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#3306251 - 05/29/11 08:15 AM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Magnum]  
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As stated in the uk there are very few chances to drive automatics, however I was tasked with driving one once, taking some chap around testing tomtom routing around the midlands.

Having never driven a automatic it soon became apparent to me that I should not use the left foot to stab at the clutch peddle when I found my passenger crumpled between the dash and the window screen whilst coming up to traffic lights.... he put his seat belt on soon after biggrin


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#3306272 - 05/29/11 09:51 AM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Magnum]  
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I learned by watching what my parents did with their hands and feet while they drove and at the same time imagined myself doing it. So when I first tried it I actually had a pretty good feel for it already. I didn't even stall the engine smile So take your daughter out for a drive and tell her to do the same, perhaps it will improve her understanding of it, it certainly won't hurt.

Oh, in Sweden we learn on manual shift cars (the licence obviously include automatics), but like MadDog said we also have "automatic only" licences, mainly for people with handicaps.


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#3306328 - 05/29/11 01:08 PM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Magnum]  
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Why is 'stick' being highlighted, do Americans normally choose automatic transmission?

#3306345 - 05/29/11 01:29 PM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Flyboy]  
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Originally Posted By: Flyboy
Why is 'stick' being highlighted, do Americans normally choose automatic transmission?


Automatic is way more popular these days.


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#3306352 - 05/29/11 01:41 PM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Flyboy]  
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PanzerMeyer Offline
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Originally Posted By: Flyboy
Why is 'stick' being highlighted, do Americans normally choose automatic transmission?


The vast majority of Americans drive automatic transmission cars.


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#3306355 - 05/29/11 01:48 PM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Magnum]  
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Flyboy Offline
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Thanks for answering my question. I don't even drive but I've NEVER seen the point of manual transmission. Why make more work for yourself and make a mundane task more complicated than it has to be? You guys got the right idea!

#3306358 - 05/29/11 01:55 PM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Flyboy]  
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Originally Posted By: Flyboy
I've NEVER seen the point of manual transmission. Why make more work for yourself and make a mundane task more complicated than it has to be? You guys got the right idea!


The only way I would want a manual transmission is if I had a high performance car. I live in a major city which often has congested traffic conditions so a manual transmission would be completely impractical.


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#3306359 - 05/29/11 01:56 PM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Flyboy]  
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Originally Posted By: Flyboy
I've NEVER seen the point of manual transmission.


The point is they were around for over 50 years before automatics even began to come along. The newer automatics are a lot better, but still don't give you the amount of control over the vehicle that a manual does. And IMO sticks are just a LOT more fun to drive in certain vehicles - for example, I would NEVER get a Jeep with an automatic even though I'm pretty much impartial for every other vehicle.


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#3306360 - 05/29/11 02:03 PM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Magnum]  
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Wow. vocatx and I must've had the same parents because the first vehicle I ever drove had a standard, a Massey-Ferguson tractor. I learned how to drive a truck with a standard by Dad turning me loose in a hay field with a 1973 GMC dually pickup with a three-on-the-tree.


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#3306365 - 05/29/11 02:07 PM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Magnum]  
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Yeah I realize that manual transmission came first, but I perhaps should have said 'today', as to why would you opt for manual transmission today when automatic is available.

#3306384 - 05/29/11 02:37 PM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Flyboy]  
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Originally Posted By: Flyboy
Yeah I realize that manual transmission came first, but I perhaps should have said 'today', as to why would you opt for manual transmission today when automatic is available.


I'd say the main reason people buy them today is either because that's what they've always had or because they just find them to be more fun to drive. Driving my pickup with manual tranny is nothing special, but when I had my Jeep there was nothing like dropping down a gear to slow down when approaching a corner or sharp curve, then grabbing a higher gear about halfway through and accelerating out - whether on the road or off. I always took the back roads when I had to go somewhere, because it was just so much fun to drive on those curvy, twisty routes. And off-road, 1st gear and low range let me idle up & over footlocker-sized rocks, up hills so steep you'd swear you were going over backwards, and down those same hills without excessive tire spin or having to use the brakes and risk sliding. Since an automatic doesn't have a direct mechanical coupling to the engine, you can only use the engine to slow you down up to a point then you're basically freewheeling.

Lastly, with a manual tranny you can often start off 1 gear higher than usual in snowy or icy conditions, to help reduce the chance of wheelspin.


Phil

"Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils."
#3306393 - 05/29/11 03:12 PM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Magnum]  
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Sadly, I believe the majority of transmissions in the U.S are automatic. My "fun" car is manual, but my daily driver is auto. The only reason I choose the auto transmission on my daily driver was for the remote starter for all those cold Vermont winter mornings.

I've talked with European friends about the disparity quite a bit. I think it boils down to how driving is viewed in the cultures. Europeans tend to view driving as a hobby, whereas most americans tend to view it as a chore and the car is an appliance for getting from point A to point B.


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#3306401 - 05/29/11 03:33 PM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Vertigo1]  
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Originally Posted By: Vertigo1
... whereas most americans tend to view it as a chore and the car is an appliance for getting from point A to point B.


Which is why you have Cruise Control! tanksalot

#3306404 - 05/29/11 03:48 PM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Vertigo1]  
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Originally Posted By: Vertigo1
whereas most americans tend to view it as a chore and the car is an appliance for getting from point A to point B.


Yup, I'm one of those Americans!


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#3306406 - 05/29/11 03:54 PM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Master]  
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Originally Posted By: Master
I have an 89 honda civic and I dont down shift any time I need to break or corner I throw it in neutral and then brake and regear. The reason is that the clutch and transmission are more expensive than break pads. When I drive a truck though I gear down and double clutch where needed.


I am a little puzzled at this Master. I have never had a problem or ever met a person who has damaged a gearbox/transmission through using the gears to assist with braking. Obviously you don't want to drop from 4th or 5th straight into 2nd at speed, but stepping down through the gears in sequence won't hurt anything. Shifting into neutral (or using the clutch prematurely) drastically reduces the braking action available to you. Each to their own of course wink .

Last edited by Paul Rix; 05/29/11 03:58 PM.

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#3306408 - 05/29/11 03:57 PM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Magnum]  
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My housemate learned on a manual transmission and then drove an automatic after that. His experience was that being required to manage the gearbox meant his mind was more fully engaged with the act of driving - when he was driving the automatic, he found he was paying less attention to the road and his driving became worse.

I enjoy driving, and using the manual gearbox very quickly became automatic anyway. Occasionally I'll change gear and change my mind about which gear to go into halfway through, then accidentally put it into 2nd gear at 40mph. This alarms the passengers. And in a typical long-distance journey I'll attempt to shift into 6th gear every thirty minutes or so before remembering halfway through that my car only has 5 gears! I'll always prefer manual transmission for two reasons: a) the folklore is that manual transmissions are more reliable and easier to fix and b) anyone I teach to drive in my car will get a full license, not an automatic-only license.

There was a cartoon I've been meaning to draw for years now. It shows the difference between European and American cars. European cars are basically a giant shoe or rollerskate, like a kind of clothing that you strap onto yourself that enables you to move around at 70mph. American cars are like a mobile living room where you sit and wait for your destination to appear around you!


Dozer
#3306411 - 05/29/11 04:07 PM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Magnum]  
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Actually, US cars are starting to become more like their European counterparts these days. A lot of that may be due to increased fuel costs (yes, the cost of fuel here is still very cheap compared to European prices, but it is a lot more expensive than it used to be.


Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.
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#3306419 - 05/29/11 04:29 PM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Magnum]  
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My dad had an Opel cadet, 4 cylinder with a 4 speed tranny, back in the 1960's when I was learning, and being in the mountains, you had to learn clutching on hills right off, and holding on hills without the brake was handy. It took a bit of practice to move from left foot on the clutch, right on the brake, to right on the gas, while letting out the clutch just to the point of engagement, so you don't roll back.

Living in a neighborhood without much traffic helped.


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#3306424 - 05/29/11 04:41 PM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Dozer]  
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Originally Posted By: Dozer

There was a cartoon I've been meaning to draw for years now. It shows the difference between European and American cars. European cars are basically a giant shoe or rollerskate, like a kind of clothing that you strap onto yourself that enables you to move around at 70mph. American cars are like a mobile living room where you sit and wait for your destination to appear around you!


Heh. Years ago, there were never any coffee cup holders in any of the old german cars I would drive. That's a bit aggravating for Americans.


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“One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.” -Milton Friedman

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#3306432 - 05/29/11 05:06 PM Re: teaching daughter stick... [Re: Magnum]  
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Also worth noting that an auto loses around 5mpg to the equivalent manual - with petrol at ~1.40/l ($8.74/usg) over here (UK) that's a not inconsiderable saving.

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