Automatic cars on the road hugely outnumber their manual counterparts. Still, the age old discussion of which transmission type is best has never lost momentum. The debate is fueled by both science and fiction. One of the bones of contention in the discussion regards the cost of maintenance.
Shifting fans say that manual cars are more fun to drive than automatic cars. They also insist that their cars need fewer repairs than automatic cars. The big question is, do these drivers have a point or are they just nostalgic about manual cars?
It’s true that manual transmissions require less maintenance and attention than automatic transmissions. The reason for this lies in the vehicle’s complexity. Most manual transmissions are less complex in design than their automatic counterparts. Therefore, fewer things can potentially go wrong in a manual car.
Manual cars rarely develop transmission problems. For most stick shafts, the clutch is the only component that requires attention. Still, under ideal drive-style and road conditions, the clutch doesn’t require replacement until the mileage reads hundreds of thousands of miles.
In contrast, most modern automatics have complicated automatic transmissions. These transmissions have numerous moving mechanical parts and hard-to-diagnose-and-repair computer modules. Among other parts, there are gears, clutches, valves and solenoids. Automatics are therefore at risk of electrical and computer related transmission problems. When transmission problems occur, some components may need repair. Other times, the transmission may require an overhaul or replacement.
Fluid changes and fluid leaks can also add on a car’s repair costs. Unlike most manual cars, automatic cars require regular fluid changes. They are also vulnerable to fluid leaks. Fluid leaks can be very destructive.
So it's a fact that manual transmissions need fewer repairs than automatic transmissions. And when manuals break down, they're typically easier to fix. Their repair costs can be much cheaper. However, where the automatic transmission is built to last a car’s lifetime, the cost of maintaining an automatic can be approximately equal to the cost of clutch replacements in a manual.
Modern transmissions are quite complex and difficult to service. Every transmission requires proper maintenance. Finding the right mechanic to handle your car's transmission will determine the longevity of the transmission. Choose a reputed repair center with certified technicians. For all your repair needs, contact
Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/ Hector Landaeta