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View Poll Results: Which transmission is best in the long run, up to 100K miles.
Automatic transmissions in general. 45 38.46%
Manual transmissions in general. 72 61.54%
Voters: 117. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-26-2011, 09:49 PM   #21
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If I am the only driver of the car, I would choose the manual, and I would almost for sure be able to get 150,000 miles out of it. I am very easy on the clutch, and I do not make the synchro's work hard. Most significantly, when the transaxle has not come up to operating temp (and particularly so, with cool / cold ambient temps) I make my first few shifts of the day, from 1st to 2nd, at pretty near a walking pace. It never feels "notchy" to me, because the road-speeds I shift at (contingent on the temp of the lubricant) never are high enough for the "notch" to occur! I nurse it to operating temp.

So, I vote for the manual.

However, the other side of the coin is --what if you must have an automatic, 'cause your spouse / significant other cannot or will not drive a standard? Or what if you must tow a trailer (and incidentally, automatics are definitely superior for a trailer)?

Well, then my answer is: i) I want a fully conventional automatic; ii) I want a Toyota (there is simply NOT another vehicle mfr out there, that makes a more durable automatic than in a Toyota.... and particularly so for an '08 or older Corolla.

Also - iii) I have a microfilter (by NTZ) that is plumbed from the line out to the cooler, to the line back from the cooler. It acts as a bypass filter, and it drops the mean particle size for the so-called "swarf" down to 2 or 3 microns (this protects the valve bodies from scoring, with them most often being aluminum). And finally, I really believe in cooling an automatic. Heat, in idling, or heat, bucking a hill (particularly in high ambient temp conditions) does them in. Auxiliary coolers, in my mind, have merit.

Incidentally, I got a ride home from the airport, the other day, in a Taxi -- and I often ask the Taxi operators how they are doing with their cars. Taxi operators definitely select the least operating cost cars, to the extent that the Taxi commission rules allow them to. Prior to most taxis, in vancouver, being Prius's -- they were Corolla's. The taxi fellow told me that they drop the ATF in their Corolla's at about 18,000 or 20,000 miles, they never fit an auxiliary cooler -- and now, hear this: they routinely get about 350,000 miles out of Corolla transmissions!!! That's the proof in the pudding.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:58 PM   #22
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Just as followup: My sense is that the automated manual in the Focus, or in the Fiesta (ie. the Ford Getrag Powershift) -- will NOT go the mileage. It say this, 'cause in reality, it is two manual transmissions in one...

The automated shifting does not double-clutch, like I do. The automated shifting does not, when cold, shift gears (initially) at a walking pace, like I do, to baby the transmission. Though to some degree, the programming will "help it" to operating temp, it is nothing like what I do, on my own manual transmission.

I predict that Powershifts will NOT go to 100,000 miles without problems.

This nonsense about not being able to operate in slow, walking-speed traffic, of course makes sense (when you realize it's an automated manual) -- but I'm 100% sure that most drivers do not adjust their speeds, and the "smartness" in moving off from a stop and the "no doddling" that they should do, when starting off, to suit this characteristic.

So, chatter they will, in urban traffic situations.

And no, they cannot be as smooth as I can, when I drive a manual....!
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:00 PM   #23
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Audi/VW have been building dual clutch DSG transmissions like the one in the Focus for quite a long time and there is no issue whatsoever going well over 100k with them.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:08 PM   #24
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I don't think they were or are imune from problems. I think the initial ones were more performance oriented, and that some of the programming choices made resulted in less longevity. Then they softened the mix, and you cannot do what you originally were able to do, with the DSG (as I understand it). I have heard that the DSG is a good trans -- but it is a bear to fix, if it should go south. I'm not sure how the rebuild situation works with this trans... I don't think it is anything other than a factory-rebuild kind of trans; not just Joe Schmo's shop, down the road...
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:19 PM   #25
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Poll lacks 'it depends' option.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:40 PM   #26
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I voted automatic as I have never had an automatic under 30 years old go out on me... But I feel I should remind people that if this poll is in regards to the transmissions offered in the 2012, it is a pointless poll. The reason I say this is because there is no automatic transmission in this Focus... There is a traditional manual or a dual clutch automated manual. The Power-Shift claims to be maintenance free for 150K miles because it is computer controlled to a T unless you play with Select-Shift and row your own... Then it becomes hit or miss in terms of longevity just like a standard manual. This hit or miss is determined by the driver and how they treat their shifts... As long as you shift right and stay smooth then a clutch going out/burning up early isn't likely. So really, either has the same chance of lasting forever, and the only reason I vote automatic is because of my never having an auto cause me trouble until age, not my driving, wore it down (daily operation from 1965 to 2008 in Texas is not easy on moving parts)...
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:17 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eurofordfan View Post
I don't think they were or are imune from problems. I think the initial ones were more performance oriented, and that some of the programming choices made resulted in less longevity. Then they softened the mix, and you cannot do what you originally were able to do, with the DSG (as I understand it). I have heard that the DSG is a good trans -- but it is a bear to fix, if it should go south. I'm not sure how the rebuild situation works with this trans... I don't think it is anything other than a factory-rebuild kind of trans; not just Joe Schmo's shop, down the road...
Any transmission on a newer car is a "bear to fix" manual or otherwise. A new clutch and master cylinder on my Audi costs over $1000.

Yes, the cheapest thing to fix is an older generation manual transmission, but we are talking about new cars here, no?
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:33 AM   #28
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In my 40 years of driving I have never had a transmission fail, manual or automatic. I typically keep vehicles 10 years or more and put over 200,000 miles on them.

This is not to say they have been totally trouble free. The manuals have had to have clutches replaced in the 150,000+ mile range and I did have a pressure plate release finger break on my Barracuda after approx. 20,000 miles. The autos have had have modulators changed and sensors replaced but nothing that left me stranded or required the tranny to be pulled.

I currently have (4) vehicles three with automatics, one with a 4spd manual. If I could only have one an automatic is much easier to live with.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:20 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voip-ninja View Post
Any transmission on a newer car is a "bear to fix" manual or otherwise. A new clutch and master cylinder on my Audi costs over $1000.

Yes, the cheapest thing to fix is an older generation manual transmission, but we are talking about new cars here, no?
We are talking about new-generation cars and transmissions, yes. $1000 for a clutch and slave cylinder or clutch-master cylinder is cheap. However I daresay that if the DSG were to go out on on an Audi or VW product, it'd be $5000 - $7000 (or more) 'cause I'll bet that there are no automatic transmission shops around that can rebuild one. I contrast that with most 4 speed automatics, say... which might be more like $3500. Domestic iron is often a lot less.

Incidentally, I also would suggest that there are relatively few outfits in North America that know their way 'round even a manual 5 speed transaxle. Luckily, for Focus owners, Haines Motor Sports in MI is very well versed in the MTX-75, and likely has done iB5's (associated with '00 thru '04 Split Port Injection Focus').

Part of the cost, of course, is removal of the transaxle; oftentimes it means front subframe + steering rack removal, too... Lots of effort.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:30 PM   #30
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We owned a 1986 Acura Integra, 5 spd manual,16 years, 289,000 miles never had a transmission or clutch issue.

Currently own a 1996 Toyota Rav4,5 spd manual, 211,000 miles no transmission issues, original clutch.

2007 Mustang GT, 5 spd manual, low miles but no trans issues.

2012 Focus SE, 5 spd manual, hopefully our good luck streak with manuals will continue.
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