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  #41  
Old 16 February 2011, 12:52 PM
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RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
 
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DH says the pick-ups the Army uses are now automatic. I think those civilian Hummers also come in automatic. I guess you can't make them much heavier than they already are, so what's a torque converter, more or less.

When I learned to drive in the military, I learned on those big cattle trucks, with 3 gears, and a transfer case.
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  #42  
Old 17 February 2011, 05:13 PM
UrbanLegends101 UrbanLegends101 is offline
 
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I am not sure I'd agree that using a manual transmission reduces the chances of an accident, but I do know from personal experience that having a manual transmission in a right hand drive country (left hand side of the highway), by keeping my hand on the transmission lever, I had an extra clue that I was driving on the opposite side from when I was more comfortable.
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  #43  
Old 19 April 2011, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
I don't like automatics. I learned to drive with one, and didn't learn to drive a manual until I was about 22 or 23, but since I learned, that is what I prefer, and what I have always bought.
That's my general experience of people-- I don't know anyone who knows how to drive a manual, but still chooses to drive an automatic. My brother is the only person I know who can drive stick, but has an automatic, and that's because his wife doesn't drive stick, and he can't convince her to learn.

I wonder if the US general preference for automatics is because driving schools use them exclusively. Parents, for their part, send their kids to driving school, because they get a break on their insurance premiums if the teenage driver (whose presence can double insurance premiums) has been to driving school. That means, though, that if the family owns a manual and an automatic, the new driver will prefer the automatic, and the more you drive it, the more you get sort of nervous about trying the manual.

I don't know, I learned to drive on a manual, switched to an automatic back in the 70's and have owned both since. My wife's Toyota is a manual, her Serbring is automatic as is my Ram truck. I grew up in farm country and most of my peers learned on a manual and I know very few people who choose a manual for their primary car. A second car, driven for fun, might be manual.
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  #44  
Old 24 April 2011, 05:20 PM
FullMetal FullMetal is offline
 
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well, I learned to drive on an automatic,

my first brand new car '98 Chev S-10 pickup was a manual, and I learned how to drive on that. I got good at driving it, and when I got in an accident in it I switched to a manual sunfire. after that though we bought (for my wife) an Automatic, and were gifted an automatic as well, so now we have two automatics. I could have kept the sunfire, and sold the taurus, but decided to keep the automatic. automatics are better for longer drives I've found.

Driving with kids in the car is definately easier with an automatic. My next car will probabaly be an automatic, if for no other reason than it's easier for both me and my wife to drive (She can't drive a manual)

For what it's worth I also grew up in farm country and many people would drive automatics,
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  #45  
Old 24 April 2011, 05:24 PM
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Lainie Lainie is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MajorAlan View Post
That's my general experience of people-- I don't know anyone who knows how to drive a manual, but still chooses to drive an automatic.
I drove a manual for years, but when I moved to Seattle in 1995, I decided that driving in a strange city with a preschooler in the back seat was enough to handle without also driving a manual transmission in an extremely hilly area. I've never switched back because I simply haven't had a good reason to do so.

Quote:
Parents, for their part, send their kids to driving school, because they get a break on their insurance premiums if the teenage driver (whose presence can double insurance premiums) has been to driving school.
In some states (including mine), no one under 18 can be licensed without completing professional driver education.
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  #46  
Old 24 April 2011, 05:27 PM
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AnglRdr AnglRdr is offline
 
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I think the reason most Americans drive automatics is because that is the transmission package most available.

I learned to drive a manual (three on the tree), and do not mind driving them. But I don't hate driving automatics, either, unless I am in stop and go traffic, and then it's just a PITA.
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  #47  
Old 24 April 2011, 06:06 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnglRdr View Post
I think the reason most Americans drive automatics is because that is the transmission package most available.

I learned to drive a manual (three on the tree), and do not mind driving them. But I don't hate driving automatics, either, unless I am in stop and go traffic, and then it's just a PITA.
But if Americans wanted manuals, don't you think they would be in the car stores here? After all, the manufacturers and sellers have no problem providing all sorts of other vehicles just to meet demand - oversized SUVs, cars that travel much faster than is legal, weird-shaped cars, vans with removable seats, and on and on.
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  #48  
Old 24 April 2011, 07:58 PM
Troodon Troodon is offline
 
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Maybe it's just because of my taste in cars (I'd rather ride my bike than drive a 4-door sedan) but every car I've considered buying new comes in manual (and is cheaper that way).

Admittedly, I haven't actually looked at car dealerships, just on manufacturer web pages. Do dealerships not stock manual-transmission cars?
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  #49  
Old 24 April 2011, 08:18 PM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnglRdr View Post
I think the reason most Americans drive automatics is because that is the transmission package most available.
...
Exactly. I know how to drive a manual -- in fact, two of the cars I've owned over the years have been manual shift, but mostly I drive whatever used car I can afford that fit my needs at the time, and the type of transmission doesn't enter into it. I think a careful driver will be careful no matter what type of transmission is used.

In a few years, the debate will be moot when most cars are either hybrid or electric anyway.

Nick
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  #50  
Old 24 April 2011, 10:02 PM
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I know how to drive a manual, generally prefer to drive a manual. The last new car I bought I made the dealer find a manual for me. But we just bought a new car a week ago and specifically bought an automatic because we both drive a great deal in stop and go traffic, and Lizzy has problems with her knee. Mine isn't that great either. It's pragmatic, for us.
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  #51  
Old 24 April 2011, 10:58 PM
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RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
 
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I prefer manuals in stop and start traffic, even if I do occasionally get that lovely roast clutch smell. I tend to space out with an automatic, and more than once have bumped the car in front of me. Not to the point of causing damage, but it's not something you want to do to someone, and it can ruin my afternoon, so I can't imagine what it feels like to the person I bump. I've never done it in a manual.
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  #52  
Old 24 April 2011, 11:26 PM
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Chillas raises a good point. I insisted on cruise control in the last new car I bought because when I drive for extended periods, using my foot to maintain pressure on the gas aggravates the problems in my lower back. I imagine using a clutch would do the same thing, only that would happen even on short drives.
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  #53  
Old 24 April 2011, 11:29 PM
Troodon Troodon is offline
 
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Under what circumstances would you hold down the clutch for a long period of time? Maybe I wasn't correctly taught, but I only hold it down long enough to shift gears except when I want to show off by taking off as soon as the light turns green. My right leg gets quite tired from holding down the gas after a long drive, but my left leg does not get tired.
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  #54  
Old 24 April 2011, 11:32 PM
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Sorry, I didn't express that well. On-and-off pressure on the gas aggravates my back, too, but I don't usually have to do that for an extended period (and there's no easy fix for it). I assume the back-and-forth motion of using the clutch would aggravate it, too.
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  #55  
Old 24 April 2011, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
I prefer manuals in stop and start traffic, even if I do occasionally get that lovely roast clutch smell. I tend to space out with an automatic, and more than once have bumped the car in front of me. Not to the point of causing damage, but it's not something you want to do to someone, and it can ruin my afternoon, so I can't imagine what it feels like to the person I bump. I've never done it in a manual.
If you are smelling "roast clutch", even in stop-and-go traffic, you're not driving correctly. And if you're spacing out anytime for any reason while driving, you probably ought not drive, whatever the transmission. That's just irresponsible.
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  #56  
Old 25 April 2011, 12:10 AM
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RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chillas View Post
If you are smelling "roast clutch", even in stop-and-go traffic, you're not driving correctly. And if you're spacing out anytime for any reason while driving, you probably ought not drive, whatever the transmission. That's just irresponsible.
I'm not talking about a common event, and I haven't bumped anyone in a long time-- I'm talking maybe 18 years. Which is about how long it's been since I owned an automatic. Maybe there's no connection, and I just didn't get enough sleep back then-- I didn't. I did a lot of irresponsible things then I don't do now, for the record.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Chillas raises a good point. I insisted on cruise control in the last new car I bought because when I drive for extended periods, using my foot to maintain pressure on the gas aggravates the problems in my lower back. I imagine using a clutch would do the same thing, only that would happen even on short drives.
A sample of one, but I know someone with sciatica who found it got aggravated on long driving trips, or even start and stop ones that were short. Her PT asked her if she knew how to drive clutch, and told her if she could, to borrow one, and drive around, as an experiment. Turned out that a lot of people, when they drive automatic, tend to drive with their pelvises tilted, you know, right side forward, which tires you faster, and is stressful, because you're not fully resting on the seat, and driving manual corrects for that. It might also let you stretch muscles on both sides (that part is me guessing).

Sample of one, FWIW.
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  #57  
Old 25 April 2011, 12:34 AM
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Wolf333 Wolf333 is offline
 
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I learned to drive a manual, now prefer an automatic.

I have a bad left knee and ankle, so using the clutch over and over becomes painful in start/stop traffic. Driving an automatic totally removes that problem, thus allowing me to concentrate on my driving as opposed to the pain in my leg.
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  #58  
Old 25 April 2011, 12:51 AM
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RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
 
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If it had happened to be your right knee, these exist:



It's a left-foot gas pedal. It's pretty low tech-- I always think low tech solutions are kind of cool, when there's so much high tech around.

Sorry about your leg.

ETA: Do British cars have the same clutch-brake-gas arrangement as US cars?
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  #59  
Old 25 April 2011, 01:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troodon View Post
Admittedly, I haven't actually looked at car dealerships, just on manufacturer web pages. Do dealerships not stock manual-transmission cars?
Depends on the kind of car. You'll more frequently find sports cars or other performance cars (something like the Mitsubishi EVO or Golf GTi) with manual transmission on the lot, but fewer sedans (like base model Honda Civics). Lots of cars have the option but it's so infrequently chosen that dealers may only stock one of them with manual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
Do British cars have the same clutch-brake-gas arrangement as US cars?
Yes, the pedal arrangement and shift pattern on right hand drive cars is the same as LHD. Although, as recently as the 30's it was not uncommon for some cars (Alfa Romeo sports cars spring to mind) to have a center throttle, with the brake on the right. It facilitated heel and toeing, apparently.

-RB

ETA: some racing cars in the fifties had the center throttle pedal arrangement as well
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  #60  
Old 25 April 2011, 01:55 PM
dave748 dave748 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
That's my general experience of people-- I don't know anyone who knows how to drive a manual, but still chooses to drive an automatic.
I learnt to drive in a manual, got my license in a manual, my first car was a manual, a column shift, as was my third, a floor shift, fourth, back to the column. My second, fifth and sixth, and my current car are and is an auto. oSo now you sort of know another who knows how to drive a manual but chooses an auto

This doesn't include my hobby cars, two manuals and an auto. Both manuals in my hobby cars have no synchros as they are vintage cars. Now the question, am I more likely to have an accident driving the manual vintage car, the modern v12 auto or the seventies hotted up auto?
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