary widely depending on the car and what it needs to be fixed.

>>> You're torn between manual & automatic? What about a semi-automatic transmission? What is semi-automatic transmission: Its benefits & drawbacks?

2. Cost to replace a manual or automatic transmission in Nigeria

When repairing a leak, the cost might be a few thousand nairas or less, but when tearing apart totally a complete transmission system just to find the real cause of a problem, more expenses will surely be incurred for that. This is why some auto repair shops usually recommend just replacing a vehicle’s entire transmission rather than trying a “fix” for its internal problems and then a rebuild – especially with the newer dual-clutch and continuously variable automatics, just because the parts are always difficult to get and the repair know-how is even less compared to the conventional automatic transmissions.

  Manual vs Automatic Transmission - Here's What You Need to Know

It is also worth mentioning that the transmission replacement costs usually vary widely as well, but the manual transmissions normally have the cheaper cost and can be as low as ₦20,000 to ₦30,000 for some non-luxury cars. The automatics, on the other hand, are always more expensive and can start at ₦50,000 or even higher in some cases.

We cannot but acknowledge that the automatic transmissions do have the advantage of being less susceptible to any wear usually caused by the driving styles of some individuals compared to the manual transmissions. Maybe because most people will just literally have to put them in the Drive gear and keep driving without even having to bother thinking about the vehicle’s transmission or engine.

>>> You should check here more often to get our most useful car maintenance tips and advice.

Oluwaseun Solomon
Oluwaseun Solomon

Oluwaseun Solomon

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Oluwaseun Solomon is a prolific and diligent automobile writer at He's also an experienced digital marketer and a creative multimedia developer that specializes in video editing. He currently contributes informative and easy to read articles on topics covering transportation, traffic updates, auto industry updates, and different car reviews.
When Solomon is not writing, you will either find him composing music, editing videos or simply enjoying YouTube "TEDx Talk" videos with a chilled drink :)

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