We hate to start a blog post out with some bad news, but it’s true: manuals are a dying breed. Try to teach your 15-year-old nephew how to drive your five-speed stick shift and one of the first questions you might hear before you smash your head on the dashboard in frustration is, “Why are there three pedals?” Given that manual transmissions are generally more fuel efficient than automatic transmissions and usually cost about $800-1200 less than automatics, why are there fewer stick shifts on the road these days than ever before? That’s a fair question, and a question we know our fellow Porsche enthusiasts will appreciate.
Fueling The Driving Experience
Unfortunately, Porsche is all about the driving experience for…well, the sake of driving – you know, screaming around twisty mountain roads in your Carrera 911 with a smile on your face that spans an entire football field. To sports car owners, driving a minivan around in rush hour traffic isn’t really driving, or at least it’s not driving for the sake of enjoyment. It might be illegal to speed and drive recklessly (HOUSE Automotive does not condone such activity), but since when did it become illegal to have fun and enjoy the driving experience?
Pasadena Porsche Transmission Repair You Can Count On
Our own soapbox aside, we’re going to look at some of the differences between automatic and manual transmissions in another blog post from our Pasadena Porsche repair specialists. Whether you have a 911 GT3 or a Cayenne, know that we specialize in Porsche transmission repair to get you shifting smoothly between gears here in Southern California. Don’t worry; even if a computer does the shifting for you, we’ll still take good care of you. Learn more about our independent Porsche repair services in Pasadena here!
The Ability To Shift Gears On Command
This is a huge advantage of stick shifts. In an automatic, as you put your foot down to give your car more gas and accelerate, the computer usually lags a little bit in order to downshift and give you more torque for said acceleration. With a manual, going into the desired gear just takes as long as you make it – after some practice, engaging the clutch, shifting and letting out the clutch starts to become an automatic process in of itself. By cruising in third gear driving around town, for example, you’ll have instant torque when you put your foot down. Plus, you’ll also have the ability to…
When you’re in gear with a manual transmission, all you have to do to ‘engine brake’ is let off the gas and let your RPM’s drop – essentially coasting in gear. You’ll actually get better gas mileage than if you’re rolling in neutral, surprisingly, because your engine still pumps fuel to maintain your car’s idle. When you’re already in gear and coasting downhill, your engine is actually using less fuel. To spare your brakes going down a steep mountain road, for example, manual transmissions offer engine braking options that automatic transmissions just can’t do.
Rolling Back During A Start
If you live in a particularly hilly area (we’re looking at you, San Francisco), driving an automatic has its advantages. While newer manuals have a “hill assist feature”, most stick shifts immediately roll back when you’re on a sloped incline and you let off the brakes. This is especially nerve-wracking for new manual drivers who can’t let the clutch out very quickly, and doing so in bumper-to-bumper traffic can turn into an absolute nightmare. Automatics just roll forward when the driver lets off the brake, and on a steep incline, they usually just stay in place.
Driving In Traffic
Automatics win here. If you’ve ever driven a stick shift in intense, rush hour traffic where you’re constantly going clutch in, clutch out, you know what we’re talking about. Your left calf will hate you about five minutes into the experience, so if you live in a city or you commute during heavy traffic to and from work, a manual transmission simply isn’t fun. You’ll even start to burn the clutch after constant engaging and disengaging it, trust us – you’ll smell it.
Driving With One Leg
For those with a disabled leg or a leg lost in an unfortunate accident, an automatic transmission is the only viable option. Manual transmissions require two working legs, so there is a limit as far as who can use them on a daily basis. There’s another plus for automatics.
Simplicity And Multi-Tasking
If you want an easy, straightforward driving experience, an automatic might be better suited for you. If you’re a driving multi-tasker where you apply your makeup while eating a bowl of oatmeal and catching up on the news as you’re going 40mph (please do not do this), an automatic is also probably better for you. A manual forces you to be more engaged and present in the driving experience, requiring you to know what gear you should be in relative to your speed.
Enjoying Those Gear Changes
Manuals have the easy win here. If you’ve never furiously shifted between second and third gear while redlining a turbo-charged sports car, you definitely need to give that a try. We highly recommend it. “Paddle shifter” cars that allow you to electronically change gears on command are nice, but nothing compares to the satisfaction of a clean gear shift. You probably own a Porsche anyway, so you know what we’re talking about.
Independent Porsche Repair In Pasadena You Can Trust
Regardless of your transmission preference, HOUSE Automotive still offers quality Porsche transmission repair and other Porsche repair shop services that address all aspects of your Porsche. Learn more about our Porsche auto repair services or feel free to get in touch with us today!