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Automatic vs. stick-shift

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Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby rabble » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:48 pm

I don't mind driving a stick in stop and go traffic. Not for the first hour, anyway. What I still don't like even after all these years is stopping on a hill. Like the one on Division and Atwood. Or Riverside and Winnebago. Haven't stalled it in years but I still hate it, especially when somebody pulls up behind me and parks on my bumper.
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Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby snoqueen » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:04 pm

all these references to old 3 speeds has me wondering. Did any of yours have a manual choke like my Falcon?


The old VWs and Karmann Ghias had one. So did my 1970 Ford F-150, though it might have been aftermarket added.

In addition to teaching your kid to start in first gear without using the accelerator (just slipping the clutch) try showing them how to do this when starting uphill:

Put your right heel on the brake and turn your foot so your toe is on the accelerator (or vice versa, if your foot turns better that way). Put it in first and, giving it a little gas, let up on the clutch. When you feel it grab, you can let the brake go. Like having three feet.

Back when the parking brake was an emergency (hand) brake, you could also do the uphill-start job by engaging the hand brake, feathering the clutch, and letting the hand brake loose when you feel the clutch grab.

When learning to drive clutch, turn off the radio or music. You mostly learn it by listening to the engine. Same with driving in snow or on ice. You sometimes hear yourself lose traction before you feel it.


All harder to explain than to do, and kindly taught to me by my father, the most patient old-school driving teacher on the planet.
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Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby Stebben84 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:51 pm

rabble wrote:Like the one on Division and Atwood. Or Riverside and Winnebago. Haven't stalled it in years but I still hate it, especially when somebody pulls up behind me and parks on my bumper.


When I first drove stick I hated the hills and now I see them as a great challenge. I do hate the assholes that ride my bumber, but after driving through the Rockies with my stick, I've gotten pretty good at hills.
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Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby Madcity Expat » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:11 pm

Haven't read all the posts yet but almost every car I've ever owned has been a manual transmission.

My wife I and just bought a new (2012) Honda Civic, manual transmission. We didn't have any real trouble finding one. They had fewer on the lot (only 2 I think) so our choice of colors was limited, but that wasn't a big problem. We also have a Toyota mini-van, that one is an automatic.

The Civic replaced a 12yr old Volk Jetta (manual) which replaced a Toyota Corolla (manual). The Corolla was my car when I met my wife - she was driving a Jeep at the time (automatic) and she learned to drive a manual on my car.

The Corolla replaced a Toyota Tercel (also a manual) which was my first car. It was an 80 or 81, and I bought it in the mid-90s with over 200k miles for about $800.

I learned to drive and got my license in 1987 (day after my 16th b-day) in a late 70s Ford Fairmont - my parents car - it was an automatic.
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Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby fennel » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:59 pm

Marvell wrote:I learned to drive in one of these babies, which was a manual.
Those were fun to drive. I preferred the 99, but the two weren't all that different. The floor-mounted ignition just seemed right, too.
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Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby city2countrygal » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:06 am

I can have both things.

It's my motherfucking IS (with E-shift), after all.

"Pressing a button will cause a nearly instantaneous, positive shift up or down. In "D" or fully automatic mode, the tranny shifts imperceptibly. Mashing the go pedal will run the tach right to the redline (6,400 rpm) before shifting so it is very difficult to improve on the fully automatic mode when it comes to performance. The computer in most cases does a better job. Lexus claims a 0-60 time of 7.1 seconds, but they must have been going downhill, because my average was 7.61 seconds. Even the best magazine number was 7.4 seconds (Motor Trend) with most numbers in the mid to high sevens. My best run nearly duplicated the MT time with a very quick run of 7.38 seconds. All runs were done with the traction control off."

From: http://www.theautochannel.com/vehicles/new/reviews/2000/lweitzman_lexus_is300.html
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Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby Xiao Mao » Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:27 pm

Many years ago, two of my customers were carjacked outside a bar in Milwaukee... the two carjackers tried first to take one woman's car: it was a standard-trans. Then, this hippie woodworker guy I knew went outside to try and reason with them (hippies...). They then turned their guns on him; he gave them his keys to his standard-trans pickup truck. Upon finding that they couldn't drive his truck either, they took off on foot. The Journal-Sentinel printed an article about the incident titled "Shiftless Carjackers Need Driving Lessons".
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Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby bleurose » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:24 pm

All three current vehicles are stick: 97 F150, 12 John Cooper Works Mini,79 MG Midget. Learned to drive stick when 1st hubby bought an MG-B on a whim. Had to learn or I didn't get to drive it. Also, first new car I bought was a 76 Camaro with a stick. I loved that car. Trouble was he kept cracking it up so that by the time it was only 18 months old, it was about 90% Bondo. I left him shortly after he traded it without telling me - and without his name even on the title. But we lived in one of the southern tier of states at the time where "my" property rights took second place to anything the male of the species wanted to do. Since then, I think I've had one automatic, a 78 Dodge Maxivan and the rest have all been sticks. I really like driving a stick, it just feels more connected. I don't have any trouble on hills, unless we're talking ice and then everyone has trouble. If some jerkwad pulls right up on my bumper, I'm pretty good at letting it roll back an inch or so to let him/her know to get outta my space or I'm going to use your car as a launching pad. What I worry about now is that with creeping age (mine, not the vehicle's) that arthritis may make the clutching activity a bit tough.
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Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby wallrock » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:21 pm

With one exception I've always driven a stick. I learned to drive in my father's underpowered four-banger Ford Ranger and had the luxury of driving it to high school. The only time I ever got it over 65 mph was downhill with a stiff tailwind. Then my parents found a used manual Plymouth Neon (they did make a Neon under the Plymouth badge for some reason) that my sister and I shared after my father unceremoniously put the "Dangerous Rangerous" out to pasture. I did briefly own an automatic 1987 Volvo 240 shitbox my senior year of college, but after the alternator crapped out I got a used Saturn SC-2 stick that served me well for the next five years.

I've currently got a manual 2007 Civic that I've driven with hardly an issue for the past five and a half years. I've driven it all throughout the Upper Midwest, through fields, on logging roads, in Chicago back alleys, and across iron mines. While I feel it has a few good years left in it I am starting to examine options for a new car. One of my top requirements is another manual. I can't foresee ever being happy with an automatic.
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Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby Madsci » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:54 pm

In my 40 some year of driving, I have driven a stick four times so far. The first was a flat bed Ford in the late 70s while living in southern CA. I drove less than one block before the trainer/owner asked me to stop in order to save his new clutch.

The second time was about 2 years later in Madison in a big truck when my co-workers drank too much and wanted me (sober) to drive back to the shop. I drove at least 5 miles but one of the guys sitting in the middle was actually shifting the stick.

The third time was in the late 80s in a parking lot with a friend and her beater of a Honda Civic. Oh, that's how to do it!

And the fourth time was later that week to test drive cars. I did fine but I ended up with an automatic, it was the best car for the money.

It will be interesting when I have to learn to drive a tractor.
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Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby jorgea » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:03 pm

You save on gas with a stick shift
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Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby Comrade » Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:30 pm

Tractors are not a big deal. Most of them are not scynconized trannies and you do not shift gears while moving. You pick a gear while stopped and slowly let out the clutch and then throttle up. Some of them have varing range trannys where you can shift from direct to overdrive or underdrive in the same gear witout stopping. Some newer ones do allow for a limited range of shifting while moving, but since your top speed is about 20mph, not much shifting is generally required.

I have owned both and have no problem with either, but my preference would be for the automatic only because it is stronger than the manual and will last longer if taken care of properly. Manuals will requrire at least one clutch replacement over the life of the vehicle and they are a pain to switch out. You have to undo all the linkage and mounts to the tranny, slide it back or remove it entirely, remove bellhousing on back of motor, replace clutch disk and throwout bearing and put it all back. At LEAST one days hard labor. Don't really want to do it anymore.
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Re: Automatic vs. stick-shift

Postby Madsci » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:42 am

Thanks for the info about tractors. Now if only all this snow and ice would melt.
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