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SeaConquest

Manual Transmission vs. Automatic

Manual vs. Automatic  

211 members have voted

  1. 1. Can you drive a car with a manual transmission?

    • Yes
      165
    • No
      46
  2. 2. Do you think that kids today need to learn to drive a manual transmission?

    • Yes, it is important (for safety or other reasons).
      102
    • No, it is not necessary. Soon, Google will be driving for us anyway.
      88
    • Obligatory other.
      21


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Our intention was to have all of our kids learn to drive manual. However, when the time came, DD was able to purchase an excellent automatic from a friend. We don't own a manual and none of our friends were enthusiastic about lending us theirs so our 16yo could grind her way into stick shift proficiency. Therefore, she does not know how to drive a manual.

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I learned on a manual, so I've been able to drive one as long as I've been able to drive. I do think it's a very useful skill to have, but I think there are enough ways around it these days that it's not an absolute necessity.

 

The only time in my adult life that I had no alternative other than a manual transmission was when DH and I were on our honeymoon in Greece, and the vehicle that came with our villa was a manual. That was the only way we could sightsee around the island, and I was able to drive it. However, if I couldn't, we would have just had less to do because we would have been limited to walking distance. We weren't stranded or anything. Actually, come to think of it, we probably could have paid just about anyone a couple of bucks to drive us places. So I'm not even sure that story counts!

 

I wonder how hard it would be to learn how to drive a stick shift on the fly in some kind of emergency? I think of it as a difficult thing to learn, but I was also learning the mechanics of driving, the rules of the road, driving with my dad in the car, etc. all at the same time. I wonder if it might be fairly easy for a seasoned driver to pick up later on? 

 

ETA: I think if my child was going to be spending time in any country other than ours, though, I'd make sure they knew how to drive a stick shift. Just in case. 

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I can't answer the poll because I can't say "yes" or "no" to the first question.

 

I have never driven a stick, but my dad told me how once when he was going to a bar to celebrate being done with school.  (He wasn't sure whether he would come out drunk or not.  He didn't.)  I figure I could do it if I needed to, but so far I've never actually done it.

 

I don't think it's a life skill that all kids need to learn in the USA.  I do think it may be in some countries.  We recently toured around Spain in a rental car, and the default for rentals was manual.  So I guess manual is a lot more common in some other countries than it is here.

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I prefer an automatic, and my van is an automatic.

 

DH prefers a manual, and his little commuter car is a manual, as was his big pickup truck. I learned to drive a manual when I was 30, when we got the little car, because gas was nearly $4 a gallon, and when you live 10+ miles from anything, you take the small car whenever possible. The little car is easy to drive. The truck was bigger and harder, but I did it when those were the only two vehicles we had (because minimizing gas costs for DH's 90-mile round-trip daily commute is top priority), so I wouldn't be stuck at home all day every day.

 

If we still have manuals when e children are driving, we will certainly teach them to drive manuals because it's a useful skill to be able to drive whatever is available.

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I've only ever had manual cars.  I was still a little rusty on driving them when I bought my first car (drivers ed class used automatics) but I specifically looked for a used manual. I had to have my brother drive it home from the car lot.  My thinking was that if my first car was a manual, I would always know how to drive a manual.  My future husband coached me through the trickier maneuvers (e.g., stopping and going on steep hills, etc.)

 

Last time I bought a car (2009), the manual was still cheaper than the automatic version. 

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If you can't drive his car, you are a one-car family. If your car goes in for service, you don't have a backup for you to drive.

 

By this logic, she has a "one-car family" and he has a "two-car family".  :huh: :confused1: :confused1: :confused1:

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By this logic, she has a "one-car family" and he has a "two-car family".  :huh: :confused1: :confused1: :confused1:

 

Yes. That is the way that I would look at it. He has options that she doesn't.

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 My guess is that a reasonably competent driver could pick it up very quickly.  If either of our boys travels internationally and needs to rent a manual transmission car, I feel confident they'd be able to master it quickly.  

 

not that fast.  there's a fine balance of the clutch, gas, changing gears, and keeping the engine alive.  we're in an area with very steep hills - you then add in using the parking brake.  I wouldn't allow any novice manual user to drive one of those hills. using the clutch takes practice.

 

Have you ever wanted to learn to drive a stick? It's not too late! :)

 

I learned on a stick. I liken it to riding in an English vs Western saddle. I've had 3 sports car in my life -- two manuals and one auto with a manual option, which I didn't enjoy. I think I am just a purist when it comes to driving sports cars. :)

auto with manual option is NOT the same as a manual stick shift with a clutch.

 

All our cars are manual. Our kids learn to drive stick right away.

 

I much prefer manual, especially in the mountains. Automatic transmissions can't think proactively. I see the road ahead, can judge the steepness, can switch gear accordingly - the automatic only notices when on the grade... arrrgh. Not fun. I prefer to enjoy driving.

at least most automatics allow you to downshift to 3rd - and I now will do that.  especially on long mountain grades.  how  the auto handles mts bugs me, but most of the cars we've bought ONLY come in automatic.

 

For the kids:

I want my kids to be able to drive any car.

It can be a safety issue if they get a ride from somebody with a manual transmission car and the driver ends up intoxicated or ill. You're stuck in the middle of nowhere if you can't drive that car.

Since so few people drive manual, a manual is in less danger of being stolen for a joy ride.  one of those made the news.  the thief/carjacker couldn't drive the car and started screaming.  :smilielol5: :smilielol5: :smilielol5:

But most importantly: it's more fun to drive.

:drool5:

 

though, that 4spd kid car we had . . . EVERYONE hated it.  I loathed it (for many reasons.  the inadequecies of the 4spd was just one reason.)  and wouldn't drive it if I didn't have to.  I learned to drive on a 5spd celica . . . oh, that was sweet.

 

San Diego really doesn't have bad traffic, and the traffic we do have isn't really in my area. I'm an LA native, so that shapes my perspective. But yes, if I was commuting in traffic on a regular basis, it would be annoying.  

 

I'm from the seattle area.  I've driven in San Diego rush hour freeway.  no, they don't have bad traffic. . . .

If I jump into an automatic I often find myself reaching for the clutch with my foot anyhow to start it!

 

when I got my first van (the manual was only on the most base model, and it handled terribly.), I was stomping my foot looking for a clutch, and flailing my arm around looking for the gear shift.  dh still had a stick, and it was YEARS before I stopped.

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Manuals are still very common around here. I can drive one and prefer it. We have one of each, and we've had the exact scenario of taking the auto for a service and needing to drive the manual. I expect that our kids will learn a manual, I do think it's a useful skill that keeps opportunities open rather than closed.

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I learned to drive on a 5spd celica with my mother teaching me.  we've taught four kids by taking them into empty parking lots until they got a good feed for the clutch and gears, then we'd take them on empty side streets where they could go to a higher gear.

 

much better than my mom taking me out on a regular street, getting me up to 3rd, and having a major zig-zag in the road and no clutch work was instinctual.   once I got used to that car . . . I loved it.  probably the most fun car I've driven - and that includes dh's sports cars.

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Dh and I can both drive a manual; ds1 can as well. Dh and ds1 both have cars with manual transmission. Ds2 cannot drive a manual yet but he wants to and dh wants him to at some point. But I don't think kids *need* to be able to these days. I know some adults my age (50yo) who have never learned to drive a manual. It seems there are fewer car models that even have a manual option these days. And the ones that still do are often low on options such as power door locks and power windows.

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I am a complete and total manual transmission snob.  I had a man at a scrap metal dump once stand amazed at the way I backed a pickup truck up the side of a steep hill...he couldn't believe I could manage a manual so well.  (I'm a little vain on this point, frankly...my father taught me and he taught me well.)

 

I can wax eloquent on the beauty and elegance of driving a stick shift--the connection with the car, the control, the sheer FUN. Please put me in a little car with a stick shift and send me driving around these mountain roads--it's bliss, it's flow!  Driving a manual transmission bores me. My husband doesn't see it the same way.  He finds an automatic "easy."  But my parents taught me that nothing worthwhile in life is ever easy.

 

Including transmissions.

 

In any event, YES!!!! my sweet children will learn the joys of the manual transmission! 

 

 

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I know how, and I think it would be great to learn, but since we do not have one, probably not practical unless a driving school would have one.

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Only manual cars here ... they are just more fun to drive. One side benefit -- my son's auto shop teacher said the number one theft deterrent is having a manual-transmission car. I guess most car thieves can't drive stick. :D

 

 

ETA: I got curious about what the shop teacher said, so I just did some checking up ... Apparently, "serious" car thieves often don't drive the cars they steal so much as roll them onto tow trucks (thus, parking with the wheels turned sideways is a better deterrent than what kind of transmission). However, manual does seem to flummox the teenage joy-ride type of thief (plenty of stories of that) ... well, either they give up, OR they strip the gears ...

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Only manual cars here ... they are just more fun to drive. One side benefit -- my son's auto shop teacher said the number one theft deterrent is having a manual-transmission car. I guess most car thieves can't drive stick. :D

 

I think it's funny having a manual is a theft deterrent because it's so easy to pop the clutch and go.

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We have four cars (none fancy, most rather old).  Two of them are manual, and two are automatic.  Both of our driving teens learned to make them go.  Dd hates it, and will probably never need it (since only about 5% of new cars are manual), but could do it if she absolutely had to.  Ds sees the advantages of manual, and much prefers it over automatic.  If we had a choice, all of our cars would be manual.

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I think it's funny having a manual is a theft deterrent because it's so easy to pop the clutch and go.

 

 

it's even easier to not pop the clutch and kill the engine. . . .

 

on our kid car, you had to *seriously* depress the clutch just to start the engine.  no othe manual I've driven required that much depression just to *start* the engine. . . .

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I can't drive a manual, but I've been driving for 21 years and have yet to encounter a situation where I even wished I could. So, no, at least in my area, it is completely unnecessary. I do not drive for fun; I drive to get places. 

 

Also, in an emergency situation where I wasn't with anyone else who could safely drive a manual and it would be unsafe or massively inconvenient to wait for help, I would be looking at the car's manual and/or YouTube videos on my phone. My mom learned to drive a manual well enough to borrow it to drive to and from work with a few minute lesson from her brother who owned the vehicle. It wasn't a smooth ride, but she got where she needed to go.

 

ETA: I also think the chances of my children encountering and caving to the pressure to allow a drunk person to drive them in a manual vehicle are extremely tiny. If anything, they would view a manual as more complicated and be even less likely to think it tolerable to ride with a drunk person driving it.

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I'm not that fussed about whether my kids get their license or not. If they don't want to drive the minute they're old enough, well that's one less thing I have to worry about! (And as I tell them frequently, a car is a huge black hole that sucks money away, so the longer they can put off acquiring one, the better.)

But if they are going to learn, the process is such a hassle anyway that it seems silly not to get the full license - why go through all that palaver only to end up unable to drive most cars?

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DH, DD17, and I can all drive a stick shift without a second thought.  DD17's car is a stick shift so she had to learn, but she wanted to learn, regardless of car she got. LOL

 

DS20 wants to learn, so we will teach him when we have the time. We can have him and DD17 switch cars for a while.  The only problem is, that he won't be driving one on a regular basis, so he will likely remember the 'how' but not really get to the point where he won't have to think about it anymore. I hope that it will be enough, so that if he ever finds himself in an emergency situation that he will be able to drive a stick shift car if needed, even if it isn't elegant LOL. 

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I'm not that fussed about whether my kids get their license or not. If they don't want to drive the minute they're old enough, well that's one less thing I have to worry about! (And as I tell them frequently, a car is a huge black hole that sucks money away, so the longer they can put off acquiring one, the better.)

 

But if they are going to learn, the process is such a hassle anyway that it seems silly not to get the full license - why go through all that palaver only to end up unable to drive most cars?

In the USA, there is not a different licence for manual or automatic cars.  I always wonder why Australia has two different licences.  Do other countries as well?  

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All my children can drive a manual. Heck, I can even drive a split rear end! The Scout is a 3 speed manual, with no synchro--you have to double clutch. If you drive that puppy, you can drive anything. One of the tractors has a backwards transmission--like a Model T. You also have to crank it to start it--no starter on it. My kids could all drive the feedtruck at the age of 5. They couldn't reach the clutch, but learned to just put it in 2nd and lug the engine. It had a kill switch because they couldn't reach the brake pedal. We moved up in the world with the diesel. I really like my Tahoe--it's an automatic, but you can switch in into manual for mountain roads. 

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I learned as an adult and it was awful.  I can do it in a pinch but it is very stressful.  We are the landing place for every cast off beater from both sides of the family so we inherited an ancient manual car several years ago.  I faithfully drove it to work and back for about 6 months before the stress got to me and I insisted on getting a car with automatic.  We live in a (small) city neighborhood that is covered in snow for six months of the year and perched on extremely steep hills.  The combo was just too much for me.  For that reason, I doubt we will have one when dd learns to drive.  

 

I don't get the "one car family" issue.  Many of us are really one car families....as in only own one car....and it really is not a big deal.

 

So I can drive one and no, I don't think it is necessary for new drivers to learn unless they want to.

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I can drive a manual transmission car. We don't own one right now. Most of the time I drive our Nissan Leaf.

 

I think everyone should be able to drive a manual because you will never win The Amazing Race if you can't. Every season some team loses because they can't figure out the manual transmission car.

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I will also say that we wanted this last car we purchased to be a stick.  We had one stick (Saturn VUE) and one automatic (an SUV that doesn't come in stick).  

 

We were going back and forth between a hybrid (Camry) and a VW golf (diesel stick).  We really liked the golf but in the end the hybrid won out and they don't come in stick!!!!!!!

 

We do like the hybrid though.

 

 

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I learned as an adult and it was awful.  I can do it in a pinch but it is very stressful.  We are the landing place for every cast off beater from both sides of the family so we inherited an ancient manual car several years ago.  I faithfully drove it to work and back for about 6 months before the stress got to me and I insisted on getting a car with automatic.  We live in a (small) city neighborhood that is covered in snow for six months of the year and perched on extremely steep hills.  The combo was just too much for me.  For that reason, I doubt we will have one when dd learns to drive.  

 

I don't get the "one car family" issue.  Many of us are really one car families....as in only own one car....and it really is not a big deal.

 

So I can drive one and no, I don't think it is necessary for new drivers to learn unless they want to.

 

 

I learned to drive one as an adult too.  I needed a car.  I went and bought a manual Acura and learned to drive it VERY QUICKLY in Los Angeles.  Once you have it, and it is your only vehicle, you do it quickly and learn to do it well.   After that car died, I bought another manual and then a 3rd manual, which the one I still have, although it is no longer my primary car.  

 

The only time I have trouble is on steep hills.  My BFF lives in Seattle and has a stick and I borrowed her car while she was at work and got very stressed out stopping on a very steep hill with cars all around me and needing to start up again.  But thankfully, I floored it and was able to do it.  

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All my children can drive a manual. Heck, I can even drive a split rear end! The Scout is a 3 speed manual, with no synchro--you have to double clutch. If you drive that puppy, you can drive anything. One of the tractors has a backwards transmission--like a Model T. You also have to crank it to start it--no starter on it. My kids could all drive the feedtruck at the age of 5. They couldn't reach the clutch, but learned to just put it in 2nd and lug the engine. It had a kill switch because they couldn't reach the brake pedal. We moved up in the world with the diesel. I really like my Tahoe--it's an automatic, but you can switch in into manual for mountain roads. 

 

 

I don't even know what that means!

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I voted that I know how to drive one, even though I haven't driven one since high school.  My mom drove a stick at the time and taught me how, and I did drive it a good amount at the time.  I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to pick back up again.  But I doubt DS will learn, as we don't have a stick and probably won't ever buy one.  We don't know anyone who owns a manual.

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I know how to drive a stick. My first car was one and our first married car for 20 years was one. However, I know no one who has one so I'm not sure how a teenager would be able to learn one now. Our boys don't know..... Well someone mentioned tractors. Our middle one does drive it. Are you sure they are all manual? I didn't think ours was. I'll have to ask. Regardless, I'm not sure that helps. The fastest they ever go in that is maybe 20 if that.

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I learned on manual. I've found that I like automatics just fine, but I want them to have the optional manual downshifting mode for driving in the mountains. I live in and love mountains, but no option to downshift drives me bananas.

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Can't do it and have never seen a need. We don't drive for the experience; we buy bottom-of-the-line automatics without regard for aesthetics.

 

If DS wants to learn sometime, he'll have to find somebody who owns one.

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I learned on manual. I've found that I like automatics just fine, but I want them to have the optional manual downshifting mode for driving in the mountains. I live in and love mountains, but no option to downshift drives me bananas.

 

You can downshift an automatic.  Trust me, we do it ALL the time when coming down mountains in our 26,000 pound RV.  We need all the assistance from the transmission we can get to slow that thing down. ;)

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I'm not that fussed about whether my kids get their license or not. If they don't want to drive the minute they're old enough, well that's one less thing I have to worry about! (And as I tell them frequently, a car is a huge black hole that sucks money away, so the longer they can put off acquiring one, the better.)

 

But if they are going to learn, the process is such a hassle anyway that it seems silly not to get the full license - why go through all that palaver only to end up unable to drive most cars?

 

As another mentioned, in the US, there is no separate license for manual cars. Also, manuals are not most cars in my area. In fact, I might have to buy a manual car specifically for the purpose of my children learning if that were important to me because I am not sure how they would have access to one otherwise. Of the 11 vehicles my children might be able to use or borrow, none are manuals.

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I posted yes to the first question and other to the second.

 

It is mandatory for my kids to learn to drive vehicles with a manual transmission, it's important to me and dh for a number of reasons.

 

However, I wouldn't make the blanket statement that "everyone" needs to learn. Years ago I would have said yes, but there are fewer manual transmission vehicles around these days.

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You can downshift an automatic. Trust me, we do it ALL the time when coming down mountains in our 26,000 pound RV. We need all the assistance from the transmission we can get to slow that thing down. ;)

The problem I've experienced when taking automatic downhill (*shudder*) is that putting them into D1 (lowest gearing) endures too much engine-breaking with the revs putting too much stress on the engine and drive-train. But moving to D2 provides insufficient engine-breaking, so the vehicle descends too quickly without doing a great deal of breaking. So all the efficientcy of gearing a car for the downhill is either lost or minimized in an automatic vs a manual.

 

Perhaps there are some autos better geared for descent? I've just never experienced one that does this job as well as a manual.

 

Bill

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The problem I've experienced when taking automatic downhill (*shudder*) is that putting them into D1 (lowest gearing) endures too much engine-breaking with the revs putting too much stress on the engine and drive-train. But moving to D2 provides insufficient engine-breaking, so the vehicle descends too quickly without doing a great deal of breaking. So all the efficientcy of gearing a car for the downhill is either lost or minimized in an automatic vs a manual.

 

Perhaps there are some autos better geared for descent? I've just never experienced one that does this job as well as a manual.

 

Bill

 

 

I don't know.  I just know it (D2) works pretty well in our RV.  I've never felt the need to downshift an automatic car in the mountains, but DH has had the boys do it (also D2) occasionally just so they'd know how.  It has always seemed to slow the vehicle down well enough.

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I learned to drive one as an adult too. I needed a car. I went and bought a manual Acura and learned to drive it VERY QUICKLY in Los Angeles. Once you have it, and it is your only vehicle, you do it quickly and learn to do it well. After that car died, I bought another manual and then a 3rd manual, which the one I still have, although it is no longer my primary car.

 

The only time I have trouble is on steep hills. My BFF lives in Seattle and has a stick and I borrowed her car while she was at work and got very stressed out stopping on a very steep hill with cars all around me and needing to start up again. But thankfully, I floored it and was able to do it.

The thing to do on very steep hills is to use the hand brake. This relives the anxiety that you might roll backwards if your coordination is too slow, and removes the necessity to floor the accelerator or to pop the clutch.

 

You can either set the handbrake and shift into 1st, returning the right hand to the handbrakes (which you release slowly as you release the clutch and accelerate), which is the "standard method," or—if hills are common—you can work the handbrake with the right hand (pulling it, but not "setting" it) while using the left hand to do the shifting (using the left knee against the steering wheel).

 

The second technique is a little awkward at first (good to practice on the flats) but works really well if steep hills are a daily challenge.

 

Either way, the handbrake is your friend on steep hills.

 

Bill

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The thing to do on very steep hills is to use the hand brake. This relives the anxiety that you might roll backwards if your coordination is too slow, and removes the necessity to floor the accelerator or to pop the clutch.

 

You can either set the handbrake and shift into 1st, returning the right hand to the handbrakes (which you release slowly as you release the clutch and accelerate), which is the "standard method," or—if hills are common—you can work the handbrake with the right hand (pulling it, but not "setting" it) while using the left hand to do the shifting (using the left knee against the steering wheel).

 

The second technique is a little awkward at first (good to practice on the flats) but works really well if steep hills are a daily challenge.

 

Either way, the handbrake is your friend on steep hills.

 

Bill

 

 

Yeah, I was told AFTER the incident.  And I still am not sure I can do it as I haven't tried.

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I don't know. I just know it works pretty well in our RV. I've never felt the need to downshift an automatic car in the mountains, but DH has had the boys do it occasionally just so they'd know how. It has always seemed to slow the vehicle down well enough.

Don't know about RVs. I do know that when doing downhill ever single driver of an automatic has their brake lights lit up most of the way going down the hill. They are chewing up their brakes. In my vehicle I downshift to a gear that's appropriate and rarely need to touch the brake. Big difference.

 

I know there are some 7 speed autos now, I wonder if they offer improved downshifting choices that are more similar to manuals?

 

Bill

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I can drive pretty much anything.  I love that I can.  

I used to think that I would absolutely teach my girls how to drive a stick, but it has been most impractical to do so.  Do you know how hard it is to find manual trans. cars these days?  In theory we could teach them to drive our tractor, but it is so old and stiff that I have to use every ounce of my weight to even push the clutch in.  They weigh a lot less than I do..lol.  

Anyway, in today's world it just isn't necessary.  

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Yeah, I was told AFTER the incident. And I still am not sure I can do it as I haven't tried.

Sure you can do it. Just treat the release of the handbrake exactly the way you would treat the release of the foot brake, nice and easy. If "panicked" you can hold the hand brake a little longer than necessary, and push the gas a little harder than necessary, but with practice neither of these things are necessary. A nice easy release combined with steady acceleration coordinated with releasing the clutch will give you a nice smooth experience.

 

Bill

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I can drive a stick, and have had stick shift cars for years--a Toyota Camry and a BMW320.  These were both purchased used.

 

I would rather have an automatic.  I like to go to the Sierras, and I don't like having to pay so much attention to the clutch up there.  Also I live only 50 miles from San Francisco, home of the many Very Steep Hills With Stop Signs At The Top Of Them.  Ugh.  Plus my lower back hurts from having to work the pedals so much at times.  

 

However, the reason I have owned and cheerfully driven those cars is that I always buy really good used cars.  It takes a long time to find them, and quite a while to evaluated them.  Generally around here the cars like that that stay on the market long enough for me to evaluate them thoroughly are undesirable to the general public either because they have stick shifts or because they have no AC.  I'm completely unwilling to do without AC, so I put up with a stick when necessary.

 

When I hate a stick it is because it has ambiguity between the location of the reverse gear and one of the forward gears.  That is not a mistake that I EVER want to make.  Or a big truck that you have to kind of wrestle into gear.   Other than that I just dislike them but don't hate them.  

 

Since most US cars are automatic, I don't intend to require DD to learn how to drive a stick, but I think it's a good idea to be able to do so.  

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Don't know about RVs. I do know that when doing downhill ever single driver of an automatic has their brake lights lit up most of the way going down the hill. They are chewing up their brakes. In my vehicle I downshift to a gear that's appropriate and rarely need to touch the brake. Big difference.

 

I know there are some 7 speed autos now, I wonder if they offer improved downshifting choices that are more similar to manuals?

 

Bill

 

Every single one?  That's a lot of people who don't know how to drive.

 

But I'm really curious to know how you can tell all the brake riders are driving automatics?  Is there some way to tell from the outside of a car whether the transmission is manual or automatic??

 

But anyway -- anyone who has any experience at all with mountain driving should know better than to ride the brakes!

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I did research in Smoky Mountains National Park for many years. It annually receives the most visitors of all the U.S. national parks I believe. I can tell you most folks (80%?) ride their brakes. It stinks to high heaven along the main road.

 

The downshifting options in automatics certainly varies by make/model. My Prius is okay, not great....my prior car, a Mazda Protoge 5 was much better.

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I learned to drive with a manual. I was one of the few kids I knew who did that, and a lot of the guys were in awe.   :coolgleamA:  

 

My husband's car is not only manual, it is from Australia (right-hand drive), and so you shift with the left hand.

 

My daughter will learn, if for no other reason, because she loves the show "The Amazing Race," and has seen many contestants have to throw in the towel when confronted with a manual transmission in Europe, or in a less developed/industrialized part of the world.

 

 

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The problem I've experienced when taking automatic downhill (*shudder*) is that putting them into D1 (lowest gearing) endures too much engine-breaking with the revs putting too much stress on the engine and drive-train. But moving to D2 provides insufficient engine-breaking, so the vehicle descends too quickly without doing a great deal of breaking. So all the efficientcy of gearing a car for the downhill is either lost or minimized in an automatic vs a manual.

 

Perhaps there are some autos better geared for descent? I've just never experienced one that does this job as well as a manual.

 

Bill

 

 

My Tahoe goes from M1-M6. I use it all the time as I traverse high mountain passes. 

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Split rears? It's a second gear but just in the back axle. It gives you a lower granny gear. It's very handy when grinding along picking hay. So you can be in a gear in the front, with the same ratio in the back, or go to a lower ratio in the back. Quite tricky to shift. 

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My oldest found her ability to drive a stick quite handy in her undergrad days. She was always the designated driver and she'd call, telling me what she was driving that weekend. Lots of Porsches, BMW's, and one day, she drove a Lamborghini!

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I'll invite you all out to drive our '68 Scout. It only has 3 forward gears. They hadn't invented synchro yet, so you have to clutch to go OUT of a gear and then clutch again to go INTO a gear. Its top speed in only about 35, so you have lots of time...  :lol: The roof leaks so badly that it has holes in the floorboards to let the rain out. It has vacuum windshield wipers, but the Y is on the driver's side. So, if you run the passenger wiper, the driver's wiper only goes half speed. It has a wired-in spotlight for checking cattle at night. And it uses as much oil as gas. It's a hoot to drive. The kids call it the "screened porch" because it has so many air leaks. https://www.google.com/search?q=68+scout+international&tbm=isch&imgil=aA4T-GAde4JhaM%253A%253BBCzMZZlYTRIdAM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.cardomain.com%25252Fride%25252F2935790%25252F1968-international-scout-ii%25252F&source=iu&pf=m&fir=aA4T-GAde4JhaM%253A%252CBCzMZZlYTRIdAM%252C_&biw=1366&bih=623&ved=0ahUKEwig1r_AxrvKAhWFnIMKHT9VAMIQyjcIJg&ei=miWhVqChO4W5jgS_qoGQDA

 

Ours has a back seat, but we put a kayak rack in there. We've have parts of other '68 Scouts, too, that we've robbed over the years. 

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