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(Wired)   Ford introduces vibrating shifter to teach people how to drive a stick, get more women interested in buying cars with manual transmissions   (wired.com) divider line 67
    More: Interesting, manual transmission, shifters, Ford Focus, computing platform, LED panels, real-time data, levers, fuel efficient  
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2117 clicks; posted to Business » on 28 Jul 2013 at 10:28 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-28 03:15:24 AM  
Manual transmissions are better. Period. End of story. Yes, yes, we know. Sequential and dual-clutch transmissions change gears faster than any mortal possibly can, which is why even Porsche - Porsche - ...But unless your name is Sebastian Vettel or Sebastian Loeb, driving isn't about putting down the fastest time. It's about having the most fun. And on that score, flicking a lever always beats squeezing a paddle.

I'm not sure which is smaller, the author's dick or the author's brain.
 
2013-07-28 03:25:23 AM  
Didn't Ford also install those Idiot Lights in their manual cars so you had a light flashing at you telling you to shift? No thanks.

I do just fine in my old manual Subaru and 4WD. That car does amazing stuff in 4L in winter.
 
2013-07-28 03:53:01 AM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: Didn't Ford also install those Idiot Lights in their manual cars so you had a light flashing at you telling you to shift? No thanks.

I do just fine in my old manual Subaru and 4WD. That car does amazing stuff in 4L in winter.


LOTS of vehicles have idiot lamps. Maybe more than don't?

I like a stick shift, they're fun.

But for control, especially in snow, I (personal opinion) take an automatic with 4wd or awd and a set of blizzaks any day of the week.

/what Subaru did you have? I thought they all had AWD, not 4w?
 
2013-07-28 03:58:50 AM  

MurphyMurphy: ecmoRandomNumbers: Didn't Ford also install those Idiot Lights in their manual cars so you had a light flashing at you telling you to shift? No thanks.

I do just fine in my old manual Subaru and 4WD. That car does amazing stuff in 4L in winter.

LOTS of vehicles have idiot lamps. Maybe more than don't?

I like a stick shift, they're fun.

But for control, especially in snow, I (personal opinion) take an automatic with 4wd or awd and a set of blizzaks any day of the week.

/what Subaru did you have? I thought they all had AWD, not 4w?


87 Subaru Wagon with selective 4WD. It's 2WD unless you shift into 4H or 4L. Keeps the fuel consumption down somewhat.
 
2013-07-28 10:00:36 AM  
Nothing like shifting up and down every 10l seconds while stuck in traffic.
 
2013-07-28 10:16:39 AM  
First scan of the headline made that 'f'  in "shifter" look like another 't'

/I was quite puzzled for a moment
 
2013-07-28 10:42:42 AM  
This is stupid.

The stick part is the EASY part of driving a manual.

Give people some sort of feedback signal when you've pushed the clutch far enough (but not too far) into the proper engagement depth when getting into 1st gear from a stop.
 
2013-07-28 10:42:44 AM  
Generally speaking, manual transmissions give you better mileage as well.
 
2013-07-28 10:52:10 AM  
April 1st?

nnno.
 
2013-07-28 10:53:10 AM  

ajgeek: Generally speaking, manual transmissions give you better mileage as well.


That's not really the case nearly as often as you'd think these days. Maybe on real entry-level econoboxes that don't have CVTs for some reason, but in general the autos and CVTs have caught or surpassed manuals.

I have a Subaru Legacy 4cyl manual. The CVT transmission I test drove sucked horribly, though it supposedly gets better MPG than the manual. The paddle shifted auto in the 6cyl car was really nice, I just didn't want to give up on driving manual just yet.
 
kab
2013-07-28 11:19:11 AM  
Driving a stick isn't farking rocket surgery, and needs to stop being treated as some difficult, arcane skill.   If someone isn't able to grasp the concept in about 15-20 minutes with someone teaching them in a safe environment, then I question whether they should have a license to begin with.

Who am I kidding, we have cars that make up for people who can't even parallel park.
 
2013-07-28 11:48:01 AM  
It's no longer about competence.  The technology has simply been surpassed.
 
2013-07-28 12:03:19 PM  

kab: Driving a stick isn't farking rocket surgery, and needs to stop being treated as some difficult, arcane skill.   If someone isn't able to grasp the concept in about 15-20 minutes with someone teaching them in a safe environment, then I question whether they should have a license to begin with.

Who am I kidding, we have cars that make up for people who can't even parallel park.


I don't think that's a skill people even need much any more. I guess it depends on where you live, but I haven't parallel parked a car since I took my drivers test in 1980.
 
2013-07-28 12:05:48 PM  
My grandmother's Renault had a manual choke lever. All of you people driving with automatic chokes (or worse, fuel injection) are missing out on an essential part of the driving experience. You're just so much more connected to the car when you are manually controlling its fuel/air ratio.
 
2013-07-28 12:07:16 PM  
I like shifting.  It's part of the fun and/or tactile feedback of driving.  And nobody ever wants to borrow my car.  Including thieves.

In 20 years we'll have self-directing pods, which will be no fun whatsoever.
 
2013-07-28 12:09:40 PM  
There's nothing wildly hard about it (presumably).  Over 1.5 billion complete idiots on earth can drive manual transmission cars.  It's how, in a country where 98% of cars are automatics and drivers ed classes are designed to be as fast and cursory as possible, can someone get a opportunity to learn.  I don't know a single person who owns one, haven't been in one for years, and none of the four used car lots near me has one for sale.

Chevy ran a promotion last year called "stay clutch".  They invited people who wanted to learn stick to submit Youtube videos begging for the chance.  They got over a thousand entries.  They picked four people and gave them lessons.  Four.  Could have had a thousand new stick drivers... but... nah... too much work.
 
2013-07-28 12:12:40 PM  

Ivo Shandor: You're just so much more connected to the car when you are manually controlling its fuel/air ratio.


Computers aren't any fun unless you're manually toggling in the bootstrap code on the front panel.
 
2013-07-28 12:31:57 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: Didn't Ford also install those Idiot Lights in their manual cars so you had a light flashing at you telling you to shift? No thanks.

I do just fine in my old manual Subaru and 4WD. That car does amazing stuff in 4L in winter.


An '87? Damn, and I thought I was obnoxious for still driving my '93 Impreza wagon (254k, original clutch). I had an '89 wagon and 4L would take me everywhere, no questions asked. AWD drive is nice but I miss the flexibility of shifting between 2 and 4.
 
2013-07-28 12:34:34 PM  
I thought all Ford transmissions rattled already.
 
2013-07-28 01:00:15 PM  

Tax Boy: This is stupid.

The stick part is the EASY part of driving a manual.

Give people some sort of feedback signal when you've pushed the clutch far enough (but not too far) into the proper engagement depth when getting into 1st gear from a stop.


Well... they kind of do. It's called the "not grinding" noise.
 
2013-07-28 01:02:36 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: Didn't Ford also install those Idiot Lights in their manual cars so you had a light flashing at you telling you to shift? No thanks.


I had an "upshift" light on the dash of my Saab ('91 SPG). That is, I had it for as long as it took to look up which fuse controlled it.
 
2013-07-28 01:13:56 PM  
This thread is useless with pics of girls with car parts in their hoohahs
 
2013-07-28 01:15:39 PM  

Devolving_Spud: I like shifting.  It's part of the fun and/or tactile feedback of driving.  And nobody ever wants to borrow my car.  Including thieves.

In 20 years we'll have self-directing pods, which will be no fun whatsoever.


On the contrary, advertisers will see to it that those self-directing pods are mobile entertainment centers. No more driving drudgery! Just ads and infomercials and sponsored games forever!

/I'll still be driving a stick then, thankyouverymuch.
 
2013-07-28 01:16:45 PM  

MurphyMurphy: But for control, especially in snow, I (personal opinion) take an automatic with 4wd or awd and a set of blizzak


I like the manual with blizzaks because when it's slippery, I can just start in 2nd gear to keep from spinning out.
 
2013-07-28 02:21:11 PM  
::atomic face-palm::

You already get feedback that tells you when to shift! If you can't recognize that, you'll never learn to drive stick.
 
2013-07-28 02:54:13 PM  

ajgeek: Generally speaking, manual transmissions give you better mileage as well.


Not really anymore, Stick no longer have any PRACTICAL advantage.

They may be cooler, and you may be able to pop the clutch from time-to-time but you aren't really getting anything of actual substance from a stick these days.

/Modern clutches with syncros are bullshiat! Everyone should double clutch!
 
2013-07-28 02:59:09 PM  
1.bp.blogspot.com
/Hot, like the radiator she gets on the freeway in low gear.
 
2013-07-28 03:21:25 PM  

ghare: ajgeek: Generally speaking, manual transmissions give you better mileage as well.

Not really anymore, Stick no longer have any PRACTICAL advantage.

They may be cooler, and you may be able to pop the clutch from time-to-time but you aren't really getting anything of actual substance from a stick these days.

/Modern clutches with syncros are bullshiat! Everyone should double clutch!


The automatics are tuned to get better mileage on government tests. In the real world, it's not so clear.
 
2013-07-28 04:27:20 PM  

bingethinker: ghare: ajgeek: Generally speaking, manual transmissions give you better mileage as well.

Not really anymore, Stick no longer have any PRACTICAL advantage.

They may be cooler, and you may be able to pop the clutch from time-to-time but you aren't really getting anything of actual substance from a stick these days.

/Modern clutches with syncros are bullshiat! Everyone should double clutch!

The automatics are tuned to get better mileage on government tests. In the real world, it's not so clear.


In the real world, a stick beats a cvt or an auto. An auto can't see the hill in front of you. A CVT gearbox is so inefficient...

Maybe a stick driven like an asshole loses to a CVT driven reasonably or an automatic being hypermiled.
 
2013-07-28 04:28:12 PM  
I like my cars like I like my women...

WIth three pedals.
 
2013-07-28 04:28:29 PM  

doyner: I thought all Ford transmissions rattled already.


Yeah, they're designed to.
 
2013-07-28 04:44:35 PM  
ooo...I've seen that video...
 
2013-07-28 04:46:35 PM  

Goimir: In the real world, a stick beats a cvt or an auto. An auto can't see the hill in front of you. A CVT gearbox is so inefficient...


You can say it as often as you want, it's not going to magically become true. CVT and dual-clutch "automatics" get better mileage. You can press the argument that you can be Mr. SuperShifter in the manual to improve your MPG beyond the average, but you can nurse the CVT and auto as well to do the same in them.

There's little reason anymore outside fun factor to continue making manuals.
 
2013-07-28 05:40:57 PM  

skozlaw: Goimir: In the real world, a stick beats a cvt or an auto. An auto can't see the hill in front of you. A CVT gearbox is so inefficient...

You can say it as often as you want, it's not going to magically become true. CVT and dual-clutch "automatics" get better mileage. You can press the argument that you can be Mr. SuperShifter in the manual to improve your MPG beyond the average, but you can nurse the CVT and auto as well to do the same in them.

There's little reason anymore outside fun factor to continue making manuals.


Yep... I own a 12 year old manual with 120k and the original clutch, and I've owned a manual before. I am initiated. Still the manual I'm driving now will probably be my last. There's no reason to go out of my way to get a manual for my next commuter vehicle/grocery grabber. Autos are just too good nowadays
 
2013-07-28 06:00:17 PM  

Devolving_Spud: I like shifting.  It's part of the fun and/or tactile feedback of driving.  And nobody ever wants to borrow my car.  Including thieves.

In 20 years we'll have self-directing pods, which will be no fun whatsoever.


Driving shouldn't be looked on as fun, or an activity. It is a method of transport and should be treated as such and not lauded as some sort of extension of self.
 
2013-07-28 06:04:19 PM  
If you don't know when to shift you shouldn't be driving a manual.

It just always seemed obvious to me.  Having a tachometer helps, but you should be able to just feel it.

It won't matter in a few years.  According to some article linked here on Fark, manual transmissions are going to be obsolete soon.

I've never driven a car with a flappy paddle - I guess I may have to learn.  When that day comes, I'm sure I'm going to feel like Jeremy Clarkson is in the back seat laughing at me.
 
2013-07-28 06:16:00 PM  

milsorgen: Driving shouldn't be looked on as fun, or an activity. It is a method of transport and should be treated as such and not lauded as some sort of extension of self.


Bet you ride a bicycle everywhere...
 
2013-07-28 06:30:21 PM  

skozlaw: There's little reason anymore outside fun factor to continue making manuals.


People keep saying this, and I couldn't disagree more. I love the ability to control my velocity by downshifting.  I could care fark all about a few MPH here and there, I like having an additional method of controlling my velocity.  I'll never go back to driving an automatic if I can avoid it; it just doesn't feel right.

/YMMV
 
2013-07-28 06:39:51 PM  

born_yesterday: skozlaw: There's little reason anymore outside fun factor to continue making manuals.

People keep saying this, and I couldn't disagree more. I love the ability to control my velocity by downshifting.  I could care fark all about a few MPH here and there, I like having an additional method of controlling my velocity.  I'll never go back to driving an automatic if I can avoid it; it just doesn't feel right.

/YMMV


This is why I have one manual and one auto.  The manual for fun, the auto for DC farking traffic.
 
2013-07-28 06:56:45 PM  
In trucks the shifter vibrates constantly. You can hold it while driving and it feels like a cat constantly putting in your hand.

Still, it farks with me, as long as I drove a manual truck I kept flipping the range selector twice, so I ended up trying to start in 6th gear rather than 2nd. I got better at realizing what was wrong and correcting for it than simply only flipping the selector once. After a couple months I went to an automatic manual and now I drive a full automatic.

But that constantly vibrating shifter made me feel like the truck really was alive. Introduce that to passenger vehicles and you'll make another generation fall in love with manuals.
 
2013-07-28 07:10:20 PM  

baka-san: milsorgen: Driving shouldn't be looked on as fun, or an activity. It is a method of transport and should be treated as such and not lauded as some sort of extension of self.

Bet you ride a bicycle everywhere...


motorcycles are just for getting groceries (wink)
 
2013-07-28 07:35:23 PM  

born_yesterday: skozlaw: There's little reason anymore outside fun factor to continue making manuals.

People keep saying this, and I couldn't disagree more. I love the ability to control my velocity by downshifting.  I could care fark all about a few MPH here and there, I like having an additional method of controlling my velocity.  I'll never go back to driving an automatic if I can avoid it; it just doesn't feel right.

/YMMV


THIS.  Also, knowing how to drive a stick encourages more concentration on the road.  It also allowed me to take a part time job in college driving an antique store truck.  Dude paid in cash and I was done with work by 5PM on Saturday.

Will be teaching my son how to drive a manual this fall.
 
2013-07-28 07:39:34 PM  
I drive work trucks. Manual transmissions, maybe some air, that's it. No power anything, and I can fix almost anything that breaks.

I haven't driven an automatic in quite some time now, and don't miss it a bit. Plus, its a built in excuse..."Sorry, couldn't pick up the phone, I was driving. No, I couldn't read your text, I was driving. No, I can't call you, I'm driving!" Etc
 
2013-07-28 08:01:33 PM  
We learned to drive a stick by having mom take us to an empty parking lot in her Datsun B210. It's not rocket science; the car didn't even have tach. Starting on hills was a challenge and I managed to stall out on level ground, but both we and the car survived. Drove a stick until I broke my left heel 10 years ago and hope to get one in my next car, as I prefer them on hills.
 
2013-07-28 08:35:52 PM  

haywatchthis: Bet you ride a bicycle everywhere...

motorcycles are just for getting groceries (wink)


Thats what I tell my wife...

I take so long cause a ride reallllllll slow. ;)
 
2013-07-28 10:03:40 PM  

ajgeek: Generally speaking, manual transmissions give you better mileage as well.


Eh, I do t think that's true anymore. When I was shopping for a new car two years ago, most of the automatics were rated as having better MPG.
 
2013-07-28 10:35:03 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: Didn't Ford also install those Idiot Lights in their manual cars so you had a light flashing at you telling you to shift? No thanks.


My dad's '91 Pontiac Sunbird had an idiot light, but that's because it was such a cheap-ass car it didn't have a tachometer.
 
2013-07-28 11:32:08 PM  
Owned all manual transmission cars except for one and that one gave me the most problems. As long as they are available I will still drive them. I think the hardest part was learning to get the clutch into first gear from a stop. Other than that they have been the funnest to drive.

 I only wish the car companies would bring back the smaller trucks that got great gas mileage with a manual transmission and still haul stuff around in the bed.
 
2013-07-28 11:48:34 PM  

sonorangal: Owned all manual transmission cars except for one and that one gave me the most problems. As long as they are available I will still drive them. I think the hardest part was learning to get the clutch into first gear from a stop. Other than that they have been the funnest to drive.

 I only wish the car companies would bring back the smaller trucks that got great gas mileage with a manual transmission and still haul stuff around in the bed.


They exist and are plentiful. They say "Tacoma" on them. Look them up.

I've had two Taco's in the last 7 years. Since the first, I've averaged around 25 MPG, and have carried 1400+ in the bed in both.

It can be done. But you have to be smart about it.
 
2013-07-29 12:25:50 AM  

born_yesterday: skozlaw: There's little reason anymore outside fun factor to continue making manuals.

People keep saying this, and I couldn't disagree more. I love the ability to control my velocity by downshifting.  I could care fark all about a few MPH here and there, I like having an additional method of controlling my velocity.  I'll never go back to driving an automatic if I can avoid it; it just doesn't feel right.

/YMMV


I think this was one of the things I liked most about driving a manual, it was so much easier to control the speed of the car without constantly being on and off of the brakes, particularly on hills. Aside from that, it generally made driving more enjoyable (with an obvious exception for heavy traffic), and I also feel that it helped me stay focused on driving and what was going on around me. In my current vehicle, an automatic, it is much easier for my attention to drift off to other things.
 
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