Difference Between Manual and Automatic

Manual vs Automatic

Manual and automatic are words that are commonly heard in connection with transmission of cars. In reality, these are systems used to make changes in the gear ratio of the automobile so that it performs efficiently at all speeds. There is very little to choose between these systems though there is a lot of difference in so far as user interface is concerned. A car needs to have different gear ratios, low at low speeds and high at high speeds, to runs smoothly as a low gear ratio is fine at low speeds but at high speeds, a low gear ratio causes too much of noise, and does not let the car to accelerate as it should. There are many differences in a manual and an automatic transmission that are discussed below.

To begin with, an automatic transmission is obviously simpler to operate from a driver’s perspective as he is not involved at any stage and the system automatically changes gear depending upon the speed and the requirement of the vehicle. On the other hand, manual transmission requires the driver to shift gears using a bar or handle with left hand while holding the steering wheel with the other hand. This may seem irritating to novices but to those who have been using manual transmission for many years, changing of gears is easy, and takes place almost unknowingly in a natural way. Manual transmission allows one to move the car in higher gears when he is speeding up or in lower gears when he is driving in low speeds.

The most noticeable difference between a manual and an automatic transmission system lies in the fact that a driver needs to drive with both legs engaged in a manual transmission, while left leg is free in case of automatic transmission. In manual transmission, the driver has to apply clutch every time he needs to facilitate gear change. This is not all, as proper disengagement of clutch is essential for smooth gear changing. Clutch has to be applied and released every time a gear needs to be changed in manual transmission.

Though changing gears manually is easy, especially when there is less traffic, as in countryside, but when you are caught in heavy traffic, with one hand constantly engaged with gear shaft and one leg always busy with the clutch can be very irritating. However, there are still many who feel they have more (and better) control over the performance of the car when they are driving a car with a manual transmission. The only place where shifting of gears seems a big headache, is when the car is at the top of a slope and slides backwards on its own.

In a manual gear transmission, more acceleration is generated by the driver while in automatic transmission; gear change takes place on its own, sometimes even before the car has gained sufficient power for the higher gear. Another thing noted by drivers is the fact that cars with automatic transmission use more power and thus more gas in comparison to cars with manual transmission. Automatic transmission proves costlier as it requires more maintenance and servicing than manual transmission. As automatic transmission is dependent upon power of car battery, it keeps you going as long as battery is OK and stops functioning with a dead car battery. However, one can still push and start the car by manually shifting the gear.