I’m Thinking of Getting a New Car:
Should I Get an Automatic or a Manual?

When deciding on what type of transmission to get, the most important thing to figure out is what your needs are. Will you be driving in the city or taking long road trips? Are you experienced with manual transmissions? Do you want to do your own repairs? Is cost or convenience more important to you? How important is fuel efficiency to you? Do you want a compact car or a larger vehicle?

Once you’ve figured out these questions, then you can decide which one will work better. Here are the main advantages and disadvantages of each type:

Manual transmissions

Manual transmissions will, in general, get you better gas mileage. Cars with manual transmissions have smaller engines but can dedicate more power to the power train. If you know you want an SUV or a larger vehicle, manual transmissions are probably out of the question to begin with, since they’re largely only found on compact cars. Buying a manual transmission can save you hundreds of dollars too.

However, manual transmissions wear down more easily because of the friction involved, especially if you are mainly doing city driving. Los Angeles can be a tough city for a manual transmission. However, they’re great if you’re mainly driving over long stretches or taking road trips. If you are experienced with stick shifts your transmission can last a lot longer than if you had an automatic one.

Another advantage of the manual transmission is that if you know how to work on cars, you may be able to do some small repairs yourself. They are easier to work on than automatic transmissions and often cheaper to repair.

Automatic transmission

Automatic cars are more expensive, tend to wear down faster, and are more complicated than manual transmissions. So why are they so popular? Convenience. Since most people drive mainly in the city, in stop-and-go traffic, it makes sense not to be shifting constantly. The wear and tear on a clutch can be devastating in cities like Los Angeles that demand sudden shifts of speed.

Although traditionally manual transmissions have been more fuel efficient, automatic transmissions are slowly catching up. However, in some vehicles there can still be as much as a 10% increase in fuel use for an automatic transmission! Overdrive gears can help this problem. They make sure your engine uses less gas and isn’t worn as much.

Consider talking to car repair your technician before making your choice! He or she can help you think about what you really need and what’s best for your lifestyle.