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Author Topic: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?  (Read 2862 times)

RobbieL2415

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #50 on: February 14, 2019, 12:14:08 AM »

Automatic. Why make driving more difficult than it has to be?

Agreed.  The machinery knows when to shift.  I drove my first 500 thousand miles in manuals, and then got an automatic, and I see no reason to go back, and have driven 600 thousand miles in them.  If I need to shift manually for engine braking, I can still do that.
Well, it knows based on a set of data and mathematical formulas when to shift to get the best fuel economy, at least in normal mode.  Auto boxes are only as good as the engineers behind them. 
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MikieTimT

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #51 on: February 14, 2019, 06:03:32 AM »

Manual.  You can alleviate some of the problems in traffic by leaving a safe following distance and costing as much as possible.  While cruising there's virtually no difference between the two now.  Both are on par with fuel economy with the uber new automatics getting better numbers than manuals.  But I like screwing with other drivers when I downshift to a stop thus never turning on my brake lights.

I like coasting to stoplights and down Interstate hills to save on gas, or engine braking rather than friction braking as there's a satisfying pop when the engine is running on vacuum.  There are few things about driving more satisfying than rev-matching shifts, which leads to less clutch wear as well.  I get well over 100,000 miles between clutches, and that is using engine braking as well, but rev-matching downshifts takes most of the wear out of the clutch when done right.  Plus the exhaust burble of a high-performance engine is better than anything that could come out of my speakers.  However, driving is much more than transporting myself, family, or cargo from point A to point B for me.
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qguy

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #52 on: February 14, 2019, 06:33:20 AM »

I much prefer a manual. The car feels more like an extension of my arms and legs (like I'm the car and the car is me) and I'm much more "in touch" with the road.
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PHLBOS

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #53 on: February 14, 2019, 09:48:36 AM »

But I like screwing with other drivers when I downshift to a stop thus never turning on my brake lights.
Will you feel that way should someone accidentally rear-end you?
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Henry

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #54 on: February 14, 2019, 10:14:09 AM »



I should say that it's rather difficult (impossible?) to find a seven-passenger vehicle with a stick shift.
One would have likely have go to back to at least a 1960s vintage bare bones full-size station wagon for such (3-on-the-tree in an H pattern) in order to find such.

I've seen a Dodge Caravan with a stickshift before, but that was in Germany in the 1990s

There's a few of the first and second generation Chrysler vans out there with a stick. You could also get a Ford Aerostar with one.

I believe the Mazda 5 is the most recent seven passenger vehicle available with a stick though.
I'm sure you could get a Chevy Astro with a manual transmission too.

In any case, I'm much more comfortable with automatics than I am with manuals. All of my cars so far ('88 Calais, '94 Explorer and '98 Tahoe) have had automatic transmissions, and it's likely that my next one will have that too, but with a manual-shift mode, which I would welcome, since it would combine the best of both worlds.
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PHLBOS

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #55 on: February 14, 2019, 10:16:15 AM »

I'm sure you could get a Chevy Astro with a manual transmission too.
Maybe for the cargo version.  I'm not so sure about the passenger version.
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RobbieL2415

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #56 on: February 14, 2019, 10:29:53 AM »

But I like screwing with other drivers when I downshift to a stop thus never turning on my brake lights.
Will you feel that way should someone accidentally rear-end you?
They shouldn't rear-end me if they leave space.  I'm not required to use the brakes to slow the car down.
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ClassicHasClass

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #57 on: February 14, 2019, 10:37:20 AM »

I've never owned an automatic. Every car I've ever had was stick. (Currently on a 2018 Honda Civic Si Sedan.)
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kphoger

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #58 on: February 14, 2019, 01:19:55 PM »

Lots of modern automatic transmissions do not even feature a dipstick, so a transmission pan service (replace the fluid, filter, and gasket) has to be performed. That seems to take at least two hours.

I would not feel comfortable heading out on a 1500-mile vacation without being able to check the transmission fluid level first.
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hbelkins

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #59 on: February 14, 2019, 01:37:35 PM »

Lots of modern automatic transmissions do not even feature a dipstick, so a transmission pan service (replace the fluid, filter, and gasket) has to be performed. That seems to take at least two hours.

I would not feel comfortable heading out on a 1500-mile vacation without being able to check the transmission fluid level first.

Sealed transmissions seem to be fairly common. My vehicle, and my wife's, both have sealed transmissions.
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kphoger

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #60 on: February 14, 2019, 01:42:53 PM »



Lots of modern automatic transmissions do not even feature a dipstick, so a transmission pan service (replace the fluid, filter, and gasket) has to be performed. That seems to take at least two hours.

I would not feel comfortable heading out on a 1500-mile vacation without being able to check the transmission fluid level first.

Sealed transmissions seem to be fairly common. My vehicle, and my wife's, both have sealed transmissions.

Do you mean to tell me it's impossible for transmission fluid to leak from a cracked hose or hard line?
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J N Winkler

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #61 on: February 14, 2019, 02:14:49 PM »

I would not feel comfortable heading out on a 1500-mile vacation without being able to check the transmission fluid level first.

Details of fluid level check procedure will be in the FSM.  For recent Toyota automatics without dipstick tube, two methods have been possible:  (1) very rough DIY check by sticking your finger in the filler hole, accessed from below the vehicle; and (2) factory-approved check by warming up the transmission to operating temperature and then using the onboard diagnostics (the exact procedure will be in the FSM, but will be known to people who post on marque forums and will likely be Googlable on that basis) to report the fluid level.

There are two main reasons dipsticks have been going away.  First, it is pretty difficult to obtain a true reading off a dipstick even if you follow directions and know what you are doing.  This is partly because fluid splashes off hard parts inside the transmission and some of it gets on the dipstick above the actual fluid level in the sump, so it is hard to find the place on the dipstick that corresponds to fluid level.  (Engine oil dipsticks have similar problems, but usually you can count on a reliable reading on the first pull out of a cold engine.  With transmissions you can't because the standard procedure is to check when it is warm, idling in Park, after the selector has been worked through all gear ranges forward and backward.)  Second, one less thing to check is one less opportunity for a potentially serious mistake at a quick lube shop.

Do you mean to tell me it's impossible for transmission fluid to leak from a cracked hose or hard line?

Leaks of this kind can and do happen, but are usually evident on inspection from below.  You can also count on some weep or outright leakage around the seal if the transmission has a spin-on filter, like the Saturn TAAT.  (I think spin-on filters represent a compromised design for automatics because they are much more difficult to tighten to a no-leak point than spin-on engine oil filters.  Oil pressure inside the engine tops out at 90 psi, while spin-on transmission filters have to handle raw line pressure at up to 250 psi.)  Plus top cover gaskets can start leaking over time--also a problem with the Saturn TAAT--but I think this is often benign since the top cover is usually high enough that if it is the only leak point, seepage through its gasket will not run the transmission dry.
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kphoger

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #62 on: February 14, 2019, 02:21:35 PM »

All of that seems a lot more involved than checking to see if a dipstick still has plenty of fluid on it.   :-/
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abefroman329

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #63 on: February 14, 2019, 02:25:13 PM »

All of that seems a lot more involved than checking to see if a dipstick still has plenty of fluid on it.   :-/
It also sounds more accurate than checking a dipstick.
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kphoger

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #64 on: February 14, 2019, 02:32:00 PM »


All of that seems a lot more involved than checking to see if a dipstick still has plenty of fluid on it.   :-/

It also sounds more accurate than checking a dipstick.

Well, sure, and taking my car to the mechanic every time I go out of state would be a LOT more accurate.  But I'd much rather take 10 minutes with nothing but a tire pressure gauge and a screwdriver—for free—and check my tires and all my fluids and my air filter in the driveway without having to even go under the car.

It might not be as accurate to check with a dipstick, but it's fairly easy to go by one very simple guideline:

If the dipstick is dry, you need to put more fluid in;  if the dipstick is not dry, then your car will get you to where you're going.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #65 on: February 14, 2019, 02:49:10 PM »

All of that seems a lot more involved than checking to see if a dipstick still has plenty of fluid on it.   :-/

If the dipstick is dry, you need to put more fluid in;  if the dipstick is not dry, then your car will get you to where you're going.

Just pulling out the dipstick and checking for fluid at the bottom won't tell you anything meaningful.  Depending on the transmission, a quart one way or the other will have significant effects--too little can result in altered shift quality if not overheating, and too much will result in foaming.

But I'd much rather take 10 minutes with nothing but a tire pressure gauge and a screwdriver—for free—and check my tires and all my fluids and my air filter in the driveway without having to even go under the car.

IME, air filter checks are a waste of time.  Fuel economy stays basically the same even if the air filter is so clogged it herniates inside the box.  And the engine overbreathes on a fresh air filter until it builds up enough dust load for effective filtration, so your fuel economy takes a hit for a while.

I'd just take the extra five minutes to change into yard clothes so you can actually get down on the driveway and look at things from below (no need to raise the vehicle on ramps or stands).  Another check that you can do is to look at brake pads using a borescope camera; in fact I would like to get such a camera for this purpose, having had the experience of having to have pads and rotors replaced on the road because I left without first ensuring there was enough pad thickness on the rear rotors.  (I haven't bought a camera yet and have left on long roadtrips without checking brakes.  I am fairly early in pad life on both vehicles, but I am also rolling the dice because I don't lube my calipers on a regular basis and frozen calipers will greatly reduce pad life.)
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abefroman329

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #66 on: February 14, 2019, 03:04:35 PM »

IME, air filter checks are a waste of time.  Fuel economy stays basically the same even if the air filter is so clogged it herniates inside the box.  And the engine overbreathes on a fresh air filter until it builds up enough dust load for effective filtration, so your fuel economy takes a hit for a while.
For the cabin air filter, I just wait till the air being cranked out by the heater/air conditioner starts smelling bad.  As it relates to the engine air filter, for some reason, I can't install the air filter that allegedly corresponds to this engine (it's too big to get the cover closed), which means I have to pay to get it done when I get the oil changed, which really annoys me.
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kphoger

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #67 on: February 14, 2019, 03:24:48 PM »



IME, air filter checks are a waste of time.  Fuel economy stays basically the same even if the air filter is so clogged it herniates inside the box.  And the engine overbreathes on a fresh air filter until it builds up enough dust load for effective filtration, so your fuel economy takes a hit for a while.

For the cabin air filter, I just wait till the air being cranked out by the heater/air conditioner starts smelling bad.  As it relates to the engine air filter, for some reason, I can't install the air filter that allegedly corresponds to this engine (it's too big to get the cover closed), which means I have to pay to get it done when I get the oil changed, which really annoys me.

I've had some really nasty-clogged air filters over the years, so not being able to replace my own would be an annoyance.  JNW might not be taking into account that I often do substantial driving in the Mexican desert off-pavement;  I get a lot of dust in there over the course of a couple of years.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #68 on: February 14, 2019, 09:23:33 PM »

As it relates to the engine air filter, for some reason, I can't install the air filter that allegedly corresponds to this engine (it's too big to get the cover closed), which means I have to pay to get it done when I get the oil changed, which really annoys me.

I have grown cynical about air cleaner designs, the dinner-plate cleaner in my 1978 Impala being the last I ever worked with where the filter could be removed easily simply by lifting a lid without further disassembly of the intake plumbing.  In newer cars there is usually a snorkel that, if not removed, keeps pushing the lid out of alignment when you are trying to put the cleaner back together after a filter swap.  And some filter designs, notably the OEM filters for the 2005 Toyota Camry, have sealing edges that are designed to be compressed when they are clamped between the two halves of the air cleaner.  This creates a feeling of poor fit when the cleaner halves are first put back together that does not go away until the screws are tightened.  (There are aftermarket filters for the Camry with rigid plastic edges that slide into the cleaner slot without difficulty, but I suspect they allow more side leakage compared to OEM.  They also tend to be single-layer while OEM is dual-layer, so more dirt passes through the filter medium.)

I've had some really nasty-clogged air filters over the years, so not being able to replace my own would be an annoyance.  JNW might not be taking into account that I often do substantial driving in the Mexican desert off-pavement;  I get a lot of dust in there over the course of a couple of years.

Yes--I was forgetting that travel on unpaved roads is a significant consideration for you.  The worst filter I replaced a few years ago was in the Saturn and I suspect it had been in there for close to a decade.  It was just very gray on the upstream side, but once its replacement was in place, the car was on a noticeable "oxygen high" before the PCM recalculated the trim tables.
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hbelkins

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #69 on: February 15, 2019, 01:37:37 PM »



Lots of modern automatic transmissions do not even feature a dipstick, so a transmission pan service (replace the fluid, filter, and gasket) has to be performed. That seems to take at least two hours.

I would not feel comfortable heading out on a 1500-mile vacation without being able to check the transmission fluid level first.

Sealed transmissions seem to be fairly common. My vehicle, and my wife's, both have sealed transmissions.

Do you mean to tell me it's impossible for transmission fluid to leak from a cracked hose or hard line?

No, but if there's a leak, as someone else mentioned, you'll see fluid beneath the vehicle when you move it.
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kphoger

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #70 on: February 15, 2019, 02:06:42 PM »

Not necessarily if it's a slow leak, or depending on exactly where it's leaking.
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RobbieL2415

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #71 on: February 15, 2019, 02:15:09 PM »

Manual gearboxes can leak, too. They are sump driven and pull fluid when they are in gear. Usually brake fluid.
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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #72 on: February 15, 2019, 03:24:55 PM »

Auto for my commutes, but my next car I want a manual.
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US 41

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #73 on: February 15, 2019, 11:00:15 PM »

I have to admit, when I first started driving I absolutely hated driving a manual. I remember when I was 15 and my dad was teaching me how to drive one. I told him that manuals were stupid and I couldn't believe anyone would want one. Then I thought it was dumb that you could buy new cars with manual transmissions. I was in Spain my junior year of high school and thought it was so dumb that almost everyone in Europe was driving a stick shift. For those who don't know you can tell a car is a manual when they roll backwards on a slope before accelerating. Eventually I got a lot better with his Saturn SL. Then my car broke down and I needed a car to get to college. I was a horrible college student and often skipped (and eventually dropped out). So one day I skipped and drove his car to Vincennes, then to Indy, and then back home (5-6 hrs of driving). That was the day I gained a ton of confidence with a stick shift. Then a couple of years later his car broke down and would never be fixed again.

Last year I knew I needed a new car for my road trips I often take. I noticed that a lot of vehicles in Mexico were manuals when I drove to Mazatlan. I missed driving my dad's old stick shift so I decided to buy a new one (used, but had less than 5000 miles on it) in Indy. In 6 years time I had become the guy that despised stick shifts to buying one as my primary car. Now I am currently keeping my eye out for an older manual that I can drive around locally so I don't run up the miles as fast on my new one. In 7 years time I went from despising manuals to not wanting to buy anything but a manual. I wouldn't trade mine for an automatic any day. I absolutely love driving (it's my hobby) and it just makes driving that much more fun. I'm a pretty hard judge on myself and I still mess up (no one's 100% perfect with a manual), but even when I mess up my passengers don't even notice (that minor lol). Most of the time they can't even tell I've shifted at all.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 11:03:55 PM by US 41 »
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polarscribe

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Re: Do you prefer driving automatics or manuals?
« Reply #74 on: February 15, 2019, 11:34:09 PM »

I've driven manuals a bit, but my car (2016 Mazda CX-3 AWD) is a 6-speed automatic with manual shift mode; it's the "SkyActiv-Drive" which uses clutch packs to bypass the torque converter in all six gears (basically the TC is used only for starting/stopping). Shifts really smooth, averages 28-30 mpg doing 80 on I-84 from Baker to Boise; but flick the Sport mode switch and it'll lock out overdrive, hold gears to redline and downshift under braking almost as snappily as a manual. I've been very pleased with it.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 11:37:26 PM by polarscribe »
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