Is a Manual or Automatic Transmission Better? 4 Myths Debunked

manual or automatic transmission

When your clients are deciding between a vehicle with a manual or automatic transmission, the misinformation can be difficult for them to see through. This article debunks four common myths about automatic transmissions.

Buying a car is a big decision. With so many choices—color, make, model, style—the process can be overwhelming. To make matters even more difficult, a lot of the information surrounding manual and automatic transmissions is simply incorrect.

In Europe, a manual transmission was the standard that most cars were equipped with in years past. Today, however, more and more manufacturers are going with automatic transmissions. Some of these cars come with 8-, 9-, and 10-speed automatic transmissions, the first of their kind.

To help your clients cut through the noise so they can make the best decision, here are four common myths about automatic transmissions to tell them about.

Should I choose a manual or automatic transmission car? 4 automatic transmission myths explained to help your clients decide.

1. Automatic transmissions are less fuel efficient.

For a long time, this claim has been true. But while manual transmissions still get better gas mileage on average today, new technologies have done a lot to close the gap.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, advances in automatic transmission fuel efficiency have brought them to the same level (if not slightly better) as manual cars of the same make and model.

2. Automatic transmissions are not good at handling poor driving conditions.

Many drivers claim that manual transmissions are better for poor driving conditions. For instance, stick shift drivers can benefit from more control in snow because they are directly changing gears when they need to.

However, options like traction control in newer automatic vehicles allow for better handling and responsiveness than old automatics.

3. Automatic transmissions perform worse than manuals.

Another common myth about automatic transmissions claims that they offer drivers less in terms of performance. For this reason, high-performance sports cars used to employ manual transmissions almost exclusively. Today, the choice between manual or automatic transmission seems to be more difficult for drivers focused on performance—many high-performance cars operate using automatic transmissions.

4. Automatic transmissions are always more expensive to repair.

It’s true that the inner workings of automatic cars are more complex than their manual counterparts. When something breaks, it can be difficult to diagnose and fix, which can add to the total repair cost. All the intricate parts can be expensive to maintain.

But that doesn’t mean that automatics are always more expensive in the long run. For example, if an inexperienced driver operates a manual transmission without giving it the care it needs, the repair costs can be higher than if they had been driving an automatic. Some drivers—especially those without the experience or training to drive a manual—are better suited for automatic cars.

Between manual or automatic transmission, the decision depends on your clients’ needs.

If your client is debating whether to buy a manual or automatic transmission, the best choice ultimately depends on their needs and experience. While a manual transmission may be right for one person, that doesn’t mean it will be for another.

For your automatic transmission clients, you can depend on us to deliver the aftermarket parts you need to keep them on the road. Looking for a part? Check out our catalog.