Disadvantages of auto transmission

A working transmission allows a vehicle to change gears comfortably by transferring power from the engine to the powered axles and the wheels attached to them. Also known as the gearbox, the transmission has a differing gear ratio which enables a change in engine speeds as well as smooth vehicle movements. Deciding between driving an automatic and manual transmission is a crucial choice you will have to make as a car owner. Here are some disadvantages of auto transmission.

Types of automated transmissions

Vehicles with automatic transmission

bmw transmitor system

Automatic transmissions have gained global popularity with many automakers providing automated options for the vehicle models. According to Consumer Reports, Lexus and Toyota have the most reliable and best-performing auto-transmissions, despite their use of older versions. Audi, Subaru, and Mazda closely follow the two models. Among 28 brands, Cadillac, Infiniti, Jeep, Fiat, and Ram have the worst automatic transmissions

Dual-Clutch Transmission

A dual-clutch transmission (DCT) refers to an improved version of semi-automated transmission. It is when a transmission uses two separate clutches to control the gears. This mode of transmission shifts gears faster than the standard automatic transmission; thus, it costs substantially more than the conventional automatic transmission.

Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVTs)

Similar to automatic transmission vehicles, put your CVT in Drive, and they start moving. However, continuously variable transmission cars do not have a gearbox with a specific number of gears. As a result, they continuously change their gear ratio, from low to high, without the use of a set of planetary gears for maximum fuel economy.

What are the drawbacks of automatic transmissions?


drawbacks of automatic transmissions

Despite the increased popularity of auto transmissions worldwide, manual transmission vehicles are cheaper to purchase and maintain. Approximately, buying a manual transmission will cost you one thousand dollars less than buying a similar auto transmission model. However, some modern vehicle models do not come with a stick shift option.

Similarly, manual transmissions are cheaper to maintain compared to auto transmissions. For instance, changing of transmission fluid in an auto transmission vehicle is twice as much as changing the similar fluid in a manual. However, if you ride or grind gears, or touch the stick when not shifting in manuals, it will likely cost you more in basic maintenance due to premature transmission.

Auto transmissions consist of various technical and mechanical additions, which are costly to maintain. However, you do not have to worry about the clutch in auto transmission vehicles.


Manual transmissions are technically safer to use than auto transmissions. 25% of car accidents are due to driver inattentiveness. With manual transmissions, drivers are more engaged with the driving process as they have to stay aware of the engine’s RPMs to change the gears properly. However, if you do not know how to drive a drive stick well, there is more room for errors; hence, a higher chance to cause accidents.

Manual transmissions are built for better control as drivers get to choose the best gear for any oncoming situation. You can select a lower gear for an added boost of power, or err on the side of caution; thus, making it a better option when considering safety.

standard automatic transmission


Most drag strip cars and NASCAR use manual transmissions, and Formula1 uses semi-auto transmission. Depending on the type of race, manual transmissions are better for racing since they tend to be lighter than automatic transmissions. They give the driver a better feel of the vehicle and more control on which gear to choose.

Fuel economy

Manual transmissions have a better fuel economy than most traditional automatic vehicles. The ability to control the gears in manual cars allows the driver to economize fuel, unlike traditional automatic vehicles that automatically change gears without considering fuel efficiency.

However, modern automatic vehicles are said to have a better fuel economy due to technological advancements in the automobile industry. Today’s automatic vehicles have more forward gears that help the engine deliver the same power to the wheels while working at lower engine speeds. Car manufacturers have also made automatic vehicles more efficient with the invention of new technology in transmissions.


If you have ever driven a vehicle with manual and automatic transmission, then you definitely understand the difference between the two types. There are several disadvantages of auto transmission as well as advantages, and the same goes for manual vehicles. It all depends on the driver’s preference and needs.


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