Driving an automatic.

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Bill Sikes
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Driving an automatic.

Post by Bill Sikes »

I have never driven an automatic car, and am somwhat loath to do so. I may,

however, have to. What are the differences compared to a manual? Are they

reasonably easy to get used to? I'd much appreciate views from anyone who's

driven both, but started in a manual car. Any comments welcome, though!
Patsy Warnick
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Driving an automatic.

Post by Patsy Warnick »

Although we have a automatic - I prefer a stick shift/manual car.

I think you have more control with a manual.

With the automatic, we have cruise control - I've never and will never use that, my husband uses the cruise on trips - I won't. (the control thing).

I have to drive a automatic due to my back - I've always had a manual vehicle.

Patsy
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minks
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Driving an automatic.

Post by minks »

Here when you purchase a car, it's automatically an automatic... a manual is an option.

I learned in a standard, and loved it, more control for certain.

An automatic is by far easier, and more dull, and you have less control on those dicey icey streets but boy when you are sitting in heavy traffic going uphill you won't have to worry about stalling ahahahaha

I actually like both.

Bill you will adjust just fine, they are so simple.
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gmc
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Driving an automatic.

Post by gmc »

You've got a lot less control- you can't change down to take a corner or drop a gear getting ready to overtake, there is usually a delay before the kick down operates and you can't hold it in gear while overtaking. There's less engine braking so brakes can wear out more quickly. Don't bother with a diesel automatic since most automatic boxes are designed for a petrol engine they tend to hold the gears for too long mitigating the advantages of the diesel torgue and fuel economy is crap. They all have a control so youi can hold it in low gear on snow and such

Honda do (or did) an automatic that is also a clutchless gear shift in their civic. Four speed box you can leave in drive or pick your own gear. It was very nice to drive worth looking at if you can.

They're OK in heavy traffic I suppose but personally like you I wouldn't have one unless I had to.
Richard Bell
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Driving an automatic.

Post by Richard Bell »

I always drove manual transmission cars.

When my beloved VW Rabbit diesel finally packed it in, my sister gave me her automatic Toyota Tercel. (She had purchased a newer Tercel).

I drove it for a few years before buying a 5 speed Nissan. For the first month or so, I had an annoying and embarrassing habit of trying to start the Nissan in gear. Took the old brain about that long to get used to a clutch again.

Manual transmissions are better, especially if you drive a small vehicle.
Tater Tazz
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Driving an automatic.

Post by Tater Tazz »

I like my automatic, hubby likes stick, we have one of each. Traveling in traffic is easier for me in my automatic.
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spot
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Driving an automatic.

Post by spot »

If you want to drive sedately an automatic's fine.

If you want to drive aggressively an automatic's fine too, you can drop a gear on demand with your foot and two with your hand if you're lethally aggressive, you can hold yourself in second all the way up to 70 if you're that way inclined and then ease it over into third and upward to level out. That "70" is car-dependent of course. The default is sedate but what you do with it is entirely your own decision.

Soberano's right, your gear-change hand will move without any choice on your part for months and have nothing to get hold of.

Automatic cars in my experience have a radio, and an aerial to improve reception.

I never noticed much difference in fuel consumption but then I was never a model driver.
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along-for-the-ride
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Driving an automatic.

Post by along-for-the-ride »

My first car at eighteen years of age was a "stick" transmission Volvo. It took awhile to learn to dance with the clutch and the stick ;) but I am glad that I mastered it. Now, I prefer the ease of an automatic, but I can still drive a manual transmission if I had to. The knowledge and experience is good to have.
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Ciao, Bella!
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Driving an automatic.

Post by Ciao, Bella! »

Been driving since I was 12, learned on an automatic, but drove enough garden tractors (could pop a mean wheelie on a light Mersey Ferguson!) to handle a manny trannie. :)



Now, I drive a Volvo 5 speed. Hate it in the city, and DH smoked my clutch once in the mountains, (I gave him what for over that), but on the interstates, can't beat it! I do have more control over it, and when I'm stopping for a light, just pop it into neutral, and coast. I can even coast into a parking space in neutral. DH can't handle it as well me, so she's my baby. He has the automatic pickup, which I hate.



My baby is fully loaded, minus a sunroof, as I dislike them, right down to cruise control. Get going on I-95, pop it into 5th, set the CC, and just go! Wow, what a drive.:-6



Handles so well, even at 110 MPH! However, she's nine years old, and has a 125,000 miles. In another year or so, I'll trade her in, and be sorry to see her go, as DH is putting in for an automatic...:-1
gmc
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Driving an automatic.

Post by gmc »

Interesting the different perpectives on different sides of the atlantic.. Being a european my attitude is that "real" car drivers would never buy an automatic as it takes away all the fun and control.
Ciao, Bella!
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Driving an automatic.

Post by Ciao, Bella! »

I do admit it's a PITA driving my 5 speed in the mountains, but I can just pop her into neutral and cruise downhill, saving on gas. DH stiffens up, and can't steer it in neutral. In fact, he hates it when I do that.:D



Plus, he has a hard time switching from the automatic trannies to the manny. But, that's because he uses his left foot to brake with on the automatic, so he won't have to move his right foot from the gas.



I have no problem going from one to the other, but then, I am the better driver.
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Bryn Mawr
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Driving an automatic.

Post by Bryn Mawr »

gmc;578174 wrote: Interesting the different perpectives on different sides of the atlantic.. Being a european my attitude is that "real" car drivers would never buy an automatic as it takes away all the fun and control.



I bought one once, when the last fifteen miles of my drive to work was through a permanent traffic jam. In that instance an automatic was a Godsend but for normal use, if I had to have a car, it would be a manual every time.
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Bryn Mawr
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Driving an automatic.

Post by Bryn Mawr »

Ciao, Bella!;578200 wrote: I do admit it's a PITA driving my 5 speed in the mountains, but I can just pop her into neutral and cruise downhill, saving on gas. DH stiffens up, and can't steer it in neutral. In fact, he hates it when I do that.:D



Plus, he has a hard time switching from the automatic trannies to the manny. But, that's because he uses his left foot to brake with on the automatic, so he won't have to move his right foot from the gas.



I have no problem going from one to the other, but then, I am the better driver.



Over here it's illegal to coast in neutral because, not only does the power assisted steering go, the power assisted brakes go as well.
Ciao, Bella!
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Driving an automatic.

Post by Ciao, Bella! »

Not in the US, nor Italy or Spain. (I've held driver's licenses in those countries as well.)



There are times when I wish people didn't coast in neutral, such as doing it for half a block or so. I tend to do it in the normal braking time. I can downshift very quickly, but don't like to do it from 5th, if I can help it.



In my Volvo, I don't lose control over the steering or brakes.



What I do hate is when the rack and pinion steering goes out on a vehicle. Very difficult to do anything with it then.
gmc
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Driving an automatic.

Post by gmc »

Ciao, Bella!;578200 wrote: I do admit it's a PITA driving my 5 speed in the mountains, but I can just pop her into neutral and cruise downhill, saving on gas. DH stiffens up, and can't steer it in neutral. In fact, he hates it when I do that.:D



Plus, he has a hard time switching from the automatic trannies to the manny. But, that's because he uses his left foot to brake with on the automatic, so he won't have to move his right foot from the gas.



I have no problem going from one to the other, but then, I am the better driver.



In a modern fuel injected car if the foot is off the accelerator it's the inertia in the engine slowing the car down and it is not actually usng any petrol. In neutral it's using fuel to keep turning over. far from saving fuel you're actually wasting it. If you drive properly yuo should hardluy need to touch the brakes in normal driving. I get 25.000-40,000 miles from a set of pads. My current four year old car has 102,000 on it still with the original set of discs and only the third set of pads. Original clutch as well come to that.

Also coasting downhill in neutral is a a dangerous thing to do-drop it down a gear and use the engine braking as well as the foot brake and you will have a lot more control and also use less fuel. In an autimatic on a steep hill I suppose you would have to lock it in a low ratio to get the same braking effect-it's one of the reason I don't like automatics we have a lot of windy narrow roads going through hills.

Don't know what kind of mountains you have but on alpine 1 in 5 roads with hairpin bends the tactic you use would have the brakes worn out before you reach the bottom assuming you don't plummet down the mountainside first. Mind you italian drivers don't seem to have brakes at all.:-3

A question to those in other countries. In Victoria if you get a manual liscense then you can drive an auto as well . If you get a auto liscence you are not liscensed to drive a manual .....is this the case in other countries?




Same here in the UK.
Ciao, Bella!
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Driving an automatic.

Post by Ciao, Bella! »

gmc;578830 wrote: In a modern fuel injected car if the foot is off the accelerator it's the inertia in the engine slowing the car down and it is not actually usng any petrol. In neutral it's using fuel to keep turning over. far from saving fuel you're actually wasting it. If you drive properly yuo should hardluy need to touch the brakes in normal driving. I get 25.000-40,000 miles from a set of pads. My current four year old car has 102,000 on it still with the original set of discs and only the third set of pads. Original clutch as well come to that.



Also coasting downhill in neutral is a a dangerous thing to do-drop it down a gear and use the engine braking as well as the foot brake and you will have a lot more control and also use less fuel. In an autimatic on a steep hill I suppose you would have to lock it in a low ratio to get the same braking effect-it's one of the reason I don't like automatics we have a lot of windy narrow roads going through hills.



Don't know what kind of mountains you have but on alpine 1 in 5 roads with hairpin bends the tactic you use would have the brakes worn out before you reach the bottom assuming you don't plummet down the mountainside first. Mind you italian drivers don't seem to have brakes at all.:-3







Same here in the UK.



We drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains here, about two or three times a year. I had no idea coasting downward in neutral uses fuel. My car has 127,000 miles, approx., and we're on the third set of brake pads. I say third, because the second set was defective and had to be replaced under warranty.
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Bill Sikes
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Driving an automatic.

Post by Bill Sikes »

gmc;578174 wrote: Interesting the different perpectives on different sides of the atlantic.. Being a european my attitude is that "real" car drivers would never buy an automatic as it takes away all the fun and control.



I have examined the vehicle in question, a 2.2L petrol Honda. Apart from

general issues, I don't think I'd enjoy driving an automatic *at all*, under

any circumstances that I can think of.
weeder
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Driving an automatic.

Post by weeder »

Manual transmissions are, as you know... more expensive to repair and or replace. The biggie for me is that they give you no controll in sticky situations. Snow, Ice, Quick emergency stops. I also found that for a long time it was difficult to drive with one foot, instead of two.
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gmc
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Driving an automatic.

Post by gmc »

weeder;579528 wrote: Manual transmissions are, as you know... more expensive to repair and or replace. The biggie for me is that they give you no controll in sticky situations. Snow, Ice, Quick emergency stops. I also found that for a long time it was difficult to drive with one foot, instead of two.



Not in the UK. It's the other way round with manuals being the norm and automatics unusual and more expensive to buy as well.

Front wheel drive a well. I've personally never owned a rear wheel drive car and never would. When i have to drive one I can never quite relax and enjoy chucking it about. Not so much for the snow nowadays but we get a lot of black ice.
weeder
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Driving an automatic.

Post by weeder »

I cant believe it.. I got my words backwards. Should have read... AUTOMATIC,,,, are more expensive to repair etc..........
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Bill Sikes
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Driving an automatic.

Post by Bill Sikes »

weeder;579572 wrote: I cant believe it.. I got my words backwards. Should have read... AUTOMATIC,,,, are more expensive to repair etc..........



*I* knew what you meant, gmc!
yuki
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Driving an automatic.

Post by yuki »

I have to drive an automatic because in a manual I'll just roll away if I stop on a hill or I will just stall it. :(

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