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RivkahChaya
08-10-2014, 02:01 PM
This may turn into a discussion, and I don't mind if mods move it, but I just have a straightforward question: has anyone ever heard of carjackers attempting a jacking, and then giving up because the car had a manual transmission? I was reading the thread about car doors automatically locking, and the comment that it might foil carjackers, and I thought about a stat I'd seen recently regarding fewer and fewer new drivers knowing how to operate a manual transmission, so it got me wondering: what happens if the carjackers can't drive the car? Do people who intend to carjack make a point of learning to drive a clutch?

UncleBill
08-10-2014, 03:11 PM
Seattle, June, 2014
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/would-be-carjackers-foiled-in-seattle-couldnt-drive-stick/

Orlando, Jan 2013
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/carjackers-foiled-by-stic_n_2590262.html

Florida, June 2013
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/06/20/florida-carjacking-at-gunpoint-fails-after-man-cant-drive-stick-shift/


It happens. But less than 7% of cars out there are manual transmissions, so the odds are a car chosen to be jacked is auto are high.

Gatopescado
08-10-2014, 03:15 PM
Ain't that just like a dirty thief? Steal a car he's too stupid to drive!

AK84
08-10-2014, 03:44 PM
Talk about a uniquely American occurrence.

ducati
08-10-2014, 04:30 PM
I've offered countless times to teach my son to drive a stick, since he'll inherit a few.
He's never wanted to, and Friday, it bit him in the ass.

He went with me to drive a friend's Ferraris on Friday, but alas, gated shifters all around!:eek:

He got to ride with my friend, then me, so it's almost as good! He's still smiling today!

chiroptera
08-10-2014, 05:59 PM
Yes I have, sorry l couldn't find a link. A couple of years ago two guys attempted to carjack a woman's car around here but barely made it block before abandoning it and running away. It was a manual trans Mustang.

I've always chosen manual transmission vehicles because l prefer driving them but l joke that living in a high crime area, a bonus is that l am less likely to have a vehicle stolen or get carjacked.

Rick
08-10-2014, 10:45 PM
Yes. 1990. A visitor from Oregon stopped in downtown LA for gas. Their Volvo 240 was car jacked at the gas station. Made it 6 blocks before the idiot burned the clutch out of the car.
I did the repair at the dealership I worked at.

PastTense
08-10-2014, 11:35 PM
It happens. But less than 7% of cars out there are manual transmissions, so the odds are a car chosen to be jacked is auto are high.

But probably car thieves are more interested in stealing sports cars (a significant percentage of which have manual transmissions) than that percentage suggests.

Rick
08-10-2014, 11:59 PM
But probably car thieves are more interested in stealing sports cars (a significant percentage of which have manual transmissions) than that percentage suggests.


I think you will find carjackers are assholes of opportunity. A guy with a Buick at a stop light? He will take it. He probably won't wait 6 years for the next Ferrari to drive through the hood.

Senegoid
08-11-2014, 01:12 AM
Talk about a uniquely American occurrence.

Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "first world problems".

PSXer
08-11-2014, 01:23 AM
I am tired as heck of this hateful stereotype that Americans can't drive stick

are automatic cars really that uncommon in Europe and other place

flight
08-11-2014, 01:41 AM
About 6 years ago, suburban Virginia. My friend left my place around 11 pm and was warming up his car (no idea why he does that). He noticed a guy tapping on his passenger side window and it distracted him from the guy with the gun coming up on the drivers side. He got out and they took his wallet and keys and said they were taking the car. They told him to take off running.

He came back up the stairs to my apartment and we called the police and went to his car. The keys were on the ground next to it. We were never sure if they planned on stealing the car but couldn't because it was manual or if they just dropped the keys and never planned on taking the car. As they never caught them we couldn't exactly ask.

AK84
08-11-2014, 01:43 AM
From what I have seen is, yes manuals are more common in Europe, Mid East, S Asia, Far East etc and even if there are more automatics, there is pressure to learn to drive manuals, for instance in many countries you get a licence only if you show proficiency on manuals or yo get a restricted to automatics only license. I think in the US even if you pass a test on automatic! you are legally permitted to drive stick?

Edit: Replying yo PSXer. And it not a"hateful" stereotype. It's mostly fact from what I have seen. Don't know why there are such bragging rights to driving stick in the US.

Terry Kennedy
08-11-2014, 02:12 AM
I am tired as heck of this hateful stereotype that Americans can't drive stick
A few years ago, I had just finished working on my Ariel Atom (http://www.tmk.com/atom/) late at night and decided to head down to the local Taco Bell to grab some food instead of cooking. [It never ceases to amaze people at the drive-thru.]

After getting my food and pulling into an empty corner of the lot, I noticed that the local chapter of "The Fast and The Spurious" (blinged-out cars with coffee-can mufflers, neon underbody lighting, fake carbon fiber and Kanji stickers) was meeting on the other side of the parking lot.

They noticed the Atom and started yelling and calling for me to drive over there. With a sigh, I drove over to talk to them. After the usual questions ("How much does it cost?", "Is it legal?", etc.) the head Fast & Spurious guy asked me "Does it come with an automatic? 'cause I can't drive a stick."

I rest my case...

Princhester
08-11-2014, 02:46 AM
I am tired as heck of this hateful stereotype that Americans can't drive stick

are automatic cars really that uncommon in Europe and other place

It's not that they are uncommon it's just that there is such a substantial percentage of manual cars around that most people can drive one even if they don't.

In other words, Americans as outliers in this respect is not a "hateful stereotype" it's pretty much an accurate reflection of a point of difference.

Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "first world problems".

Except it's not a "first world" problem, see above.

Tim R. Mortiss
08-11-2014, 02:48 AM
Mooching friends are not quite the same thing as carjackers. But I've found that since I started driving a manual transmission car, far fewer friends ask to borrow it. Or if they do, the simple response "Can you drive a stick?" is enough to derail the issue.

CoastalMaineiac
08-11-2014, 03:10 AM
Mooching friends are not quite the same thing as carjackers. But I've found that since I started driving a manual transmission car, far fewer friends ask to borrow it. Or if they do, the simple response "Can you drive a stick?" is enough to derail the issue.

I've always found a simple "no" works fine with any of my friends. They all know I don't let anyone else drive my car, anyway.

spotthegerbil
08-11-2014, 03:55 AM
It's not that they are uncommon it's just that there is such a substantial percentage of manual cars around that most people can drive one even if they don't.

In other words, Americans as outliers in this respect is not a "hateful stereotype" it's pretty much an accurate reflection of a point of difference.


Autocar magazine put the sale of automatic transmission cars in the UK at about 25% last year. This is up from 17% a decade ago.

There's an awful lot of manual cars going around. If you pass your driving test in an automatic, you are restricted to automatics. You have to sit another test if you want to drive a manual.

bengangmo
08-11-2014, 04:17 AM
But probably car thieves are more interested in stealing sports cars (a significant percentage of which have manual transmissions) than that percentage suggests.

Given the current modern state of sports cars - very very few are now manuals.

Ferrari no longer produce "traditional" manual, and for Lamborghini I don't think it's even on option on the Huracan...

Oakminster
08-11-2014, 04:55 AM
Edit: Replying yo PSXer. And it not a"hateful" stereotype. It's mostly fact from what I have seen. Don't know why there are such bragging rights to driving stick in the US.

I think it's a generational thing. I was born in 1965, got my license in 1980, and I learned on a stick. Pretty much all the guys and many of the girls in my high school drove sticks. Fast forward to my brother, 16 years younger than me, and the situation has changed. He can't drive a stick, and neither can many of his friends.

chiroptera
08-11-2014, 06:43 AM
An advantage to knowing how to drive a stick if you travel: It's significantly cheaper to rent a manual transmission vehicle outside of the US.

Toxylon
08-11-2014, 06:52 AM
are automatic cars really that uncommon in Europe and other place

Yes, they are. I've never driven one, and I know maybe three people who own one. Driving a stick is a basic necessity for anyone involved with cars, around here. Automatics are gaining ground, but they sure have a long way to go. Us Euros will have robot cars before the stick shift is phased out.

Princhester
08-11-2014, 06:59 AM
Actually I think double clutch automatics will take over from manuals. I drive one now and there just isn't any reason to drive a manual any more. They have all the advantages. The only thing is expense and that will come down as they become standard.

clairobscur
08-11-2014, 07:09 AM
I am tired as heck of this hateful stereotype that Americans can't drive stick

are automatic cars really that uncommon in Europe and other place


They're very uncommon over here (France). My mother is the only person I know who owns an automatic (she learned to drive after she retired. It's a different driving license for automatic cars and stick, so it was easier for her). And her car is the only automatic car I ever sat in (and I'm 49). The only other person I've known who envisioned buying one was the 89 yo father of my ex (again because it was assumed it would be easier to drive for him, given his age). They're that uncommon. In fact I didn't know automatic cars existed before my mother passed her driving license.

Hari Seldon
08-11-2014, 01:38 PM
Let me just add that if I were living in Europe, I would prefer driving a stick. Here (in Montreal, which is even worse than the US as far as I can tell) we live in a stop sign forest and driving a stick is a PITA. I finally gave up with my last car and bought an automatic. In Europe, stop signs are rare, but serious. There are some yield signs. Even traffic lights are less common, even in big cities. Roundabouts are common though. So driving a stick is a pleasure. The half dozen times I rented a car in Europe, I don't think automatics were even available, except by special arrangement. Learning to shift left-handed in England was an experience, but I adjusted quickly.

In PA, where I grew up and learned to drive, there were restricted licenses for those who took their test on an automatic and there was a law that forbade 4-way stop signs. Both are long gone.

A friend who had never driven a stick helped with the driving on a long distance trip. It took five minutes and only one stall to get him doing it and by the time the trip was over, he was a pro. And I insisted my kids learn on a stick.

Drunky Smurf
08-11-2014, 02:18 PM
I've offered countless times to teach my son to drive a stick, since he'll inherit a few.
He's never wanted to, and Friday, it bit him in the ass.

He went with me to drive a friend's Ferraris on Friday, but alas, gated shifters all around!:eek:

He got to ride with my friend, then me, so it's almost as good! He's still smiling today!

I guess he'll just have to stick to carjacking automatics then.

Donnerwetter
08-11-2014, 02:33 PM
So I guess with the advent of driverless cars, carjacking will become an option even for the totally inept criminal?

Tom Tildrum
08-11-2014, 03:19 PM
Slightly off-topic, but a thief once tried to steal my brother's stick-shift sports car out of his parking lot late one night. Broke in, drilled out the ignition, and only then discovered that my brother's battery was dead. He discovered the (surprisingly minimal) break-in damage the next morning. The fact that it was a stick shift helped a lot in getting it out and getting it fixed, because we were able to roll it back out of the space and then push it (downhill) across the parking lot to get it started. The key was useless, but he was able to turn the ignition with a large screwdriver.

He drove it around like that for a few days before he could get it fixed. We joked about going somewhere with valet parking and handing over the screwdriver, but the occasion never presented itself.

chiroptera
08-11-2014, 03:25 PM
Slightly off-topic, but a thief once tried to steal my brother's stick-shift sports car out of his parking lot late one night. Broke in, drilled out the ignition, and only then discovered that my brother's battery was dead. He discovered the (surprisingly minimal) break-in damage the next morning. The fact that it was a stick shift helped a lot in getting it out and getting it fixed, because we were able to roll it back out of the space and then push it (downhill) across the parking lot to get it started. The key was useless, but he was able to turn the ignition with a large screwdriver.

He drove it around like that for a few days before he could get it fixed. We joked about going somewhere with valet parking and handing over the screwdriver, but the occasion never presented itself.

A couple of years ago the alternator went kaput in my old manual trans Nissan truck, in a strip mall parking lot not far from home. There was a van load of young able bodied guys in the lot so l asked them if they could push start me. To a man, they were astonished that such a thing was even possible.

callander
08-11-2014, 03:42 PM
yes, I remember a funny story a few years back, think it happened in Florida, the thief actually asked the owner how to drive it, didn't work out well.
I was looking at a new car recently and the salesman told me that less than 5% of cars sold in the country are manual and it is getting worse. Even high performance cars that should only be manual aren't. Tragic really.

chiroptera
08-11-2014, 03:58 PM
yes, I remember a funny story a few years back, think it happened in Florida, the thief actually asked the owner how to drive it, didn't work out well.
I was looking at a new car recently and the salesman told me that less than 5% of cars sold in the country are manual and it is getting worse. Even high performance cars that should only be manual aren't. Tragic really.

Coincidentally (I have been toying with the notion of getting another, used, car and have decided thatl want it to be a stick because both of my work vans are autos) l stopped at a used car lot today. The owner told me that he would not even buy or take as a trade in a manual trans car, because "nobody wants them."

I guess l don't think it is tragic or anything, auto and hybrid transmissions have come a long way. But l personally am an automotive Luddite and would rather drive a stick. Luckily there are plenty for sale on craigslist. :-)

callander
08-11-2014, 04:24 PM
okay tragic might be a tad extreme. I do drive a stick, so no complaining here. ;-)

saje
08-11-2014, 04:47 PM
If the number of automatic cars vs manual on any given new car lot is any indication, a good 90%+ of the car buying population in the US wants nothing to do with stick shift cars. I got a screaming deal on my brand new Mazda a couple of years ago because it's a stick (which I wanted) and it had been sitting on their lot for the better part of a year.

My husband is car shopping, and trying to find a stick shift car to test drive is a bear. Yes, you can get a reasonable idea of whether your going to like a car or not by driving the auto version, but pedal and shifter placement can make a difference, not to mention the actual shifting etc.

Even the F-250 I use for trailering is a stick - I much prefer it.

pulykamell
08-11-2014, 05:46 PM
I am tired as heck of this hateful stereotype that Americans can't drive stick

are automatic cars really that uncommon in Europe and other place

I'm not sure what's "hateful" about the observation that many/most Americans can't drive stick. From my experience, it's true, but I think as mentioned above, it's partly generational, but also partly geographical. Pretty much the only people I know my age (I'm almost 40) who know how to drive a stick grew up in a more rural part of the country. I learned how to drive stick out of necessity when living overseas, but before I was in my 20s, had never driven one. I don't think I even knew a person who had a stick shift until my sophomore or junior year in college. They were just not common here (in Chicago.) I drive a stick now and I've learned since that if I need someone else to ever drive my car, I'm pretty much shit out of luck.

Meanwhile, my observation in Europe, specifically in Hungary, was that somewhere around 1 in 12 cars were automatics, the rest stick. I would sometimes pass the time walking down the street by counting how many automatic transmissions I see in the cars I passed. Somewhere between 1 in 10 and 1 in 15 was the average.

filmstar-en
08-11-2014, 07:04 PM
In Europe cars are generally smaller (and so are the streets) and fuel is more than double the price in the US. Automatics are generally thought of as being less fuel efficient than small manual cars. For the same reason of economy, more diesel cars are now sold in the UK than petrol cars.

bizerta
08-11-2014, 07:52 PM
I am tired as heck of this hateful stereotype that Americans can't drive stick

are automatic cars really that uncommon in Europe and other placeYes. Five years ago, my son and I rented a car in Belgium. When the Hertz rep saw our Massachusetts driver's license, we were immediately advised that they only had stick shifts for rent.

On a related note: I'm too old to teach. I want to give my granddaughter my VW, but I can't find any driving schools that have a stick shift to teach her.

RivkahChaya
08-11-2014, 11:02 PM
I learned to drive on an automatic, but I learned to drive stick when I was about 22, and all the cars I've had since have been stick, except for some rentals, and a roommate's car I occasionally borrowed (it was an 8-cyl Ford Crown Vic that she inherited; I borrowed it when I needed a lot of passenger space).

Indiana must be an outlier, because when we bought a car in 2008, about 1/3 of the cars on the lot were stick, and I know lots of people who drive stick, including lots of young people, but then, there are people here who learn to drive when they are 12, operating tractors on the family farm.

Indiana has no mountains, but it's very hilly, and even when I drive an automatic, I find myself shifting down to climb hills, or to go down them without overheating the brakes. It's also not a place where you get stuck in stop and go traffic much (the only time when an automatic is really useful), so it's a good place for manuals. Honestly, the only person I know who can drive a manual but doesn't is my aunt, and that's because she had a leg amputated. Well, and I guess my uncle, because now he has a car that she can drive in a pinch.

I never owned a car when I lived in New York. I don't know if I would have considered buying an automatic because of the amount of time you spend in slow traffic. It was that kind of traffic, and the cost of parking, that made me not want a car in the first place.

I have on two occasions had to drive other people's cars in emergencies, and both times they were stick, so it was a good thing I knew how.

AK84
08-12-2014, 12:59 AM
Yes. Five years ago, my son and I rented a car in Belgium. When the Hertz rep saw our Massachusetts driver's license, we were immediately advised that they only had stick shifts for rent.

On a related note: I'm too old to teach. I want to give my granddaughter my VW, but I can't find any driving schools that have a stick shift to teach her.

I have heard of stories (only stories mind you) of Americans being refused service by rental companies because they thought that they were lying about being able to driving stick.

mhendo
08-12-2014, 01:59 AM
Automatics are generally thought of as being less fuel efficient than small manual cars.This thinking persists, but for newer models it isn't really true anymore. Just taking Honda as an example, the auto versions of the Civic and Accord models all have better EPA ratings than the stick-shift versions, both around town and on the highway. The advent of five- (and six- and seven- and even eight-) speed automatic transmissions, as well as continuously variable transmissions, mean that automatics are now at least as fuel-efficient as manuals, and more sophisticated computers and electronics mean that the shifts are smoother and respond better than in the past.

As bengangmo noted above, it is getting harder and harder to buy a top-of-the-line sports car with a clutch pedal. There are no more true manuals from Ferrari or Lamborghini, and Aston Martin now only offer the six-speed manual on their bottom-of-the-range V8 Vantage. Porsche still sell proper manuals, especially at the bottom end of their price-and-performance range (particularly the Boxster), but the really powerful cars in the lineup (911 Turbo, and the amazing new 918 Spyder) now only come with the PDK transmission that allows automatic or manual shifting, but has no manual clutch.

All of this makes sense. The engines in these new sports cars are so incredibly powerful now, and the cars so incredibly fast, that 99 percent of the people who buy them (most of whom aren't expert drivers) would probably put them through the nearest shrubbery if they also had to be concerned with changing gears.

And the fact is that even expert drivers nowadays can't get these supercars off the line faster with a manual transmission than they can with the automatic. Porsche, for example, lists a 0-60 time of 4.3 seconds for the 911 Carrera S manual, and 4.1 seconds for the PDK automatic. A human being basically can't change gears faster or more efficiently than a machine anymore. Hell, for drag-racing type starts, some of them even come with a Launch control button that basically removes any element of driver skill, and balances power and grip automatically in order to give the fastest possible takeoff from a standing start.

For those of us in the less rarefied driving atmosphere, though, a manual can still be more fun. When my wife and i were looking for a new (used) car a few months back, we would have had far more cars to choose from if we had been willing to buy an automatic. We were looking for a fuel-efficient four cylinder (Honda Civic, Mazda 3, Toyota Corolla, VW Jetta, etc.), and there must have been at least 15 or 20 autos available for every stick shift.

The stereotypes about who can and cannot drive a stick extends beyond just Americans, though. Quite a few of the salespeople we spoke to seemed quite surprised that my wife was interested in driving a manual.

We love driving a manual, but i have to admit that it really only works for us because of our somewhat peculiar work situation, and the nature of our commute. We rarely have to drive much at rush hour, and we work from home 2-3 days a week, even during the semester. If we had to drive on clogged freeways in stop-start traffic at rush hour, five days a week, i think an automatic would begin to look very attractive.

GreasyJack
08-12-2014, 02:27 AM
This thinking persists, but for newer models it isn't really true anymore. Just taking Honda as an example, the auto versions of the Civic and Accord models all have better EPA ratings than the stick-shift versions, both around town and on the highway.


Note though that this is much less true outside of North America. All things being equal, manuals still have a slight efficiency edge over automatics, at least in small cars. In the US, they try to make the sticks the "sporty" option and so the gearing is usually much lower than the auto version. If you look at the fuel economy numbers for the version of the same car aimed at stingy Europeans, the (more sedately geared) manual version usually still does better than the autos. For example honda.co.uk says the Euro-spec Civic is 45.8 MPG vs 48.8 MPG for the auto and manual version with the same engine.

mhendo
08-12-2014, 02:40 AM
Note though that this is much less true outside of North America. All things being equal, manuals still have a slight efficiency edge over automatics, at least in small cars. In the US, they try to make the sticks the "sporty" option and so the gearing is usually much lower than the auto version. Interesting. I didn't know they changed the gear ratios for different markets.

filmstar-en
08-12-2014, 04:46 AM
In the UK automatics tend to be for guys who are likely to spend huge numbers of hours travelling up and down the country on straight roads. Salesmen. I had such a car until recently, 3litres of BMW comfort. Very nice on long distance journeys, but a petrol fuelled automatic, it was a complete gas guzzler in urban traffic. With petrol at over $8 a gallon in the UK, I would weep into my wallet each time I filled up.

That and little old ladies, for whom the dexterity required of a manual gear change is a complication too far. Very small automatics, less than 1000cc are popular in this market. Not least because small also means easy to park. I drove my mothers dinky little Toyota Yaris automatic. A cute car that sips fuel.

I look forward to the day when all this gear change business is a thing of the past. Electric cars are coming and they don't need gears. It should also put pay to car jackers.

Until then, we have the South Africans to thank for applying flame thrower technology as the answer to motoring hazards in unsafe urban areas as a solution to the car jacking problem:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDrzMGdYWZc

:eek:

Sage Rat
08-12-2014, 06:14 AM
Note though that this is much less true outside of North America. All things being equal, manuals still have a slight efficiency edge over automatics, at least in small cars. In the US, they try to make the sticks the "sporty" option and so the gearing is usually much lower than the auto version. If you look at the fuel economy numbers for the version of the same car aimed at stingy Europeans, the (more sedately geared) manual version usually still does better than the autos. For example honda.co.uk says the Euro-spec Civic is 45.8 MPG vs 48.8 MPG for the auto and manual version with the same engine.

That's assuming that the driver is switching gears at optimal times for fuel efficiency. Personally, I would suspect that most people drive "fun and natural" not "fuel efficient". If all Euros switched to automatic, I wouldn't be surprised if the average fuel economy went up a smidge.

aruvqan
08-12-2014, 11:44 AM
For those of us in the less rarefied driving atmosphere, though, a manual can still be more fun. When my wife and i were looking for a new (used) car a few months back, we would have had far more cars to choose from if we had been willing to buy an automatic. We were looking for a fuel-efficient four cylinder (Honda Civic, Mazda 3, Toyota Corolla, VW Jetta, etc.), and there must have been at least 15 or 20 autos available for every stick shift.

And don't even try to find a manual diesel car in the US ... it took months to find a diesel Jetta, manual was simply out of the question. I do understand that there is a trickle of interest in getting diesel vehicles in the US starting up, I just hope that when I am ready to get my next vehicle I can get a diesel with a lot more ease.

And oddly enough, we leave my manual 94 jetta sitting next to the barn with the doors unlocked and we have noticed the movement triggered light popping on several times over the past year, yet nobody has bothered or been able to steal it :dubious::rolleyes::D Only thing keeping it off the road is the windshield [it took a tom turkey strike on the passenger side and is illegal to drive, and it didn't have glass coverage as it just has base collision and we didn't have the cash to get it replaced.] and mrAru hasn't redone the exhaust yet though the parts are in the barn.

DrCube
08-12-2014, 04:53 PM
I just bought a six-speed manual for $16k. Every other car on the lot (all automatics, naturally) for that model was >$20k. And according to cars.com, there were no other manual models in the metro area, and all the automatics were >$20k.

Are people really paying a 25% premium on a major purchase because they don't want to take an afternoon to learn a very simple skill? Fuel efficiency seems like a minor side issue. Do you know how much gas I can buy for $4000? In my (admittedly limited) experience, maintenance costs are cheaper for manual transmissions as well. There has to be something I'm missing here.

Sage Rat
08-12-2014, 05:00 PM
Are people really paying a 25% premium on a major purchase because they don't want to take an afternoon to learn a very simple skill? Fuel efficiency seems like a minor side issue. Do you know how much gas I can buy for $4000? In my (admittedly limited) experience, maintenance costs are cheaper for manual transmissions as well. There has to be something I'm missing here.
If people just bought the cheapest car, we'd all be driving Toyota Yarises.

I know that I chose against a manual last time I bought a car, because I live in a hilly city and parking-break starts are always a PITA, with a pretty expensive downside if you mess it up.

I get maintenance free at my dealer, for X number of years after buying the car.

I'll never need to replace the clutch (which is rumored to be costly).

I'll be able to sell the car for more, since it cost more to buy.

In modern day, there's no reason to buy a manual, except to get the absolute cheapest price on the car or because you want to be able to circumvent the car's choice of gear changes, so you can drive a little bit more zippy. Those aren't the key criteria for most people.

RivkahChaya
08-12-2014, 05:08 PM
I never know what to do with my left foot when I drive an automatic. I keep stomping on the floor of the car.

Blue Blistering Barnacle
08-12-2014, 06:46 PM
... Honestly, the only person I know who can drive a manual but doesn't is my aunt, and that's because she had a leg amputated. Well, and I guess my uncle, because now he has a car that she can drive in a pinch.
...

I think it's fun to drive a stick, but I have had automatics for years now. Partly, it's because I remember a rotation I did in orthopedics. For patients with leg issues, their main question was "When can I drive?" The answer depended upon which leg was casted and whether or not they had a stick.

Jim Bow
08-12-2014, 07:08 PM
I bought a 59 Chev Apache from the son of a deceased owner. First stop was at a Jiffy Lube where I asked for an oil change and antifreeze flush. I didn't have a garage, and I didn't want to change fluids out in the street.
I drove into the place, over the pit, and got out.
I settled into the waiting room for a coffee and popcorn.
20 minutes later, the 20 year old manager had to ask me how to start it. I showed him the push button on the floor and demonstrated its use.
Ten minutes later, I had to drive it off the pit. None of the staff were stick shift concious.

RivkahChaya
08-12-2014, 07:46 PM
I had a 61 Falcon Ranchero. I was the one who did all the work on it, so I never had mechanics get confused about it, but when I let friends drive it, they'd try to put the key in the column, and I'd have to show them where it went in the dashboard. If it was cold, and the car hadn't been started in a while, I had to explain to them how the manual choke worked.

It ran when I bought it for $300, but it needed a lot of work. I had to replace a lot of the wiring, all the vacuum hoses, and I installed seatbelts, because there was a seatbelt law in the state.

Mdcastle
08-12-2014, 09:11 PM
I just bought a six-speed manual for $16k. Every other car on the lot (all automatics, naturally) for that model was >$20k. And according to cars.com, there were no other manual models in the metro area, and all the automatics were >$20k.

Are people really paying a 25% premium on a major purchase because they don't want to take an afternoon to learn a very simple skill? Fuel efficiency seems like a minor side issue. Do you know how much gas I can buy for $4000? In my (admittedly limited) experience, maintenance costs are cheaper for manual transmissions as well. There has to be something I'm missing here.

I already know how to drive a manual, and did so for a few years, and I'd still gladly pay an extra 25% for an automatic. I didn't mind a manual too much unless I was driving in city traffic or the hills in Duluth; but both of those I did a lot of. When it was time to pick out my own car rather than the one my father passed to me I jumped at the chance to let technology make driving easier and more comfortable for me.

Hey Hey Paula
08-12-2014, 10:17 PM
I never know what to do with my left foot when I drive an automatic. I keep stomping on the floor of the car.

Me too! I also keep reaching for the shifter!

I'm looking to replace my current car (a 14 year old stick shift econo-box) and I'm only looking at stick shifts. I've been driving stick since 1986, and I hate driving my husband's car, an automatic.

RivkahChaya
08-12-2014, 10:59 PM
In regard to "driving" an automatic, my husband, who has never had anything but manuals, since the used Chevette he got for his 16th birthday, "It's not driving, it's just steering."

Airman Doors, USAF
08-12-2014, 11:59 PM
In modern day, there's no reason to buy a manual, except to get the absolute cheapest price on the car or because you want to be able to circumvent the car's choice of gear changes, so you can drive a little bit more zippy. Those aren't the key criteria for most people.

That's not true. I drive a manual because I want to be engaged with my car, not just a passenger pushing the go and stop pedals. You have to listen, feel, and pay attention. I actually paid a slight premium for my car for the privilege.

suranyi
08-13-2014, 09:38 AM
It's funny how all threads about car transmissions eventually become a series of posts by drivers of manuals where each tries to be more smug than the last.

Tom Tildrum
08-13-2014, 10:11 AM
It's funny how all threads about car transmissions eventually become a series of posts by drivers of manuals where each tries to be more smug than the last.

"You start your car with a key? Hmph -- the hand crank uses 12% less electricity!"

mhendo
08-13-2014, 11:13 AM
Can we please get over the idea that there's some sort of moral or philosophical superiority to driving a manual transmission.

I drive a manual because i enjoy it, but it doesn't make me a better person, or even a better driver, than someone who drives an automatic. It's just something i like to do.

The idea that drivers of automatics are not driving, and that they are not engaged with the car, is just silly. Most of the "driving" and "engagement" we do behind the wheel involves paying attention to the road conditions, traffic signs, and what all the other bozos are doing with their cars, in order to be safe on the roads. That's far more important than whether you drive a stick or not.

Machine Elf
08-13-2014, 11:23 AM
I never know what to do with my left foot when I drive an automatic. I keep stomping on the floor of the car.

A few years ago I rented the freight truck from Home Depot. When I went to return it, I pulled up on the sidewalk in front of the store, and went to push the clutch in with my left foot. Except there was no clutch - my foot found the brake instead, and the truck SLAMMED to a stop, making the loose walls and tailgate around the truck's bed rattle violently, drawing the ire of startled customers walking in/out of the store. :smack:

DingoelGringo
08-13-2014, 11:25 AM
Talk about a uniquely American occurrence.

Here in the Dominican Republic where I live there two different types of drivers' licenses, One for automatic transmission cars only and one for people who really know how to drive.

scabpicker
08-13-2014, 02:17 PM
I want to preface this with: Sage Rat, I'm not against you, you just presented a few points I disagree with to back up your position. If you want to drive autos, have at it. Autos are awesome when they work as designed, and are ideal for drag racing, but they fail a bit more completely when they fail.


If people just bought the cheapest car, we'd all be driving Toyota Yarises.


I hear that with a manual, they're fun little cars. :)

(Ok, I admit that was cheap.)


I know that I chose against a manual last time I bought a car, because I live in a hilly city and parking-break starts are always a PITA, with a pretty expensive downside if you mess it up.


This is true with most older cars, but a lot of newer manual transmission cars have hill assist, which holds the rear brakes until you get moving. My MINI had it, my WRX does, my wife's last two TDIs haven't had it. I'm not sure what motivates a mfr. to add it to their stability control system at this late date. It seems like after you've added ABS, it's just software. I'm probably simplifying that process a lot, please forgive me if I am.


I get maintenance free at my dealer, for X number of years after buying the car.


This may not apply to you, but I always drive my cars long after the free maintenance and warranty have run out. Manual transmissions normally have lower maintenance costs, often zero if you don't damage the clutch (see below).


I'll never need to replace the clutch (which is rumored to be costly).


True, but autos don't normally last as long as a manual transmission unless you make a big mistake. The clutch is normally considered a wearable part, but the only time I've had to replace one in one of my manual transmission cars, I was a teenager. I had been operating the truck so roughly, the firewall had cracked where the clutch cylinder was mounted, and the mechanic described the clutch's wear as being caused by "drag strip operation". He missed his calling as a detective. This was at 60K miles, and after I had been driving it for 20K of them. Who knows, the previous owner could have been worse than my idiot ass. Total bill: 600 1980's dollars. Pricey, but not anywhere near the 1500-3k a rebuilt automatic would have cost.

Conversely, out of 11 manuals and 3 automatics I've owned, all of the autos had some sort of minor problem I fought with, fixed or lived with, and the truck was the only clutch I had to replace, despite teaching several people how to drive manual in my cars. My 91 Escort GT entered the family with one clutch, and left with the original clutch at more than 300K miles. Most of its miles were put on by a more skilled version of the same dildo that broke the firewall in the truck (I'm not nearly as much of a stand-in for a penis as I once was, I promise).

And in the interest of full disclosure, I did have one manual transmission break the output shaft at 127K miles. This totally destroyed the transmission, at the cost of about $2700 to replace. This isn't a problem that would be exclusive to either style of transmission.

TL;DR: Long and short of it: Clutches usually last about as long as an entire hydraulic transmission will, and are much cheaper to replace if it becomes necessary.


I'll be able to sell the car for more, since it cost more to buy.


Ok, you're absolutely correct in 90 something percent of the cases, but I have a couple of anecdotes that prove I'm totally talking out of my ass in terms of statistics.

When I sold my family's '68 Charger recently, the first thing people asked about after rust was "Is it a manual?". It wasn't, but I could have asked for much more if it was. When I was buying 60's muscle cars, I would have paid more for a manual myself. Alas, it was the heyday of the auto in the U.S.

My friend has an automatic WRX. It is an unusual beast that the dealer was willing to take a loss on to get rid of. I mention it to other WRX owners in order to spook them, and it's worked so far. In this case, I'm doubly talking out of my ass because even though noone else but me wants it, when he talks of selling it, I want to buy it. It'd be the ultimate bracket racer.



In modern day, there's no reason to buy a manual, except to get the absolute cheapest price on the car or because you want to be able to circumvent the car's choice of gear changes, so you can drive a little bit more zippy. Those aren't the key criteria for most people.

I disagree. Reliability is another issue. Most autos will leave you stranded when they fail, and modern computer-controlled manuals have even more fail states that leave you at the side of the road. My father made a 30 mile commute in rush hour driving a VW bug with a dead clutch pedal. (You start it in gear, in first, dragging the car along with the starter. When it starts, drive, then shift without a clutch. Yes, it's totally possible to shift without a clutch. I'd teach you how - in your car :).)

I had a 61 Falcon Ranchero. I was the one who did all the work on it, so I never had mechanics get confused about it, but when I let friends drive it, they'd try to put the key in the column, and I'd have to show them where it went in the dashboard. If it was cold, and the car hadn't been started in a while, I had to explain to them how the manual choke worked.

It ran when I bought it for $300, but it needed a lot of work. I had to replace a lot of the wiring, all the vacuum hoses, and I installed seatbelts, because there was a seatbelt law in the state.

Mmmm, three on the tree? My 65 Ford Pickup ran when I got it for $200, but it didn't stop. Literally, no brakes. I learned how to bleed brakes that weekend. :)

As to the OP: Well, at least I live in the U.S. My cars will leave some of the car thieves stranded. I do not doubt that the situation would be different in the rest of the world.

aruvqan
08-13-2014, 03:00 PM
I disagree. Reliability is another issue. Most autos will leave you stranded when they fail, and modern computer-controlled manuals have even more fail states that leave you at the side of the road. My father made a 30 mile commute in rush hour driving a VW bug with a dead clutch pedal. (You start it in gear, in first, dragging the car along with the starter. When it starts, drive, then shift without a clutch. Yes, it's totally possible to shift without a clutch. I'd teach you how - in your car :).)
Some infernal bit of the scout ignition system died. We went and bought a little brown box that you clipped a couple leads to the battery, shoved something onto the distributor cap and flipped a switch. Ran the scout like that for the couple of weeks it took to get the part shipped in from somewhere on the west coast [at the time we were replacing anything we could with OEM parts instead of generic rebuilt or car part store stuff as we had a friend who was the parts manager at the local IH dealership and let us use his discount:p] We could have built something ourself to do the same thing, but the little brown box was $19.95 and worked like a champ. It became a permanent addition to the tool box of the scout. As I mentioned before, I used a scrounged length of speaker wire to make a manual accelerator control for the scout to get back from central NJ in the middle of the night, and once drove a 74 mustang with no effective brakes from Rochester NY to the outskirts of Buffalo using engine braking and lots of luck to get it back to the repair shop to *really* repair the brakes this time.

Dogzilla
08-13-2014, 05:16 PM
Mooching friends are not quite the same thing as carjackers. But I've found that since I started driving a manual transmission car, far fewer friends ask to borrow it. Or if they do, the simple response "Can you drive a stick?" is enough to derail the issue.

Yeah, but the flip side of that is: on a long road trip, it's only you, baby. No relief driver. (Mental note: Only take road trips with other stick drivers.)

bizerta
08-13-2014, 07:57 PM
... because I live in a hilly city and parking-break starts are always a PITA, with a pretty expensive downside if you mess it up. ... Well, my new 6-speed diesel Passat came with a feature that I discovered two weeks after I bought the car. If on a hill, facing up, when one takes the foot off the brake, the car will not roll backward for two seconds giving any klutz plenty of time to move forward. This feature only will prevent the car from rolling backwards.

I don't drive a manual to be kool as many on this board are implying. I don't care one way or the other. Driving a diesel VW has never been on the cover of a hot-rod magazine. Driving a stick is second nature so I save a few bucks when I buy a car. Cars with manual transmissions tend to come with fewer frills that I don't want anyway.

One stick-shift advantage came with my 1986 diesel Golf: At the first oil change, they put in too much oil. Thirty miles later, oil overflowed into the fuel intake. I was burning oil, making a terrible noise, and accelerating. I turned off the key, but the car kept accelerating. I braked the car without putting the clutch down and the car stalled. If I had been driving an automatic, the engine would have burned out as there was no way to stop the engine.

Leaffan
08-13-2014, 08:19 PM
I haven't read all responses, but some dumbkopfs tried to steal my 1989 Honda CRX in about 1993. They broke the steering column apart and stripped what appeared to be the appropriate wires, but apparently didn't realize that there was an additional interlock; the clutch needed to be engaged before the starter would turn.

Assholes.

Airman Doors, USAF
08-13-2014, 08:51 PM
Can we please get over the idea that there's some sort of moral or philosophical superiority to driving a manual transmission.

I drive a manual because i enjoy it, but it doesn't make me a better person, or even a better driver, than someone who drives an automatic. It's just something i like to do.

The idea that drivers of automatics are not driving, and that they are not engaged with the car, is just silly. Most of the "driving" and "engagement" we do behind the wheel involves paying attention to the road conditions, traffic signs, and what all the other bozos are doing with their cars, in order to be safe on the roads. That's far more important than whether you drive a stick or not.

I'm not trying to be smug. It is my experience that driving a stick makes me more alert and attentive because it requires more attention, and I like it that way. YMMV.

stui magpie
08-13-2014, 11:27 PM
I deliberately made both my kids learn to drive and go for their licences in a manual.

The son was easy, he started learning in my dad's old ute on school holidays when he was 12. Dads old beast was a Datsun 1 tonne tray ute with a 4 speed column shift manual. Built for munchkins. I bought him his first car, which was a manual Falcon ute.

The daughter i first taught the basics in an auto, then bought her first car before she got her licence and bought a manual. Geez she swore at me a few times teaching her to drive that thing, little Mitsubishi Mirage, no power steering, 5 speed manual, went like a cut cat for it's size. Once she got the hang of it though, she apologised and admitted she was happy I forced the issue. She now has an auto but has the confidence that she can get behind the wheel of any car and not care about what transmission it has.

She still prefers the feel of driving the manual, but the auto is better for the number of miles she does for work in busy traffic.

enipla
08-14-2014, 09:45 AM
I'm not trying to be smug. It is my experience that driving a stick makes me more alert and attentive because it requires more attention, and I like it that way. YMMV.My millage certainly does. Driving since 1975 about half of my cars have been manuals. IMHO, it's not what you drive, it's how you drive. Auto, manual, should make no difference.

pulykamell
08-14-2014, 10:36 AM
I already know how to drive a manual, and did so for a few years, and I'd still gladly pay an extra 25% for an automatic. I didn't mind a manual too much unless I was driving in city traffic or the hills in Duluth; but both of those I did a lot of. When it was time to pick out my own car rather than the one my father passed to me I jumped at the chance to let technology make driving easier and more comfortable for me.

Where are people finding a 25% difference in prices? I drive manual, and I have not noticed a significant difference in price and, more often, it's harder to find a car I want or takes longer to get it because most the cars on lots around here are auto.

mhendo
08-14-2014, 11:30 AM
I'm not trying to be smug. It is my experience that driving a stick makes me more alert and attentive because it requires more attention, and I like it that way. YMMV.Fair enough.

I will say, though, that i've been driving a manual for so long that, in much of my day-to-day driving, using the clutch and changing gears requires no more of my attention than using my indicators or turning the steering wheel. It's one of those things that i do naturally, mechanically, and without any real active thought. If i'm dropping down to the supermarket, or driving to work, driving a manual really takes no more effort and attention than driving an automatic.

For me, the real attention i pay when driving is no so much to the mechanics of driving, but to my place on the road in relation to other cars. I keep an active eye out for pedestrians, traffic signs and lights, and whatever crazy shit all the other bozos on the road are up to. This is, in my opinion, where being attentive really matters, and it's something that, for me at least, is no different in an automatic or a manual.

I drive an automatic whenever we rent a car, and i don't feel any more or less attentive and alert on those occasions than i do in my own car.