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Can you drive a manual transmission and do you have one?


DawnM
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Manual Transmission, multiple answers ok  

344 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you have a manual transmission car?

    • All of our cars in the family are manual transmission cars
      13
    • At least one of the cars in our family is a manual transmission
      115
    • No cars currently, but we have had them
      151
    • I can drive one with confidence
      261
    • I can drive one if necessary, but not that well
      38
    • I do not know how to drive one
      36
    • I think it is a good skill to know
      187
    • I don't think it matters if one knows how to drive one or not
      19
    • Other
      3


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Yes to both questions. I learned how to drive a manual when I was 15 yo. My first car was 5 speed Mustang with a stiff clutch. I now drive a manual 6 speed 200hp VW. Love cruising down the highway with my hair flying and my rock music playing.

 

I have this fear of driving down the highway and much more than hair flying with my 3 boys in the back! My temper would be flying as Nerf gun bullets go flying! lol

 

I'm happy to stick with a nice big and easy-to-drive Toyota Sienna van. I'll just wave at you was you pass by. Tell me it's classic rock, so I can hum along in my head. :laugh:

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I drive an automatic now (I believe all minivans are automatics)

I don't know about today, but my folks bought a stickshift Dodge Caravan in the mid-'90's. It was the newspaper advertisement "loss leader" that the dealer could use to lure customers into the dealership & then upsell them to a more expensive minivan. My parents, being cheapskates, bought it.

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I learned to drive a manual when I was in my late 20's.  I had tried to learn a few times before but never had enough practice.  Finally I just bought a 5-speed vehicle and had a friend take me out to master it.   At first friends laughed and said that clutch wouldn't last 10,000 miles, but it lasted 100,000.  Fooled them.   I loved driving a standard - so much more fun and so much easier to control than an automatic.  Though when I was still new at it I had a few uncomfortable moments on the San Francisco hills.

 

Both our current cars are automatic. I have a teen who is about ready to learn to drive and his dad and I want him to learn to drive a manual, but we have no way to go about giving him exposure to one.   We don't even know anyone with a manual transmission car - not that we would feel comfortable asking to borrow it for that purpose.

 

 

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we both had manual cars until the dog got too big for jeep lol.  Then I got an automatic SUV and then a minivan.  I will go back to manual if I can for my next vehicle now that I don't need to pay attention to little kids lol.  Dh drives manual and will get a new car next year...and it will be manual!!!

 

It's a good skill to have when the zombies come and the only get away vehicle is some manual truck  :lol:

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I much prefer stick shift.  The only reason all our cars aren't standard transmission is that you just can't get a minivan with a stick. :glare:

 

I steal dh's car whenever I can. :D  When the kids are grown and we don't have a need for such a big car, I'm getting me a stick!!

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I had a stick in college.  My dad bought my BIL's car for about $200 so I could have something to get me back and forth to the middle school where I was observing for my college classes.  It took me about a week to learn.  (I had previously tried to learn on my older sister's Camero, but American made sticks were really difficult.)  This little Toyota Tercel was a piece of cake.  Ever since we got married, we have always had one car that had a stick, that is, until dh was in a bad accident with his last car.  Of course, it wasn't the 12 year old van that got hit - the one we had planned on replacing, so we ended up getting a bigger car that we could take on trips with the dog.  So, no stick for us now.  Dh is now talking about getting a pick up truck.  I asked him why.  He said "To haul stuff."  I asked "What kind of stuff?"  We have a van and an SUV.  He answered, "I don't know.  Just stuff."  Yep.  He is missing his "I think I'm in a sports car" manual transmission. 

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Yes we own one car with stick shift and I can drive it. (It is currently ds's primary car for college; he commutes.)

 

I first learned to drive with a stick shift. Dh and I only owned sticks until 8 years ago when dh insisted we replace our Explorer (stick) with a minivan (automatic, of course). The minivan has been my primary car and now I'm really rusty driving a stick. We recently got a car with a stick and after backing out of the driveway I had trouble getting up our (hill) street. Fortunately the rest of my drive was uneventful.

 

Funny story. I learned on a stick and had only driven a stick. One day I had to drive the boss's (company) car; it was an automatic. No kidding, I sat there for at least a minute trying to figure out how to start a car that didn't have a clutch. All the sticks we've had, you had to depress the clutch before the key would turn. Then I had the brilliant idea just to turn the key. Whaddayknow--it worked! :laugh:

 

Second (not so) funny story. Ds1 tried to drive our car when he was not-quite-2yo. He loved cars so much we had to lock the car while it was in the garage and keep the keys up high. But while I was in the bathroom (2 minutes max!) he figured out how to get the keys off the fridge. (He even put the chair back at the table!) He unlocked the car and was turning the key in the ignition while happily bouncing in the driver's seat when I found him. Probably the only reason he didn't start the car is it was a stick and he couldn't reach the clutch to push it down while he turned the key. :ohmy: 

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Back in the olden days...I learned to drive on a 1962 Dodge Dart,  manual (stick) on the steering column.  This was back in the days when manuals were the norm and getting an "automatic" transmission was for the more privileged class (or so it seemed to me).  I went on to drive a VW bug and a 1972 Chevy Nova - both manuals.  I felt like I had arrived when I purchased my parents' 1975 Plymouth Valiant which was an automatic.  I no longer planned my route based on big hills with stop signs or lights at the top :)

 

My son is insistent on finding a manual car...he says he needs something to do when he drives.  I cannot convince him that he should appreciate the newer technology :)

 

The only manual we own right now is a dune buggy thingy with a VW engine.

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I could drive one if I absolutely had to - as in I am the only way someone is going to get to the hospital and the people at 911 aren't picking up the phone. 

 

I didn't see a selection for our cars though - we've never owned one. I learned to drive one of my siblings' cars - I forget which one. 

 

 

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We always had at least one manual transmission car until a year ago.  Now we have a car that is automatic but has the option to switch gears like a stick.  But there is no clutch.  I don't see the point of driving a clutch-less stick so I just leave it in automatic.
 

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I learned to drive a stick shift when I was 15.  Since getting married, we have owned one vehicle with a stick shift, which I loved to drive. 

 

I started having minor back pain in my 20's.  When I test drove a car with an automatic transmission, the saleslady mentioned that stick shifts can sometimes aggravate back pain, especially if you are starting and stopping in traffic a lot.  When I switched to the automatic transmission, I noticed a marked improvement in my back pain. 

 

 

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I learned to drive a stick shift when I was 15.  Since getting married, we have owned one vehicle with a stick shift, which I loved to drive. 

 

I started having minor back pain in my 20's.  When I test drove a car with an automatic transmission, the saleslady mentioned that stick shifts can sometimes aggravate back pain, especially if you are starting and stopping in traffic a lot.  When I switched to the automatic transmission, I noticed a marked improvement in my back pain. 

 

 

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We have one manual pickup. I used to drive manuals all the time in the field as a kid (moving grain or taking supplies out or just foolin around) and then on the road after I got my learners. It's been years since I have had to drive one now though and I don't feel confident that I would be able to drive well anymore.

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DH taught me when we were dating. He had an ex-California Highway Patrol 5 liter mustang and I was thrilled at the prospect. Then we spent 2 months in a K-mart parking lot getting the clutch-gas transition just right.  :lol:  When we finally went out on the road I thought it was wonderful.

 

I enjoy the feeling of connectedness to the vehicle but alas I fall into the can't get a mini-van with a stick catagory. 

 

Hubby's truck is a manual and I get to drive it occasionally to keep my skills up. We will teach our DD on the manual first. We believe that learning why and when to shift gives a great understanding of how the vehicles work and make sure they do not get stuck somewhere because they can not drive the vehicle available to them. 

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I've found driving a manual transmission a good skill to have, and will make sure my kids learn somehow even through we don't have one.

 

In college, I was one of the only students in my classes able to drive the manual trucks the school had for field trips, so I drove.  Those trips often involved following crazy lead-footed professors down the twisty, cliff-hugging coast highway in northern CA, so I am SO glad I drove and didn't have to trust my safety to someone else!

 

Since then, I've ended up working and traveling in other countries where automatics were rare and knowing how to drive a stick shift was essential, both in practical terms and for safety.

 

That said, I definitely prefer manual transmissions!

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" The only reason all our cars aren't standard transmission is that you just can't get a minivan with a stick. "

 

Or any other car we could find. What brand (stateside) still sells cars with a stick that are big enough for a family? Did you have to special order them?

 

I don't know.  I did have a Volvo station wagon with a stick before the minivan (I was trying hard to resist!), but then I had my 3rd kid in 2.5 years and I just couldn't fit three toddler seats in the back of anything but a van. :glare:

 

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I voted all of the following:

 

At least one of the cars in our family is a manual transmission 

I can drive one with confidence

I don't think it matters if one knows how to drive one or not

 

DH's car has a manual transmission. He bought it when we were dating. I threw a fit.  I did not have ANY interest in learning to drive one and didn't like the idea of him owning a car I couldn't drive.  He did it anyway, and for several years I refused to learn to drive it.  Then we settled into our current habit of him taking the kids out for several hours on Saturday mornings to give the poor, tired HSing mom a break, and I was stuck at home, unable to drive his car.  He had to take the van to have room for all the kids.  So, I learned.  Now, I LOVE it.  it's really fun!  His car is getting old and it won't be too many more years before he replaces it, and he says he wants an automatic next time.  I'll be sad to see the manual go. 

 

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Drive a 6 speed manual. Love manuals. Every automobile I've owned has been manual.

 

When I was a little boy my Dad had a (even then quite old) Ford Model A that needed to be double-clutched (no synchromesh). My Dad used to put me on his lap and I learned to work the stick while he worked the clutch (as my feet would not reach the pedals). To shift from 1-2, we would be in 1, engage the clutch and shift to neutral, disengage the clutch, reengage the clutch, then shift to 2, and disengage the clutch. We got very good being a "team."

 

I love the feeling of "oneness" that comes with a manual. On the occasions when I drive an automatic I feel very disassociated from the automobile.

 

Bill

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We've owned several stick shifts over the years, although we don't own any now. I can drive a stick with confidence, no problem. I want to make sure my kids learn how to, in case they ever decide to audition for The Amazing Race (#1 skill you must have!).

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" The only reason all our cars aren't standard transmission is that you just can't get a minivan with a stick. "

 

Or any other car we could find. What brand (stateside) still sells cars with a stick that are big enough for a family? Did you have to special order them?

When we were in England in 2011 we rented a Hyundai Santa Fe.  It was the only thing we could find to seat 5 with luggage.  It only came with a manual.  So my poor dh had to drive on the "wrong" side of the road and shift with his left hand.  I was very impressed with how well he did :)  Maybe you can special order a manual?

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I learned to drive a manual while living in rural Japan nearly twenty years ago.  So, left side of the road, right side of the car, stick on the left.   Plus, all instruction given in heavily accented (regional) Japanese.  I can still remember going around and around in the parking lot of the local history museum with the poor guy from my work who had been assigned to teach me.  

 

Since then, all automatics, save one inauspicious night in Boston maybe 15 years ago when my friend drank too much and I had to drive us back in her car, up and down the hills of Beacon Hill.  Not a great place to see whether I could, in fact, shift with my right hand.  We made it back alive, so I guess I could.  Still, since then, automatic all the way.  

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My dad tried to teach me and it went horribly. I was in tears and never wanted to touch a car again. Then when I was 22 I bought my first new car and it was a stick. So my mom and step-dad taught me. It went sooo much better! lol I still have that same car, though I am beyond ready to move on. 2 kids in car seats in the back of a 2 door car is not fun. I don't know what we'll get next. I know it will take some adjusting if we get an automatic. If I try to drive DH's it confuses me because it feels like I'm missing something lol. I taught DH after we married and it took him a long time to get the hang of it since he only tried once or twice each weekend. Now he's got it down.

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Out of 4 cars, 3 are manuals.  My first car was a manual, and I've been driving one ever since.  Both of our driving dds have manuals.  We think driving a manual makes driving more fun.  More sporty  :001_smile:  Especially when the roads are bad, we all want one of the manuals.

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Drive a 6 speed manual. Love manuals. Every automobile I've owned has been manual.

 

When I was a little boy my Dad had a (even then quite old) Ford Model A that needed to be double-clutched (no synchromesh). My Dad used to put me on his lap and I learned to work the stick while he worked the clutch (as my feet would not reach the pedals). To shift from 1-2, we would be in 1, engage the clutch and shift to neutral, disengage the clutch, reengage the clutch, then shift to 2, and disengage the clutch. We got very good being a "team."

 

I love the feeling of "oneness" that comes with a manual. On the occasions when I drive an automatic is feel very disassociated from the automobile.

 

Bill

My fil rebuilt old cars.  Every 4th we would get out the cars and enter them in the parade.  We usually had a few politicians riding with us.  He's passed away, but we still have a parade every year.  As usual, one or two of them overheats.  It's tradition.  Those cars are fun to drive.

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This is the first time in over 20 years that I haven't had a manual transmission car. I learned to drive a manual two weeks after I learned to drive and then had to drive in rush hour traffic on the Garden State Parkway in northern NJ. That was fun. (NOT!) The toll workers were very nice when I would stall out pretty much every time I pulled away from the tollbooth. I'm much better with a clutch now and can pretty much hold it on any hill and pull forward without any slide-back at all.

 

Our last car with a clutch was traded in earlier this year. Now everything we have is automatic so the likelihood of dd learning to drive a manual is slim since we don't know anyone with one.

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I learned to drive manual when I was 21. I wanted a new car after I graduated college and the only thing in my price range was the manual. The car after that was also manual ... it's fun to drive as long as you aren't in stop-and-fo traffic. I just bought a new car this month and its automatic. It's almost near impossible to find manual transmissions these days!!! Automatics get better gas mileage and most people prefer automatic, so the car companies are moving away from manual transmissions.

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I learned to drive manual when I was 21. I wanted a new car after I graduated college and the only thing in my price range was the manual. The car after that was also manual ... it's fun to drive as long as you aren't in stop-and-fo traffic. I just bought a new car this month and its automatic. It's almost near impossible to find manual transmissions these days!!! Automatics get better gas mileage and most people prefer automatic, so the car companies are moving away from manual transmissions.

 

Hmm... I always thought that, in general, manuals got better gas mileage.

 

 

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Fortunately, when I took driver's ed, I learned to drive a stick. There was only one instructional vehicle equipped to learn a stick, but our family car was a stick, so it was smart to learn that way. The first vehicle of my own was also a stick. I do think it is a good skill to have. I sometimes need to drive dh's truck - a task that is intimidating enough, but would be insane if I could not drive a stick.

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Manual transnmission is hard to find now and can cost more than automatic. Automatics are much more fuel efficient now than manuals and give better gas mileage.

 

My husband and I can drive them but we don't own any manual cars anymore. We much prefer automatic now. 

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Manual transnmission is hard to find now and can cost more than automatic. Automatics are much more fuel efficient now than manuals and give better gas mileage.

 

My husband and I can drive them but we don't own any manual cars anymore. We much prefer automatic now.

One of the main problems I have found with automatics is poor acceleration because they change up too fast meaning you never can make use of that kick of power. From what I understand manuals are still far more fuel efficient although driving style comes into play with a manual.

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My first car was a 1974 MG Midget, 3 speed. :D

 

Until the minivan, I only ever bought/drove standards. I'm another one who's not so safe in an automatic because I'm stomping around for the clutch and reaching to shift.

 

We don't really have "his and hers" cars so much as kids or no-kids. My husband just left for work in my Jeep, though. It's mine because I bought it before we were married. I commuted in DC traffic for years, and taught my eldest to drive in that thing, and it still has its original clutch with 144,000 miles on it. Love.

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One of the main problems I have found with automatics is poor acceleration because they change up too fast meaning you never can make use of that kick of power. From what I understand manuals are still far more fuel efficient although driving style comes into play with a manual.

 

You're right about the fuel efficiency.

 

My automatic has a pedal-to-the-floor override that kicks the engine into a low gear for fast acceleration.

 

L

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We don't currently own one.  We will be purchasing a manual transmission when we get to Italy as our 2nd vehicle.  No decisions on what we'll do if our van gives up the ghost while we're there (but, it would probably be a manual, too).

 

I have driven a manual...helped drive one across country, and was the only vehicle my dh and I had when we first got married.  I have some confidence...but freak out a little when I have to stop on a steep hill.

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We have an old, manual Saturn. I want to keep it alive long enough for Dd to learn the drive on it. Our second car is an automatic. Here in MD where it's flat and traffic is congested I prefer an automatic, but back home where it's hilly with little traffic I prefer a stick.

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We made our kids learn on our manual.  My 17 year old is finally allowed to drive the automatic after a year of driving only the manual and she will go on for half an hour about how mean we are and how much better automatics are.

 

We prefer the manual because of the better gas mileage, and you have better control of the car in snowy weather.

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One of the main problems I have found with automatics is poor acceleration because they change up too fast meaning you never can make use of that kick of power.

 

:i agree: I feel much less safe accelerating onto the highway in a manual transmission car, especially if it's a small one. 

 

I have to say I have no problem starting up a manual on a steep hill.  My dad taught me how to balance the clutch.  It's a travesty that people aren't required to learn how to drive stick like they are in Europe, and it's left up to trial-and-error or a relative or friend that may or may not themselves have good knowledge of all the details, or teaching skill.

 

From what I understand manuals are still far more fuel efficient although driving style comes into play with a manual.

 

I have also always understood that manuals have better fuel efficiency.  That's also what I saw last I looked at the ratings of manual vs. automatic cars last we were shopping (although that has been a few years).  I think that's one of the main reasons for the enduring popularity of manual transmissions in more conservation-conscious Europe and Japan (where gas prices are much higher than here) vs. gas-guzzling America.

 

 

 

 

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One of our four cars is a stick. I can drive it when necessary, but I don't like it. It is hilly here, and I never learned how to handle a stick on a hill other than to 'peel out' when I was able to. Dh uses the emergency brake so effortlessly that it is actually smoother than my automatic when going up a hill from a dead stop.

 

I want to learn how to use the brake, though. Driving a stick can be fun (but it's tiring to constantly shift). Dh thinks it's fun to constantly shift. My mind wanders too much to remember!!

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Hmm... I always thought that, in general, manuals got better gas mileage.

This was recently discussed in our family due to ds's desire for a manual.  He insists (and seemed to have adequate data to support it) that cars made before 2005 (?) that were manuals did, indeed, get better gas mileage.  After 2005 (?) the automatics that were built allowed for the same mileage as a standard (manual).

 

Since he is poor :p and cannot afford anything made after 2005 he is trying to convince us that a manual will, indeed, save him money.

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