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The Standard Transmission Thread

Discussion in 'Tilted Gear' started by martian, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. martian

    martian Server Monkey Staff Member

    Location:
    Mars
    I thought this might make for a good thread after talking to my sister the other day. I offered to let her borrow my car for some unimportant thing and she reminded me that she can't borrow my car, as she never learned to drive stick.

    People are funny about their transmissions. I like stick shift if I'm driving a performance car, but I have no illusions about my Ford Fusion SE falling into that category. Some people say it's a pain to drive in traffic, or that it makes them feel more connected with the road, or they like the extra control.

    I seem to be the only person I know that doesn't care. Manual or auto, for a grocery getter it's all the same as far as I can tell.

    So, TFP, now's your chance. Convince me. Do you know how to drive standard? If you do, do you have a preference for it? If so, why? If not, would you like to learn? Or do you not care?
     
  2. genuinemommy

    genuinemommy Moderator Staff Member

    I like both.
    I prefer standard when I have no children in the car, as it makes for a more mindful driving experience.
    I prefer automatic when I might be more distracted by littlegirly's conversations or tinygirly's attempts at singing. Distractions are not fun in a manual. At least for me. It does make a difference when a couple of mini-me's are in the back seat.

    Our mom-mobile, premium-guzzling, passat wagon is automatic.
    Our run-around, road-tripping, diesel-sipping beetle is standard.

    Oh, when considering child care options we found it convenient that our top pick happened to be able to drive either. We'll now make it a priority and limiting factor when choosing our next au pair.
     
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  3. martian

    martian Server Monkey Staff Member

    Location:
    Mars

    That is actually a good point. Manual demands focus in a way that auto doesn't. I wonder how that affects overall driving habits? Maybe accident rates of manual drivers vs auto drivers?

    It sure would be hard to text and drive while cruising around town with my current car even if I did want to do such things.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  4. cynthetiq

    cynthetiq Administrator Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    New York City
    I drive standard. I have always wanted to drive standard but had to sacrifice to automatic for those that couldn't.

    I drive with a standard because I prefer to concentrate on the road and traffic. This means sometimes I don't want the stereo on. I want to hear the engine. I want to not have any distractions. I want to focus on the driving.

    BMW Ultimate Driving Machine Shift Knob Yeee Ha Bonus DVD The Hire | eBay

    s-l1600.jpg
     
    • Like Like x 4
  5. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member Donor

    My first car had a standard transmission. I knew how to drive one before I even had a license. I guess technically my motorcycle is a standard transmission too.


    I guess the more performance oriented a vehicle is, the more likely I would be to prefer a standard transmission. Although, realistically, with today's technology amateur drivers will simply not out perform the best automatics out there. But the "fun to drive" factor more than takes care of a tenth of a second or two in the 1/4 mile I suppose.

    That being said, my vehicle is paid for by my employer, and getting a standard transmission isn't an option, so I've driven automatics only for years.
     
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  6. Stan

    Stan Resident Dumbass Donor

    Location:
    Colorado
    I've never met an automatic transmission that knows what gear I want better than I do. Automatics suck in the mountains.

    I've been driving a stick for 45 years. The last automatic that I owned came with my wife ... I converted her. Both daughters graduated from dad's school of driving, both are very proficient at stick and drive it by choice.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  7. martian

    martian Server Monkey Staff Member

    Location:
    Mars
    Related: my mother is a big proponent of standard transmissions. She recently got a Nissan Sentra with a 6 speed that she loves. It's a nice little commuter I guess but I'm not a huge fan solely because the shifter is in what I consider to be a weird spot. Photo evidence:

    [​IMG]


    There's definitely a wider variation of driving experiences in standards, in my experience. I had a Zipcar membership for five years when I lived in Toronto, and drove a wide range of automatic transmission 4 cylinder sedans. They all drove more or less the same. But mom's car and my car drive differently, despite also both being 4 cylinder sedans with six speed transmissions.

    That could be considered a plus or a minus, I guess. My Fusion's clutch is pretty easygoing and it shifts nicely, so I like that. It's pretty boring, but that's what I was after.
     
  8. omega

    omega Very Tilted

    I have pretty much always driven manual. Except for a toyota corolla for a couple years and the minivan my ex wife has. And my girlfriend's car. I have had 5 manual cars. That being said, it's not as big a deal anymore to have one. My crown vic and my dodge charger had automatics in my old job. A good automatic is very good nowadays. I sell chrysler 200s and jeep cherokees with 9 speed automatics. It allows them to be pretty efficient and zippy with their lightweight 2.4 liter four cylinders. We traded in a honda s2000 that I almost bought. That vehicle had a great shifter, as all Hondas do. No one, not even any European Marque has a shifter as good as a honda. But I didn't want every kid in a clapped out bmw trying to race me. We would hit the first corner and they would realize the superiority of a double wishbone suspension over their McPherson struts right before they crashed.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Lindy

    Lindy Moderator Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    Nebraska
    I've always preferred stick shift cars. The very first car I drove at age 14 was an old (1960s) VW beetle stickshift. Every car I've bought has been a manual, although I did get my hand-me-down (free) AMC Eagle which was an automatic. I still have the 5-speed 250k mile SAAB 9-5 that I bought on ebay in 2006 and the 2006 Accord four-door EX-L 6-speed manual 265hp V-6 that I bought last summer. I also had another SAAB and a Ford Festiva stickshift, all small to medium size cars.

    I might go for an automatic if I drove something big, like a F-250 or Suburban, but I'd never buy something like that. It might make me grow a dick.;)

    Manual was a little bit of a pain when I lived in Boston, but I didn't drive in the city that much, and once I got on the highway I might go hundreds of miles without shifting. My high mile SAAB still has the original clutch at over 250k miles.
    My EX-L V-6 grinds sometimes upshifting from 2nd to 3rd. Doesn't grind on a downshift. According to the fanboy website, that is common with Honda six-speed manuals.
    Also, I catch myself sometimes forgetting about 6th gear and suddenly noticing that I'm cruising merrily along at 80mph in 5th.:rolleyes: The engine is so smooth, I just don't notice.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pav├ęs, la plage Donor

    Location:
    Temasek
    I learned to drive on a standard car and did my driver's test on a standard car. I prefer it as any automatic I have owned or driven is kind of boring.

    The only difficulty I had was having to stop on very steep hills. Not a regular issue, but there was a McDonald's drive through in Scarborough that was stressful.

    The best part is that when I rent cars in Europe, they are almost always standard cars and I am golden.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Lindy

    Lindy Moderator Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    Nebraska
    I especially dislike CVT automatics.:eek:
     
    • Like Like x 4
  12. ralphie250

    ralphie250 Fully Erect Donor

    Location:
    Jonesboro ga
    I have had a manual since I was 15. I learned to drive on one. the only vehicle that ive ever had that wasn't one was my 06 f150 that I bought new. my wife cant drive my ranger cause its a manual. personally too many people cant drive one. as a trans man, the only ones that I see that ford produces anymore are ones in mustangs and a handful of focuses. it don't matter to me what I drive
     
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  13. Stan

    Stan Resident Dumbass Donor

    Location:
    Colorado
    My Tacoma is like that. 80 mph and "Oh ya, I have a 6th gear.
    On the BMW, I don't shift from 5th to 6th until 100 or so.

    My wife demolished one on a Subaru test drive. The sales dude was in the back talking up the CVT and it took my wife less than a mile to trash it.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  14. omega

    omega Very Tilted

    Sorry to hear about honda. I guess when you have reached so much farther than anyone else, than it's easier to fall. And people expect so much because honda's standards were so high.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. cynthetiq

    cynthetiq Administrator Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    New York City
    How do you do that?

    Just learn


    View: https://youtu.be/2awswE9bMl4
     
  16. martian

    martian Server Monkey Staff Member

    Location:
    Mars
    CVT isn't a manual though. It's a type of auto that (in theory) adjusts the gear ratio to always keep the engine working at peak efficiency. I don't really know how you kill one, unless it's already defective.

    The secret to never stalling is practice.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Chris Noyb

    Chris Noyb Get in, buckle up, hang on, & don't criticize.

    Location:
    Large City, TX
    Traffic is the factor for me. I like a manual, but not when I have to nearly constantly work the clutch & shifter in traffic. One year we left the Renaissance Festival and got stuck in some of the worst traffic I've ever experienced (that's saying something living in Houston); my left leg was jelly by the time we got home.

    Who here can drive, or at least remembers being able to drive, a three-on-the-tree?
     
  18. Stan

    Stan Resident Dumbass Donor

    Location:
    Colorado
    A CVT doesn't shift, it just sorta adjusts. Except for my wife, it was winding out the engine at 45.

    My wife can drive a manual just fine and wanted to try a CVT. She's over it now.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. cynthetiq

    cynthetiq Administrator Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    New York City
    I drove a Honda Insight. It was a CVT. I was always in the high rev band with what seemed like all torque and no speed. It was miserable. I wished I killed that zipcar.
     
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  20. Chris Noyb

    Chris Noyb Get in, buckle up, hang on, & don't criticize.

    Location:
    Large City, TX
    Not all manuals are the same. A high clutch and a long throw with the shifter can be tiring, and a narrow gear ratio means having to shift more often. Combined they make driving in heavy traffic a PITA. Some of the 'sporty' shifters with a really short throw can make you hit the wrong gear.
     
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