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GasBuddy News Article

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Stick shift, long in decline, makes slight comeback

New York Daily News -- The stick shift is back. A little, anyway. And not forever.
20 years ago, one out of every four cars sold in the USA was equipped with a manual transmission, but by 2011, that figure had plunged to a miniscule 3%. But 7% of new cars sold this year have sticks, according to a new report released by Edmunds.com.
"A combination of factors - from the growing age of vehicle trade-ins bringing more manual drivers back to market, to a greater proportion of smaller cars on the road - is creating a small spike for stick shifts," says Edmunds.com Industry Analyst Ivan Drury.
Stick shift nuts who turn their noses up at automatics need not gloat, though. Drury says that even though a manual option is on the rise now, “They're on track to be virtually extinct in the next 15 to 20 years."


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Submitted Aug 03, 2012 By: BurntOrange
Category: Daily News Article Discussions > Topics Add to favorite topics  
Author Topic: Stick shift, long in decline, makes slight comeback Back to Topics
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 11:45:21 PM

“Clutch replacements cost about $250 every 90k - 150k miles.”

I drive only manual-trans vehicles. I’ve owned a dozen or more, most of which have gotten into that mileage range or more. I have never had to replace a clutch.
iagdboy
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Aug 4, 2012 1:58:20 PM

w4ft5gmomjunhygb
jrs4125
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Aug 4, 2012 3:55:33 AM

Just a phase.
PurplepassionNC
All-Star Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 2:31:12 PM

Tried to learn how to drive the stick shift. Got tired of getting whiplash.
fuel2use
Champion Author Seattle

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:42:06 PM

Row you own.
sciotosix
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 10:57:13 AM

I would rather have a manual transmission, but they're too hard to find.
newman26
All-Star Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 10:28:51 AM

I miss my stick. They are harder to find and my wife refuses to learn, So after 32 years I finally got a car with an automatic.
Tehbob
Champion Author California

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 10:21:39 AM

something to do
FortVancouver01
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 9:00:53 AM


The newer automatics are so efficient and well designed it almost makes the old sticks obsolete.

kristenh1013
Sophomore Author Tennessee

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 8:30:03 AM

HaHa! Neither me, my sister, or my dad, know how to drive a stick. We never had a stick shift car in my immediate family.

I hope we don't need to flee from something (ie. alien invasion, zombie apocalypse, or drive a getaway car, because we would be screwed!
shstew
Champion Author British Columbia

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 7:46:00 AM

Last gasp?
blupupher
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 7:38:00 AM

I miss my stick. Wife can't drive one (Have tried many times) so I don't get one :(
SUNOIL
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 6:13:13 AM

If treated right they will outlast the automatic.
alterman156
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 2:16:29 AM

Stick shift cars are practically dead.
djgunrunner
Champion Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 1:57:40 AM

I like a stick shift because the car is in the exact gear that I want it in. It is especially good when driving a truck with a load either a class 8 or a pickup.
Z51Corvette
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 1:15:44 AM

What kind of car is your 6speed auto Vulcan...
Z51Corvette
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 1:11:46 AM

Dear Tigerpaw, The Richmond or Tremec 6 speed Manual Transmissions will get at least 20% better fuel economy over ANY automatic, driven by comparable drivers. The best Automatics in cars people can reasonably afford are only 5 SPEEDS. The Richmond and Tremec Manuals have another advantage over the Automatics... They have an additional gear and... internal gear options to maximize the horsepower and torque production to the weight of the vehicle.

So, when you couple the weight, gear options and efficiency of the Manuals, I could manage a minimum of 20 - 30% better fuel economy over an Automatic Transmission. One last benefit... is REPAIR / Maintenance costs. Rebuilds of a high efficient Automatic is close to 1500 dollars, every 100 - 150k miles. I have driven manuals that got anywhere from a minimum of 250 - 370k miles without a rebuild. Clutch replacements cost about $250 every 90k - 150k miles.

Automatics build heat that put additional stress on the cooling system. Manuals do not! Manuals you can start, if your battery is low... autos you can not. So... the only reason I could find for an automatic... is the perception that a manual is too difficult to master, or for AUTOCROSSING competition.

I won't depend on a "sensor" to make sure the transmission shifts correctly.
jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:55:36 AM


When we bought a new car two years ago the dealer had to make a dealer trade out of state, over 200 miles away, to find a stick shift in the model we wanted. Really amazing. I will never own an automatic; I’ve driven one (under duress) a couple of times and hated it.
vulcan96
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:50:19 AM

i like my 6 speed auto
jtfftj
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:48:31 AM

I like them both.
Z51Corvette
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:47:34 AM

The writer of this article apparently has an aversion to Manual transmissions, based on the perceived cynism in the style of their writing. Automatics are for those "less engaged" in the driving experience. I grew up on an automatic, however once I started driving a manual, the "automatic" became passe'!

Automatics waste fuel... and create greater demand for repairs than manuals... I have a '63 Impala Wagon, which I am restoring. I am removing the Powerglide Automatic and installing a 6 Speed Manual over a 5 speed automatic. While the initial expense of the install is greater by nearly 1k, the fuel savings and maintenance cost savings, will recoup that cost in less than 4 years.
TIGERPAW46
Champion Author Florida

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:36:46 AM

Stick shift at one time was suppose to be more fuel efficient if used properly not racing etc. the manual trans. is lighter wt due to less components than an Automatic. The automatic was just more convenient. With time and engineering the newer automatics are so refined & with overdrive etc they can give better gas mileage than a manual trans despite carrying the extra weight. Only with a similar number of gears & an expert driver knowing exactly what rpm to shift for maximum fuel efficiency could a manual trans. benefit by it's lighter weight against todays automatic trans. for fuel efficiency.
AskMeLater
Champion Author Amarillo

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:29:01 AM

Much rather have a stick. Have one in my old 1992 Ford pickup truck with 360,xxx miles, and have never had to do anything with the trans. How many transmissions would I have put in it if it had an auto?
jorod55
Champion Author California

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:28:43 AM

Stick shift, button shift, paddle shift, auto shift.
What ever shifts your gear.
2bigtanks
All-Star Author Akron

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:25:03 AM

Never wanted stick but never had a car that it looked good in. Had lot of bucket seats and console w/auto.
LuthierKS
Champion Author Wichita

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:23:16 AM

I was raised in the stick shift era (first driver's license in 1955). I've been driving a truck ever since. Modern automatic transmissions, that allow the driver to also select a particular gear when necessary, are so superior to stick shift transmissions I would never go back.
miser709
Champion Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:21:43 AM

Stick the stick.
Prodaddy
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:21:22 AM

I don't see this happening
SparkieMi
Champion Author Kalamazoo

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:21:20 AM

Good post by Dragnet......
grandamgt1
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:20:21 AM

Its all about the economy. As long as you don't go "race car driver", you'll save some money.
ManOfLeisureII
Champion Author Philadelphia

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:19:59 AM

Never owned a vehicle without stick shift. More fun to drive and better in snow.
gasandgoAL
Champion Author Alabama

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:19:36 AM

hope stick shifts don't fade out
pachukdog1
Champion Author Pensacola

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:19:23 AM

ha, stick
Dragnet
Champion Author Arizona

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:18:41 AM

Stick is the best way to have a vehicle. Better gas mileage
Saunch2012
Veteran Author Pennsylvania

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:18:17 AM

ok
FuelishGuy
Champion Author Edmonton

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:16:47 AM

...younger drivers probably prefer to text and fiddle with their electronic gizmos than shift gears these days. Small wonder why they've declined.
kkimes
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:13:47 AM

"Never had a problem with a stick shift except while teaching a new driver."

I'll never forget the times I tried to teach my wife to drive my '67 Mustang GT 4speed with a heavy duty clutch. We would go to the forest preserve to practice. The cars would clear out fast! Did I mention that she was 7 months pregnant at the time? We looked more like a bunny rabbit than we did a car going across the parking lot.
w4kh
Champion Author Tennessee

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:13:27 AM

Given a choice I would so prefer a stick
jferrara41
All-Star Author Delaware

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:12:44 AM

Always wanted to learn
Dodge_Me
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:11:52 AM

The stick has its place but hope it doesn't go away
Sody33
Champion Author Las Vegas

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:10:42 AM

I learned on an automatic back when the automatic was a rare treat only on Packards I believe. I also learned the stick shift in the Army during Korean War and I like it, still do and have one but they are rarer.
comprof
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:09:19 AM

I liked the stick shifts. Makes driving less boring.
BobD2009
Champion Author Long Island

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:08:26 AM

You can't beat a stick shift in the snow.
jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:06:32 AM

Only 3%? That’s amazing. I’ve driven an automatic only a couple of times and found it truly awful. You never know when the damn thing is going to shift when you don’t want it to. A manual tranny gives better efficiency and is more fun to drive. What’s not to like?

My F150 is rated for only half the towing capacity of the same model with automatic. What’s that all about? My tilt trailer empty exceeds the rated capacity but I’ve towed over 4x the rating and never had a problem.

TxMtb
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:06:15 AM

Have always preferred a manual, just more reliable it seems.
bginsj
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:05:49 AM

dad wouldnt let me drive till I learned how and I am glad he taught me
CDMAuto
Champion Author Connecticut

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:05:48 AM

GOOD
chuckwthompson
Champion Author Charlotte

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:03:25 AM

No surprise.
Ron77095
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:02:49 AM

ok.
WalkingWV
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:01:44 AM

I like 18 speeds, clutch only for stopping and take-offs, and the Peterbilt can get 12mpg pulling 80,000 lbs.
Scoutca
All-Star Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2012 12:01:38 AM

Good exercies driving a stick, definitely keeps you awake and a little better gas mileage if driven correctly. But as the article says will totally disappear in 15-20 years!! [Probably so will I - LOL]
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