The conventional manual transmission that is fitted in a car, is also called an 'H'-pattern transmission, because the shift-lever used to change gears moves in an 'H' pattern. Driving a car fitted with a manual gearbox in a traffic-jam is more difficult than driving a car with an automatic gearbox. However, driving such a car on a high-way, brings about a pleasure that comes second to none. One of the main benefits of having a manual gearbox is that you have complete control of the car, which is built to respond readily, like a well-groomed horse is trained to respond to your every action.
About Manual Transmission
Although the sale of these cars have declined, no one can deny the fact that they give the driver complete control over his car. This is an important fact that well describes the benefits that such cars offer.
An eagle-eyed car driver, tuned into the traffic in front of him, can judge when the traffic pattern is going to change. He doesn't have to observe and analyze the driving style of the drivers of the vehicles in front, to predict breaks or gaps in the traffic. He knows it instinctively, and by using a hand-operated transmission, can use the changing traffic pattern to his advantage. One of the advantages is that, the shifting of gears is faster than that of an automatic transmission. The car's response to a gear change is immediate. So overtaking a car in front, can be planned and executed without a glitch.
Can you save money, when you are approaching a traffic light that has just turned red? Certainly, you can! Use the shift lever and immediately down-shift to neutral, and let the car cruise to the traffic signal. This simple trick will save your money, each time you have to stop at a traffic light. A car in neutral, burns less fuel.
However, don't use this trick while coming down a steep slope, because there, you need to be in total control of the car. This is a situation that demands complete control over your car's speed. If the brakes are not operating properly or if they have failed completely, then, you can simply down-shift to the lowest gear. In this way, you can use your car's engine to reduce your car's speed and gain control of your car. One of the pros is that this particular safety factor that it offers, when you are in a tight spot. In an emergency, this extra control can make a huge difference to your safety.
Down-shifting to lower gears can also give you extra control over your car, while driving on a road covered with snow, or wet with rain-water. It also helps while driving your car over a muddy surface that does not offer enough traction. Driving a car in low gear is not fuel efficient and it is a great strain on the engine and the clutch. However, there are situations when you have to put safety over saving a few dollars.
One of the main benefits of owning a car with manual transmission is that the cost of maintaining it is lower than that of an automatic. The initial cost is less, as compared to a car with an automatic transmission. You could save in the range of USD 1,000 - USD 3,000, by buying a car fitted with a manual stick. For a car driver, who is interested in driving cars, his car is not heap of metal that can be driven from point to point, but rather, it is an extension of himself. It is a means, to achieve the speed which nature has denied the man, the feeling of being free while cruising over a tar road. It is a portal through which mental speed, overcomes physical distances. For this reason, there always will be individuals who like to take charge of things and take total control of the machine.