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Which transmission is best in the long run, up to 100K miles.

  • Automatic transmissions in general.

    Votes: 45 38.5%
  • Manual transmissions in general.

    Votes: 72 61.5%

  • Total voters
    117
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Discussion Starter #1
Lets let the gallery put their 2 cents in.

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

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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.
 

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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.
Best,
Moon
 

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

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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
 

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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).
 

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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.
 

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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.

Tony
 

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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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It definitely varies for sure.
All the cars I've owned to date have been stick.
1987 Honda Civic hatch, sold it with 310,000 km, original 5 speed trans, and probably only the second clutch.
1990 Honda Prelude, timing belt snapped on me at 520,000 km, trans still shifted great but scrapped the car ultimately since it needed a bunch more work anyway.
1996 Pontiac Sunfire GT, great Getrag 5 speed, and the 2.4 engine was peppy. Too bad the rest of the car was awful. Sold it with 230k km, probably original clutch.
2003 Pontiac Vibe, 5 speed stick... Some bearings in the trans crapped out at 190,000 km, replaced with a 6 speed and replaced the clutch at 200k.

So yeah, it definitely varies. I'm tempted to say they don't build 'em like they used to.. I hope my powershift is trouble-free, so far so good.
 

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I voted manual transmission. The automatic in my 06 Focus had to be rebuilt at 74k miles. The manual trans in my 92 Toyota 4x4 has 165k miles and only had the fluid changed. I'm hoping the DCT will last longer than the 06 trans.
 

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Hatch Nation #136
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I would think it is a little unusual for either to fail before 100k. I know there have been examples of manuals and automatics failing at ridiculously low mileage, but I think that is the exception rather than the rule. Following the recommended maintenance schedule will ensure anything but a defective item last the test of time.

If you are only looking for 100k then go with whatever makes the most sense for your driving needs. Sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic for an hour every day? Get an automatic. Drive in town all day with a 35 mph speed limit? Get an automatic. Have a lot of open highway miles ahead of you? Pick up a manual. Like to run on the twisty back roads at (or above) the posted speeds? Pick up a manual.
 

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This question has been asked and debated as long as there has been automatic vs. manual transmissions. Do we really need another debate arguing it, especially on a car that no one has driven 100k yet?

I've has manual and I've had auto (and tiptronic or whatever you feel like calling it). There are advantages and disadvantages of both. Why I said my opinion is, get what you will be happiest driving for those 100,000 miles even if someone tells you other choice is "better."
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Do we really need another debate arguing it, especially on a car that no one has driven 100k yet?
This was supposed to be a poll just to get opinions, not an argument.
It's not even about our Focus transmissions.

It's not about what google returns (somebody elses opinion or fact).

It was supposed to a simple Yes/NO vote on which transmission you thought was better in general.[idea]
 

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voted Automatic because my previous automatic slushboxes have been quite reliable: '77 Buick Skylark, '95 Chevy Corsica, '06 Mazda5 (current). Can't comment on non-slushbox autos: DSG, DCT, etc.

Current 2012 Focus SE hatchback is a manual and so far, so good. Previous manual was in a 2002 Protege5 that had clutch "juddering" issues. Clutch disc on that was replaced under warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Looks like the manual is winning with the most votes.

Come on people, tell the world what you think.
 

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Manuals are simpler, that makes them easier to maintain/repair IMHO. But any transmission can fail if abused or defective... I just prefer to row my own in a sporty car.

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