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I don't drive a manual, but am seriously considering to get one when the time comes for me to buy a new car. However, i have some reservations about it....like how tedious it will become in heavy rush hour traffic. In any case, I was wondering, for those of you that are driving manual, how do you deal with it during the winter times? Particularly driving through the snow? Would it be safer to drive an automatic in that situation or it doesn't really matter? (This is a question i'm asking for a friend who has that concern)
 

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Good question. I'd like to know also.
 

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Getting stuck isn't fun, but driving...

This is long-winded as it is a highly subjective topic.

I'm a manual driver, have been for 6 years. Driving in the snow with good tires on a manual, no problem. In fact, in certain situations you can avoid skidding into things by upshifting (generating less power to the wheels), or downshifting (doing the opposite). Can you upshift on an automatic? Nope. Thus, when starting to skid too much while accelerating, just upshift and the skidding goes away, the car straightens out. I actually enjoy skidding because I have control over it. I do it for fun.

Suffice to say, driving a manual car in the winter CAN actually be safer. However. If you get stuck in the snow with a manual, and you're not an experienced manual driver, you're asking for a headache. Rocking from reverse to 1st isn't as easy as in an automatic. Hence at the beginning of all this I said GOOD tires.

As far as in traffic is concerned, you already know the answer. It's a pain in the arse. I actually drive during times there isn't traffic; if I can help it.

For most situations, automatics are fine. If you live in the city, I wouldn't even recommend a manual. If you live in the suburbs, you're good to go. If you're commuting from the suburbs downtown, you may want to think about ways around traffic.

Hope that helps.
 

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Re: Getting stuck isn't fun, but driving...

factrzero said:
This is long-winded as it is a highly subjective topic.

I'm a manual driver, have been for 6 years. Driving in the snow with good tires on a manual, no problem. In fact, in certain situations you can avoid skidding into things by upshifting (generating less power to the wheels), or downshifting (doing the opposite). Can you upshift on an automatic? Nope. Thus, when starting to skid too much while accelerating, just upshift and the skidding goes away, the car straightens out. I actually enjoy skidding because I have control over it. I do it for fun.

Suffice to say, driving a manual car in the winter CAN actually be safer. However. If you get stuck in the snow with a manual, and you're not an experienced manual driver, you're asking for a headache. Rocking from reverse to 1st isn't as easy as in an automatic. Hence at the beginning of all this I said GOOD tires.

As far as in traffic is concerned, you already know the answer. It's a pain in the arse. I actually drive during times there isn't traffic; if I can help it.

For most situations, automatics are fine. If you live in the city, I wouldn't even recommend a manual. If you live in the suburbs, you're good to go. If you're commuting from the suburbs downtown, you may want to think about ways around traffic.

Hope that helps.

What they said ..... heavy traffic's not good on a manual transmission, more likely to have to replace the clutch sooner due to heavy use.And it's hard on the leg.
 

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the clutch and shift efforts on most modern cars is so light that it's no problem in traffic. Considering that my grandmother learned to drive a car with high effort manual clutch and non-synchronized gear box, I think most healthy people can handle a current day manual. If you're a "car as appliance" kind of person who doesn't really enjoy driving, spend the extra cash on an auto and be done with it.

As far a snow, the biggest factor is always going to be good tires (on all 4 corners...NOT just the drive wheels). Again I prefer the manual since you have more control and can make judgements based on the information at hand as opposed to the general condition (compromised) calibration the auto comes with. However, when the weather gets bad, I'd take an automatic with 4 good snows over a manual with all seasons any day.
 

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Driving a manual in the snow is no problem and maybe even preferable to an auto, assuming you know how to drive a manual. Like someone else said, if you start slipping you can either gear up or just push the clutch in and usually you will straighten right out.....though with a front wheel drive car, you don't have to really worry about skidding out.

Ya the front tires may spin, but you will pretty much stay straight. Where as with a rwd, you can be arse-backwards before you know it if you're not careful.

Learning to drive a manual in the snow is another thing; in a perfect world you'd have a bit of experience with a manual before the first snowfall, but either way, you'll learn and you'll be fine.

Heck, when I was 16 I took my driving lessons in the middle of winter using a manual transmission car.

I probably wouldn't recommend learning to drive a manual in your brand new car, though you really can't 'hurt' it too much.

As far as traffic goes, ya a manual can be a bit of a pain when it is stop and go. Though the mazda3's clutch is so light, you won't come close to tiring out your leg or anything, but it can be tedious

Me personally, the only time I'd get a automatic is if I were buying a truck or suv. Driving a standard is just far too much fun, most of the time.

Darren.
 

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I would rather have a manual than an auto in snow. Like everyone else has said, if you are a good manual driver you have more control than an automatic does and can go more places. I've been able to get my 5sp Sentra anywhere I want to go, even places my mom's automatic AWD impreza wouldn't. Traffic however is a pain. If you know you are going to be sitting in bumper to bumper traffic everyday I would go with the Auto because that's going to ruin that clutch. If you just have light to moderate traffic (moving as opposed to bumper to bumper) it would be a judgement call.
 

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It never snows here so I haven't a clue about that, but the freeway gets tons of traffic during rush hour, and I work downtown, so I can atest (sp?) to the fact that the manual tranny blows chunks with traffic.

And to Timo, who said that modern cars' manual trannys are light, try driving a manual tranny Mustang in rush hour traffic.

There's no doubt in my mind that my mz3 will have the AT, I don't care if it's a "slush-box", I test drove both manual and automatic, and for the way I drive, I didn't notice much, if any, difference in performance between the two.
 

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I live in Vancouver, so I couldn't tell you anything about snow except it's white and mountains get a lot of it.

As for driving a MT in traffic. I don't think it's as big as a deal as everyone makes it out to be. I've been driving MT for 12 years, the one thing I've learned is after a while, shifting becomes instinctive. You just do it, you don't think about it.

That being said, for the first few months driving your first MT car, you will hate being stuck in traffic. A few months later, you won't mind it. Then the magic day will come that you don't even think about it.

If you think you can get through the first 6 months or so, I higly recommedn going with the MT. There is no joy in having a computer shift for you.
 

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Yeah, my last manual tranny was my 86 Mustang GT and I just couldn't take driving in traffic anymore. I have now had 3 automatics since and really the only time I miss driving a manual is when I drive back to BC and I'm whipping through the mountains. Though with the sport automatic now I can get a bit of that feel.

As far as winter driving goes with the low torque second gear there isn't much you can't pull out of and as far as skid control it isn't really that much different than a manual. I've driven both for many years in places where we get a WACK of snow compared to some of the places you guys are from and it is more important to be a smart winter driver than wether you have a manual or automatic. Tires too help. ;)

In Calgary the vast majority of people in the city work downtown so we have a lot of traffic, even with the light clutch in the protege I quickly grew tired of it when driving my friends Protege a couple months back.
 

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I two have driven MT for a long time, 11 years in my case, and back when I lived in a small city, I didn't mind it at all, in fact, I wouldn't change it for the world, but now, when I have to comute over an hour to and from work, in bumper to bumper traffic, and my Mustang has the hardest clutch and the hardest shift lever in the world (or at least, the hardest I've driven), I don't want a MT.

The whole AT vs MT is all about, WHERE you drive and HOW you drive, it's not about whether you mind the "hassle" of shifting or not, or wether it's instinctive or not.
 

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True what AK/47 said. It becomes instinctive after a while. I've been driving MT since I was 12 y.o. (Yeah, illegally). Almost 25 y.o. now. Then switched to AT with my RX300 for 3 years. Man I just missed the fun of driving MT. So that's why now I'm using MT again with MZ3.
 

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Butters said:
The whole AT vs MT is all about, WHERE you drive and HOW you drive, it's not about whether you mind the "hassle" of shifting or not, or wether it's instinctive or not.
I concur with Butters. Plus it is also a personal thing, for example, my DW at one point was driving ~80km a day in mostly urban traffic & all that shifting was causing her serious pain in the calf, to the point we had to trade in the car for an automatic. OTOH, I've been driving a stick since the 80's but my route to work has either be very short, or consist mostly of hwy & light city traffic. If I have to combat downtown traffic everyday, I would pick auto as well. As for driving in the snow, I think a manual will give you better control over an automatic, but you probably don't want to learn to drive a standard in bad conditions because it's yet another thing to worry about.
 

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Heh, probably why I can drive either pretty darn well in the snow is because I grew up in Vernon, BC where there is a crapload of snow and the fact that when I got my drivers license and started to drive we had a major dump of snow. Where I lived was on a hillside so some of the roads I practiced on if I didn't learn control I was going over the embankment. :D
 

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I prefer MT on any sedan/HB, but for SUV/trucks I prefer AT. I used to own a Daihatsu jeep using MT. Shifting is hard like heck. I used to drive Jeep CJ-7 in MT too. Same case..... Definitely not something you want to drive if you live in the city.
 

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Traffic sucks but you learn how to avoid it as much as possible :)

For snow IMO you get slightly better control with a manual transmission. I'm able to crawl along at 35mph in 5th gear putting out minimal engine power but not slide at all in some good sized snow.
 

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lazyness

well i guess it depends if ur lazy or not....driving an Mt you goota shift all the time and clucth here and there depending on trafiic...but as for At you can sit back relax while being lazy and let the car o all the work for you......hahahaa....if ur tired after work i perfer u to drive at...less workkk..no need to work any more harder after work...but if ur just energetic all the time i perfer MT...hey you can get a workout while you drive since u do use bothe legs and hands................
 

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The clutch is light on the 3 ? I must have a gnome hiding under my petal then cause that's one of the heavier clutches I've driven. It definately loves to push back at me....
 
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