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Motors Why do Americans predominantly drive Automatics?

Discussion in 'General' started by xen0morph, 18 Jan 2006.

  1. TJK

    TJK What's a Dremel?

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    hey - here in the US we dont learn to drive manuals. It is equated with being hard(i just tried it for the first time last week) and not many people get to try it out. I would like a manual in my next car, but I also like not having to mess with it when I'm eating in the car, and stuff like that. Its nice to use when I want to mess around or go fast, but other times its just been sorta brainwashed into me that sticks are hard, you stall them, etc. So to sum it all up - I dont know what I want. The default is auto, but hey I could work with both
     
  2. greensabbath

    greensabbath Got Wood?

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    I drove a manual for the first time the other day and i really sucked at it, but i could see why people like it and if i didn't live near san francisco with all the hills, crazy drivers, and stoplights in the middle of hills, i'd definately consider getting one.
     
  3. rick

    rick What's a Dremel?

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    you will find it hard driving a manual at first but as soon as you find where the biting point is on the clutch you'll be fine also dont be afraid to give it some revs. the way i was taught to set off properly was with hill starts. once you can do those setting off on the flat wont be a problem.
    i think that could be another reason americans like autos. over here in the uk its illegal to eat and drink while driving (well only if the police see you that is).
    to be honnest even if i had an auto i wouldnt dream of eating/drinking while i'm driving, for one my car doesnt even have decent cup holders and mainly coz to tilt my head back to drink or reach across to get some fries out of the drive thru bag on the way home it means i have to take my eyes off the road and thats just plain dangerous.
     
    Last edited: 4 Apr 2006
  4. scorpio

    scorpio What's a Dremel?

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  5. tacticus

    tacticus What's a Dremel?

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    although i can't speak from the point of view of someone from the us i can however offer some observation from a country that seems to be heading towards the automatic gearbox sort of idea

    well from what i can see is that its being driven by the soccer mums buying big 4wd and not knowing how to drive them thus the car manufacturers bringing automatics to the market in quantity allows them to sell more of these big arse cars
    there is also legislation that prevents people who get licensed in an automatic from driving a manual

    the comments saying that autos are more efficient is almost certainly true with the average driver in the other states\territories in Australia

    personally i like my manual its nice and easy to drive and i like the extra control it gives me(probably saved my life that i was driving a manual last year) and the efficiency that I can get out of it on the highway and round town is just OMGWTFBBQ worth
    granted its partially the gutless wonder part of my Hyundai that does this ;P

    also I thought I might leave some pretty and not so pretty pics
    http://www.anbg.gov.au/maps/aust-usa-map.jpg
    size comparison
    though the us is larger i would think that majour cities in .au are further apart
    to give an example i live in a small town right in the centre of .au and its 1500 kms to the nearest cities

    http://www.nextcar.com.au/e.i.2005.mfs.holden.torana.GPak.1975.JPG
    http://www.seriouswheels.com/pics-2004/2004-Holden-VZ-Monaro-B-FA-Studio-1920x1440.jpg
    only 2 holdens i like
     
  6. yellowbomb

    yellowbomb Minimodder

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    If you’re referring to what I said, I meant that the automatics are inherently less efficient than manuals; however, the poor driving habits of drivers make the manuals less efficient than autos... (Note: I'm blaming the drivers here for poor driving skills.)
     
  7. rick

    rick What's a Dremel?

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  8. iddqd

    iddqd What's a Dremel?

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    I know how to drive a manual, I love it! My daily driver is an auto, of course, if I weren't able to drink, talk on the phone, eat some fries, and flip off other drivers, I might lose my mind.

    Who cares? I am of the opinion that most of us are lazy anyways, look at Houston. Houston is the fattest city in America, and Texas has 5 (I believe) of the fattest cities in the nation. We're lazy - shifting would make us lose arm fat and god forbid we lose arm fat! It keeps us warm in the winter!

    My tinker project: 1979 MG Midget (manual)
    Daily Driver: 2003 Chevy Cavalier (auto)
     
  9. Splynncryth

    Splynncryth 0x665E3FF6,0x46CC,...

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    Driving in another country cannot be explained. I can state the basics, but unless you actually try, you can't understand. Traffic patterns are different, driver expectaions ajnd reactions are different, even the cars themselves are different. I can try to explain some of the differences of the places where I have lived and driven here in the US, but there have beenplenty of attempts to explain on the form here. Likewise for the reverse situation.
    Everyonewants to belive their wary is better, this in an endless argument that no one can win.

    This very same auto vs manual argument goes on almost contuinuously on US car forums. The only possible attack is to claim that no one in the US knows how to drive aq manual, but that can be dispelled very quickly py pointing to motorcycles, the SCCA and other motorsports.

    The passion in this argument seems to stem from age old ideas in western society such as man vs machine and finding reasons we are 'better' than somone else like those other people are just lazy.
     
  10. speedfreek

    speedfreek What's a Dremel?

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    Now I dont want to get into a who's state is fatter arguement here, or do I. :D
    </useless post>
     
  11. mikeuk2004

    mikeuk2004 What you Looking at Fool!

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    Dont know why but that gave me a chuckle. :p
     
  12. masya44

    masya44 What's a Dremel?

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    I live in the States now, and myself from Eastern Europe.
    I see that most of Americans do not even know how to drive a manual. They might try it once and say: "forget it." It is a lot easier to learn to drive automatic. However, the trand is changing now. And a lot more of them are switching to a stick shift. Those that do, say it is a lot more fun.
    and automakers themself started offering more models with manuals now!
     
  13. OneSeventeen

    OneSeventeen Oooh Shiny!

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    I switched to a manual.

    They are awsome, because they have so many great, wearable parts that aren't covered by warranty. I probably would have blown $1400 on something stupid like student loans, but instead I got to replace a clutch at the dealership so I wouldn't loose the warranty on the rest of my car.

    I look forward to getting an automatic again, or at least finding a car that has an easy to replace clutch. While there are tons of things that can go wrong in an automatic transmission, they are, for the most part, covered by dealership warranties. Clutches are only warrantied on average during the first year of use.
    (29,000 miles and less than 2 years of driving is too soon to replace a clutch, IMO)
     
  14. JCG

    JCG What's a Dremel?

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    Are you sure you know how to use a clutch? 200.000 km without changing you clutch is easily possible. Not to flame, but if your clutch breaks down so fast it isn't normal, it either a production error you're constantly keeping your foot on the clutch.
     
  15. speedfreek

    speedfreek What's a Dremel?

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    That sucks, I've gotten plenty out of my clutch even driving it much harder than it should be. Personally the only time warranty work had to be done was on my parrents sable (ford). I dont care much for warrantys, never had to use one yet and voided plenty of them.

    edit: Not being able to learn isnt much of an excuse either, Ive taught people enough to get me home while impaired.
     
    Last edited: 26 Apr 2006
  16. Xen0phobiak

    Xen0phobiak SMEGHEADS!

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    Signed.
     
  17. OneSeventeen

    OneSeventeen Oooh Shiny!

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    Oddly enough the first standard I drove didn't have any problems caused by me wearing out the clutch.

    I've had a few mechanic friends drive around with me so they can point out what I'm doing wrong, and they said I shouldn't have any issues.

    Roughly 100% of the '03 Mazda 6 S owners I have found online have had similar problems. Because of the nature of clutches, it was not covered by warranty, and because Mazda doesn't care about customer service, they haven't issued a recall.

    Had it been an automatic, it would have been covered, regardless of whether or not they recalled it.

    (no, I'm not bitter about that situation.. not at all! :p )
    I'm actually tempted to just keep the car and learn to replace a clutch, although I'm having a hard time figuring out the reason for sticking with a manual, since automatics are fairly reliable nowadays, and I don't need to squeeze out any more performance just for driving to work and back...
     
  18. Altron

    Altron Minimodder

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    Mazda 6 also has a nifty automatic that lets you pick which gear you want.
     
  19. TheMuffinMan

    TheMuffinMan Minimodder

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    I am very depressed with driving autos, alot of it is just ease, my mother for example would never be able to drive a stick she's just not attentive enough to do it. I've always had a blast driving stick shifts and have loved all my visits out of the country where stick rules the road
     
  20. I'm_Not_A_Monster

    I'm_Not_A_Monster Hey, eat this...

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    Americans like to drive Automatics because we are fat, stupid, lazy, and need the right hand so we can plan our next invasion while we drive.

    Just kidding.

    I personally like to drive a stick because i can slow down faster if i see a cop without flashing the brakelights. friends have been pulled over because the cop saw their brakelights and noticed how fast they were going, while the officer might have not noticed them without the flashing light attached to their rearend.

    everything in my car is manual. the five speed tranny, the windows, locks, hell, the seat adjustment would be manual if it didn't break a decade ago. the radio would be manual if the tape and FM gave out on it and only the AM worked (i don't like AM so it's always off).

    when one is driving a manny-tranny their left hand is on the wheel and their right is on the shifter. this leaves no hand for middle-fingering or cell phone usage. This is why people remember how the roads used to be so polite, they didn't have a hand to finger you with. people should be required to drive a stick if they are ticketed for using their phones while driving (which should be outlawed under a constitutional amendment)
     
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