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CrazyDave 07-12-2011 04:57 PM

Transmission Poll
Lets let the gallery put their 2 cents in.

By best in the long run I mean cheapest to maintain, and most reliable.

voip-ninja 07-12-2011 05:11 PM

All data indicates that automatic transmissions, on average are far more maintenance and worry free than manual transmissions.

Newer generation automatics usually last the life of the engine.

However, if an automatic DOES fail outside of warranty it is costly to replace.

Every single car I have purchased for the last fifteen years has been a stick. From a really crappy four speed with a nearly worn out clutch on an old VW Cabriolet to the really smooth six speed shifter that is delightful to row on my 2004 A4.

However, manuals have their own issues, such as replacement of the clutch, master cylinder, etc, (through normal wear and tear) all of which are quite expensive even on lower end cars (a replacement clutch on my A4 would probably run into $1000 territory with labor).

These days, with smooth sequential gearboxes, dual clutch set ups, etc, I am starting to weave back into the automatic transmission camp. They have improved miles from the "slushbox" transmissions of the 80's and 90's which were slow to shift, shifts were rough, etc.

The gap has closed considerably... of course, you can never get as much control with an auto (at least in cars us mortals can afford) as you can get with a manual... however, driving for 90 minutes and stop and go traffic for several days a week with a manual can quickly change your mind about how "worth it" it is to have manual control.

halfmoonclip 07-12-2011 05:13 PM

How high is up? Pretty general question.
Personally, I've had more actual trouble with automatics, but the 5 spd in the Jeep works but it ain't a thing of beauty, and I knocked two gears out of four in a wretched Opel forty years ago (but then every damn thing broke in that.)
A moot point in any case; three pedals on the floor is on life support, and we might as well get over it. Manumatics like the Focus are now offering performance to match and mileage to exceed their manual brethren.
I'm the only one in the house who can stir gears, tho' my daughter claims she wants to learn to drive the Jeep.
So good luck with the poll, but I fear you won't learn much, or what you do learn won't matter.

Buickboy 07-12-2011 05:17 PM

the simplest solution is usually best. My vote goes for manuals, provided the driver doesnt abuse the shit out of it

EddieWinslow 07-12-2011 05:26 PM

i had a 2002 cavalier. 269,000km's on it when i traded it in. original clutch and master cylinder on it. never had any issues with it at all.

parents have a 2006 HHR. they needed work at about 110,000km's (right outside of their warranty). 900+ bucks to fix only because my dad knew the manager of the dealerhsip

for both id say it comes down to how you drive your car and treat it. take care of it, it will last a lot longer than those who just beat the shiznit out of it

CrazyDave 07-12-2011 06:05 PM


Originally Posted by voip-ninja (Post 3739910)
All data indicates that automatic transmissions, on average are far more maintenance and worry free than manual transmissions.

Can you name a couple of sources of "All data".

"All" is highly unlikely!

voip-ninja 07-12-2011 06:15 PM


Originally Posted by CrazyDave (Post 3739995)
Can you name a couple of sources of "All data".

"All" is highly unlikely!

I don't have specifics, but every few years I read another article somewhere predicting the impending death of the manual transmission vehicle in America and reliability being better on traditional automatics is always cited.

I guess at the end of the day, manuals absolutely will require service over time as they have parts that are designed to wear out. Some drivers can perform amazing feats of skill and squeeze over 200K miles out of a manual transmission... on the other hand I've had friends boasting of the original clutch still being in their old shitbox and when I drove it the clutch was clearly fried. Generally speaking, unless an automatic has some kind of major issue, it will last the life of the car, with nothing more complicated than having the fluid changed every X number of miles.

At the end of the day, people should get what they prefer, however, automatics have gotten much MUCH better over the past several years. A good demonstration would be to go drive the Audi S4 with the dual clutch s-tronic that is like a super sport version of what is in these Focuses. It shifts in fractions of a second and you can blip multiple downshifts with the paddle shifters. I don't believe that anyone driving a stick could outperform it (I know that I sure can't switch gears in 50ms).

scottjl 07-12-2011 07:18 PM

shrug. who cares? get whatever you want to drive and be happy with it. what's the point in getting a "better" transmission if you hate driving the vehicle and want to ditch it after 100 miles, let alone 100k.

Tony407 07-13-2011 01:14 AM

How the heck should I know? Wiki it and find out!!! [poke]

Having said that, the only problems I've ever had with a transmission in any of my cars have been in an automatic. Hardly scientific proof though.


Maureen 07-13-2011 06:24 AM

Well my honda prelude was a manual transmission and I ran it up to 110k before selling it to carmax. The only thing I ever had to replace in regards to transmission the slave cylinder at 90k. (and the timing belt at 75,000 miles)

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