Arguments related to Manual vs. Automatic Towing have raged for years, with proponents on both sides touting the advantages of their preferred transmission. Anyone considering towing with any vehicle should carefully consider a variety of factors that contribute to the argument. Once all the factors are considered, your choice may be clear. Or, maybe it won’t.
Manual Shifting Has Advantages
There are a great many people who steadfastly believe Manual Towing allows drivers to have better control, especially during poor weather or when driving over rough terrain. In fact, there is some truth to those claims, as carefully selecting gears can control speeds effectively on steep inclines. However, it’s important to recognize the fact newer vehicles now incorporate safety devices to assist automatic transmission users on all types of terrain and during inclement weather.
Automatic Transmissions are Easier to Drive
The number of drivers who are truly proficient at using a standard transmission is rapidly declining. Even Jeep has reportedly considered dropping manual transmission options from its Wrangler lineup in favor of automatic transmissions. Automatic Towing does eliminate the need for drivers to focus on which gear they’re in, though, which does, in fact, make it easier to stay aware of other conditions when towing.
Towing any trailer without fully understanding the importance of the trailer’s weight can cause many problems. Here, automatic transmissions often have the edge. The towing capacities as rated by manufacturers tend to be lower for vehicles with manual transmissions. Every vehicle’s towing rate is readily available, and it pays to check that rating before towing anything. Some engine/transmission options, especially with smaller vehicles, are not intended to pull any heavy loads. If you’ve got any questions about the ratings for your specific vehicle, contact an expert. That will determine what, if any, towing is advised.
Hauling that boat to the lake or pulling a utility trailer loaded with home improvement supplies is not a problem for most light trucks, SUVs, or even larger cars. However, safety should always be a top priority when towing any type of trailer. The argument over which type of transmission is best can be an issue, but both options will work when the driver is comfortable with the driving situation.