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  • FIRST POST
    • xyz123
    • By xyz123 14th Oct 16, 10:49 PM
    • 1,332Posts
    • 332Thanks
    xyz123
    Manual vs automatic
    • #1
    • 14th Oct 16, 10:49 PM
    Manual vs automatic 14th Oct 16 at 10:49 PM
    Hi we r looking at 3 year old skoda octavia. Ignoring the purchase price difference automatic or manual are better? I understand automatic tends to have lower mpg but is the difference significant? For what it's worth manufacturer claimed. Mpg difference between the two is 1 mpg.

    I am attracted to automatic as we mostly do town driving and it's easier in stoo/start traffic.

    Ta
Page 2
    • reeac
    • By reeac 15th Oct 16, 4:24 PM
    • 952 Posts
    • 384 Thanks
    reeac
    [QUOTE=Iceweasel;71457140

    And yes I do remember DAF - my Marathon 55 back in the late 60's was made in Eindhoven - a great little car - set the revs and off you went - engine speed constant and the twin belts did it all.

    I still see a few of them around in The Netherlands.[/QUOTE]

    We had a Daf Marathon coupe for a few years as a second car. Couldn't resist buying it (second hand) as it was so smart in orange and black. One big design flaw was that it had no differential in the drive train. The word was that the two belts would adjust their ratios to give a differential effect ...trouble was that they didn't as there was no mechanism to induce that change of ratios. The result was very jerky progress around sharp corners and a couple of broken drive belts during our ownership. Daf acknowledged the error as the succeeding 66 model had a conventional diff. No problem selling it though as it looked so smart.
    • Giddypip
    • By Giddypip 15th Oct 16, 6:32 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 44 Thanks
    Giddypip
    Changed to an auto about 7 years ago after a left knee injury made clutch work very painful, love it will never go back to manual.
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 15th Oct 16, 7:13 PM
    • 442 Posts
    • 695 Thanks
    coffeehound
    I much prefer automatic, but it has to be a proper trusted and reliable, if old fashioned, torque converter.
    Originally posted by iolanthe07
    Yes my next car will be a torque-converter automatic too.

    Driving just about anywhere now is start-stop. I'm not sure that autos are much more juicy than a manual in stop-start conditions because you don't need to rev the engine as hard in an auto as you do with many manual cars to start moving and trickle along.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 16th Oct 16, 4:15 PM
    • 26,059 Posts
    • 12,529 Thanks
    Cardew
    For most cars the torque-converter automatic(slush box) will soon be as outdated as cable operated drum brakes.
    • Joe Horner
    • By Joe Horner 16th Oct 16, 4:29 PM
    • 3,660 Posts
    • 3,031 Thanks
    Joe Horner
    Perhaps we should go back to the 'rubber band' technology, remember DAF?
    Originally posted by buglawton
    Remember them? Still got 2 of them (both off road atm sadly).

    CVT should be the way forward for autos - especially with smaller engines. It's completely smooth, maximises performance and economy from a given engine, and is generally far simpler mechanically than multi-ratio alternatives.

    But even the makers who've used them over the years have put no real effort into convincing customers of their benefits. So we end up with absurdities like the Nissan D Step where they take a perfectly effective, inherently smooth (and efficient) CVT and add artificial step changes to it.
    • Joe Horner
    • By Joe Horner 16th Oct 16, 4:34 PM
    • 3,660 Posts
    • 3,031 Thanks
    Joe Horner
    The word was that the two belts would adjust their ratios to give a differential effect ...trouble was that they didn't as there was no mechanism to induce that change of ratios. The result was very jerky progress around sharp corners and a couple of broken drive belts during our ownership
    Originally posted by reeac
    The differential effect of the two separate drives only took effect once they'd started to move up from the lowest ratio (around 10-15mph). Above that the drive to each wheel changed entirely independently. As you say, not much help on tight turns or parking but not normally a real problem unless you booted it at low speed in a turn (like pulling out hard from a tight parking space)
    • iolanthe07
    • By iolanthe07 16th Oct 16, 4:41 PM
    • 4,656 Posts
    • 4,422 Thanks
    iolanthe07
    For most cars the torque-converter automatic(slush box) will soon be as outdated as cable operated drum brakes.
    Originally posted by Cardew
    Why? It's well proven, reliable and an easy to maintain piece of kit. They rarely need attention, unlike VW's notorious DSG boxes, and there is no 3 second pause at roundabouts. They are not 'jerky' like the electro-magnetic automated manuals, Cable brakes were superceeded because they were unsafe and unreliable, neither of which applies to torque converter autoboxes.
    Last edited by iolanthe07; 16-10-2016 at 4:44 PM.
    I used to think that good grammar is important, but now I know that good wine is importanter.
    • thescouselander
    • By thescouselander 16th Oct 16, 6:46 PM
    • 4,851 Posts
    • 4,262 Thanks
    thescouselander
    For most cars the torque-converter automatic(slush box) will soon be as outdated as cable operated drum brakes.
    Originally posted by Cardew

    I don't think so. Some torque converter boxes are very good and many high end cars still use them. DSG style boxes are a bit of a fad IMO and are mainly aimed at saving the manufacturers money.
    Last edited by thescouselander; 16-10-2016 at 6:48 PM.
    • phoenix_w
    • By phoenix_w 16th Oct 16, 11:00 PM
    • 389 Posts
    • 325 Thanks
    phoenix_w
    Interesting that this thread had evolved into a discussion on the fancy dual clutch auto arrangements available like DSG. OP, test drive one. They are like marmite. We have the ford equivalent in the dry clutch arrangement and it's superb in every gear above second, but in the lower gears it's like being driven around by a learner who is still learning to feather the clutch. You can negate the effects by driving either cautiously or recklessly, strangely.

    I love it, though. Ford have increased the warranty on the box because it's notoriously unreliable, so it'll be covered for as long as we own it....
    • reeac
    • By reeac 17th Oct 16, 10:19 AM
    • 952 Posts
    • 384 Thanks
    reeac
    The differential effect of the two separate drives only took effect once they'd started to move up from the lowest ratio (around 10-15mph). Above that the drive to each wheel changed entirely independently. As you say, not much help on tight turns or parking but not normally a real problem unless you booted it at low speed in a turn (like pulling out hard from a tight parking space)
    Originally posted by Joe Horner
    The gear ratios were determined by inlet manifold vacuum and engine speed. Both of these applied equally to the two belt/pulley systems. The only way that these systems would know that you were cornering would be that instead of the top belt run being at a greater tension than the bottom run the reverse would be the case. I can't see how this difference between the two sides would cause the front pulleys to change their separations. In any case, as I said, Daf introduced a proper diff. for the 66 model. I think that they were acknowledging the problem by that change.
    • JP08
    • By JP08 17th Oct 16, 11:02 AM
    • 660 Posts
    • 675 Thanks
    JP08
    Can also depend on the area you live in. Having just come back from the Yorkshire Dales I really missed my old Mitsubishi Auto. They just seem so more mechanically sympathetic on hill starts.

    Especially when compared to a nearly new 1.2 Toyota Auris. These turboed small engines handle Cambridgeshire fine, they don't do Coverdale so well. You have to give them quite a bit of revs to stop them bogging down hill starting, and that makes me wince for the clutch every time.

    And as for engine braking downhill, this 1.2 switches to Atkinson cycle under low loads. Result is next to no engine braking and hence riding the brake pedal all the way down the hill.

    Even a 1990s Mitubishi autobox had the sense to change down on a hill descent ...
    • EssexExile
    • By EssexExile 17th Oct 16, 11:05 AM
    • 1,728 Posts
    • 1,122 Thanks
    EssexExile
    Even a 1990s Mitsubishi autobox had the sense to change down on a hill descent ...
    Originally posted by JP08
    That was the best auto I've ever had.
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
    • Richard53
    • By Richard53 18th Oct 16, 1:46 AM
    • 2,219 Posts
    • 1,916 Thanks
    Richard53
    Smug b*st*rd here has the best of all worlds. The MX-5 is a manual (how could it be anything else?), the Merc has a lovely lazy slushbox, and the wife's Skoda has a DSG auto. I like them all. I actually enjoy the physical act of driving, so I never mind changing gear, even in heavy traffic. But an nice auto is a pleasure in itself.


    The Skoda DSG is fearsomely good. It anticipates very well, has different modes for the mood you're in, and is as smooth as you like. Economy seems good so far.
    If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart. (Attrib. to Socrates)
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 18th Oct 16, 8:51 AM
    • 11,453 Posts
    • 15,327 Thanks
    Gloomendoom
    The Skoda DSG is fearsomely good. It anticipates very well, has different modes for the mood you're in, and is as smooth as you like. Economy seems good so far.
    Originally posted by Richard53
    The Skoda DSG I have experience of (Yeti) was dreadful at low speeds. It certainly couldn't be described as smooth, quite the opposite. OK most of the time though.

    I drive a car with a big engine and a conventional auto. I also have a manual that requires double declutching to change gears without horrible noises. I like driving both, the latter is particularly satisfying to drive smoothly.
    Advice; it rhymes with mice. Advise; it rhymes with wise.
    • knightstyle
    • By knightstyle 18th Oct 16, 9:30 AM
    • 4,025 Posts
    • 1,472 Thanks
    knightstyle
    Anyone thinking they would only go for a torque converter auto should drive a couple of the latest auto cars.
    Our 2.0 diesel Cmax is smoother and much better mpg than our slush box 1.6 perol Juke.
    • Iceweasel
    • By Iceweasel 18th Oct 16, 9:48 AM
    • 4,097 Posts
    • 2,970 Thanks
    Iceweasel
    Iwish I understood what a slush-box is.
    • iolanthe07
    • By iolanthe07 18th Oct 16, 10:57 AM
    • 4,656 Posts
    • 4,422 Thanks
    iolanthe07
    The MX-5 is a manual (how could it be anything else?),

    There are some imported MX-5's around with auto boxes. They come up for sale occasionally.

    Iwish I understood what a slush-box is

    A traditional torque converter autobox. They've been around for decades, are smooth and reliable and easy to maintain. The downside is that they increase fuel consumption, especially when matched with a small engine.
    I used to think that good grammar is important, but now I know that good wine is importanter.
    • phoenix_w
    • By phoenix_w 18th Oct 16, 11:08 AM
    • 389 Posts
    • 325 Thanks
    phoenix_w
    Anyone thinking they would only go for a torque converter auto should drive a couple of the latest auto cars.
    Our 2.0 diesel Cmax is smoother and much better mpg than our slush box 1.6 perol Juke.
    Originally posted by knightstyle
    Whatever you'll save on fuel you'll spend on maintaining that powershift gearbox, though. I read the wrong service schedule for our car (uses the dry clutch arrangement) and booked it in for the ATF change the wet clutch arrangement needs every three years (or x miles) - £300!!!
    • Joe Horner
    • By Joe Horner 18th Oct 16, 5:59 PM
    • 3,660 Posts
    • 3,031 Thanks
    Joe Horner
    The gear ratios were determined by inlet manifold vacuum and engine speed. Both of these applied equally to the two belt/pulley systems. The only way that these systems would know that you were cornering would be that instead of the top belt run being at a greater tension than the bottom run the reverse would be the case. I can't see how this difference between the two sides would cause the front pulleys to change their separations.
    Originally posted by reeac
    Not quite.

    The front pulley halves (sheaves) are pressed together by springs - so always trying to push the belt to the highest ratio. That's counteracted by springs in the rear pulleys, which are also trying to press the rear sheaves together and move the belt to the lowest ratio. Because the rear springs are (much) stronger, at rest the tension in the top belt run pulls it to low ratio.

    Ignoring the vacuum system for a minute (the transmission works fine without it but isn't quite so responsive and you have potential problems after a quick stop):

    As the car (not the engine) speeds up, centrifugal weights in the front pulleys add to the force of the springs and push the front sheaves together harder. At around 10mph road speed the extra force is enough to start overcoming the rear pulley springs and the belt is pushed towards the outside of the front pulleys & pulled towards the inside of the rear - the ratio increases.

    But, if one wheel encounters extra resistance (as the inner wheel on a turn does with fixed drive) then tension increases in the belt, which effectively "assists" the rear pulley on that side and pulls thr ratio lower.

    The vacuum system is just a refinement and will either assist change up - at low throttle openings - or assist change down - at high throttle or when braking - depending on the position of a distribution valve attached to the carb (on models 30 - 46) or electrically operated by a microswitch on the throttle linkage on the 55 / 66.

    It's ot as complicated as it sounds, and ridiculously easy to work on once you've found your way round it!

    The main reason for adding a traditional diff on the 66 was that they also used the same transmission, but with a single belt, on the 46. Because it was single belt there was no diff effect so one had to be added.
    • Richard53
    • By Richard53 18th Oct 16, 10:05 PM
    • 2,219 Posts
    • 1,916 Thanks
    Richard53
    The MX-5 is a manual (how could it be anything else?),

    There are some imported MX-5's around with auto boxes. They come up for sale occasionally.
    Originally posted by iolanthe07

    I know that. What I don't understand is why anyone buys one. It's a bit like putting a towbar on a Caterham.


    Iwish I understood what a slush-box is

    A traditional torque converter autobox.
    Originally posted by iolanthe07
    I think you may have missed a hint of irony here
    If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart. (Attrib. to Socrates)
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