Wednesday, 15 May 2024 03:31

Just one reason why

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Since first seeing The Fast and The Furious as a little kid, I've always thought manual transmissions were cool. Anyone can drive, but it takes a little more to row through the gears. The car and driver share a special connection through that extra pedal and shift knob, and there's lots of good reasons to have them. 

Right off the bat, let's go ahead and put this to rest: yes, a modern automatic transmission shifts faster than any human with a manual. It's proven, and that's why uber-fast cars like Dodge's Challenger SRT Demon only offer the auto. 

Moving past that, there's still many advantages to driving a standard shift. Performance is a big one; from drifting to rock crawling, the added control of being able to pick what gear you're in exactly when you want it gives the manual an edge. As such, there are a lot of cars these days with paddle shifters, which attempt to give this capability without having the burden of a clutch. 

Outside of automotive sport driving, a commuter may enjoy the active engagement in the driving experience a manual brings. Simply put, they're fun! I think so, at least. 

There're practical reasons to buy a manual too. Oftentimes, particularly in older vehicles, a standard shift is more fuel-efficient than an automatic. This largely involves parasitic power loss, but there's also just the difference in how each is driven. Additionally, factors such as maintenace and repair costs come into play. Certain manuals are less prone to breaking than their automatic counterparts, and they're generally easier to fix if they do. What's more, in terms of practicality, knowing how to drive a manual might be the difference between you getting where you need to go or not. This is especially true outside of the U.S. 

Finally, is the reason why I wrote this. Just recently, news broke of a woman in Boulder Colorado who stole a truck and ditched it immediately because she didn't know how to work a clutch. It rolled and crashed into a hydrant, and she was arrested yet again for the same crime she had also committed a day prior. So, that right there is another advantage of owning a stick shift: for theft deterrence. 

Here's that story, and thanks for reading this blog. I respect whatever you choose; I mean, I own both a manual and an automatic and love driving them each. Just be sure the radio is tuned to 94.9 WQMX! 

Read 75 times Last modified on Wednesday, 15 May 2024 03:54