Quantcast

Jump to content

» «
Photo

Americans and manual gearbox.

178 replies to this topic
gtamann123
  • gtamann123

    Long Live The Established Hierarchy

  • Members
  • Joined: 10 Jun 2008
  • United-States

#151

Posted 30 November 2013 - 05:59 AM

I finnaly got to drive a manual for the first time today. I have to say it was really easy to pick up. After about 20 minutes I was grabbing all the gears with ease and even getting off from a start was pretty much second nature. So I don't see why peoole say its hard.

uzi 9mm
  • uzi 9mm

    Gangsta

  • Members
  • Joined: 01 Oct 2004

#152

Posted 30 November 2013 - 07:48 PM

manual transmissions are just too much trouble. AT are easier for people to use. 

 

i enjoy MT but its not something everyone wants to learn. 

I hardly call it 'trouble', just because automatics are easier. Trouble is when stuff goes wrong and something bad can potentially happen.

 

I honestly don't see what's so difficult about driving a manual car, it's such a straight forward simple task to do. If anything, I don't like how automatics just pull you forward as soon as you take your foot of the brake, without even touching the gas pedal, in my eyes that's trouble.

 

I feel more comfortable being in total control of when the car moves forward. I don't know if this is the case with all automatics, but my Nan has an automatic and it moves without having to touch any pedals.

 

I'm just saying, just because something requires a bit more technicality, doesn't necessarily make it difficult or less convenient, I actually think people pay less attention to the car control in an automatic, all they have to do is stop and go, you don't know what gear the car is in so you can pick up speed without realising. Although you can side track yourself by multi tasking more in an automatic, I won't include that in an argument since that's optional, and besides, you can still multitask in a manual, a way I find some drivers showing off in a way of saying 'look I can drive with one hand and I want the world to see' is by hanging one arm out the window. I usually do things with my right hand whilst leaving my left to control the gears and wheel, but I won't leave my arm in danger of being dismantled by another car crushing into me which is possible. I myself tend to get a bit too close for comfort when I'm driving because I can judge my gaps well, I sometimes forget to take into account some people like to hand their arm out the window.

 

Some people do find it difficult because they don't put enough effort into it. My mum has difficulty putting the gears in and has always done as long as I can remember, my girlfriends Mum had great difficulty putting the gears in when we rented a car in Greece this year, we were both on the agreement, so I asked her to let me drive, now she was really battling with with the gear stick, I was so insistent to have a go , and incredibly, I had no difficulty whatsoever. She didn't drive again during the week we were there. Now maybe people don't put the clutch down enough, or don't become one fully with how to slot in the gears, maybe she had trouble adjusting to driving on the opposite side (as in Greece it's left hand drive, unlike the UK), I don't know. But you can see how even knowing the theory of how to drive can still present problems just from the mechanics being on the opposite.

 

All I can say from driving experience, is to control the vehicle you are driving, don't let it control you. when you can do this, you don't have to fear driving, just the other idiots on the road.


Jeone
  • Jeone

    question authority

  • Members
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2013
  • Palestine

#153

Posted 03 December 2013 - 02:55 AM

I'm American ( well russian-American) And I can drive manual

Killerdude8
  • Killerdude8

    And Remember, Respect is Everything!

  • Members
  • Joined: 09 Mar 2012
  • Canada

#154

Posted 03 December 2013 - 05:07 PM

I'm learning how to drive a standard, Getting going is my problem so far, Otherwise, It's a cake-walk.

 

Oh, I guess if it means anything, I'm Canadian.


Whiskey
  • Whiskey

    Homie

  • The Connection
  • Joined: 29 Aug 2011

#155

Posted 07 December 2013 - 01:27 PM

I feel if you understand the nature of the clutch and how it works and spend a while learning the biting point you pretty much have it. 

 

When I was learning to drive, it was in a diesel Ford Focus and a Nissan Qashqai. I got so used to just giving it the boot to pull off that when I started to drive my Punto I was stalling all over the place. But one weekend I just thought it out a little and after that I've picked it up fairly straightforward. 

 

The brakes in my Punto aren't the best and when I tried to brake without using the gears it definitely didn't instil much confidence in me.


uzi 9mm
  • uzi 9mm

    Gangsta

  • Members
  • Joined: 01 Oct 2004

#156

Posted 07 December 2013 - 04:51 PM

I feel if you understand the nature of the clutch and how it works and spend a while learning the biting point you pretty much have it. 

 

When I was learning to drive, it was in a diesel Ford Focus and a Nissan Qashqai. I got so used to just giving it the boot to pull off that when I started to drive my Punto I was stalling all over the place. But one weekend I just thought it out a little and after that I've picked it up fairly straightforward. 

 

The brakes in my Punto aren't the best and when I tried to brake without using the gears it definitely didn't instil much confidence in me.

 

Yea I learned in a Focus as well, can't remember if it was diesel or petrol, I did my lessons with the AA. It's all good learning in a brand new car, but when you get your own car it's a different story  since all cars are different, I don't know how new your Punto is. Most driving instructors have new cars, and a new car is always fresh, the controls are all new, then you get you buy your own car most beginners don't really get brand new cars. I got a V reg Golf and I was the 6th(and last) owner.

 

Some cars biting point has a nice pull to get the car going, but my N reg Astra needs clutch and gas to go or it will conk out, and as for hill starts I'll use the handbrake, whereas in a new car I could rely on the clutch to pull before the car rolls back so I might not even need the handbrake. Some new cars even have this useful setting where it knows when you're on a hill and when you release the brake the car will stay still until you move forward, it will roll back eventually if you leave it too long though. This is good since you don''t need the handbrake to do a hill start. Automatic drivers don't have to worry about hill starts I guess.

 

Anyway, the main point is every car drives different, due to the different styles and models, then there's wear and tear, so even two cars of the same make and model won't drive the same depending on how it's been treated over time.


Input
  • Input

    Pineapple

  • Members
  • Joined: 11 May 2009

#157

Posted 20 December 2013 - 02:20 AM

Never driven anything but manual.

I tried driving my friends car about a year ago, it was an auto.. It was just boring. And I felt that auto's shift timing is way off, everytime i thought it would gear up it never did.

My first car was a '79 Firebird with a 400, manual of course. That thing would fly! If it had been an auto I imagine I would have only ever saw half the power it really had.


SPKxLonewolf117
  • SPKxLonewolf117

    That one guy who you hate.

  • Members
  • Joined: 12 Feb 2014
  • United-States

#158

Posted 15 February 2014 - 03:02 PM

When I was 12 I was taught how to drive and it was a manual.

 

Every car or truck I get it has to b a manual....and I'm American


SingingEwe954
  • SingingEwe954

    Jack of All Trades

  • Members
  • Joined: 14 Aug 2012
  • NATO

#159

Posted 16 February 2014 - 03:00 AM

33% of America is Fat that means they are also lazy

Svip
  • Svip

    I eat babies

  • Members
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2001

#160

Posted 16 February 2014 - 09:24 AM

What a strange topic.  A lot of discussions about Americans and manual gearboxes, but yet no one has explained why Americans prefer automatic and Europeans prefer manual.

 

Allow me to solve that.

 

Automatic gearboxes has existed since well before the automobile became mainstream (before 1910 no less).[1]  However, these were seen as experimental and very expensive to make and to maintain at the time, so manual transmissions were preferred.  The Model T featured a two speed transmission, which was pretty horrendous to use.

 

By the 1950s, automatic gearboxes became more and more refined, and they began catching on in the United States, but not in Europe.  Americans saw cars as an expression of themselves, whereas Europeans saw them more as tools.  For instance, the Citroën DS had trouble catching on in the US, because in its 20 year production time, it only had one significant change to its body and then Americans couldn't showcase that they year after year had the newest model.  So to Americans, in these days at least, cars were more a vanity exercise than they were for Europeans.

 

Following the oil crisis in 1973, things really shifted apart.  Europeans were worried about the extended usage of fuel and began imposing speed limits to keep the usage down (the Americans did the same), but the Europeans also added high taxes on each litre of fuel.  Petrol tends to cost about two thirds per litre in the US compared to Europe.  Fuel is significantly cheaper in North America.

 

This made the manual quite preferred in Europe, because automatics in the 1970s were still not very good at saving fuel.  Most automatics were 2 or 3-speed transmissions, and would change - often - at the worst possible time.  Much fuel could be saved by buying a manual.  In addition, both in Europe and the United States, automatics are considered an extra, and thus cost more money than a manual (when buying the car).[2]

 

So even if automatics could have caught on in Europe by the 1970s, the oil crisis prevented this by dividing the US and Europe significantly in petrol prices.  Today, however, the difference between Europe and the US is largely legacy.  Manual gearboxes are prevalent in Europe, and thus people tend to prefer them.  In most European countries, you cannot obtain a driving licence using an automatic.  The reverse seems to be the case in the US (of course, you can obtain a driving licence on a manual in the US).

 

So there, a little history.

 

[1] Even before 1920, an autopilot was invented!  Although very primitive compared to modern ones, but could still fly from A to B with the use of a gyroscope.

[2] However, strangely, because automatics are seldom preferred by Europeans, used automatics tend to cost the same and sometimes less than their manual counterparts.  Particularly on very old cars, where maintaining an automatic transmission is a lot more work than a manual one.

  • epoxi likes this

epoxi
  • epoxi

    Your Mother

  • Andolini Mafia Family
  • Joined: 05 Sep 2003
  • None

#161

Posted 16 February 2014 - 12:54 PM Edited by epoxi, 16 February 2014 - 12:55 PM.

I would also argue the shape and structure of the roads in Europe mean that having a manual has more of an advantage in terms of control.

 

In the US there tend to be very straight, wide roads with traffic lights, in Europe you have narrower winding roads with roundabouts and various hazards in cramped towns which were never designed for the car so having a manual gives you that extra agility exactly when you need it (or at least I find it does compared to the sleepy automatics I've driven).


Svip
  • Svip

    I eat babies

  • Members
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2001

#162

Posted 16 February 2014 - 01:58 PM

Good point.  I have driven both an automatic and manual in small European towns, and I must confess I prefer the manual in such a case.  Your issue isn't slow traffic, but tight corners, curves, etc., where it can at times be nice doing first for a bit.  An automatic takes away my control in such a situation.


Carlover325
  • Carlover325

    Playa

  • Members
  • Joined: 20 Aug 2004

#163

Posted 17 February 2014 - 02:29 AM Edited by Carlover325, 17 February 2014 - 02:30 AM.

Where I live now, Southern California just outside Los Angeles, I prefer having an automatic.  There is quite a bit of traffic and stoplights, so constantly shifting becomes a little tedious.  When I lived in South Carolina having a manual was a lot easier.  I could drive down country back roads with little traffic and even fewer stoplights.  

 

Just for comparison's sake.  Here in California, I live about 1/4 mile from my work, and there are 2 stoplights.  When I lived in South Carolina, I lived about 17 miles from work, and there were only 7 stoplights, only 2 in the first 14 miles.

 

Driving a manual can be more fun, but only if it doesn't become a constant annoyance.  But I also have fun driving automatics.  If i were to get another manual, it would just be a fun car that I don't drive all the time.


K^2
  • K^2

    Vidi Vici Veni

  • Moderator
  • Joined: 14 Apr 2004
  • United-States
  • Most Knowledgeable [Web Development/Programming] 2013
    Most Knowledgeable [GTA Series] 2011
    Best Debater 2010

#164

Posted 17 February 2014 - 02:40 AM

I've never found it an annoyance to drive manual even in stop-and-go in larger cities in U.S. I've driven in New York and Chicago with a stick, and did not wish for a moment to have automatic.

 

The car I drive now is automatic, and I've considered more than once swapping the gear box for stick. But I couldn't find a donor car that'd work.


SingingEwe954
  • SingingEwe954

    Jack of All Trades

  • Members
  • Joined: 14 Aug 2012
  • NATO

#165

Posted 17 February 2014 - 02:43 AM

I've never found it an annoyance to drive manual even in stop-and-go in larger cities in U.S. I've driven in New York and Chicago with a stick, and did not wish for a moment to have automatic.
 
The car I drive now is automatic, and I've considered more than once swapping the gear box for stick. But I couldn't find a donor car that'd work.

It would probably be cheaper to sell it and buy a manual than swap the gearbox but I don't know never tried

K^2
  • K^2

    Vidi Vici Veni

  • Moderator
  • Joined: 14 Apr 2004
  • United-States
  • Most Knowledgeable [Web Development/Programming] 2013
    Most Knowledgeable [GTA Series] 2011
    Best Debater 2010

#166

Posted 17 February 2014 - 02:53 AM

It would probably be cheaper to sell it and buy a manual than swap the gearbox but I don't know never tried

Back when I was thinking about it, I could do it almost for free if I did most of the work myself. By now, though, the best option is to just buy a new car, which is what I'm looking into. And yeah, I'll be looking for something with a stick.

gtamann123
  • gtamann123

    Long Live The Established Hierarchy

  • Members
  • Joined: 10 Jun 2008
  • United-States

#167

Posted 18 February 2014 - 02:02 AM Edited by gtamann123, 18 February 2014 - 02:05 AM.

I think the fuel consumption argument is somewhat valid as well. Fuel in the US is very cheap compare to Europe. A lot of Americans really dont give a sh*t about MPG of vehicles. Only the poor or the environmentally concerned. Whereas in Europe fuel is very expensive so having a manual that saves on gas is worth the extra headache of driving one. Whereas in the US fuel consumption isn't a big enough issue to sacrifice comfort or ease of use but I think the majority of the difference is just because of culture. Like svip Pointed out

El_Diablo
  • El_Diablo

    "The_Devil"

  • Leone Family Mafia
  • Joined: 03 Aug 2002
  • Mars

#168

Posted 18 February 2014 - 10:30 PM

well Svip is talking about the history of petrol prices.

I wouldn't say that "only the poor" or the hippies care about MPG's in the US.

 

much of the middle class and entrepreneurship in this country is highly aware of their burdening annual fuel costs and are concerned with its improvement.


epoxi
  • epoxi

    Your Mother

  • Andolini Mafia Family
  • Joined: 05 Sep 2003
  • None

#169

Posted 19 February 2014 - 06:38 PM Edited by epoxi, 19 February 2014 - 06:38 PM.

well Svip is talking about the history of petrol prices.

I wouldn't say that "only the poor" or the hippies care about MPG's in the US.

 

much of the middle class and entrepreneurship in this country is highly aware of their burdening annual fuel costs and are concerned with its improvement.

 

Yes, fuel is much cheaper in the US, but the distances driven are also a lot further, hence it still makes up a very significant proportion of household expenditure.

 

However, as far as I understand, the other costs of ownership (tax, insurance, MOT, maintenance) are much lower per car, so it's more affordable to own multiple vehicles and use them for different purposes. e.g. owning combination of truck for occasional moving of large items, car for commuting, sports car for leisure, RV for holidays

 

Plus relative to much of the world land to store them is cheap and plentiful.


gtamann123
  • gtamann123

    Long Live The Established Hierarchy

  • Members
  • Joined: 10 Jun 2008
  • United-States

#170

Posted 20 February 2014 - 01:59 AM


well Svip is talking about the history of petrol prices.
I wouldn't say that "only the poor" or the hippies care about MPG's in the US.
 
much of the middle class and entrepreneurship in this country is highly aware of their burdening annual fuel costs and are concerned with its improvement.

 
Yes, fuel is much cheaper in the US, but the distances driven are also a lot further, hence it still makes up a very significant proportion of household expenditure.
 
However, as far as I understand, the other costs of ownership (tax, insurance, MOT, maintenance) are much lower per car, so it's more affordable to own multiple vehicles and use them for different purposes. e.g. owning combination of truck for occasional moving of large items, car for commuting, sports car for leisure, RV for holidays
 
Plus relative to much of the world land to store them is cheap and plentiful.

And also the majority of american cities are built around the automobile and its almost impossible to function in everyday life without one. Unless you live in a city like New York or some areas in Chicago. So Americans might prefer auto because they use their cars a lot more and can't be bothered to wear down their left leg and right arm all day long.

Winning001
  • Winning001

    Join the cool people. Set it to North Korea today!

  • Members
  • Joined: 05 Jun 2013
  • North-Korea

#171

Posted 20 February 2014 - 03:47 AM

Manual Transmission...the only effective anti-theft system

  • Mr Scratch likes this

epoxi
  • epoxi

    Your Mother

  • Andolini Mafia Family
  • Joined: 05 Sep 2003
  • None

#172

Posted 21 February 2014 - 06:49 PM

And also the majority of american cities are built around the automobile and its almost impossible to function in everyday life without one. Unless you live in a city like New York or some areas in Chicago. So Americans might prefer auto because they use their cars a lot more and can't be bothered to wear down their left leg and right arm all day long.

 

That's true. I suppose anyone who doesn't like cars would buy an automatic because they have no interest in learning a manual, nor care about the experience of driving.

 

Elsewhere in the world car ownership is a very conscious decision: the hoops to jump through to own one (high running costs, stricter driving tests, lack of parking, other forms of transport as alternatives) mean that most people who own a car 'want' it to some degree.


Ex Hellraiser
  • Ex Hellraiser

    Legendary

  • Members
  • Joined: 18 Aug 2011
  • None

#173

Posted 28 February 2014 - 02:17 AM

The reason I drive an automatic is because it was what was available to me at the time. I have little money, so when a $400 car passed me by, it didn't matter if it were auto or stick, it was a car. Then again, being 15, getting the car wasn't my choice, because I wasn't the one driving it at the time. And even with it being 24 years old, I can still get 27-29 MPG on a good day (and that is with my heavy foot). I do hope to get a stick soon, though, as I really want to learn how to drive a manual. Also, it would make it easier when I get the chance to get a motorcycle license in the future.


BaM BooZeLLed
  • BaM BooZeLLed

    Scooby Guy

  • Members
  • Joined: 25 Sep 2013
  • United-States

#174

Posted 28 February 2014 - 02:46 AM

Proud American manual driver... Some people just dont want to cause they dont have to. 


M210F
  • M210F

    Mark Chump

  • Members
  • Joined: 23 Sep 2013

#175

Posted 26 March 2014 - 12:39 AM

I drive manual as exclusively as possible. Driving should be fun, not a means to an end- it doesn't matter if you're driving some used piece of crap or a supercar. Both of my parents drive manual and so they taught me, and now I refuse to drive anything else unless I have to.

 

Bumper-to-bumper traffic isn't really that big of a deal in a manual. Once you learn to get started without stalling you're good to go in it and don't even have to shift if it's really that dense. I live in a town which is built along an interstate and so the whole town is designed around driving up and down it. From where I live I have to go 3 miles to get to the nearest sidewalk, and so I have to drive- but if I was in an automatic I would probably die of boredom.

 

As for why Americans drive so many automatics, a lot of it comes down to the fact that people learn how to drive from their parents. I started learning on an automatic because it's obviously easier, but I think that a lot of the time it doesn't go further than those basics. Nearly every household owns a car here and many see it only as a means to an end, and if anything makes that less of a hassle then they're all for it. It's like the microwave- sure, it may be more satisfying and better to make a nice meal in the oven, but if you don't enjoy or can't cook then you may as well use the microwave.

  • gtamann123 likes this

SouthLand
  • SouthLand

    CE SABADELL FC

  • Members
  • Joined: 15 Nov 2013
  • Spain

#176

Posted 01 April 2014 - 02:59 PM

I can drive both (I also know how to drive trucks but i can't on public roads since i don't have a truck licence)

 

Automatic is more comfortable and much better if you are stuck in traffic.

Manual is for someone to enjoy driving on a curvy road and having fun.


Ben73
  • Ben73

    Homeboy

  • Members
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2012
  • Australia

#177

Posted 02 April 2014 - 03:08 AM

I enjoy manual, but I'd never own one as a daily drive. Automatic only for that.

 

Thing is with manual I have to be in the mood for it. I'd get sick of doing it all the time, I'd just like to save it for the special occasions.

 

What gets me is when a manual driver says "I can't drive automatic, it's too hard"

If you think and automatic gearbox makes it too hard, I never want to pass you on the road.


M210F
  • M210F

    Mark Chump

  • Members
  • Joined: 23 Sep 2013

#178

Posted 03 April 2014 - 02:04 AM

I enjoy manual, but I'd never own one as a daily drive. Automatic only for that.

 

Thing is with manual I have to be in the mood for it. I'd get sick of doing it all the time, I'd just like to save it for the special occasions.

 

What gets me is when a manual driver says "I can't drive automatic, it's too hard"

If you think and automatic gearbox makes it too hard, I never want to pass you on the road.

It's not as much 'hard' as it is unnatural. It's like growing up with normal TV, then one day there's a TV that detects what you want and does it for you. Sure, it may be efficient, but it just doesn't feel right- it doesn't feel like you have enough control. Without the clutch I feel like my left foot's just there, not serving a purpose.


SouthLand
  • SouthLand

    CE SABADELL FC

  • Members
  • Joined: 15 Nov 2013
  • Spain

#179

Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:47 AM

 

I enjoy manual, but I'd never own one as a daily drive. Automatic only for that.

 

Thing is with manual I have to be in the mood for it. I'd get sick of doing it all the time, I'd just like to save it for the special occasions.

 

What gets me is when a manual driver says "I can't drive automatic, it's too hard"

If you think and automatic gearbox makes it too hard, I never want to pass you on the road.

It's not as much 'hard' as it is unnatural. It's like growing up with normal TV, then one day there's a TV that detects what you want and does it for you. Sure, it may be efficient, but it just doesn't feel right- it doesn't feel like you have enough control. Without the clutch I feel like my left foot's just there, not serving a purpose.

 

 

Or if you are driving on second gear and you want to change to third at 6000RPM and the car decides to change for you at 4000RPM... Who the hell told you to change at 4000RPM!!!





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users