Up until around two decades ago, everyone learned how to drive car using a “stick shift” or manual transmission. In the United States, automatic transmissions were only around since the 1950s. They slowly began to replace the automatic transmission throughout the country becoming popular in such places as Madison and Janesville. In many countries around the world, a manual transmission remains the norm. This is true in Europe, particularly Western Europe, where the automatic transmission is slow to gain popularity.
What is A Manual Transmission?
A manual transmission, as the name indicates, involves the human element. The driver has to perform two basic actions. He or she must exert pressure on the clutch and shift gears manually. The action of moving the gears (gear shift) by hand and the shape or behavior of the shift is partially responsible for the nickname for this type of transmission – stick shift.
Originally, vehicles featured three-speed manual transmissions. This increased to four and then to five. Today, most cars in the United States that use manual transmissions boast five if not six speeds. This does not include reverse.
Advantages of a Manual Transmission
When it comes to manual transmissions, there is little doubt that they do have several advantages. Some drivers prefer them because:
- They provide direct control of the vehicle
- Manual transmissions ensure drivers in Oshkosh and elsewhere get better fuel economy
- These cars, because of the comparative simplicity of the transmission, are much easier to maintain
- They often use gear or engine oil rather than automatic transmission fuel (ATF). This means less frequent changing and less wear and tear
- A vehicle is often less expensive to purchase than an automatic
Disadvantages of a Manual Transmission
No vehicle or transmission is perfect. Those who prefer automatics find flaws with manuals. They feel manual transmissions
- Are more difficult to learn how to drive – usually accompanied with stalling and grinding of gears
- Require skill to operate as you must have one hand on the steering wheel and one on the gear.
- Can be more physically demanding – using hand and legs can cause stress and joint pain – particularly as you age
Purchasing or Repairing a Manual Transmission in Appleton or Green Bay
If you are in Appleton, Green Bay or Janesville Fond du lac, Sheboygan, Wausau or Oshkosh and looking to buy a new, rebuilt or remanufactured manual transmission, get in touch with Trans Works Transmissions. We can help you make the best choice for you and your vehicle.