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What Is a Manual Transmission and How Does It Work?

Manual transmission cars are more than millennial anti-theft devices. They also have better performance, gas mileage and are a whole lot more fun to drive than automatics.

Manual transmission cars can be hard to find nowadays because many people don’t know how to drive them.

What is a manual transmission, and what are the differences between a manual vs. automatic transmission? Read on to find out.

What Is a Manual Transmission?

A manual transmission is a transmission absent of a computer and other means of automation. Manual transmission cars have a clutch and a stick-shift, two components that automatic transmissions lack.

They put the driver in control when it comes to shifting gears. Rather than have a computer dictate when your gears will shift up or down, you, as the driver, make the call.

Benefits of a Manual Transmission

Manual transmissions give you much more control over your automobile. If you get good at driving a stick, you can also get much better gas mileage with one than an automatic.

The 5-speed manual transmission is the most common type available in automobiles. That said, there are multiple kinds of manual transmissions available, each with its own gear ratio. 

Trucks, for instance, can have as many as 18 gears. This huge range allows for them to carry heavy loads up steep inclines and at high speeds.

Manual transmissions are also great safety features for accident avoidance. If you need to slow down fast, but icy roads or other factors make using your brake system unsafe, you can downshift and come to a controlled stop.

Manual transmissions are also much cheaper to repair than their automatic cousins; if you need parts to repair your manual transmission, click here.

In that same vein, make sure to use only manual transmission fluid for your manual car.

Anybody that has driven a stick for long enough will tell you how much they prefer it over an automatic transmission.

When an automatic would be more appropriate, the only times would be in stop-and-go traffic or driving in a hilly city.

How Does a Manual Transmission Work?

When operating a manual transmission, you use your right foot to operate both the gas pedal and brake pedal. The left foot is reserved for the clutch. When you need to switch gears, you use your left foot to depress the clutch.

While the clutch is activated, you slide the stick-shift with your right hand into your gear of choice. After selecting the proper gear, you release the clutch and continue on your way.

When operating a stick shift, you need to balance the clutch with the amount you press the gas pedal to avoid stalling out. This can be tricky on hills, as you may tend to roll backward, but with a little practice, anyone can do it.

Go Manual and You Will Never Go Back

Once you have driven a stick shift, you will never want to go back to an automatic. Manual transmissions have a ton of advantages over their automatic brethren.

Try driving a stick shift today and see what makes a manual transmission superior. If you liked this content, check back with our site for other pieces similar to it.


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