Most automobiles have either manual or automatic transmissions. These mechanisms send engine power to the drive wheels through the use of gears. In higher gears, car engines work less to maintain higher speeds.
The main difference between manual and automatic transmissions is that manual transmissions require the driver to physically switch between gears with the use of a clutch. Automatic transmissions switch between gears automatically and do not need a clutch.
Manual transmissions can be considered less reliable because of the regular maintenance that they require to work properly. The clutch on cars with manual transmissions needs to be replaced regularly, and if neglected a broken clutch could cause a car to work improperly.
Manual transmissions are found in five- or six-speed variations. Automatic transmissions can be found in four to eight speeds. The more speeds in a transmission, the more fuel economy a car has and the smoother the shift between gears is. Because the majority of automatic cars have four-speed transmissions, those with manual transmissions typically have slightly better fuel economy, allowing the car to burn less fuel.
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