Nitroracer
Nitroracer Dork
5/22/08 5:38 p.m.

I don't know if anyone else frequents LeftLaneNews for some daily new car gossip but today they had an article about the advances in automatic transmissions. While I do agree automatics have improved by leaps and bounds, I don't think they should be eliminated. There are too many people like us left in the world who still think its more fun to shift for yourself, even if I am going to lose a tenth or two in a straight line against your new 16-speed DSG ulimatic car

http://www.leftlanenews.com/shifting-gears-the-changing-world-of-automotive-transmissions.html.

Nashco
Nashco Dork
5/22/08 6:12 p.m.

If nothing else, I still prefer a manual trans for simplicity and cost. A basic manual shifted synchro style box will still be easily rebuildable by the average Joe in 20 years. While the older auto transmissions were pretty simple to rebuild, the new ones are getting quite complex. Modern automated manuals are awesome in that they combine the efficiency of a manual trans with the ease of use of an auto trans. However, they're still more difficult to work on and more expensive to fix. I'd much rather row through the gears myself knowing that a clutch replacement is still a 6 hour, $300 job, and that if I ever have to service the trans it can still be done at home. Also, a manual shifted box doesn't need trans coolers, weighs less, is smaller, and is cheaper to manufacture. The only problem with a manual shifted box, IMO, is that the manufacturer has to make room for a shifter in the interior, which takes away interior space and requires more parts to be designed to accomodate it.

New cars are becoming complex and expensive enough. I like that cars like my Saabaru has lots of modern conveniences but still uses the basics where it gets the job done well, like a basic 5 speed box and manually adjusted seats.

Bryce

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
5/22/08 7:24 p.m.

and do not forget room for the third pedal.

But, I have to admit, out of all my close friends, none of them besides myself knows how to drive a stick. They all learned on autos and only buy autos. The only friend who once owned a stick comments whenever I rev over 4 grand that I am "burning up my engine"

integraguy
integraguy
5/23/08 7:42 a.m.

"....the manufacturer has to make room for a shifter in the interior",

Even that is no longer a big hang up for offering a manual tranny in a car, as many brands have gone to cable operated shift mechanisms for manual as well as automatic transmissions (And a HUGE boo to those that have....such as Honda?) With "remotely mounted" electric steering pumps starting to become common, I would think a tight engine compartment will be a factor in the eventual elimination of the manual tranny.

BTW, while my current car has a automatic, I also prefer a manual for the reasons already stated. My father has 2 different years of Tauruses with auto, the NEWER one had a massive trans failure at a fairly lowish mileage (apparently a common Taurus/Sable problem) while the older one also has issues that make driving it borderline dangerous (occasionally it "hangs" between gears 1 and 2).

Capt Slow
Capt Slow New Reader
5/23/08 1:00 p.m.

I have sworn automatics off forever twice now... My first car was an '84 GMC Jimmy with the first gen 700R4 automatic... that car and trans caused me to swear off all GM product and automatic transmissions forever....

Untill much later when I was offered a subaru impresa with an auto... and when the auto failed I made the mistake of having a shop fix it. again, and again, and again and again....

never ever again am I going to spend my money and a car that comes with an auto. ever. not even for the wife.

in regards to swearing off GM forever well, hmm, I just got a ride in a friends Z06 I could probably "make do" with one of those...... at some point in the future....

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH Dork
5/23/08 1:49 p.m.

I don't think robotized manuals need a transmission cooler - it's the engine that most of them are hooked up to that necessitates it. Does the Smart Fortwo have a tranny cooler?

Anyhow that's not as much of an issue as all of the complicated gizmos that do the shifting failing on you. The only time I'd want a robotized manual is if the car has a high-revving engine where the revs drop quickly. A regular manual would waste my time and force me to blip the throttle to rev-match when shifting up.

On the other hand, on most engines a regular manual is more than fast enough, and a robotized manual would waste my money with its added complexity and weight.

Nashco
Nashco Dork
5/23/08 4:04 p.m.

robotized? They're commonly called an automated manual. Robotized does sound trendy though, expect to see that in a Scion ad in the future. ;) No, automated manuals don't need a cooler, you can treat them similar to a normal manual trans. If you have to blip the throttle on UPshifts, something's wrong. I've never heard of a high revving car (or bike, or anything) that dropped in RPMs so fast and had such tight gear spacing that you couldn't upshift normally. Downshifting is another story, but that's still more of a synchro issue than an engine issue. Many modern manuals are getting triple synchros between gears. Cool gearboxes use dogs and you just shift harder. :cool:

Bryce

internetautomart
internetautomart New Reader
5/25/08 8:39 p.m.

I like my automatics. Won't own a stick, it makes no sense for me.

Chris_V
Chris_V SuperDork
5/26/08 2:01 p.m.
Capt Slow wrote: I have sworn automatics off forever twice now... My first car was an '84 GMC Jimmy with the first gen 700R4 automatic... that car and trans caused me to swear off all GM product and automatic transmissions forever....

You have apparently never driven a modded musclecar or street rod using a 700R4 (or it's little brother, the 200R4) with a B&M shift kit and a higher stall converter. When you start modding the trans, there's all sorts of things you can do (and they really aren't that much harder than a manual to work on. I redid the internals on the modified Ford AOD in my V8 RX7 autocrosser).

I've had automatics that broke, and I've had manuals that broke. Either one is annoying when you're stuck in first gear on the opposite side of town...

mtn
mtn Dork
5/26/08 4:47 p.m.
internetautomart wrote: I like my automatics. Won't own a stick, it makes no sense for me.

I take it you live in Chicago? or Atlanta?

internetautomart
internetautomart SuperDork
5/26/08 4:53 p.m.
mtn wrote:
internetautomart wrote: I like my automatics. Won't own a stick, it makes no sense for me.
I take it you live in Chicago? or Atlanta?

Chicago. where I'm at we have stops signs every block and speed bumps very frequently. talk about annoying.

neon4891
neon4891 Reader
5/26/08 5:36 p.m.

3rd peddal? -1 big +2 small

mtn
mtn Dork
5/26/08 11:12 p.m.
internetautomart wrote:
mtn wrote:
internetautomart wrote: I like my automatics. Won't own a stick, it makes no sense for me.
I take it you live in Chicago? or Atlanta?
Chicago. where I'm at we have stops signs every block and speed bumps very frequently. talk about annoying.

Yep. I'm in the burbs, and its not so bad at the hours I drive with the backroads, but whenever I go to the city I always try to get my brother's Crown Vic

Stuc
Stuc Reader
5/27/08 12:56 a.m.

Euh... hate to admit it... but those DSG transmissions are amazing. I was riding around in a new GTI and when driving normally I would really have to pay attention to the engine sound to even know if it shifted. I guess the statistic is that the engine is not powered by the transmission for 8 ms during shifts which is apparently an unnoticable amount of time.

Even at high RPM downshifts it was extremely smooth.

It was certainly very impressive... but don't get me wrong. I'd still take a clutch.

nderwater
nderwater New Reader
5/27/08 10:00 a.m.

ditto that - dsg/smg is fantastic technology, but let me keep my clutch!

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