There are two types of transmissions with which vehicles can be built. These include an automatic transmission or a manual transmission. There are several pros and cons of each that you should consider before driving one or the other. The way you drive these two types of transmissions will also change while driving in the snow in winter. So make sure you know how to drive your particular car’s transmission when the time comes.
Pros and cons of automatic transmission
In general, cars with an automatic transmission are easier to drive and some prefer them for this reason. The automatic still shifts gears like a manual, but it’s unintentional, so you don’t have to focus on controlling various things yourself while driving. It can also be safer because you can keep both hands on the wheel. The automatic vehicle has a clutch, but the clutch pedal and torque converter separate the transmission from the engine automatically.
Some negative aspects of this type of transmission is that it is not as fuel efficient. That torque converter and hydraulic pump working together cause the car to lose power and reduce efficiency. These cars also take automatic transmission fluid, which needs to be changed more frequently than a manual one. This type of fluid can deteriorate more quickly over time. Another disadvantage of automatics is that the vehicle may require more repair costs due to the gearbox and the complexity of the transmissions used while driving.
Pros and cons of manual transmission
There are several reasons to drive a car with a manual transmission, as well as downsides to consider: Manual vehicles are driven with a clutch pedal and gear lever to change gears yourself. These cars tend to be cheaper overall for repairs because problems are less likely and less complex, making it easier for mechanics to work. Manual vehicles also carry engine or gear oil, which needs to be changed less frequently than its automatic counterpart. Also, these cars are much more fuel efficient because they don’t use as much energy while driving.
While manual cars are easier to control, some downsides to consider are how much more difficult it can be to learn to drive in the beginning. When you drive, you change gears according to the speed of the vehicle. This is done by pressing down on the clutch pedal, however disengaging that pedal can be difficult. If not done correctly, it can cause the car to start and can even cause it to stall. It takes time to learn how to drive a manual so you can get off to a smooth start and transition between gears smoothly. Since all of this is necessary while on the road, you need to take your hand off the wheel and focus more on shifting, which sometimes turns out to be distracting.
Manual vs. Automatic driving in the snow
While there are several pros and cons to consider when deciding between an automatic or manual transmission vehicle, there are certain things to consider when driving on snow and ice. With both, you always want to keep your distance so your vehicle comes to a complete stop and prevents slipping, regardless of whether you are downshifting or just hitting the brakes. Driving a gearshift can be easier in the snow because you control the gears yourself. With a manual, the car has more control, so slow down the throttle if you slip on ice so your wheels can gain traction.
If you are driving on a hill, there are several things to keep in mind. Make sure to apply the brakes as little as possible, whether you are going downhill or uphill. When you’re about to drive uphill, accelerate so you don’t have to put as much pressure on the gas and cause your wheels to spin. If you are going downhill, slow down before the hill so you can slide as much as possible. You want to do your best to drive as smoothly as possible with the least possible steering, acceleration, and use of the brakes. With an automatic transmission, an automatic gearbox can help decelerate like a manual one would, while disengaging.
While driving a manual transmission in wintry road conditions, do your best to start in second gear, although this will take some getting used to. This will make the tires spin slower and more forceful when you start moving, which can be very helpful in moving forward now. If braking is necessary, downshift before doing so as downshifting can reduce speed by slowing the rotation of the tires. Taking all of this into account, and depending on road conditions and your driving style, can ultimately increase fuel efficiency.