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Old 11-01-2002, 08:08 AM
LarryBible
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engatwork said that there is no way that you want to drive a manual transmission on a daily commute.

engatwork is one of my buddies here, so I hope he is not offended by this clarification. I have driven almost nothing but a manual transmission vehicles for well over 1 million miles of personal driving in all different situations. I personally prefer a manual transmission under ANY driving conditions.

So, it may be that there is NO WAY that you want to drive a manual or you may have a love for them as I do. This is your own personal taste and preference on this one. There are practical reasons for driving a manual beyond just enjoying it. My 240D manual has traversed 533,000 miles without ever taking apart the transmission. I have replaced the clutch twice for a total cost over these half million miles of about $600. I have changed the transmission oil probably about five times which takes a couple of quarts of Mobil One 10W30 for a total half million mile cost of about $40. An automatic is supposed to have fluid and filter every 15,000 miles. If you do this work yourself it will cost you somewhere around $35.

533,000 miles divided by 15,000 mile A/T service works out to 35.5 automatic transmission services. At $35 each, this is about $1,240 plus many Saturday mornings used up. If you made an automatic last 533,000 miles without an overhaul it would probably go into the record books. Overhauling one costs about $1,200. I fully expect that if my 240D had been an automatic, the transmission would have been overhauled twice in that time period. So, the total cost of maintenance and repair for the same period would probably have been about $3,600.

Again, the choice of manual over automatic is a personal one. Here in the US, there are VERY FEW manual transmission drivers among us. In Europe, few people drive anything else. We even have a whole generation of drivers who almost all of which are incapable of driving a "stick." I taught both of my kids how, and they hate driving an automatic, they both thoroughly enjoy driving a stick.

We have a nation full of people who are spoiled for convenience. If we took away microwave ovens, automatic transmissions, mobile phones, central thermostatically controlled heat and air, etc., etc., we would have many, many people in this country thinking they had been through a world war.

The choice is yours about a manual. There is a practical advantage to them and as far as driving one or not, there are some of us who will drive a stick stop sign to stop sign and enjoy every clutch pressing and lever moving.

BTW, to me, the worst downside of the 300D is not the automatic transmission, but it is the automatic PLUS all the other automatic gadgets to break and give trouble.

Have a great day,
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