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Old October 10th, 2005, 10:41 AM   #1
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Hey, this is totally offtopic, but I am curious: is it true that around 70% of US cars are automatics? Here in Europe we prefer the clutch ;)
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Old October 10th, 2005, 11:01 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Hemerik
Hey, this is totally offtopic, but I am curious: is it true that around 70% of US cars are automatics? Here in Europe we prefer the clutch ;)
Pretty true. I wouldn't be surprised to find it's even a higher number. Although true sports car enthusiasts prefer the manual transmission. Sadly, young drivers that are taking driver education courses are not required to operate a manual transmission car. I feel they should. It's much easier for someone who has learned to operate a stick shift to drive an automatic than the other way around. My girlfriend can't drive a stick shift and refuses to learn. It's been the subject of many heated debates between the two of us.
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Old October 10th, 2005, 11:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston
Sadly, young drivers that are taking driver education courses are not required to operate a manual transmission car. I feel they should. It's much easier for someone who has learned to operate a stick shift to drive an automatic than the other way around.
Exactly. And another thing: foreign car rentals do not always have automatics in their fleet. If you don't know how to handle a stick, it often means: no holiday car available for you...

It's pretty easy to operate an automatic when you are used to the clutch. Only the first time I didn't knew the 'D' would let the car move forward without stepping on the pedal. And it was parked in front of a stone wall. My first car rental experience.....
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Old October 10th, 2005, 12:21 PM   #4
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I'm 18, I live in Canada and I have no clue how to drive a standard. Well, I have a clue, I just have never done it. My my dad has 2 vehicles and my mom has 1 and they're all automatic.
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Old October 11th, 2005, 03:57 PM   #5
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Fewer and fewer vehicles are being sold with a manual clutch. Take a look at this story.

More fans of stick shift switch gears
Only 6 percent of all autos will be built with a clutch by 2012

-By Eric Mayne / The Detroit News

The stick shift — an automotive mainstay since the invention of the “horseless carriage” — is slowly going the way of the tailfin and carburetor.

Thanks to technological advances and drivers looking for an easier way to navigate congested roadways, the old standard manual transmission doesn’t come standard much anymore.

Read more
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Old October 11th, 2005, 04:11 PM   #6
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Grew up driving with a manual tranny. Much prefer the control over the engine.

But now I live in San Mateo, and when I drive into San Francisco... and I'm sitting in traffic on Pine Street... at a 45 degree angle and some A$$ pulls up right behind my rear bumper...

Yeah, I kinda wish I had a automatic right about then... and I'm not talking about a transmission.
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Old October 11th, 2005, 04:38 PM   #7
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I have a Mazda 3 and it's a manumatic.

That means you can leave it in D or you can shift to the left and use the triptronic to go up or down gears as you wish. No clutch.

In the city I just leave it on D but when I was on the highways last month going across the Rockies I shifted like crazy.

I have no idea how to use a clutch.
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Old October 15th, 2005, 01:08 PM   #8
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Hi
True story, back in the 70`s I used to install beer dispensing equipment in Pubs.
We worked in the pub that is on the English Monopoly board, forget the name now.
The Landlord told Me never get an automatic car, He was coming home from a function for The Licenced trade, stopped at a red light, nodded off, foot came down on the accelerator, next thing He`s hit a lampost, total rightoff of the vehicle.
Or as He put it He was "wearing" the lampost

Regards

Peter.
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Old October 15th, 2005, 01:23 PM   #9
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"Don't fall asleep at the wheel" would have been better advice! There's nothing preventing you from putting an automatic tranny in neutral when you're stopped at a red light either.

I used to drive manual cars exclusively and bought several of them over a 15 year period. But now I really don't want to deal with shifting and clutching. Commuting in city traffic is a real pain with a stick shift, and long highway trips are nicer with auto transmisson also.
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Old October 15th, 2005, 02:29 PM   #10
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I learned to drive on an automatic because when I turned 16 the manual that I owned wasn't working yet(1985 mazda rx7-completly blown seals). In the mean time I tried to learn on another car, and that car died before I could learn. At that point in time I couldn't for the life of me understand why anyone would want to drive a manual transmission.

Finally a year later when the rx7 would finally start a friend of mine came over and sat in the car with me as I sputtered and killed my way out of the drive way (around 30 minutes to go 25 feet). But I finally made it out and eventually learned how to drive a manual. I thought I would never want to drive with automatic again until I'm sitting in L.A. traffic on the 405 and going about as fast as when I backed out of my driveway all of those years ago, then I start to rethink the whole manual thing.
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Old October 15th, 2005, 02:57 PM   #11
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I don’t have enough hands to handle a burger, soft drink, AND a stick. ;)

Seriously, I agree with Greg that it’s a shame US kids don’t have to learn to drive both ways anymore. They may not like it at the time, but sooner or later it might come in handy. Growing up rural (on a farm) I learned how to drive lots of different things, and I'm glad. Never know when you might have to move a cement truck or something. ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez
I kinda wish I had a automatic right about then... and I'm not talking about a transmission.
LOL!!! I've felt like that before!
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Old October 25th, 2005, 09:40 AM   #12
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I learned to drive on an old school VW bug, that was lacking reverse. I used to have to back it out by pushing off with my foot "Fred Flintstone reverse" as we called it, back in the day. My first three vehicles were all old VWs. Each was a completely different driving experiance. Each was a bitch to learn. That said, I prefer the stick.
I drive used cars pretty much exclusively. every five or six years or so I retire the one I'm driving and get another; one thing I've noticed is that in my price range (under $3k ususually) there are always more stick shifts available than autos, and they are ususally cheaper and in better condition too. I figure this is becuase hardly anyone wants them. Yay!
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Old October 25th, 2005, 10:48 AM   #13
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When I took a summer-school Driver's Ed class back in junior high, I proudly aced all of the tested segments except one... manual shifting, which I flunked completely. Receiving very little practice time, it was just impossible for me to get the hang of the damnable prehistoric driving simulators we had in that classroom. I'd put my foot on the clutch, work the gearshift on the column, release the pedal and get the dreaded red light on the top of the console, every stinking time. What really confused my instructor about my seemingly inherent ineptitude for manual shifting was that I drove myself to school that summer on a learner's permit in an ancient 1955 Plymouth Savoy, which of course had a manual transmission and "three on the tree" just like the confounded simulators. "How are you getting here every day," he asked, if I couldn't even manage manual shifting in the classroom.

The Plymouth had a hydrostatic transmission and would pull itself away from a dead rest even in third gear. The only gears I ever used in that car were third and reverse, and with full and complete stops in between, I never once had to touch the clutch when the car was in motion.

Later on in college I really did learn how to manually shift by burning up the clutches in first one MGB and then another. These days the only working vehicle I have that uses a manual transmission is a 1946 Ford 9N farm tractor. No such thing as a synchromesh on that very spartan machine, but I wouldn't trade that charming little beast for anything.
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Old October 25th, 2005, 01:19 PM   #14
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got myself a '99 celica in may. learned stick in 1 day. been driving since. stalled plenty, but haven't stalled since june i believe. granted i haven't driven long compared to a lot of ya'll, but i started with automatic. it's easy if you can practice, practice, practice. plus, it doesn't hurt if you played a lot of video games ;).

the point is, it's all about application. if you need a utility vehicle, getting you from a-b, automatic allthe way. but if you need a vehicle that you want to drive around for pleasure, then stick all teh way. when i started with stick, everyone kept saying you have to *feel* the road/car. didn't know it, until i experience it and now it's so much fun =). it's a pleasure for me to drive to work/school/home. one of those things i look forward to everyday =).
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Old October 25th, 2005, 02:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez
... when I drive into San Francisco... and I'm sitting in traffic on Pine Street... at a 45 degree angle and some A$$ pulls up right behind my rear bumper...
Probably me, I used to commute up Pine to the Sunset district in an old manual Honda Civic. Oh man, that's where I really learned how to drive stick. Gotta tell ya, if you can drive stick there, especially during rush hour, you da man.

Nob Hill during rush hour in the rain! That's the way to grow hair on your chest.
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