Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Problem With Manual Cars

Actually, I don’t mind driving a manual car. In fact, I do prefer manual cars to auto cars because of their stronger pick-up power and better fuel-efficiency.

One of the prolems with a manual car is when the gear is put to neutral, the car tends to roll backwards if it has stopped on a road that is sloping upwards, even if it’s slightly. It is also very tiring to drive a manual car in a place like Singapore where there are so many traffic lights. It’s a good thing that new cabs on the roads now all come with automatic transmission.

On several occasions, when I stop behind a manual car at a red light, usually a Toyota Crown taxi, I have had to horn at the driver to prevent his car which is rolling backwards from hitting my car.

Just this morning, I had to horn at the driver of an old Nissan March as his car was rolling backwards and about to hit mine. When he heard my horn, I saw his body jerking upwards. I think I must have given him a shock. He quickly jammed his brakes and inched his car forward. He even had the courtesy to wave me an apology.

When I drive a manual car, I usually pull up the handbrake after shifting the gear to neutral while waiting for the red light to turn green. This is less tiring than having to step on the brakes to prevent the car from rolling backwards.

On an auto car though, we would step on the brakes all the way while waiting for the red light to turn green. Some drivers shift their gear to neutral. Some even to P. Car experts advise us to keep the gear of our auto cars at D while waiting for the red light to turn green. This actually helps to cool down the gear box. It also reduces wear and tear on the gear.

Lots of drivers have been driving auto cars for so long they have forgotten how to handle a manual one. Just hand a manual car to a driver who has been driving an auto car for over 10 years, from the day that he got his driving license, and he would be struggling with the clutch and chaging of the gear shift manually. Chances are, he would stall the car before moving off from standstill.

Somehow, the demand for manual cars will never completely die down even though only 1 out of every 10 new cars that is sold is a manual one. When oil prices are high, more people would opt to buy a manual car over an auto one to save on petrol bills. As at 24 November 2008, oil price is hovering at around US$54 per barrel.


Blogger Happysurfer said...

I do prefer a manual car too for the same reasons but in KL driving one is rather challenging and taxing on the knee-cap with traffic jams almost everyday.

That's illuminating on keeping the gear at D at traffic junctions. I do that. Thanks for sharing it, MB.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 5:31:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Lunch is Served! said...

I enjoy driving a manual car, but I can't do that now because I need to watch the road and keep an eye on my girl who's sitting in the passenger seat at the same time. LOL!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 10:01:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Mockingbird said...

To HS: You're welcome :) Keep your auto gear at D and u can prolong its life :)

To LIS: Same reason why some people prefer auto to manual becos they need to use their handphones while driving :p

Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at 8:56:00 AM GMT+8  
Blogger Lunch is Served! said...

I didn't know that I'm supposed to get it at D when the car is stopped too :) Well, anyway, even if it's bad for the car, I'd still do it anyway. There was once I put the car to R after leaving it on P when I waited at a red light. The car behind me horned me non-stop after he saw that my reverse lights lit up. LOL! That's why I never put the car to P when I'm waiting at a stop light.

Thursday, November 27, 2008 at 1:13:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Mockingbird said...

To LIS: Yup. Putting your gear at P while waiting for the red light to turn green not only increases wear and tear on your car's gear-box but also increases the chances of rear-butting the car behind you :p

Thursday, November 27, 2008 at 4:39:00 PM GMT+8  

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