How Manual Transmissions Work (And Why Some Drivers Love Them)
It’s no surprise that driving fanatics prefer a manual transmission over an automatic one. With a manual transmission, the driver decides when to shift gears, instead of letting the car decide. Mastering a stick shift is a skill that belongs to fewer and fewer drivers due to a majority of car manufacturers opting for automatic transmissions, which are often marketed as a luxury option. In the U.S., only about 4% of the cars sold have manual transmissions, and 96% of vehicles on the road today are automatic.
But in Europe and Japan, around 80% of the cars sold have manual transmissions. It’s still the transmission of choice. To better understand why driving enthusiasts prefer a manual transmission over an automatic one, it’s best to start with knowing how one operates.
There are limits to the amount of rpm an engine can handle, and that is called the redline. If a car moves past its redline, the engine will explode. In manual transmissions, the redline is especially important, because the driver is making the decisions in gear changes that keep it below the redline, allowing the car to perform at its optimal rpm.
To shift gears in cars with a manual transmission, the driver holds down the clutch and moves the gear shift into the desired gear. It’s the gear shift that controls a rod that, in turn, controls the forks. The forks then engage the gears. If you notice a lack of power after a shift, it’s time to get a diagnosis from a transmission auto shop in Sandy Springs.
The engine and the transmission are connected through the clutch. In order to achieve smooth shifts between gears, there are synchronizers that allow the clutch to fully release when pressed, which disconnects the motor from the transmission. If the clutch is slipping or worn out, there is a lack of torque transferred to the engine. Bad driving habits and a damaged or worn out synchronizer can cause an early demise to a manual transmission. Clutch replacement can be performed by a shop that performs transmission repair in Sandy Springs.
Those who choose to drive cars with manual transmissions want it all—control, power, and performance. From the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S, to a Volkswagen Gulf R Hatchback, to the Buick Verano, there are car manufacturers offering manual transmission versions in a variety of price ranges. Proper driving techniques and periodic maintenance will keep your manual transmission in top condition.
If you are a die-hard fan of cars with a stick shift and want the best care for your car’s manual transmission, it’s a good idea to find a certified technician who has experience working on manual transmissions in Sandy Springs to perform maintenance, inspections, or repairs.