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(Jalopnik)   A manual transmission is the only real way to drive and the author of this article needs to deal with it   (jalopnik.com) divider line 396
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20434 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Oct 2012 at 1:09 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-22 01:46:57 AM  
Any moron can learn to drive stick. But it takes a special kind of moron to take any pride in an accomplishment of that particular magnitude.

Notice I didn't say you shouldn't have an opinion, or that there aren't reasons to prefer manual to automatic. And we could have a nice gearheady conversation about relative fuel efficiency and maintenance costs all day long. But that's where most of the frothy rage comes from in stick-threads. People whose major life accomplishment is being trivialized.
 
2012-10-22 01:46:59 AM  
And by wrong, the Germans saw fit to remove the flappy-paddle assery from their R1, re-releasing it in 2012 with... a proper gearshift.
 
2012-10-22 01:47:05 AM  

fusillade762: Metalupis: I really don't get people who think driving needs to be an "experience" I want a vehicle to safely and reliably carry me from point a to point b, that's it, I can drive a manual but at this point I prefer an automatic

We're Americans, we demand that everything be a thrill-a-minute death-defying joyride!


You do realize automatics outsell sticks by a wide margin here, right?
 
2012-10-22 01:47:15 AM  
Ah, the Manual Transmission Taliban is well represented at Fark tonight.

I love being told I don't enjoy driving my car as much as someone with a stick does. Congrats on your fondness for playing with the cars dink. I see it's merits - but much like MMA they're overstated and utterly homoerotic. I can see the performance loss in older gearboxes, but the majority of modern "go" cars run best with autos - even the premium vehicles default to 6-7-8 speed dual clutch autos to achieve max performance. It's (manuals) not just dying because people are lazy (and they are) but because they're out-teched.

To each their own.
 
2012-10-22 01:47:45 AM  

sirrerun: fusillade762: Metalupis: I really don't get people who think driving needs to be an "experience" I want a vehicle to safely and reliably carry me from point a to point b, that's it, I can drive a manual but at this point I prefer an automatic

We're Americans, we demand that everything be a thrill-a-minute death-defying joyride!


You do realize automatics outsell sticks by a wide margin here, right?


*inb4 millions of women drivers*
 
2012-10-22 01:47:55 AM  
Jalopnik successfully troll their own readership.
 
2012-10-22 01:48:05 AM  
I don't find that driving a manual in heavy traffic is that much of a bother. God forbid I have to use my calf muscles for something.

Okay, on a steep hill in heavy traffic it's a little annoying. But that's less than 0.1% of the driving I do and the other 99.9% of the time I farking love my stick-shift. I hate being forced to drive a slushbox.
 
2012-10-22 01:48:08 AM  
Capitalize Every Word Of Your Headline In Order To Give It That Extra Thrust Of Validity
 
2012-10-22 01:49:56 AM  
I've been driving a manual transmission for three years now. I don't know how I ever thought driving with a slushbox was fun. Except maybe when there's gridlock on the Bay Bridge, but that's about it. It's a handy skill to know regardless of what your driving preferences are.
 
2012-10-22 01:51:33 AM  
Meh. I have a manual right now. I'd rather have an automatic. My car is a vehicle and means, not a source of joy.


Shadow Blasko: Flappy paddles are an abomination, not unlike white chocolate, and should be met with disdain at every opportunity.


I used to think you were pretty cool. :(
 
2012-10-22 01:51:41 AM  

Ehcks: So, I don't race, I dislike driving in general, and high speeds in particular.

Is a manual transmission for me?


Yes.
 
2012-10-22 01:52:33 AM  
AAA may well be the most useless program I ever signed up for. If I wasn't waiting four hours for a tow because my fuel lines froze up, they were towing me and my broken clutch cable OUT of an AAA garage to another garage because they didn't want to deal with it. For the record, that's "out of the garage within walking distance of my apartment, to one far enough away that they charged me for the tow and I needed to take a cab home." Best as I can tell, they aren't even remotely interested in cars and are just a place to throw money into. At least with World of Warcraft I get a video game out of it.

I have no preference for manual or automatic; I bought a stick shift because it was $1,200 cheaper than the same model car with an automatic, but was worried that I'd come to loathe the stick shift in about six months and would ultimately hate the car. Three years later, that stick shift is the only thing I LIKE about the car; the rest of it is a piece of crap. A stick shift, by itself, does not an awesome sporty fun vehicle make.

People who say "that's not driving, that's steering" risk being slapped for a snob by me; I usually ask them how eager they are to go back to typewriters, dial-up modems, VCR's, or dial phones on party exchanges. It seems to be mostly Australians who feel this way, though. To me, a stick shift is something that makes the car feel like a toy and gives an illusion of power from the driver to the engine, but my car starts to whine at about 2500 RPMs, so it's not fooling me one bit.
 
2012-10-22 01:52:35 AM  

starsrift: Meh. I have a manual right now. I'd rather have an automatic. My car is a vehicle and means, not a source of joy.


Shadow Blasko: Flappy paddles are an abomination, not unlike white chocolate, and should be met with disdain at every opportunity.

I used to think you were pretty cool. :(


No cocoa, not chocolate.

;)
 
2012-10-22 01:53:24 AM  
I bought a car with a stick because a manual transmission generally gives you better gas mileage. It's less costly to repair than an automatic, and, it pretty much doubles as a built-in anti-theft device.
 
2012-10-22 01:54:46 AM  

Shadowknight: You must live in a sad, sad place if you can't stop someone and ask for a jump. Last time I need one (movie theater double feature, stupidly left my lights on), all I had to do is ask a lady if I could get a jump.


A valid point, but.. sadly, I know I'll never ask a stranger for a jump start again.

A friend of mine was shot and killed this May for doing that in a pretty nice community outside of Atlanta this year.

Just knocked on a door, and took a shot in the chest.

Stupid stupid world sometimes. He was one of the nicest people you would ever hope to meet.
 
2012-10-22 01:55:08 AM  
Well the limp-wristed froot brigade showed up for this in force, didn't they?
 
2012-10-22 01:55:35 AM  

Shadowknight: doglover: Shadowknight: Bonzo_1116: Everybody is forgetting the true value of a manual transmission: roll-starting a car with a dead battery.

Automatics are f*cked. Enjoy your tasty towing bill to the nearest PepBoys.

Or keep a $10 pair of jumper cables under your seat?

Whatcha gonna jump from, cowboy? The static in your pleather interior.

If you need another car to stop and help you, might as well not even have the cables.

You must live in a sad, sad place if you can't stop someone and ask for a jump. Last time I need one (movie theater double feature, stupidly left my lights on), all I had to do is ask a lady if I could get a jump.

It took less than two minutes, she was on her way, and I drove home with no radio. Wasn't a huge inconvenience. Besides, if you're stuck on the side of some dark country road with a mysteriously dead battery... yeah, I guess a rolling start is a great thing to have access to. But it's a pretty weirdly specific scenario to base your driving habits off.


Pennyslvania, middle of the woods. If you can find a jump.

Personally never had a dead battey. But a rolling start is just one of many options you have with a manual. Automatics are fairly blah, and they increase your risk of sleeping at the wheel by a lot, because you ain't doin' half the stuff you do when you're driving a stick.
 
2012-10-22 01:57:22 AM  
My last 4 vehicles have been manual transmissions and I love the feel of it.

My latest car has every option in it, just like it's automatic counterpart.

It's not about being able to shift slightly faster with an SMG or an Automatic. It's about the enjoyment of pressing in the clutch, downshifting two gears and taking that turn as only you know how.

Plus I've never ever had a transmission problem with a manual car. No overheating issues, not a thing. Beat on the clutch and it will have to be replaced but treat it well and it will never break on you.

I do lament that fact that it getting harder and harder and find the kind of cars I want in stick. Every few years when I get a new car it gets harder and harder to find what I want. sigh.
 
2012-10-22 01:59:42 AM  
I want to have sex with a car.

Tonight.
 
2012-10-22 02:00:28 AM  

Shadow Blasko: starsrift: Meh. I have a manual right now. I'd rather have an automatic. My car is a vehicle and means, not a source of joy.


Shadow Blasko: Flappy paddles are an abomination, not unlike white chocolate, and should be met with disdain at every opportunity.

I used to think you were pretty cool. :(

No cocoa, not chocolate.

;)


White chocolate is alright in certain instances, but you're right, it's just not chocolate.

And things on the steering wheel are much better in theory than in practice. I changed my radio channel twice yesterday just taking a couple turns.
 
2012-10-22 02:00:29 AM  
One of my favorite things about my RX-8 is that if you wanted an automatic transmission, you got punished for it.

197 hp for the auto, and 238 hp for the manuals.
 
2012-10-22 02:02:46 AM  

Luthien's Tempest: And things on the steering wheel are much better in theory than in practice. I changed my radio channel twice yesterday just taking a couple turns.


I'm a habitual steering wheel drummer when singing along in the car... and it does annoy me greatly when I change stations or songs on the cd when I hit the steering wheel buttons.

I much prefer Jeep's way of doing it, with the audio control buttons on the back of the steering wheel in the 10/2 position. (Then again, the Jeep is an automatic, so ... there you go)
 
2012-10-22 02:03:07 AM  
This is the silliest flamewar ever.

/doesn't know how to drive stick
//wants to learn, though
 
2012-10-22 02:04:33 AM  

Shadow Blasko: No cocoa, not chocolate.

;)


Yabut, DELICIOUS.
 
2012-10-22 02:05:11 AM  
My car is manual, my bicycle is fixed gear.

It's all about that feel. You can take your time trials and statistics and techno-chauvinism, but I will ALWAYS prefer the experience that comes from a purely mechanical connection between human and machine.

When I drive automatic, the car simply doesn't respond like I want it to. When I drive my brother's new fangled DCT, it still doesn't respond like I want it to, despite perhaps producing superior track performance.

There is no substitute for being mentally and physically involved in the workings of your machine.
 
2012-10-22 02:05:24 AM  

Shadow Blasko: One of my favorite things about my RX-8 is that if you wanted an automatic transmission, you got punished for it.

197 hp for the auto, and 238 hp for the manuals.


Interesting. I wonder why Mazda did that.

When the GF and I were shopping for her (she is also a manual enthusiast), 3 different dealers asked her why she wanted a manual and then proceeded to tell us about how getting better gas mileage with a manual was no longer the case.

I found it interesting in the sense we've gone from mindset of manual transmissions being a pleasurable experience of driving to one that is chosen purely for economics.
 
2012-10-22 02:06:06 AM  

DPXFP2: When I drive automatic, the car simply doesn't respond like I want it to. When I drive my brother's new fangled DCT, it still doesn't respond like I want it to, despite perhaps producing superior track performance.

There is no substitute for being mentally and physically involved in the workings of your machine.


A 1000 times this.
 
2012-10-22 02:09:10 AM  

GreatPenguin: This is the silliest flamewar ever.

/doesn't know how to drive stick
//wants to learn, though


It's fun to drive and almost everyone I've taught now drives manuals!
 
2012-10-22 02:09:11 AM  
Ah, two of my great loves: Fark and Jalop. Together as one, like peanut butter and chocolate. Amidst this fog of flinging refuse old and new, I inhale deeply. Technology v. tradition. It's a story as old as time.

This, my friends, is a good day.

Fark on, Jalops. Fark on, Farkers. You are all welcome here.
 
2012-10-22 02:09:29 AM  

SlappyKincaid: Shadow Blasko: One of my favorite things about my RX-8 is that if you wanted an automatic transmission, you got punished for it.

197 hp for the auto, and 238 hp for the manuals.

Interesting. I wonder why Mazda did that.

When the GF and I were shopping for her (she is also a manual enthusiast), 3 different dealers asked her why she wanted a manual and then proceeded to tell us about how getting better gas mileage with a manual was no longer the case.

I found it interesting in the sense we've gone from mindset of manual transmissions being a pleasurable experience of driving to one that is chosen purely for economics.


According to Mazda, the automatic simply could not handle the rpm issues from an engine that redlines at 9.5K on a regular basis without shredding themselves, so the engines for the automatics were tuned down and given a 7.5K redline.
 
2012-10-22 02:09:46 AM  

doglover: they increase your risk of sleeping at the wheel by a lot


I drove for three hours straight on the 5 once in a manual car, and I was able to stay in 5th gear the entire time. I'm pretty sure the transmission in the car isn't going to make you more or less likely to fall asleep while driving.
 
2012-10-22 02:10:07 AM  

peasandcarrots: AAA may well be the most useless program I ever signed up for.


I've gotten my 60 bucks/yr worth every year since I signed on.

I drive really used vehicles and usually have one stall with a free tow home at least once a year and with the 10% off hotel stays, it really adds up, even given the cheap assed shiat-holes I treat myself to while on the road.

If your company pays for your stays and you drive a newer car though, I can see how it'd be a waste of money.

Those folks keep my prices down though, and isnt that what matters most?
 
2012-10-22 02:10:53 AM  
FTA: "For a long, long time, a manual gearbox was the best way to do just that, to be the fastest.

It just isn't the case anymore. Times have changed, and we enthusiasts need to adapt to it as well."


Where has this guy been? Paddle shifters have been around for almost two decades (Ferrari 355), sequential in racing before that (which usually don't require a clutch except for the initial launch).

The racing world has been trying to use "automatics" for decades (see Jim Hall's attempt with the Chaparral in the 70's). Mostly they were too heavy and unreliable, not slower as the author implies.

The absolute fastest way around a race track will someday be having a computer doing all the work. What fun would that be? Might as well just go on a roller-coaster.
 
2012-10-22 02:11:35 AM  

Shadow Blasko:
According to Mazda, the automatic simply could not handle the rpm issues from an engine that redlines at 9.5K on a regular basis without shredding themselves, so the engines for the automatics were tuned down and given a 7.5K redline.


Is the RX-8 a rotary engine? What you're saying sounds like a rotary problem to me.

I know the RX-7 was but I thought they stopped production on that technology.
 
2012-10-22 02:11:50 AM  

themindiswatching: doglover: they increase your risk of sleeping at the wheel by a lot

I drove for three hours straight on the 5 once in a manual car, and I was able to stay in 5th gear the entire time. I'm pretty sure the transmission in the car isn't going to make you more or less likely to fall asleep while driving.


I drove across Nebraska in one gear when I broke the clutch cable on my old 1990 acura integra.

/That car is still running (as far as I know.. up to July of this year) at 650,000 miles. Sold her to a kid on my block when I got my RX-8
 
2012-10-22 02:14:36 AM  
Basically, if my current car has transmission problems too, I'm going to put serious thought into driving only manual cars from now on.

/replaced two transmissions in my Honda Accord before selling it and getting a GTI with DSG transmission.

Shadow Blasko: I drove across Nebraska in one gear when I broke the clutch cable on my old 1990 acura integra.

/That car is still running (as far as I know.. up to July of this year) at 650,000 miles. Sold her to a kid on my block when I got my RX-8


Nice. I almost got the RX-8, but didn't like how the gas mileage is worse than the car I was replacing.
 
2012-10-22 02:15:23 AM  

SlappyKincaid: Shadow Blasko:
According to Mazda, the automatic simply could not handle the rpm issues from an engine that redlines at 9.5K on a regular basis without shredding themselves, so the engines for the automatics were tuned down and given a 7.5K redline.

Is the RX-8 a rotary engine? What you're saying sounds like a rotary problem to me.

I know the RX-7 was but I thought they stopped production on that technology.


Yes it is/was

The RX-8 Renesis is most likely the last rotary that Mazda will make.

The minute amounts of oil that the rotary burns as a nature of its design mean that it will not pass 2015 EU emissions standards, or the 2018 Japanese standards, so there will be no market for it.

They are still widely used in small aircraft and heavily used in off road truck racing, but as a power plant for a production vehicle... they are pretty much done.

The last RX-8 was made for the Japan market with a Hydrogen burning rotary, but the horsepower was only 1/2 what the gasoline version made, so it failed pretty miserably.
 
2012-10-22 02:16:40 AM  
I prefer a manual.

If you prefer an auto, good for you, wish manufacturers would make both available for all interesting vehicles.
 
2012-10-22 02:18:15 AM  

themindiswatching: Basically, if my current car has transmission problems too, I'm going to put serious thought into driving only manual cars from now on.

/replaced two transmissions in my Honda Accord before selling it and getting a GTI with DSG transmission.



I've had both automatics and manuals and I've never had a single problem with a manual transmission... except for a blown clutch on one which was completely my own jackass fault.
 
2012-10-22 02:20:07 AM  

gunther_bumpass: Well the limp-wristed froot brigade showed up for this in force, didn't they?


Yeah no kidding. They think shifting a gear is some kind of macho rite of passage. Some people have a lot of time on their hands. While driving.
 
2012-10-22 02:21:23 AM  

SlappyKincaid: I've had both automatics and manuals and I've never had a single problem with a manual transmission... except for a blown clutch on one which was completely my own jackass fault.


Yeah, clutches are definitely way less expensive to replace than entire transmissions. The DSG in my car needs fluid changes every 40k miles, but from what I've read they're pretty much bulletproof.
 
2012-10-22 02:21:29 AM  
I have an automatic transmission. I also don't start my car by turning a crank because we have a device that does that for us so we don't have to do it ourselves anymore.

SCIENCE!
 
2012-10-22 02:22:08 AM  

themindiswatching: doglover: they increase your risk of sleeping at the wheel by a lot

I drove for three hours straight on the 5 once in a manual car, and I was able to stay in 5th gear the entire time. I'm pretty sure the transmission in the car isn't going to make you more or less likely to fall asleep while driving.


3 hours straight in 5th?

Where were you? We have these things called hills...
 
2012-10-22 02:23:00 AM  
One thing that automatic has over manual is that if your wrists are farked up from multiple bouts of tendinitis, you can still drive relatively comfortably.

As for my own personal preference... is the car in good shape, get decent MPG, and get me where I need to go with minimal bother? Then I wouldn't care if it was auto or stick.

/sticking to auto, though
//yeah, my wrists do suck
 
2012-10-22 02:26:19 AM  

Shadow Blasko:

Yes it is/was

The RX-8 Renesis is most likely the last rotary that Mazda will make.

The minute amounts of oil that the rotary burns as a nature of its design mean that it will not pass 2015 EU emissions standards, or the 2018 Japanese standards, so there will be no market for it.

They are still widely used in small aircraft and heavily used in off road truck racing, but as a power plant for a production vehicle... they are pretty much done.

The last RX-8 was made for the Japan market with a Hydrogen burning rotary, but the horsepower was only 1/2 what the gasoline version made, so it failed pretty miserably.



Wankel had an excellent concept (great power for such a compact design) but I just don't think that engine is built to last. They're just not sealed right. They never got that right.

It's a shame really. I liked the RX-7 and I know little about the RX-8 other than it's aesthetically pleasing to me.
 
2012-10-22 02:26:23 AM  

STRYPERSWINE: I have an automatic transmission. I also don't start my car by turning a crank because we have a device that does that for us so we don't have to do it ourselves anymore.

SCIENCE!


Kill yourself now with strychnine and save $100,000s in food, clothing, taxes, etc! You'll be absolutely rich!

SCIENCE!
 
2012-10-22 02:27:40 AM  

doglover: themindiswatching: doglover: they increase your risk of sleeping at the wheel by a lot

I drove for three hours straight on the 5 once in a manual car, and I was able to stay in 5th gear the entire time. I'm pretty sure the transmission in the car isn't going to make you more or less likely to fall asleep while driving.

3 hours straight in 5th?

Where were you? We have these things called hills...


Sounds like the Central Valley. There's no reason to stop between the GrapeVine and Los Banos, unless you really need to pick up hitchhikers in Coalinga
 
2012-10-22 02:28:19 AM  

doglover: Where were you? We have these things called hills...


California's Central Valley is pretty much Kansas.
 
2012-10-22 02:28:49 AM  
If I may be so bold, allow me a few seconds for an alternate opinion.

Look at these:

image.off-roadweb.com

Know what those are? Those are the Clutch Packs out of an automatic transmission. They are designed to sacrifice themselves in order for an automatic transmission to work. And on modern cars with gentle shifting automatics, this is accomplished by allowing these packs to slip more and tear apart more friction material each time.

In a Manual Transmission that is driven properly, the only two real maintenance items that you will incur over time are a worn clutch plate, and a gear oil change for the transmission. The oil change is of course no different than an engine oil change, and when the clutch on a manual wears out, all one needs to do is simply drop the trans out, install a new clutch and flywheel (if not able to resurface), and then just replace the transmission. TA DA! that's it!

Now when an automatic wears out because the clutch material as you can see above that is in it breaks down, you have to actually REBUILD the entire damn thing! That also is not counting the continual maintenance of replacing the transmission filter. Oh, and God forbid the transmission overheats because of towing or some other inadequate cooling issue, you've just destroyed the entire thing. Overheating isn't any concern at all in a manual.

Busting out a couple of quarters to play Devil's Advocate here, what if the motivation by car manufacturers to force more consumers into purchasing automatic transmissions is simply another form of "Planned Obsolescence" to help vehicles break down quicker, and drive up dealer revenues by extra maintenance service costs that a consumer has to bear when purchasing a vehicle?

Certainly vehicles today are more "reliable" for someone who isn't mechanically inclined, but between Automatic Transmission services, Diesel exhaust fluids, and even occasionally having to visit a dealer to reset a check engine light for a loose gas cap or to program a new key, they sure as hell are getting more expensive to operate...
 
2012-10-22 02:29:17 AM  

themindiswatching: .

Yeah, clutches are definitely way less expensive to replace than entire transmissions. The DSG in my car needs fluid changes every 40k miles, but from what I've read they're pretty much bulletproof.


Indeed. I think that clutch cost me like $500-700 to replace. It was on a 2002 camaro and I drove that thing like an idiot. Since then I've never had a clutch go out on me or even come close and I like sporty cars and really pushing it. Though I did have an SUV in stick for a while. That was a different world entirely.
 
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