Automatic vs Manual Transmission in car

Today the Automobile industry is growing very faster. All new and Freshly inventions and technologies are very helpful in making driving easy, safer, comfortable and pleasant. In this sequence, there is very different car variants are available in the market. Here, car variants are belongs to transmission system. Like, Manual, Automatic, Semi-automatic and etc. In this post, we will give some pieces of information about Automatic Transmission and Manual Transmission in the car. Also will describe the Automatic vs Manual Transmission system in a car. Before we read about automatic and manual transmissions, we just need to get familiar with the transmission box as well.

Transmission Box:

What is a Transmission box?

In your car, the most expensive mechanical part is a transmission box. It is located in the transmission series after the clutch and before the propeller shaft. A series of different sizes of gears on parallel and co-axial shafts make a gearbox assembly. The gearbox is the synonym of the transmission box. It is responsible for transmitting the proper amount of power to the wheel. The gearbox is a torque changing device. It can reduce or increase the torque and power as per requirement by operating the gear lever. We will study in detail How Gearboxes works, And various types of gearboxes like sliding mesh, constant mesh, synchromesh, etc. in our next post.

There are some special reasons to use the gearbox are. The engine produces limited power with limited torque. But a higher torque is required to move the vehicle from rest. This means it reduces engine effort. And also increases the mechanical efficiency of the engine. Gearbox maintains the speed of the engine and vehicle in all load conditions. It can also multiply the engine speed same as increasing the torque.

The gearbox provides a neutral condition to deny power transmission. It also plays an important role in moving the vehicle in the reverse direction. It is not possible to rotate the engine output shaft in the opposite direction. But, gearbox makes it possible.

Manual TransmissionManual Transmission Box
Image Source

Manual Transmission: What is Manual Transmission?

The driver uses the gear stick to shift the gear in a manual transmission car. For operating this gear stick, also need to press the clutch paddle. When he presses the clutch paddle, the clutch disengages the power flow from the engine to the gearbox. After pressing the clutch lever or paddle, gears revolve freely. At this time gear changing either higher to lower or vice versa becomes easier and smoother.

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During the gear shifting, for a moment we need to make a collaboration between the clutching and levering action. For being a good driver, operating the clutch and shifting gear requires good practice. Yes, of course after a lot of practising we can do that very precisely. Traditionally, peoples are familiar with manual transmission cars. On a smooth road, we enjoy driving. There are some advantages and disadvantages of manual transmission cars. Will discuss this in the next paragraph.


Manual Transmission
Manual Gear Stick and gear pattern in the car

Automatic Transmission: What is an Automatic Transmission?

Think, we are stuck in heavy traffic and move the vehicle slowly and at unsteady speed. We need to shift the gear frequently. Sometimes this happens annoyingly. What if we get rid of clutching and gear shifting? What if gears shift up and down automatically according to vehicle speed? Here the automatic variant is the best option. This technology is very helpful in congested (bumper to bumper traffic).

Also Read: 
Heavy Traffic
Heavy (Bumper to Bumper) Traffic
Image source

Some cars have the same model, but a different variant i.e, a manual and another one is an automatic (AMT) variant. Both cars have almost the same gearbox. In the manual gearbox, a driver needs to shift the gear according to the situation. On the other hand in an automatic transmission, the gearbox achieves various speeds automatically. Because a sensor, an ECU and an actuator do gearshifting. In an automatic transmission car, the gear sticks are a kind of toggle switch. In short, the lever operates the switches. This is the reason, gear shifting is easier in an automatic transmission car than the manual. There are various types of automatic transmission technologies are available. Like DCT, AMT, AT, etc. 

What is an ECU?

An ECU (Engine Control Unit) or ECM (Engine Control Module) optimizes the engine performance and vehicle performance as well. It controls the various actuators in the car. It takes signals from the sensors (in series with engine) and commands to the actuator. Just like human brain commands to our hands. And then the actuator selects the gear accordingly.

We also can say it is a self-shifting transmission. And there is no clutch paddle so it is clutchless (actually clutch paddle less) OR dual paddle technology. The driver just needs to select only conditions like Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive, Sports, and Load. Basically in an automatic car, this is a  term as PRNDL. Some automatic transmission cars also have paddle shifters. We will learn about Paddle shifters in our next article. However, you can see different types of automatic gearsticks in the below images.

Automatic transmission
Automatic Gear Shifter and pattern


Automatic vs Manual Transmission in the car:

There are some pros and cons of an automatic transmission. Let, we will check the list of advantages and disadvantages of them. 

Disadvantages of Manual Transmission Cars:

  1. The driver requires better coordination in clutching and gear shifting.
  2. Frequent gear shifting is not easy in heavy traffic conditions.
  3. Difficult in a sudden stop and then go.
  4. For all these things a driver must require good practice.
  5. Sometimes gearbox jerks (especially when the gear is higher but the vehicle is moving slower)
  6. The gear stick is linked to the gear mechanically. So it requires periodically greasing and cleaning. 
  7. Mechanically linked gear levers require human effort also.

Advantages of Manual Transmission Cars:

  1. The driver feels confident during hill-climbing, he can regulate the speed and torque as he wants.
  2. The better performance than the automatic transmission
  3. Fuel economy also depends on the driving method, so it gives a better fuel economy.
  4. Easy to manufacture, so it is less expensive.
  5. Pocket-friendly maintenance. That’s why it is the best option for a buyer.

Also Read: 

Disadvantages of Automatic Transmission Cars:

  1. An Automatic transmission car has sensors and actuators, that’s why it is more expensive than the manual variant.
  2. Actuators and sensors require periodical maintenance.
  3. It performs slight lower than manual on highways.
  4. It’s having less fuel efficiency. But the difference is not too much.

Advantages of Automatic Transmission Cars:

  1. In automatic cars no clutch paddle. So, the driver can drive easy.
  2. More comfortable driving in heavy traffic. Not needed to shift gears frequently.
  3. Easy to drive – less stress.
  4. A better choice for beginners and old people.
  5. Just requires effort to operate electronically switch for mode selections.
  6. In new cars, paddle shifters can help a lot. Driver can shift gear manually, but without any hassle.


2 thoughts on “Automatic vs Manual Transmission in car”

  1. My dad has noticed some troubling signs in his car, like unusual noises, delayed gear shifting, and a slipping transmission. Concerned about the safety and longevity of his vehicle, he’s actively seeking an auto transmission repair service to address these issues and ensure his car runs smoothly and reliably. I will tell him that in a car with a manual gearbox, the driver shifts gears using the gearstick. However, to utilize the gear stick, the driver must also depress the clutch paddle.

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