What’s the Difference Between an Automatic and Manual Transmission?

hand on manual gear shift knob

Automatic vs. manual transmission? Gone are the days when every teenager learned how to drive on a stick shift car. Now, it’s much harder to even find cars equipped with manual transmission, unless you’re in search of one. Why? Well, let’s take a look at the difference between the two. They both take the energy from the engine and channel it to the wheels, with gears making sure that the wheels don’t spin as fast as the engine, but automatic and manual transmissions work in very different ways.


Automatic Transmission

Automatic transmissions are popular and widespread, frankly, because it’s less work to drive. You don’t have to shift gears manually, and you only have two pedals to deal with – the accelerator and the brake. If you commute in a lot of traffic or live in a hilly area, you’re likely to prefer an automatic because your foot won’t constantly be on the clutch. Another big benefit of an automatic is that it’s practically impossible to stall out, unlike a manual transmission. Also, automatic transmissions don’t require as much maintenance, so there’s a cost-savings there, too.

Manual Transmission

A car with a manual transmission, or stick shift, may seem intimidating at first, but it’s actually fun to learn and drive in the right situations. Besides the brake and accelerator, you also use a clutch pedal to switch gears. It’s a timing thing, and if you make a mistake, it’s easy to stall out. However, driving a stick shift car is an engaging experience, and you feel an element of control that’s missing when you drive an automatic. Plus, manual transmissions are found all over the world, so knowing how to drive one is a key skill.

What’s Your Choice?

Automatic vs. manual transmission is a personal preference, and you should really take the time to explore what’s right for you. Bowman Chevy would love to help you out with that. We’re happy to show you both types of vehicles and have you test drive whatever you want. Our state-of-the-art service center can also take care of all your maintenance and repair needs. Come on down and see us, or contact us online today to schedule an appointment!

What is StabiliTrak®, Anyway?



StabiliTrak® is the the perfect name for this Electronic Stability Control System designed to keep your vehicle stable and on track, vastly improving safety in a variety of situations. Standard on all Chevrolet vehicles, StabiliTrak® helps drivers be more confident, especially in low-traction, uncertain driving situations.

StabiliTrak® Benefits

This system takes a lot of the stress out of driving when you feel like you don’t have as much control of your vehicle. Benefits include:

  • More control when you don’t have as much traction, like in ice, snow, rain, and on loose dirt and uneven pavement
  • Smooth stability during sudden lane changes or actions to avoid other cars or obstacles
  • Reliable assistance to help keep you on your intended path, including automatic reduction of engine power and braking
  • Help avoiding collisions, thanks to increased stability and control

How Does StabiliTrak® Work?

Chevrolet’s goal is to help you avoid collisions completely, and StabiliTrak® is a great example of proactive technology that is always working behind the scenes to protect you and your passengers. The system is engineered to monitor and compare your steering input with the way the vehicle is actually responding. Its control module manages that function and springs into action via minute engine torque and braking applications if it determines that you’re losing lateral traction. There’s no need for you to engage the system.

StabiliTrak® In Action

Here’s an example of how StabiliTrak® works. Let’s say your car begins to fishtail on a slick, wet road. The system would sense the back end losing traction and control, and it would automatically apply the outside front brake to counteract that motion and put your vehicle back on track. Or, maybe you’re trying to make a turn on a slippery road, and your car doesn’t respond. StabiliTrak® would automatically apply the inside front brake and return your car to your intended path.

StabiliTrak® Demonstration

At Bowman Chevy, we can show you the ins and outs of StabiliTrak® – how it works and the many benefits it provides. We’d love to show you our inventory and give you a full demonstration. Give us a call at 877-433-5922, or contact us online today to find out more about this proven collision-avoiding technology!