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!


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