Sunday, 5 April 2015

Manual or Automatic: Which Transmission Is Better?

Manual or Automatic: Which Transmission Is Better?

Difference Between Manual And Automatic Transmission

Manual or Automatic: Which Transmission Is Better? What kind of transmission is best for your needs? Manual and automatic transmissions each have their strengths and weaknesses. When you’re trying to decide which type is the best for your needs there are a number of factors to keep in mind. Manual transmissions are better in some areas, while automatics are better in others.
 Which Is Stronger and Holds Up to More Abuse? In a nutshell, manual transmissions are stronger and hold up to more abuse. There are a few reasons for this. A manual transmission has no tiny orifices, valves, and actuators that can become plugged, clogged, or stop working. Push the clutch, move the shifter, release the clutch, and away you go. The shifter moves gears inside the transmission. The manual transmission has fewer points of failure. In fact, the manual transmission has quite a few fewer points of failure. The clutch can go out, either not engaging or not disengaging. That’s about the only non-catastrophic transmission failure that can occur with a manual transmission that will completely keep it from working. A manual transmission has synchros inside that need to mesh properly in order for you to shift gears smoothly. An automatic transmission has too many points of failure to cover here, so we’ll just list the major ones. First, the front pump can go out, causing the transmission to stop working. The cooling lines can break or leak, causing the fluid to leak out, which will cause the transmission to fail completely. As mentioned above, valves, orifices, and hydraulic actuators can become clogged or fail. Both types of transmissions require regular maintenance in order to stay in proper running order. However, if you forget to change the fluid or oil in a manual transmission, you’ve got far longer before major problems develop. If you don’t change the fluid regularly in an automatic you’ll experience problems galore. There’s also the fact that automatic transmissions have more linkage and cables that can develop problems. If you’re talking about newer transmissions, automatics also have a large number of electronic components that can fail now. Also, numerous other sensors around the vehicle report to the transmission. If any of these fail or start delivering erroneous information, the transmission won’t function properly. 

Which Type of Transmission Offers Better Performance? Again, the manual transmission is the clear winner here, although manufacturers are making automatics that deliver performance that is almost comparable, and, specialized automatic transmissions that allow you to override the shift control can deliver performance that is very similar. Both types of transmissions are usually geared to deliver moderate performance while maximizing fuel economy. However, due to their design, the low gear in an automatic transmission doesn’t deliver quite as much low end torque as a manual. This is partly due to gearing, but also partly due to the fact that an automatic transmission has much more slippage than a manual transmission, especially at lower speeds. That slippage is lost torque. There’s also the fact that a manual transmission gives you absolute control over shift points, whereas most automatic transmissions don’t, unless you manually shift through the gears, which isn’t really very good for the transmission. Need to pass someone? The manual transmission allows you to jump down a gear to get a little more torque to handle that pass, whereas an automatic with overdrive only drops down about half a gear. 

Which Type of Transmission Delivers Better Fuel Economy? This is where the automatic transmission wins hands down. They are “programmed” to keep engine RPMs within the most economical band possible. Manual transmission require you to either develop a good ear tuned to the sound of your engine, or to keep one eye on the tachometer to monitor shift points if you want to keep RPMs down and fuel economy up. 

Which Type of Transmission Is Better in Traffic? This is another situation where the automatic transmission is better. There’s no shifting required on your part, no constant up and down of the clutch pedal to wear out your leg muscles (and the clutch). All you have to worry about with an automatic is maintaining safe spacing between you and the other cars.

 Which Kind of Transmission Is Cheaper to Maintain? Again, the clear winner here is manual transmission. Normal, weekly maintenance for a manual transmission consists of checking the fluid level and changing the fluid at regular intervals according to manufacturer recommendations. With an automatic you’ve got to check the level and condition of the fluid weekly. You should also check the condition of the cooler lines and fittings regularly. To do this correctly without damaging the fittings, you need a special wrench. Both types of transmissions require regular fluid changes. With a manual, there’s usually a drain plug on the bottom to empty the fluid. With automatic transmissions, you’ve got to drop the pan, carefully to drain part of the fluid. Then you have to clean the old gasket off both surfaces, change the filter (usually), and replace the gasket and pan. If you want to get all the old fluid out, you’re either going to have to remove a drain plug on the torque converter (some Chrysler transmissions) or remove the transmission and torque converter. Finally, for an absolutely complete job, you’re going to have to disconnect one of the cooler lines to allow the cooler to drain.

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