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ethan

Automatic Vs Manual Part Duex

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I am watching your guys off-road fun videos from some time now and I am tempted too to get my hands on second car as a 4WD to join the fun. Wondering what will be the first step in vehicle selection other than brand or make (which is never ending debate). I guess the choice of gearing dictate a lot of promising fun or disappointment.

What do you guys as an avid off-roader prefer if you have a chance to choose: Automatic Gear vs Manual Gear and WHY?

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Isn't manual better any day coz of more control and fun to drive with stick in your hand.

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Some people say automatic is better for the sand because an auto box can change  down faster than a person so there is always power going to the wheels and less change of getting stuck.

Personally, I prefer manual. You have more control, better throttle response. When you put your foot down from standstill, the car moves instantly. You don't have to wait for a second like in an auto. You can choose what gear you want to be in rather than having the gearbox tell you what gear you have to be in. You can do clutch dips to either get the wheels spinning or bring the engine into the torque band as and when required. You have more control going down hill due to engine breaking. Plus you feel like you're actually driving when you have a proper gear stick and clutch rather than just a go pedal and a stop pedal.

You should really try both and see what suits your driving style. Some people can't drive auto and some can't drive manual and some people will be biased because their own car will be the best in the world at everything.

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Great question @Danny and even better explanation by @Barry

Truly the vehicle you have is the bestest of the best in the world, in terms of brand, manual or automatic, a/c, etc.

I would agree with @Barry when he says that you should try both and then decide which one it is that you feel would give you most enjoyment, After all the drives we have conducted all were automatics and all performed well until @DiamondDallas came around with his unique manual Ralliart version of a Pajero. I managed to drive his ride and touched a manual gear after a good 7 - 8 years and I feel I can do with the automatic just with my age. I had driven a manual in my younger days and just changed to automatic back in 2001 due to the heavy traffic which has got only worse over time.

To answer your question i drive an automatic and enjoy it best because I can just shift it in D and drive it around and when need arises I can down shift to 1st or 2nd gear. I would personally recommend to get a ride which is reliable (Japanese) and with less computers, simple, as in the desert you are better of with less computers and fancy bumpers. There are plenty of vehicles to choose from and with the summers setting in and the off-roaders taking a break you are bound to find something in your budget.

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What an interesting yet highly biased thread you created. I'll talk based on my experience of owning both manual and automatic for offorad in UAE, majorly sand.

I love manual but I am driving auto since 6 years because of it's severe performance gains in off-road.

Automatic Gear

  1. Easy to drive
  2. Better for long hill climb in sand
  3. Better for mountain stop and go hill climb
  4. No wearable components
  5. Less chance of getting stuck in soft sand, small dunes
  6. Better and safer for rock crawling due to constantly engaged in gear and moving forward
  7. Better for water wading, as no water can get in clutch in inside the sealed transmission

Manual Gear

  1. Fun to drive (for some people)
  2. Better for self recovery
  3. Slightly better fuel mileage
  4. Expensive to maintain in wrong hands (frequent clutch burning)
  5. Push to start when battery is dead
  6. Unlikely to overheat transmission fluid
  7. Better in wet off-road conditions offering instant wheel-spin when you need it

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Manual any day and every day it just makes you sync better with your vehicle and I believe once you sync with your car then its hard to get stuck or anything....

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Manual is only good for the feel, rest all auto wins hands down. Auto has improved so much in last 10 years that no manual shifting stick or manual tiptronics can come close. Initial wheel spin in manual gear doesn't help move vehicle faster, it's the auto gear correct delivery help moves vehicle faster. Off course auto looses a fraction of hp in managing this correct delivery, where as manual translate all to wheels, but get wasted. Not sure about off-road, but for track and road I will go with auto, as you can always push downshift when you want it in less than 5% of the cornering or sticky spots situation.

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Well I am Driving A Manual, Yes! I agree the Power is Amazing and @Barry Drove it off road perfectly and me on other hand am still learning to release the clutch and avoid spinning of wheel to get Stuck (in Desert). On road its a beast with Power control and Speed control. I prefer Manual as it can do things many Autos cant do. I agree with @Gaurav that is bit expensive to maintain specially the Clutch Plate (mine became better after the first Desert Run). Thanks to @Gaurav and @Rahimdad for that.

On the other Hand Autos are easier to Drive, Just Deflate and drive. Where is the Fun in that. Its called Laziness. LoL

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5 minutes ago, DiamondDallas said:

I prefer Manual as it can do things many Autos cant do.

Please explain, which "things" you can do?

 

5 minutes ago, DiamondDallas said:

Where is the Fun in that. Its called Laziness. LoL

It's called intelligence buddy to accept and listen to your mind over heart. My 2006 Nissan Patrol manual has been driven by KING OF OFFROAD drivers and still couldn't climb more than 50% of faya from front in more than 10 attempts.

My stock Pajero (Auto) does 80% of faya from front on any given day.

DSC_1718.JPG

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12 hours ago, Gaurav said:
 
  1. No wearable components
  2. Better and safer for rock crawling due to constantly engaged in gear and moving forward
  3. Better for water wading, as no water can get in clutch in inside the sealed transmission

I know for a fact these points are definitely not true.

There are many many more wearable components in an automatic transmission than a manual. In a manual, only the clutch plate, maybe the pressure plate and flywheel if the driver is bad. In an automatic transmission, the clutches and bands are constantly wearing, regardless of the driver. Even more so off-road because it's running hot. Torque converters break down and fail. Cost to change manual clutch 1500 vs 3-5000 to repair automatic.

Automatics are dangerous for rock crawling. They're jerky and uncontrolled. In a manual, you control the power, in an automatic, it is controlled for you.

Water still gets in around the torque converter. It can enter the transmission through all the various seals. A bit of water in an automatic transmission will do a lot more damage than a bit of water in a manual transmission. Some manufacturers recommend that your change your gear oil along with transfer case oil and diff oil for this very reason.

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