What Are the Advantages of an Automatic Vs. a Manual Transmission Automobile?

Written by steve johnson
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What Are the Advantages of an Automatic Vs. a Manual Transmission Automobile?
An automatic transmission has advantages over a manual transmission. (yellow car, a honda Japanese sport car model image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com)

Choosing the type of transmission is a key question when it comes to purchasing an automobile. Although many areas of the world normally rely upon manual transmissions, according to cardealexpert.com, 82 per cent of vehicles sold within the United States have automatic transmissions. Manual transmissions require drivers to constantly disengage and then re-engage the engine's transmission, while automatics do it without the aid of the driver. Although manual transmission vehicles have their advantages, automatics have benefits, too.


The central theme behind the success of the automatic transmission is convenience. A manual transmission requires consistent disengaging and re-engaging on the part of the driver, which can be a considerable task as drivers need to do this not only when starting to drive, but when changing speeds. Automatic transmissions change gears automatically while driving.

Stop-and-Go Driving

Although manual transmissions might not be too much trouble to deal with in areas with wide-open roads and few traffic lights, city driving can make it difficult and troublesome. Stop-and-go driving with a manual transmission requires constant attention and lots of work on the part of the driver, making an automatic transmission beneficial due to its elimination of this process.

Gear Problems

Manual transmissions take more time to learn. If a driver cannot change and shift gears smoothly, it makes gear grinding more likely, which can lead to them eventually becoming stripped, leaving the vehicle with mechanical problems. Although this is still possible in an automatic transmission, it is far less likely, as transitions take place in a consistent manner.


If you have an interest in driving a hybrid vehicle, chances are you're going to be interested in an automatic. The majority of available hybrid vehicles---as of 2010---do not come with manual transmissions, and instead are designed with only automatic transmissions. Not limited to hybrids, selection for all vehicles is limited for those searching for manual vehicles within the United States, as most car dealers have to special order manual transmission vehicles.

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