Five Benefits of Manual Transmissions

benefits of manual transmissions

Benefits of Manual Transmissions

There was a time when nearly all vehicles had manual transmissions. However, with automatic transmissions being easier to drive, they have taken over the market. Less than 15% of new vehicles are made with manual transmissions, but those who enjoy driving stick will go out of their way to get one of these cars. While they take more work to drive and require a different skill set, manual transmissions do have their benefits.

Better Gas Mileage

One of the benefits of driving a manual transmission is that you get better gas mileage. This is because automatic transmissions have torque converters that always cause some energy loss. With a manual, there is no torque converter, so less power is needed from the engine to run the transmission. However, with newer automatic cars being built more efficiently, gas mileage in a manual transmission vehicle may be only slightly better.

Cheaper Price Tag

If you’re looking to save a bit of money, a manual transmission might be the better option for you. When building a vehicle that has a manual transmission, there are fewer complicated parts to manufacture, making the car cost less. It is also likely that you will spend less on repairs. Since parts are a bit more simple, they are easier to fix and less likely to cause problems.

More Control

When you drive a stick shift, you have more control over the car itself. When driving, you are manually shifting the gears instead of letting the car do it for you. You might be more experienced in certain road conditions, so you can provide better manual control than an automatic transmission would be able to sense.

Fewer Distractions

Another benefit of driving a manual transmission is that it requires your full attention. You can’t text or give into other distractions easily while driving, because you need to be focusing on shifting gears. When giving your full attention to the road and driving your car, it is more likely that you are practicing safe driving.

More Enjoyable

Many who know how to drive a manual car simply enjoy it more. If you are into cars and love driving, it is likely that you know how to drive a stick, and prefer it. It can make you feel more connected to the car and environment around you, creating a feeling of control and fun that driving an automatic transmission does not provide.

Decide if the Benefits of Manual Transmissions Work for You

Overall, there are benefits to both automatic and manual transmissions. It really comes down to personal preference. If you enjoy the challenge of driving stick, then you’ll be happy to know that there are advantages to using a manual transmission. Just be prepared to put in a little extra work behind the wheel. Thankfully, when you do run into issues, there are transmission experts that you can turn to who will get everything back up and running.

woman on road trip calling for car help

Preventative Car Maintenance Before a Road Trip

You have enough on your mind while planning a road trip that you might overlook some critical aspects of your car’s health. Most people will think of how much they can store in their car, and how many people can fit comfortably, but unless it has some recurring issues, it probably doesn’t cross their mind to get the car checked out before leaving. However, a preventative car maintenance checkup can help ensure that your vehicle is running smoothly and hopefully avoid any unexpected issues. The last thing you would want is to end up stranded in a strange city with a car problem, throwing off your whole budget and schedule. Here are some things to have your mechanic check on before you leave on your next road trip:


1. Tires

Worn tires can cause a blowout, which could be extremely dangerous at high speeds. Tread depth should be checked and if they are getting close to the minimum tread depth, they should be replaced before you go on your trip. You should also check the tire pressure and make sure that all the tires are inflated to the correct pressure to avoid getting a flat tire miles away from a shop.


2. Brakes

Your brakes should be checked to ensure they are in good condition and will be working properly for a while. The brake pads should be at a good thickness and the fluid levels should be full. Driving with worn-down brakes is dangerous in any situation, but especially dangerous when putting a lot of miles on your vehicle.


3. Exhaust System

If your exhaust system isn’t properly functioning, you may be dealing with poor fuel efficiency or decreased power. You don’t want to be driving for hours only to find out that there was a problem with your exhaust system and you have to fill up on gas much more often. A trained mechanic will be able to spot any potential issues and fix them before they become a problem.


4. Fluids

All the fluids in your car should be at the correct levels and clean. This includes engine oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant. If any of these fluids are low, it could cause problems on your trip. Especially with putting on extended mileage, there is a higher risk of overheating.


5. Transmission

Your car’s transmission is one of the most important parts of your car to have checked before a road trip. If there are any unexpected issues with the transmission, it could mean being stranded in a city you’re not familiar with. If you already have some concerns about your transmission, get it addressed before you go. Otherwise, a preventative maintenance check can catch any potential problems before they become a bigger issue.


Get Preventative Car Maintenance Done Before You Leave


These are just some of the things that should be looked at before you embark on your next road trip. It is better to be safe than sorry, and preventative maintenance can help ensure that your trip goes smoothly. Do yourself a favor and get your car checked out before you hit the open road. Turn to our transmission experts at Trans Works Transmissions in Portage, WI with maintenance questions that you may have, and schedule an appointment to get your car looked over before your next trip.


woman calling for emergency car repair with hood open

While most of us love summer, it can be tough on our cars. A lot of us spend more time on the road, taking day trips or just enjoying a long drive. The weather alone shouldn’t harm your vehicle, but hot temperatures can contribute to your transmission overheating. Learn more about why your transmission may overheat, and what you can do to prevent it.

What Temperature can a Transmission Handle?

The transmission is designed to operate at high temperatures, usually around 195-220 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that theoretically, warm temperatures alone should not be a cause for overheating transmissions. However, if combined with other factors that lead to an overheating transmission, weather may play a part.

Cooling System Problems

The transmission cooling system is vital to keeping your transmission at a normal operating temperature. If there’s a problem with the cooling system, it can cause the transmission to overheat. This could be due to a failure in the radiator, leaks in the hoses or lines, or an issue with the transmission cooler itself. If the cooling system isn’t working properly, hot weather will have a bigger impact on the temperature of your transmission.

Old Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid helps to cool and lubricate the transmission. Over time, transmission fluid can break down and become less effective. This is especially true in hot weather. If the transmission fluid is old, it may not be able to properly do its job, leading to an overheated transmission. It is recommended to replace transmission fluid every 60,000 to 100,000 miles with an automatic transmission.

Driving Habits

How you drive can also affect transmission temperature. If you are in frequent stop-and-go traffic, your transmission will have to work harder and may overheat as a result. Driving at high speeds for a long period of time can also lead to overheating, as the transmission fluid may not have enough time to properly circulate.

How to Know if Your Transmission Overheats

If your transmission overheats, you may notice leaking or burning. Your vehicle may also slip out of gear or have a delayed response when shifting gears. Other symptoms you may experience could be a burning smell inside and outside of the car, or a grinding sensation when accelerating.

What You Can Do to Prevent Transmission Overheating

There are a few things you can do to prevent transmission overheating: 

  1. Make sure that your transmission fluid is clean and at the correct level. 
  2. Have your transmission serviced regularly to ensure that it’s in good working order. 
  3. If you frequently drive in hot weather or in stop-and-go traffic, try to take breaks when possible to give your transmission a well deserved rest.

If your transmission does overheat, it’s important to have it serviced as soon as possible. Overheating can damage the transmission and lead to serious problems down the road. By being proactive, you can help to prevent transmission overheating and keep your car running smoothly all summer long. Contact us to get your transmission checked by a mechanic and keep it running smoothly year round.




The Basics of Troubleshooting Your Transmission

Unexpected problems arise with your car’s engine the longer you drive it. If taking your vehicle to an auto repair shop immediately is not an option, knowing basic transmission troubleshooting can be an advantage. It is also a way for you to further prevent expensive repairs or replacements in the future.

Before bringing your car to the shop, you can perform automatic transmission troubleshooting as a cost-effective first step. It is essential to identify the root of the problem as it allows you to get it repaired as quickly as possible at the lowest price. You can follow these steps for basic transmission troubleshooting when you encounter issues with your vehicle:

Try To Determine the Problem First

You know your car best, so you will be the first person to notice when something is off. There are several indicators that can help you determine whether your car’s transmission is having problems. If your car seems to be shifting gears more frequently or if it feels sluggish or jerky when you accelerate, this could be a sign that the transmission needs attention. 

Another obvious indication of trouble is an oil leak under your car. Additionally, if you notice a burning smell or notice that the fluid level in the transmission is low, these may also indicate an issue with your transmission.

Check the Transmission Fluid

Most transmission issues are caused by either ineffective fluid or low fluid levels. With this in mind, you must check both the fluid level and condition. A simple dipstick test can help you determine whether or not you need to add more fluid. On the other hand, if your fluid is contaminated, black, or burnt, you may need a complete fluid change.

Check On-Board Diagnostic Codes

If your transmission fluid is not the cause of your problems, checking on board diagnostic codes on your car can be a great way to troubleshoot problems. This uses an OBD2 scanner to analyze information stored by the computer in your car for any potential issues. Overall, checking on board diagnostic codes is a useful tool for anyone who wants to stay on top of their car’s health.

Read a Repair Manual or a Website

If there are no OBD codes that raise concern, the next step is to refer to a repair manual or website for your vehicle’s make and model. They often offer in-depth details about your car and how to fix it. You have to pay extra to access some of these specialized manuals, there are also several websites and mechanical forums that provide free information.

Bring Your Vehicle to a Professional Mechanic

If you still haven’t figured out what is wrong with your automatic transmission, consider a repair shop. This can help prevent further damage as some advanced issues inevitably require professional help. 

Go Beyond Basic Transmission Troubleshooting

Though knowing basic automatic transmission troubleshooting is undoubtedly a useful skill, getting your vehicle immediately repaired should be a priority. The best way to prevent further auto issues is to bring your vehicle to Trans Works Transmissions in Portage, WI. Contact us today to make an appointment!