Manual Versus Automatic Transmissions

By Mister Transmission

Is driving a car with a manual transmission more economical than one with an automatic transmission? The answer lies in being able to distinguish myth from fact

In the automotive world, it’s an enduring argument that may only reach a conclusion should auto manufacturers completely shift away from offering standard vehicles in North America: the manual versus automatic transmission divide.

Year-over-year, there are fewer cars and trucks sold with manual transmissions. Even high-end sports cars more commonly have automatic transmissions than in years past. Though stick shift adherents will insist there are considerable financial benefits to owning a car with a manual transmission, many of their arguments don’t hold up anymore.

Stick Shift Myths
Drivers who drive vehicles with manual transmissions are passionate about being stick shifters, and for good reason. If you know how to operate a manual transmission, it adds to the enjoyment of cruising the tar plains.

However, when it comes to defending the benefits or differences between automatic or manual transmissions, there are more myths than facts fans of standard transmissions tend to cling to, including:

  • You have better control of your car especially in the wintertime
  • Vehicles with manual transmissions cost less to purchase and maintain
  • Cars with manual transmissions are more fuel efficient
  • They deter thieves from attempting to steal your car
  • They’re ideal for sports cars or vehicles hauling heavy loads
  • Slowing your car by downshifting instead of braking preserves the brake pads
  • You pay more attention to driving because both of your hands are required to drive

These pro-manual arguments have been in vogue for decades, and at one time, there was some validity to them. But the advancements in automotive technology and automatic transmissions is such that these viewpoints have little or no basis in fact or any scientific evidence to support them.

For instance, fuel mileage has dramatically improved in modern automatic transmissions, and it’s significantly cheaper to replace brake pads than a manual transmission. The cost of transmission repairs in either manual or automatic transmissions is, for the most part, comparable. Arguments to the contrary are beginning to slip like a worn-out gearbox.

Of all the pro-manual arguments above, there is one possible exception that may be true: In our mobile device-obsessed world, you’d need to be an expert juggler to drive a standard vehicle and play with a mobile phone at the same time. Texting and driving are illegal. Chalk one up for stick enthusiasts for promoting safe driving.

Automatic Transmissions Are the New “Standard”
Though it is fun to drive a car with a manual transmission, that may be the only legitimate argument stick enthusiasts can make. That’s because the technology in today’s cars is at exceptional levels of intricacy. As a result, it could be argued that today’s automatic transmissions are the “standard” in almost all vehicles.

Have questions about automatic or manual transmissions? Bring your car to Mister Transmission and talk to one of our experts to get the answers you need. Find a location nearest you.

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Customer Reviews
Call Mel for any transmission...
Denise Larre
Call Mel for any transmission work that you need done. Him and his crew will take care of you! Very Professional, called and kept me informed and answered any questions I had! I would go back there and highly recommend it! I can’t thank them enough for getting my precious car running again!
Date: September 24, 2020
Website: Google
I went into Mister Transmission...
Paul Roy
I went into Mister Transmission to have what I thought was a Transmission problem. It wasn't but they found the issue in no time being a transfer case and right front axel. Only the work required was performed. Could't be happier.
Date: September 23, 2020
Website: Google
Very helpful owner and staff....
Dharmesh Patel
Very helpful owner and staff. Also very knowledgeable. Thanks
Date: September 23, 2020
Website: Google
Great place
Dan Savage
Great place
Date: September 23, 2020
Website: Google
Went off-roading and had my...
Mike Uetz
Went off-roading and had my Jeep fall into a giant mud hole that ruined the engine. Decided to take my Jeep to Off-road addiction in St Thomas who were going to do an engine swap. After 2+ months, they weren't able to complete the work nor figure out the issue. They said to take it into a dealership. Dealership quoted me $10k for a new transmission. Was recommended to checkout Mister Transmission and I wish I knew about them sooner.Pete was awesome to work with, he explained everything that was wrong, documented it and took pictures. Previously the engine and transmission weren't seated properly and had cracked the transmission pump. These guys were able to rebuild my transmission, put in a new transmission pump, seat the engine and transmission properly, and have the whole thing running properly with the quoted estimate in both cost and time. I was completely amazed by how quickly they were able to fix my issues.This is the only shop I'll take my Jeep in for any work done in the future. Last year I had my gear and pinion swapped from 3.23 to 4.56, again with flawless work and 0 issues.100/10 recommend you take your vehicle here for any servicing needs. These guys know their stuff and I'm happy to throw money at them any time I need work done.
Date: September 23, 2020
Website: Google
Good service, decent prices.
Jake A
Good service, decent prices.
Date: September 23, 2020
Website: Google
I called Georgio and told...
Megan Wood
I called Georgio and told him that I was having an error message on my transmission. I brought my car to his shop and he diagnosed the problem. He told me that I should take my car to the dealership (Ford) as the issue should be covered under an extended warranty. Luckily, it was covered under warranty. Georgio did not charge me anything for the diagnosis and was very honest, professional, and kind. I would recommend him to anyone! Thanks again Georgio!!
Date: September 22, 2020
Website: Google
Steve and his team did...
Henry Ram
Steve and his team did my Transmission on my 2013 ford focus se, they did a great job and their timing for the part to be there for them was right on time. I am proud to tell anyone that ask or in need of repair to just contact Steve and his team at Mr Transmission. Thanks again to Steve and his Team
Date: September 22, 2020
Website: Google
We've all dealt with the...
Dylan Toutant
We've all dealt with the shops who nickle and dime us and cost us time and money only to be left with the same problem or worse, no ideas, and a large bill.Not here. They told me everything wrong, (even beyond what I initially thought i had identified) what they can and cannot do to remedy it, and empowered me to make the final choices on how to proceed with sound information and expertise which only re-asserts the quality of service received. To me this was the right place to bring my vehicle.DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR, and give them a call, (or email), and while I mostly spoke to Denise, literally anyone I spoke with there gave me the time of day and treated me and my vehicle with respect. This wasn't one of my shops before, but it is now.Thanks for the terrific experience and if I ever need to, I'd be happy to return.TL;DR This shop is worth the visit. Honest, upfront, quality service. Customer service professionals!
Date: September 22, 2020
Website: Google
I'm very happy with the...
Michael Roussetos
I'm very happy with the customer service. I brought in my car and was very pleased with the excellent customer service and knowledge.
Date: September 21, 2020
Website: Google
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