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Automatic transmission - advantages and disadvantages

Advantages and disadvantages of an automatic transmission

Choosing a new vehicle can be overwhelming. One of the first decisions to make is whether the car should have a manual or automatic gearbox. A manual gearbox requires the driver to shift gears while manually operating the vehicle. The automatic gearbox changes gears itself thanks to a hydraulic clutch.

The first "modern" automatic transmission was invented in 1921 by Alfred Horner Munro in Canada, but its origins date back to 1904. In the early XNUMXs, the Sturtevant brothers of Boston, Massachusetts, created the "horseless carriage". transmission. The gearbox shifted to a higher gear at high engine speeds, then to a lower gear at lower engine speeds. Automatic vehicles are a popular choice among Americans and first-time car owners, but manual transmissions are preferred by many seasoned drivers. There are a few things to consider when choosing an auto or manual drive vehicle.

Pros and cons of automatic transmissions

Ease of use

Cars with an automatic transmission are much easier to handle than cars with a gear lever or a manual one. The most common type of automatic transmission in modern cars is the hydraulic planetary automatic transmission. Instead of the driver having to change gear at the right time, the car automatically shifts gears. Automatic gearboxes use transmission fluid to control the rise and fall of gears. The oil pump maintains the transmission fluid pressure to control the various clutches and belts in the planetary gear. As a result, drivers do not have to worry about what gear their car should be in, and driving is much more comfortable.


Automatic vehicles are slightly safer to operate than manual cars. When driving a vehicle with a manual transmission, the driver must shift gears with the right hand and the left foot. Since automatic gearboxes shift gears themselves, the driver can keep both hands on the steering wheel. Additionally, the driver can concentrate on what is happening around him, rather than shifting gears. Automatic gearboxes provide a safer and less distracting driving experience, especially for new or inexperienced drivers.


Automatic vehicles have a higher initial cost than manual cars due to the complexity of the transmission. Manual vehicles are often associated with less fuel consumption than automatic transmissions because automatic transmissions use a torque converter to shift gears. Automatic car owners spend more on gearbox maintenance and fuel than manual car owners. However, it is often much easier to resell an automatic vehicle as more people know how to drive it.


While driving a car with an automatic gearbox has many advantages, driving a car with a manual gearbox can be much more fun than driving a car with an automatic gearbox. Using the clutch and shifting is an interactive experience. The driver also has much more control over the operation of the manual vehicle. It's so much easier to pretend to be a racing driver on the gear stick and having more pedals is always a lot of fun.


Automatic vehicles require much more maintenance than manual vehicles. Automatic gearboxes are folded up; contain many moving parts. Regular maintenance is essential to keep the gearbox in good condition, while a manual gearbox does not require as much attention. A manual car may need a new clutch at some point, but automatic transmissions can have a lot of problems at the same time.

Symptoms that the automatic transmission needs service


If the vehicle is making an unusual humming, grinding, or brushing noise, the torque converter may need repair or maintenance. While the problem may not appear serious at this time, unresolved problems with the torque converter or needle bearings can cause serious damage to the gearbox.


If the vehicle is leaking transmission fluid or has a low fluid level, the car may shift slowly or skid more frequently. Over time, this can cause serious problems for the vehicle. It is best to replace or flush the transmission fluid immediately if you suspect any leakage or contamination.


A burning smell is a significant symptom of transmission problems. Many car owners describe the smell of overheated transmission fluid as the smell of "burnt toast". If a driver smells of a burning smell during or after driving a motor vehicle, have his car diagnosed by a trained specialist as soon as possible. Many factors can contribute to overheating of the transmission fluid.

The sooner the better

If a driver notices a problem with their vehicle's gearbox, it is very important that you correct the problem as soon as possible. A gearbox failure can cause the car to stall frequently, which can be extremely dangerous. If the car has a low transmission fluid level, a loss of acceleration during operation may occur. If the transmission fails completely, the car will not start and a tow truck will be needed to transport the vehicle anywhere.


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