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.

Want to know more?
Visit one of our locations

image-reviews image-reviews
Customer Reviews
Denise & Shawn couldn't have...
Suzanne DeGeer
Denise & Shawn couldn't have been more professional or considerate if they tried. The speed and efficiency was amazing but what topped it off was the friendly professionalism that we experienced through the whole process. I would HIGHLY recommend this team for your vehicle needs.
Date: September 23, 2021
Website: Google
Awesome HONEST service, not like...
Monica Meirik
Awesome HONEST service, not like my Nissan dealership! Highly recommended. Quick service. Thanks Barry!
Date: September 23, 2021
Website: Google
Road tested my car twice...
Thug Lightyear
Road tested my car twice free of charge and even stayed late a few minutes so that I could pick it up for work the next day, amazing customer service!
Date: September 21, 2021
Website: Google
Had my transmission rebuilt and...
Donald DeSouza
Had my transmission rebuilt and these guys did an amazing job! The quality of work exceeded my expectations. Thanks to Gus for explaining procedures, letting me know the labour cost upfront and what to expect in terms of cost when the transmission is taken apart. I commended Mr. Transmission for this; rebuilding a transmission is costly!
Date: September 21, 2021
Website: Google
I love this shop best...
Hollywood
I love this shop best one in KW. Raman and his crew are extremely thorough and honest about whatever your vehicle may need . They get it done right thank you Mr Transmission
Date: September 21, 2021
Website: Google
I love this shop best...
Hollywood
I love this shop best one in KW. Raman and his crew are extremely thorough and honest about whatever your vehicle may need . They get it done right thank you Mr Transmission
Date: September 21, 2021
Website: Google
I love this shop best...
Hollywood
I love this shop best one in KW. Raman and his crew are extremely thorough and honest about whatever your vehicle may need . They get it done right thank you Mr Transmission
Date: September 21, 2021
Website: Google
Last week, on our way...
Susan Reynolds
Last week, on our way to a family reunion, we experienced trouble with the transmission and fluid leaking from rusty lines. We stopped at Mr. Transmission and experienced the best customer service! They worked hard to find the parts required and repaired our vehicle in a timely and cost effective manner! Kudos to the Mr. Transmission team! They could give lessons in customer service! Just an aside as we were struggling to move forward and find out what was even wrong with the vehicle, we pulled into Green & Ross. A person came out and expressed their concern that we were blocking their available and empty parking spots. They didn't seem to be interested in assisting us which is when we quickly decided to move on and we googled Mr. Transmission - a fantastic choice!
Date: September 20, 2021
Website: Google
Very professional, good price and...
Ken Paston
Very professional, good price and service
Date: September 20, 2021
Website: Google
Had my vehicle done same...
Tod Helkaa
Had my vehicle done same day, prices were in line with what I had done. Good experience.
Date: September 19, 2021
Website: Google
Featured Services
Transmission Repair

The evolution of transmissions has made these machines and systems increasingly complex. When transmission repairs are required, determining the cause and cure for what ails can be tricky.

Read More
Transmission Technology

At Mister Transmission we have access to leading-edge diagnostic equipment, enabling us to offer you the fastest and most accurate findings about what’s going on inside your vehicle’s transmission.

Read More
Transmission Maintenance & Service

Just as you have other parts of your car serviced, your transmission needs maintenance to ensure a long life and avoid transmission problems.

Read More
Recent Blogs
5 Reasons Your Car Won’t Reverse
Trying to reverse your car and your car deciding to not reverse is, at best,
Read More
August 23, 2021
How Is Automatic Transmission Service Un...
Automatic transmission service is most of what we do at Mister Transmission. But how
Read More
August 16, 2021
How Does A Transmission Fluid Change Hel...
A transmission fluid change is something that will be necessary at some point for
Read More
August 9, 2021
3 Major And 3 Minor Transmission Repairs
Transmission repairs are not all equal. There are minor and there are major
Read More
August 2, 2021
What You Need To Know About Torque Conve...
Torque converter repair is something that comes up fairly often in comparison to
Read More
July 28, 2021
What Are Some Common CVT Transmission Pr...
CVT transmission problems aren’t all that different from other automatic
Read More
July 21, 2021
The Top Ten Models With Major Transmissi...
Which transmissions have the most problems? Here are the ten models with the most
Read More
July 14, 2021
“How Can I Tell What Kind Of Trans...
“What transmission do I have?” It’s a question we hear a lot at Mister
Read More
July 7, 2021
4 Common Transmission Maintenance Mistak...
Transmission maintenance is absolutely imperative to ensure long and efficient life
Read More
June 25, 2021
How A Transmission Shop Can Actually Sav...
Transmissions are expensive. And they can be expensive to fix. That’s why any visit
Read More
June 23, 2021