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
Wes was both knowledgeable and...
Victoria Kostyniuk
Wes was both knowledgeable and considerate, qualities which are rare today. I felt confident that he would repair my transmission in a competent and honest manner. I cannot say enough about how pleased I am with his service.
Date: February 4, 2023
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Cory Baron
Our regular mechanic referred us to Mr. Transmission after the CVT in our 2014 Nissan Pathfinder needed replacement. It is a far better option than working directly with the dealership. The price was fair, service was professional, expectations were clear, and there is a 3 year warranty on the work, compared to 1 year from Nissan. We had a minor post-service follow-up that they looked at with no issue or extra charges. We also had a second vehicle in for a suspension replacement and transmission flush. Phil kindly agreed to take my car on an additional road test to assure me all was good. I'm glad to recommend Mr. Transmission and appreciate the professional service from Phil and team!
Date: February 2, 2023
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Very pleased with the assessment...
Noel Smith
Very pleased with the assessment and repair of my vehicle. The technician also found and repaired faulty work from recent work performed by another business. Had this been missed it could have been very costly in the near future. Will use “Mr. T” in Calgary for all my service needs in the future.
Date: February 1, 2023
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I was referred to Mr....
Dream Space
I was referred to Mr. Transmission on Queenston Road in Stoney Creek when there were obvious issues going on with my vehicle. The owner is very nice and Dan went above and beyond. I truly appreciate all they did for me and would highly recommend them to anyone needing work done. My vehicle runs like a dream and I expect the work that was done will extend the life of my vehicle for another 5 to 6 years versus buying a new car. Thanks Dan/Mr. Transmission!
Date: February 1, 2023
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Luc Landry
Great service & staff!
Date: February 1, 2023
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Very good service
Tony Novembre
Very good service
Date: January 31, 2023
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They were awesome Knowledgeable and...
Sea
They were awesome Knowledgeable and help set up brake repair too Highly recommend
Date: January 31, 2023
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David Bird
It was nice to deal with Pete ,He is an honest manager with decades of experience.
Date: January 31, 2023
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Jessner Albuquerque
Very Trustful place! Fair price and Great service as well! Thank you guys! Appreciate it! God Bless!
Date: January 31, 2023
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They were awesome Knowledgeable and...
Sea
They were awesome Knowledgeable and help set up brake repair too Highly recommend
Date: January 31, 2023
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