Today, most folks don’t pay much attention to transmission type in consumer vehicles…
…unless cost or operating convenience applies as a primary purchase requisite.
It’s likely that more automatics exist on U.S. dealer lots when compared with manuals, since most people aren’t taught using the stick and clutch method anymore, and manufacturers have tended to respond to this trend by equipping automatics as standard amenities, rather than using the simpler variety.
So, if you go looking for a dependable used car on virtually any lot in America, you are likely to see a 20:1 average ratio between cars integrated with automatics, versus manuals. But, and if you are a cost-pincher like me, once you get that perfect pre-owned roller off the lot and into your garage, is your transmission choice going to provide for more, or less, dependability going forward?
Manual or automatic transmission…What’s the difference?
In the past, there were no doubts that manual’s offered significant advantages in terms of operating life-cycle, since these transmissions required fewer parts to go south; in addition to offering generally lower maintenance costs when it came to labor and parts. However, in the last two decades auto manufacturers have refined automatic systems to the degree that “most” variants are nearly as dependable as manuals on a daily-driver basis.
That said, however, while transmission technologies may have upped their ante, in the event that a mechanical problem does occur, professional service and parts replacement costs will require a hefty sum to get any issue resolved. And meanwhile, old school manual systems will still offer the same simple mechanical challenges, offering generally inexpensive solutions, and a clear ability to DIY your way through the problem.
However as a matter of common-sense, at least, consider all of the options before you pull the trigger since there are plenty of pre-owned cars running around these days; although they’re are a lot more fun on road, rather than in the shop or in the driveway.
Thanks AAMCO Colorado for the infographic!