The Joy of Shifting Gears: Why Car Enthusiasts Prefer Manual Transmissions

Today, drivers split into two camps: automatic transmission lovers and those who swear by manual vehicles. While it’s easy to understand why most cars produced today have automatic transmissions (they’re much easier to drive), plenty of stick-shift lovers will tout the benefits of manual transmissions in vehicles. After someone asked an online car forum for their opinions, here are their insights.

A More Engaging Driving Experience

Manual Transmissions
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Most stick-shift-loving drivers cite a more engaging driving experience as the primary reason for preferring manual transmissions. It connects you to the car, gives you another level of control over your vehicle, and is more engaging.

“I don’t drive simply to get from point A to point B. I drive because I enjoy the act of driving, of piloting my vehicle.” Other people agree with this sentiment, with one man adding, “I feel like I’m driving a fully-fleshed out machine when I drive a stick, as opposed to a glorified go-cart when I drive an automatic.”

It’s a Theft Deterrent

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Facts are facts: if you can drive a manual, you can drive an automatic vehicle. However, the reverse isn’t true, making stick-shift cars an illogical choice for car thieves. A person can’t steal your vehicle if they can’t drive it. Because most people today have never driven a manual transmission car, they are harder to steal by default.

You Won’t Be Asked to Borrow Your Car

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Some car owners are generous in lending out their vehicle to family and friends, but if you are the miserly type (and there’s nothing wrong with that), owning a manual transmission car or truck will prevent people from asking to borrow your ride. “It’s been a godsend,” reveals one man. “Nobody has ever asked to borrow my car because I’m pretty sure nobody knows how to drive it. It’s great.”

Dislike of Modern Electronics

Dislike of Modern Electronics
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As vehicles become increasingly technologically advanced, many drivers prefer the relative simplicity of an old-fashioned manual transmission.

“As much as I love technology, electronic systems break, and when they do, you are stuck, literally,” one driver laments. For example, they have Ford Focus which has an electronic transmission. The motherboard blew out, and the car wouldn’t even start.

It’s Just More Fun

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Most stick-shift drivers admit that vehicles with manual transmissions are more fun to drive. “It’s all about F-U-N!” says one enthusiastic driver.

They confess to constantly feeling like a kid playing a driving video game for the first time. “It’s just a blast.” Judging by the sheer amount of drivers who agree with this statement, it’s starting to become clear what automatic transmissions lack in the driving world.

Keeps You Off Your Phone

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Although not all drivers cite this as a significant reason they love manual transmissions, enough people spoke about this to raise our eyebrows. Since driving a stick-shift is primarily a two-handed operation, it prevents the driver from using their cell phone while driving. “It’s a huge safety benefit because it forces you to be more focused,” admits one driver.

Of course, one enterprising person bragged, “I can proudly say I can drive a stick AND be on my phone.” That’s impressive but not something anybody would recommend. Stop texting and driving!

Often More Fuel-Efficient

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Historically, driving a vehicle equipped with a manual transmission means better gas mileage than a car with an automatic transmission, which many drivers point out.

However, there is one caveat: one driver claims that newer automatic transmissions have so much tech in them that they’re more efficient than manuals. It’s crazy how advanced they’ve become in recent years.

Cheaper to Maintain and Repair

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As a result of being more engaged in your vehicle, you’ll naturally become more invested in the inner workings of it, a good point that many drivers acknowledge. This will naturally translate into being able to do a lot of repairs on your own.

In addition, manual transmissions have far fewer electronics than modern automatic transmissions, which leads to lower repair costs.

Better Confidence on the Road

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Some argue that manual transmissions lead to a more confident driving experience, although everyone doesn’t share this feeling. “I feel more confident when I drive stick, personally,” confesses one man. We don’t want to judge anybody for their confidence issues, so if driving a stick works for this person, we’re all for it. Better a confident driver than a distracted one.

Ability to Start With a Dead Battery

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While many reasons for loving a manual transmission have been subjective, this specific reason is objective. Starting your stick-shift car is still possible if you have a dead battery. “The ability to start the car with a dead battery without a jumper or another car is next-level stuff,” says one proud owner.

This thread inspired this post.

This article originally appeared on MyCarMakesNoise.

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Author: Dave Johnston

Dave Junior is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

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