When you go shopping for a car, you'll have lots of decisions to make. We've come a long way since the first automobile rolled off a factory. Now, you can choose options from the car's colour to the type of seats you want inside. One of the first (and arguably most important) decisions to make is whether or not you want an automatic car. Even though some manufacturers are moving towards offering only automatic transmission vehicles, you still have to choose between that or a manual car.
What are the pros and cons of automatic transmissions? What value do you get from the extra money paid for an automatic car?
That’s what we’re going to find out in this article. In the following sections, you’ll learn:
- How an auto transmission works
- The advantages of vehicles with automatic transmission
- The disadvantages of automatic transmission
- Are automatic transmissions better than manual?
By the end of this article, you’ll be able to make better decisions about transmissions to suit your needs and preferences.
How Does An Auto Transmission Work?
First of all, it's crucial to understand how an auto transmission works in a car. That way, if you choose to get an automatic transmission car, you're fully aware of what you're paying for. Or, you might realise why a manual transmission vehicle suits your needs much better.
To put it simply, an automatic transmission can 'think' for itself. By utilising several sensors, the transmission is equipped to decide the perfect time to shift gears. So, if it 'realises' that you're driving uphill, it will switch to a lower gear to give your car the power it needs.
Similarly, if you’re driving on a straight and flat road, the automatic transmission changes gears for better speed rather than torque.
That explanation is an oversimplification, of course. But it should be enough to help you understand the following sections of this article.
If you’d like to dive deeper into how an auto transmission works, you may check our article in the provided link.
What Are The Advantages Of Cars With Automatic Transmission?
There are excellent reasons why automatic transmissions are a standard option these days. Here are just a few benefits that they offer to the everyday driver.
Easier To Drive
First and foremost, an automatic transmission makes it much easier for you to drive. You won’t have to worry about shifting gears so often, as the transmission will do it for you.
For new drivers, learning to operate a motor vehicle becomes a lot simpler. They’ll spend less time learning how to shift gears, and more time on other things like manoeuvring their car.
Experienced drivers who switch from manual to auto will also enjoy a much smoother driving experience overall. They’ll appreciate how much easier it is to drive an automatic car, especially in traffic jams and on steep inclines.
Better, Smoother Acceleration
An automatic transmission decides the perfect time to shift gears. Therefore, accelerating the vehicle becomes a much smoother experience.
Typically with a manual car, shifting gears involves several steps (thanks to having to operate the clutch). Depending on how skilful you are, achieving smooth acceleration to higher speeds can be quite challenging.
With an automatic transmission, all you have to do is press on the gas pedal and let the transmission do it for you.
Cutting Edge Innovation
Because automatic transmissions are everywhere, car manufacturers also compete by trying to give you the most innovative auto transmission possible. That’s why you see a lot of exotic terms for auto transmissions like the Tiptronic transmission by Porsche, Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) often seen in Toyota cars, and plenty of others.
As you can see, the automatic transmission has become a point of competition between top carmakers. Who benefits from this intense competition and pursuit of innovation? Well, car buyers like you and I get the best of it.
Better For The Planet
Overall, an automatic transmission allows you to achieve better overall efficiency. And what do you get with a more efficient vehicle? That’s right; it helps with the environment.
Thanks to the precision and simplicity that comes as a result of automatic transmissions, the vehicle will be more fuel-efficient overall.
That’s good news for your wallet and even better news for Mother Earth.
What Are Their Disadvantages?
Nothing comes without disadvantages in this world, and automatic transmissions are no exception. Despite all the benefits you derive from an automatic car, here are a few drawbacks you must be aware of.
Here is a universal truth when it comes to cars and just about anything else: the more complicated it is, the more it’ll cost to fix it.
The same is true for automatic transmissions. Think about it: auto transmissions are high-tech and innovative, with some fantastic engineering and precision going into them.
If they malfunction, you’re going to spend a lot more on repairs than you would with a manual transmission.
When anything goes automatic, like a transmission, you’re giving up a certain degree of control. Some people prefer manual transmissions because the power to decide when to shift gears remains in their hands.
Doesn’t Look As Cool
Let’s be honest. For some car enthusiasts, looking cool is a factor that influences almost every aspect of the car, be it the external trims of the vehicle or the transmission and how you operate it.
With an auto transmission, you won’t get to shift gears the same way your favourite movie racers do dramatically.
Is An Automatic Transmission Better Than Manual?
Yes, automatic transmissions are better than manual if you value a smoother, more efficient driving experience. However, if you’re looking for more control over your vehicle and how it operates, you might want to opt for a manual transmission instead.
Whether you’re looking to learn more about automatic car transmissions or any other part of your car, check out the blog at Carpart.com.au. There, you’ll always discover new articles that help you understand your vehicle much better than ever. It’s also the perfect platform to source auto parts! Visit us now!
By Ray Hasbollah