There are two types of transmissions that vehicles can be built with. These include either an automatic transmission or a manual transmission. There are several pros and cons to each that you want to consider before driving one or the other. How you drive these two types of transmissions will also change while driving in the snow during winter time. So make sure you know how to drive your particular car’s transmission when the time comes.
Automatic Transmission Pros and Cons
In general, cars with automatic transmissions are easier to drive and preferred by some for this reason. Automatic’s still shift gears like a manual, but it is involuntary, so you do not have to focus on controlling several things yourself while driving. It can also be safer because you can keep both hands on the wheel. The automatic vehicle has a clutch, but the clutch pedal and torque converter separate the transmission from the engine automatically.
Some negative aspects to this kind of transmission is that it is not as fuel efficient. That torque converter and the hydraulic pump working together cause the car to lose power and lowers efficiency. These cars also take automatic transmission fluid, which has to be changed more often than a manual. This kind of fluid can deteriorate quicker over time. Another con to automatic’s is that the vehicle may require more repair costs because of the gear box and complexity of the transmissions used while driving.
Manual Transmission Pros and Cons
There are several reasons to drive a manual transmission car, as well as adverse things to consider. Manual vehicles are driven with a clutch pedal and stick shift to change gears yourself. These cars tend to be cheaper in general for repairs because problems are less likely and they are less complex making them easier for mechanics to work on. Manual vehicles also take gear or engine oil, which has to be changed less frequently than its automatic counterpart. Also, these cars are much more fuel efficient because they don’t use as much power while driving.
While manual cars are easier to control, some cons to consider are how much harder they can be to learn to drive at first. When you are driving, you shift gears based on the speed of the vehicle. This is done by depressing the clutch pedal, however, it is disengaging that pedal that can prove to be difficult. If not done correctly, it can make the car jump-start and may even cause it to stall out. It takes time to learn how to drive a manual so that you start out smooth and transition between gears smoothly. Since all of this is required while on the road, you have to take your hand off the wheel and concentrate more on shifting, sometimes proving to be distracting.
Manual vs. Automatic Driving in the Snow
While there are several pros and cons to consider when deciding between an automatic transmission or manual transmission vehicle, there are certain things to consider while driving on snow and ice. With both, you will always want to keep your distance to bring your vehicle to a complete stop avoiding sliding regardless if you are down shifting yourself or simply stepping on the brake. Driving a stick shift can be easier in the snow because you are controlling the gears yourself. With a manual, the car is in more control so ease up on the gas if you are slipping on ice so your wheels can gain traction.
If you are driving on a hill, there are several things to keep in mind. Make sure you are pushing on the brakes as little as possible whether you are going downhill or uphill. When you’re about to drive uphill, speed up so you do not have to hit the gas as much causing the wheels to spin. If going downhill, slow down before the hill so you can coast as much as possible. You want to do your best to drive as smoothly as possible with steering, accelerating, as well as using the brakes as little as you can. With an automatic transmission, an automatic gearbox can help with decelerating just as a manual would do while declutching.
While driving a manual transmission in winter road conditions, try your best to start off in second gear, even though this will take some getting used to. This will make your tires turn slower and be more forceful when beginning to move, which can be very useful to get going on s now. If braking is necessary, downshift before you do because going into lower gears you can lower your speed by slowing the tire rotation. By keeping all of this in mind and dependent on the road conditions as well as how you drive, you can ultimately increase your fuel efficiency.
If you find yourself needing a transmission repair for your automatic or manual vehicle, Schedule an Appointment today! Call any of our AAMCO Denver or AAMCO Colorado Springs locations for a FREE diagnostic test now.