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(AutoBlog)   People are re-discovering manual transmissions in cars. Women apparently not asked about this   (autoblog.com ) divider line
    More: Spiffy, manual transmission, population ageing, Audi R8  
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13305 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 May 2012 at 3:38 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-02 05:43:01 AM  

powhound: Currently own two manuals (both 98's), but looking to buy a farking automatic because the wife needs to learn how to drive.

/public transport only takes one so far


What is wrong with learning to drive on a manual? My daughter is getting ready to get her learner's permit and she will be learning on a manual (I'm not buying a new car for her to learn on). Hell I learned to drive in a 1979 toyota landcruiser with a dodgy handbrake and I was grateful. Actually, I am grateful I can drive anything now. Well, the cruiser was what I learned to drive on the road I had already learned to drive a tractor as soon as I was tall enough to reach the clutch.

What was I saying? Something about onions on my belt I think. Anyway I learned to drive in Morganville, which was what they called Shelbyville in those days (I needed a new heel for my shoe).
 
2012-05-02 05:43:04 AM  

SoxSweepAgain: Lunchlady: Just bought a manual a month ago. Had the guy at the Honda dealership give me shiat because I wasn't interested in a single car on his lot if it didn't have a stick, didn't care about price. He asked why that was my sticking point. Told him I'd have the car long after I finished paying it off so for me actually enjoying the car was much more important than what I paid.

Got a Ford.

LOVE this.

Six Fords in a row for me.

I have had an Escort (when I was 21) followed by three Ranger pickups. Then a Mercury (Ford) T-Bird equivalent at the time, and now my MOST reliable (most reliable! wonder car... a 2004 Mustang (with 100,058 miles on it that is still on its original brake pads and shocks, runs like a flipping dream, and in its life has required one alternator, one tie-rod, two batteries and eight tires).

Oil changes every 5,000 (no, not 3,000) miles and just driving it like the wonderful beast that it is.

I LOVE FORDS.


The last nicoffeinemobile was a 1989 5 speed ranger. It would not be killed. My son has it now, it's at 320k and how it made that 10 years of my abuse is beyond me. I should have killed it. IT WON'T DIE.
 
2012-05-02 05:45:17 AM  

nicoffeine: Bongo Blue: Automatics are only good for eating an ice cream cone while driving.
Can't think of any other reason.

Oh, other than going 2/3/4 all the way down 5 in Los Angeles. Fark that crap. I'd rather listen to music than shift all day. It's not crappy driving, it's not caring after you learn it's nothing more than playing with a knob to impress people that don't matter.


I am originally from San Diego. Have'nt taken 5 to LA since '79.
Still have to go to SD occasionally.
I love SD.
But life is better now.
No interstate for 100 miles in any direction.


/plenty of sand,no beach
//meh...whaddya gonna do?
 
2012-05-02 05:47:15 AM  

TommyymmoT: I think you should be required to take your road test in a manual, considering you're being licensed to drive one.

Worst case scenario?
There will be less drivers who can't walk and chew gum at the same time.


Where I am (Queensland, Australia) you get either an Automatic only license or a full license. Most people opt for the full licence as I did (where you are tested with a Manual vehicle), but it's not always an option for people (especially if a family doesn't own a manual for kids to learn on).

At any rate, I've known some shiatty shiatty manual drivers, and some very good auto drivers, so what damn transmission system you choose has no actual bearing on your driving skill.

publikenemy: Waaaaaaaaaahhh I live where there are hills....waaaaaaaaaaahhh why would you wanna drive a stick in traffic....what a bunch of pansies the car buying public has turned into. Missing out on a lot of stick-shifting joy too.


Meh, some people like drinking fine wines, but while I like a nice wine, I'd usually rather have a nice beer. That doesn't stop the wine lovers from calling me a philistine for preferring beer of course.

Hipsters love their fixie bikes, but while I think that's nice for them, I prefer my multi-geared road bike. It does what I need it to do in a more comfortable fashion, even though they'll swear fixies are better for you.

Meanwhile, I can and do drive manuals (quite well actually), but I just drive cars for getting from one place to another - the radio is for entertainment, not the driving. Sure, I don't mind driving around, but really, if I can just have a quite relaxing drive listening to the radio, and don't have to care about changing gears every ten seconds in traffic, I'm happy, and if you can't accept that, well that's not my problem.

I can accept people liking manual transmissions, fixie bikes or expensive wine, but say I'm wrong for not caring about them? well, then all I can say is a big fark you.
 
2012-05-02 05:47:46 AM  

FlashHarry: i had to order mine and have it shipped. there wasn't a single manual in the country.


Was it shipped from Barcelona?

community.secondlife.com
 
2012-05-02 05:48:08 AM  
I got my first standard 2 years ago. Learned to drive it in two days, and took me about a week to figure out steep inclines. 1st day was spent practicing stopping and going and on the second day, my boyfriend's grandpa put me out on the highway in 5pm traffic and said GO. That will make you learn really quick. Now I have decided if at all possible I will never own another automatic. And, why yes, I am a woman.
 
2012-05-02 05:48:49 AM  
If you've ever had a 10 speed bike as a kid you understand power and gear ratios. It's then a snap to learn to ride a motorcycle or learn manual transformer.

Remember when kids played outside and rode bikes?

/riding lawn mower, off
 
2012-05-02 05:49:06 AM  
Usual experience? Were you driving in India behind an old bus?

I find manuals offer great acceleration because there is no "lag" at the torque converter, and you don't encounter certain RPM levels where the transmission doesn't know what gear it wants to be in. In all fairness, I am talking about modern vehicles with synchronized transmissions....

I am just amazed that people have never driven a stick---- or only driven one once. But I guess if you have never owned one, you just wouldn't understand anyway.

I dislike all the technology added to vehicles that add relatively little value--- like anti-lock brakes and traction control. In the winter, I have to turn traction control OFF or I cannot drive up the hill to my house (since it kills power to the wheels that are slipping, and both wheels are slipping, the car simply stalls). I prefer a controlled fishtail up the hill, for example. Also, I don't like paying $2000 to replace an anti-lock brake computer (which is required for the speedometer to work). I would love to see some statistics how ABS has saved anyone or reduced the number of injuries (maybe it has, for all I know). Now all the cars around here have mirrors that flip in when the car is parked--- presumably yet another thing to break.

Sure, some technology is nice, like not having to crank start a motor, or having automatic timing advance, or even synchronized transmissions. And some safety equipment is nice (like seat belts and air bags). But at the rate things are going, in a matter of years, driving your car will be comparable to riding the train to work.

/weather looks good today..... no clouds to yell at....

Tenatra: Stick shift drivers are almost my most hated thing on the road

Usual experience -

At a red light waiting for it to change
Green light
Accelerate
oh the guy in front of me accelerates extremely slow so I ride my brake/coast. He shifts
we start getting up to a decent speed (10-15 mph under the farking speed limit) and he shifts. I brake
A little way down the road he shifts and I have to ride my brakes again
We speed up, he shifts, I brake...


/I have had the privilege of driving stick once.
//Friend bought an old 4Runner from the city auction but didn't have his license
///I had to drive the damn thing across the city in rush hour traffic (woohoo somehow managed not to stall it)

 
2012-05-02 05:54:11 AM  
ABS significantly shortens breaking distance and saves lives/prop damage by dissipating energy before impact or eliminating impact altogether. Worth every cent. Sliding on molten rubber does not help anyone involved.
 
2012-05-02 05:57:31 AM  

filter: But at the rate things are going, in a matter of years, driving your car will be comparable to riding the train to work.


Good.

/For those people who really love driving, but you'll still be able to. For me, I'll be reading a book.
 
2012-05-02 06:02:48 AM  

lohphat: ABS significantly shortens breaking distance and saves lives/prop damage by dissipating energy before impact or eliminating impact altogether. Worth every cent. Sliding on molten rubber does not help anyone involved.


That's a misconception. ABS gives you the ability to maintain control of your vehicle under severe braking situations. It does not shorten the distances (except on ice). I prefer ABS, but still try to maintain a good following distance and don't rely on it to stop me in a shorter distance.
 
2012-05-02 06:11:32 AM  
Always had a manual, autos just feel lazy.

Although here in NZ it's about a 50/50 split when you're in the market.
 
2012-05-02 06:12:55 AM  
My last truck was a mid-90s Ford Ranger with a manual transmission, when I lived in a particular hilly section of San Diego. The clutch never caught in the same position twice in a row, and no odometer. I was overjoyed when I finally replaced that with an automatic.

Even my mechanic who was a manual evangelist hated that thing.
 
2012-05-02 06:13:15 AM  
You'd have to be a dolt to buy a manual transmission these days.


Blah blah, torque converter, blah blah mileage blah blah fun. It's not 1965 anymore.
 
2012-05-02 06:14:44 AM  
According to a stat I just found on the internet (so may not be true) 84% of cars in the UK have manual transmission.

I'm in my thirties and have never owned an automatic and my parents only ever owned one automatic.

Nearly all drivers in the UK can drive manual/stick shift.

/guessing it's the nationality rather than the sex of the driver that relates to the competence.
 
2012-05-02 06:16:10 AM  
traction control has no value? WTF seriously? its not necessary in an AWD car, but in RWD absolutely (unless you like sliding off the road on wet curves).

traction control has no value...TO YOU. congratulations on being a precious, unique snowflake that can apparently drive better than Tiff Needel.

ABS is about maintaining control during extreme braking situations, avoiding having to pump the brakes manually. extremely useful, as the electronic pumping is much faster and more precise than what most human drivers can pull off. ABS will not help if you don't know how to steer in emergency situations.
 
2012-05-02 06:20:06 AM  

foxyshadis: The novelty will wear off, it always does. The dwindling hardcore will continue to be hardcore, the posers and rice rocket racers will get sick of it and opt for convenience the minute they get an office job or a kid. It's only spiked now because so many people have been taking anything they can get on the used market for so long, that now that the economy's back they're ready to listen to the guys who crow about fuel economy and ultimate control. Most of them regret it and maybe 5% ever see any fuel savings.

Face it, stick shifters, you guys are the hipsters of the auto world.


Depends entirely where you live - seven years ago, I was living in Topanga Canyon (In the Sabna Monica Mountains, near L.A.) and driving a Subaru with a five-speed stick. Loved it - then moved to Venice, and the stop n' go Westside traffic - and the pleasure became a huge pain in the ass (and the left ankle). Got rid of it, drove a Crown Vic for a while, now am going carless.
Cars ain't much fun when you can hardly drive the damn thing for all the other cars on the road.
 
2012-05-02 06:20:07 AM  

Tenatra: Stick shift drivers are almost my most hated thing on the road

Usual experience -

At a red light waiting for it to change
Green light
Accelerate
oh the guy in front of me accelerates extremely slow so I ride my brake/coast. He shifts
we start getting up to a decent speed (10-15 mph under the farking speed limit) and he shifts. I brake
A little way down the road he shifts and I have to ride my brakes again
We speed up, he shifts, I brake...


WTF? You must be one of the worst drivers on the road and/or following the worst driver on the road.

What are you, 2ft behind the car in front? Why are you pulling away before the car in front moves? Also, manual cars don't slow down appreciably when they change gear....

/can only assume you are trolling...
 
2012-05-02 06:21:54 AM  
I drove with three on the tree for 15 years before decideding I was old and lazy enough to get an auto. Now I miss my non synchro crashbox :-(
 
2012-05-02 06:22:50 AM  

foxyshadis: Face it, stick shifters, you guys are the hipsters of the auto world.


Perhaps in urban America, but a hell of a lot of the rest of the world drives stick and wouldn't want to change.
 
2012-05-02 06:24:08 AM  
I was once given an Automatic as a courtecy car. it was a brand new VW Toran. The Garage owner asked if I was ok driving an Auto and I just said yes. I was still trying to figure out how to start it ten minutes later when he came and showed me I needed to have my foot on te break. I think he might have been a bit worried about letting me have it after that. Not driven one since.
 
2012-05-02 06:26:34 AM  

Pert: foxyshadis: Face it, stick shifters, you guys are the hipsters of the auto world.

Perhaps in urban America, but a hell of a lot of the rest of the world drives stick and wouldn't want to change.


I say let people drive what they want as long as they are in control of their vehicle. Yesterday I was running errands in downtown Seattle in stop and go traffic, up and down steep hills and very glad to driving an automatic vehicle.
 
2012-05-02 06:32:07 AM  

unlikely: I have never owned a car with an automatic transmission. It doesn't feel like I'm in control of the car with those things.


Same here.
 
2012-05-02 06:32:23 AM  

Type40: I was once given an Automatic as a courtecy car. it was a brand new VW Toran. The Garage owner asked if I was ok driving an Auto and I just said yes. I was still trying to figure out how to start it ten minutes later when he came and showed me I needed to have my foot on te break. I think he might have been a bit worried about letting me have it after that. Not driven one since.


That is a model and market specific feature. My Odyssey starts up fine without depressing the brake.
 
2012-05-02 06:32:46 AM  
In the UK Autos are the Minority, fleet vehicles mainly. I am guessing from this theread that that is not the case in the US?

Tenatra: Stick shift drivers are almost my most hated thing on the road

Usual experience -

At a red light waiting for it to change
Green light
Accelerate
oh the guy in front of me accelerates extremely slow so I ride my brake/coast. He shifts
we start getting up to a decent speed (10-15 mph under the farking speed limit) and he shifts. I brake
A little way down the road he shifts and I have to ride my brakes again
We speed up, he shifts, I brake...


/I have had the privilege of driving stick once.
//Friend bought an old 4Runner from the city auction but didn't have his license
///I had to drive the damn thing across the city in rush hour traffic (woohoo somehow managed not to stall it)


Have to call bullshiat, Manuals are almost always quicker to pull away than autos unless the driver is an idiot.
 
2012-05-02 06:34:34 AM  

libranoelrose: unlikely: I have never owned a car with an automatic transmission. It doesn't feel like I'm in control of the car with those things.

Same here.


How can you feel you're not in control? Start the car and put your foot on the gas pedal.
 
2012-05-02 06:36:55 AM  
Love my stick shift 96 Ford Ranger 4 cylinders 8 plugs!. Where I live is really flat, so no hill issues. Traffic does not bother me at all-never has never will, so shifting is just part of the routine for me. Winter time, I feel safer knowing I can gear down through some poorly plowed intersections, and avoid some of the idiots stuck there. Why, yes, people have shot and killed each other over parking spaces here in the winter!

/Farkette
 
2012-05-02 06:37:56 AM  

AbbeySomeone: libranoelrose: unlikely: I have never owned a car with an automatic transmission. It doesn't feel like I'm in control of the car with those things.

Same here.

How can you feel you're not in control? Start the car and put your foot on the gas pedal.


Because with a manual transmission you actually feel the engine-road reaction in the car in a much deeper way than in an automatic. You also can operate the car in a more fuel-efficient manner if you want, or in a more aggressive manner.

God Is My Co-Pirate: fark right off with that sexist shiat, subby. I learned to drive a manual while pregnant.

/that sounds like quite the euphemism


I see that we have Thomas Beatie here today. Sorry 'bout the breakup,. Bro.
 
2012-05-02 06:38:20 AM  
My current car is a manual (WRX) and wouldn't have it any other way. When I drive my wife's automatic, I tend to zone out more, like I'm just a passenger. Of course, I tend to drive my car a bit more aggressively because of it. It's just more fun to heel-toe downshift, etc.

If I lived in a big city like LA or really hilly like San Fran, no way in hell I'd have a manual. As it is, in the medium size midwestern town I live near now, road construction thru town can put a serious cramp in the clutch leg.
 
2012-05-02 06:38:51 AM  

GGracie: Fark you subby!

I'm a redheaded brunette farkette with large breasts that can drive a stick shift in circles around your dumb sexist ass!


And I can change a tire and do maintenance on my own car, too. Have done many, many times.
 
2012-05-02 06:39:47 AM  

Pert: According to a stat I just found on the internet (so may not be true) 84% of cars in the UK have manual transmission.


Probably true. Most of the cars here are manual. Probably because petrol is so expensive here.
 
2012-05-02 06:43:22 AM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: If you can't drive a manual transmission, you don't know how to drive, IMO.


And if you don't know how to mill your own flour, you don't really know how to bake, right?

Also, I can't drive a manual AND text on my phone at the same time, so screw your manual transmission.
 
2012-05-02 06:44:05 AM  

DarkVader: Given how good computer control and dual-clutch automatic gearboxes are, there's no reason for manual transmissions to be built anymore. The computer is better at shifting than you are. Really. And the dual-clutch boxes don't have the lossy torque converters, so gas mileage/power to wheels is actually better than a stick. You CAN'T shift as fast as the computer. You CAN'T shift as smoothly as the computer. And you are NOT more in control of the car. The limitations of the stick mean that the car is more in control of you.

/Yes, I can drive a stick just fine, thanks.
//And yes, a stick is in many ways better than a hydraulic slushbox.


I understand what you're saying about computers being able to shift better than humans, but manuals are still more responsive to the whims of the driver overall. I've been let down driving automatics doing things like quick bursts of acceleration in traffic and managing variable speeds on hills.
 
2012-05-02 06:46:05 AM  

ArcadianRefugee: ecmoRandomNumbers: If you can't drive a manual transmission, you don't know how to drive, IMO.

And if you don't know how to mill your own flour, you don't really know how to bake, right?

Also, I can't drive a manual AND text on my phone at the same time, so screw your manual transmission.


heh
 
2012-05-02 06:46:36 AM  
I've driven an '87 Honda CRX, an '87 VW Golf, an '88 Mustang, a '99 Mazda 626, an '04 Explorer, and an '06 Kia Sorento. The only automatic was the Explorer, and I had a huge sense of relief when I got back into the manual Kia. I don't care if it makes me a dolt, a dinosaur, or a Luddite. I taught my husband to drive stick in Syracuse around hills (in the Golf, which was a pain in the ass for a newb). Both my kids will have to know how to drive one. I'm going to have a biatch of a time when it's time to give up the Sorento and try to find another 6-cyl, 4wd, manual small SUV.

/ride my ass if you want
//your brakes will go out 3x as fast as mine
///so will your heart
////freaking you out when I wait at a light on a hill without my brakes on - up, down, up, down
 
2012-05-02 06:48:39 AM  
DRTFT but anyone with a newer Subaru manual needs to think twice before berating auto enthusiasts. You likely have roll-back prevention. I.E. the car automatically engages the brakes if it senses you rolling backwards on a hill. And Subaru shifters are some of the smoothest I've ever dealt with. Try a Ford truck on for size if you think you're such a badass. Sloppy gearbox and almost NO clutch feel.

I do adhere to the idea that everyone should learn to drive a stick. But Goddamn if my left leg hasn't damn near fallen asleep in stop-and-go traffic here in Seattle's eastside.

TL:DR: Use whatever works for you.
 
2012-05-02 06:48:43 AM  

ArcadianRefugee: ecmoRandomNumbers: If you can't drive a manual transmission, you don't know how to drive, IMO.

And if you don't know how to mill your own flour, you don't really know how to bake, right?

Also, I can't drive a manual AND text on my phone at the same time, so screw your manual transmission.


I can text or talk on the phone and enjoy my Starbucks all whilst driving a manual. It's not all that difficult. The only place where I'd consider not having a manual is if we moved back to a city that had traffic. Mostly because replacing clutches sucks (and yes, I do my own work on my vehicles).
 
2012-05-02 06:49:22 AM  

ghare: You'd have to be a dolt to buy a manual transmission these days.


Bless your heart.
 
2012-05-02 06:54:03 AM  

LordBollocks: Probably true. Most of the cars here are manual. Probably because petrol is so expensive here.


I know that. I live here.

Costs me about £85 to fill up my Saab these days and I get about 350 miles town or 490 miles of motorway driving for that.

Woohoo.....
 
2012-05-02 06:55:31 AM  

ronaprhys: I can text or talk on the phone and enjoy my Starbucks all whilst driving a manual.


Not sure if trolling, joking or pants-on-head moron.
 
2012-05-02 06:55:35 AM  
Drive what you want. Just remember to enjoy the ride.
 
2012-05-02 06:56:08 AM  
We've never voluntarily purchased anything but manuals. As we're starting to look for a new ride now, the biggest problem isn't just the shortage of manuals (some car makers don't offer them at ANY level), but that as you add on options, at some level you can't get a manual any more. The prevailing assumption, even among those automakers who still include manual transmission options, is that someone who wants a sunroof, power seats, or a nav system couldn't possibly be interested in working a clutch......
 
2012-05-02 06:56:24 AM  

ArcadianRefugee: I can't drive a manual AND text on my phone at the same time, so screw your manual transmission.


Not sure if trolling, joking or pants-on-head moron.
 
2012-05-02 06:57:56 AM  
Anyone else here ever shift without using the clutch and not realize they did it until about a minute later? I heel-toe every chance I get. There's something about compression braking that auto-heads won't ever get, I'm afraid...
 
2012-05-02 07:02:17 AM  
A manual transmission cuts down on car theft. Fewer thieves can drive em and it's harder to pass them on.
 
2012-05-02 07:03:14 AM  
I had a hard time learning to drive a stick. So one day my husband came to where I work, dropped off the car with the stick and took my automatic home so I would be forced to drive the stick. It was actually easier to learn to drive it without someone looking like I was murdering his best friend everytime I ground the gears.
 
2012-05-02 07:05:38 AM  

foxyshadis: DarkVader: Given how good computer control and dual-clutch automatic gearboxes are, there's no reason for manual transmissions to be built anymore. The computer is better at shifting than you are. Really. And the dual-clutch boxes don't have the lossy torque converters, so gas mileage/power to wheels is actually better than a stick. You CAN'T shift as fast as the computer. You CAN'T shift as smoothly as the computer. And you are NOT more in control of the car. The limitations of the stick mean that the car is more in control of you.

/Yes, I can drive a stick just fine, thanks.
//And yes, a stick is in many ways better than a hydraulic slushbox.

CVT has rendered manual completely obsolete, other that the added weight and complexity (which are not negligible, but a worthwhile tradeoff). At any speed you can now ask the computer to rev up if you need to slow down more quickly or speed up in a hurry. The only problem right now is in the interfaces: The only cars with CVT either have no control at all over the RPM, or a stupid pseudo-gearing. You should have a tach throttle that you can pull back to continuously change the gear ratio until it's where you want it. THAT is control. Fiddling with gears is just liking what you grew up with.

Then again, electric cars might make all of this obsolete before manufacturers figure out how to make an interface.


Oh, you have the battery problem solved? No? You might want to look this up, then move on from your views about electric cars.
 
2012-05-02 07:05:54 AM  
Automatics are OK for daily commutes in traffic under normal conditions. That said there is yet to be an automatic transmission that can literally watch the road and see the conditions ahead. Snow, Ice, or even heavy rain make driving an automatic a nightmare on anything other than a flat straight road.

I still love the mid 80s and early 90s VW vans with manuals. You may not be the fastest thing on the road but you can haul almost anything you want, drive up a 45 degree slope (low gear is amazing in those things), you have almost a foot of ground clearance for fording streams and giant puddles or driving in snow, they had a manual differential lock for the days when ice is REALLY bad on the roads, 4WD for fun off road, an extremely durable clutch (you can get well over 150,000 miles out of one), and amazingly enough they can pull a 180 and power slide through wet corners if you know what you are doing.

I've driven those things through ice and snow when there were very few other cars on the road and some of those were all over the place and in at least one case I saw the guy behind me try to turn but his car just went straight across the intersection and into the ditch.
 
2012-05-02 07:09:42 AM  
So does this put manual drivers in the same club as those who think analog audio is better than digital?
 
2012-05-02 07:09:49 AM  

Pert: ronaprhys: I can text or talk on the phone and enjoy my Starbucks all whilst driving a manual.

Not sure if trolling, joking or pants-on-head moron.


May I assume you do nothing but sit in a cone of silence and concentrate on the road, always being sure to keep the big picture in mind, driving in the right lane with the hazards on? That you never talk to anyone while driving (talking on a phone or talking to someone in the car is just as distracting, no?), never listen to the radio lest it distract you from the task at hand.

Or is it that you're just not smart nor skilled enough to do more than one thing at a time. Rub the belly and pat the head, biatch.
 
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