All vehicles have either a manual or automatic gearbox. These transmissions have come a long way and with many newer model cars the gearboxes range from six speed to eight speed. Some of the newer cars today also come with a CVT transmission which is a continuously variable transmission and found on many hybrid cars as well as some scooter bikes.
Various transmissions will work differently on various types of vehicles. The power is drawn from the engine to drive the wheels and will depend on whether the car is a front wheel drive or a rear wheel drive or a four by four (4x4) / AWD (all wheel drive) where the power is distributed to all the wheels at the same time.
All manual vehicles are operated through a gear stick. Many older cars had the gear stick mounted on the side of the steering wheel but in essence all manual gearboxes work the same. You have to physically change gears with a gear stick.
A manual vehicle will have a clutch that needs to be pushed in so that the gear can be selected and once the gear has been selected the clutch will be released and engage. Most manual cars have five speed or six speed gearboxes but with the older cars the gearboxes were limited to a four speed transmission and even older ones had only a three speed gearbox. All manual transmissions have a reverse gear for driving backwards. As technology advances so does the transmissions on the cars.
The beauty about driving a manual car is that you will feel more in control of your driving experience. It is very responsive and does not have the lag an automatic transmission has. It can be quite exhilarating if you are looking for speed as you will feel completely part of your car as if the gearstick is an extension of your arm. Always learn to drive a manual car before and automatic. It is definitely more difficult in the beginning but it’s much more difficult to switch from an automatic transmission to a manual transmission.
Automatic transmissions have come a long way since the early days. It always seemed that only the rich could afford to drive automatic cars as the older highly priced cars usually came out with an automatic transmissions. All automatic transmissions are either hydraulic or electronic. The electronic versions are much more advanced and with the help of a whole lot of sensors on the car this will then determine at what specific speed the engine will change gears automatically. Some automatic cars have the function of a lever or paddles behind the steering wheel that will allow you to change gears manually. If you travel extensively an automatic option will be the one for you as you will not have to manually push a clutch in to change gears and can will make your driving experience seem like a lot less work. Today automatic transmissions range from six speed to eight speed options. These automatic gearboxes are very advanced in the newer model cars.
The last option on transmissions is the CVT option. This stands for continuously variable transmission. This transmission is usually found in scooter bikes. With the new hybrid models on the market some of them have opted for the option of a CVT transmission. CVT transmission is much more affordable. A CVT transmission creates a driving experience similar to a automatic transmission but the emphasis is on smoothness, not sportiness.
MANUAL GEARBOX VS AUTO GEARBOX SUMMARY
Buying a Manual or an Automatic transmission car is a personal choice. If you travelling far to work every day you might want to consider an automatic transmission as you won't have to manually change gears. If you don’t travel too far and you are a motor enthusiast as mentioned before a manual transmission is a much better hands on experience to drive. Always test drive the vehicle you want to buy in traffic before you decide.