Canadian driving school discontinuing stick shift instruction

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by Mendel Leisk, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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  2. Roland1555

    Roland1555 Senior Member

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    FWIW... 2 points to add, in most cases the automatic version of a car today (assuming a manual model exists) will get better fuel economy as the box knows, and secondly, in areas with rampant theft of vehicles there seems to be a shortage of thieves out there that can drive stick anymore.
     
  3. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    Maybe that's why nobody steals my unlocked, too-down 1996 Miata. It really would be easy to hot wire it and drive away, so I really have been puzzled by that! Or possibly I just live amongst a lot of honest people.

    Do automatic transmission versions really get better mpg than manuals on EPA tests now?? That certainly was not the case in the 60s, 70s, or 80s.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i taught all of my kids, just in case. that ability never leaves you once you have it. it can come in handy from time to time.
     
  5. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    Right! Just like you never forget how to fall off a bicycle!
    Many European countries only rent manual shift cars, so yes that skill is useful.
    What other skills did you teach them?
    (I taught mine to fly an airplane and shoot a rifle accurately.)
     
  6. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Back when both versions had similar gearing, the manuals had better EPA ratings. But when the automakers started putting taller gear ratios in the automatics than in the manuals, the autos pulled ahead.
     
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  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    With manuals being most likely bought by driving enthusiasts, the manufacturers have been putting in shorter geared manuals for performance in the US. This may no longer be the case for all models. The Sonic manual has a slightly higher EPA rating than the automatic, and I think some of the fuel efficient trims might have taller gears. They do in Europe, and the non-sports cars aren't geared like the sports ones there either.
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    I've got a sense of that: got a lift home from work with a Dutch expat, they had a stick shift.
     
  9. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Yup. Ever since automatics had 5 or 6 gears, the automatics have slowly closed the gap and today with 7, 8 and 9 speed automatics (not to mention CVTs), the automatic option is much more fuel efficient than the manual version. (In addition, manuals tend to have a shorter 1st gear to aid in acceleration, especially for beginners. Automatics can have a taller first gear since the computer deals with the power distribution and shifting).

    In addition, there are automated manuals. These are manual gearboxes but have a computerised clutch (rather than a 3rd pedal). These will get the efficiency of a manual (no torque converter losses) with the convenience of an automatic. There are also dual-clutch automated manuals. These have two clutches (one deals with 1st, 3rd & 5th gear, the second deals with 2nd, 4th & 6th gear). These results in much smoother shifts as the next gear (upshifting) is pre-selected and all the computer has to do is disengage the one clutch and engage the other.

    Example: 2016 Honda HR-V

    (city/hwy/combined MPG)

    2WD 6-Spd Manual 25/34/28
    2WD CVT 28/35/31
    AWD CVT 27/32/29

    2015 Subaru Impreza AWD

    5-Speed Manual 25/34/x (except Sport Premium 24/33/x)
    CVT 28/37/x (except Sport Premium & Sport Limited 27/36)

    The "Sport" is basically the hatchback.
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Our '81 "Hondamatic" had that too. Manually selected gear, but no clutch. If I'm not mistaken. Honest to God can't remember shifting it though. Manual choke too.
     
  11. hkmb

    hkmb Active Member

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    Australia is like America - most cars these days are automatic, except for sports cars. But the price you'll see advertised for a car on TV here is always for the manual (even if they've never sold one); the automatic "option" costs an extra $2,000.

    All my family in Britain have manuals, and I think most people there still do: automatic cars are very unusual, except in luxury cars. But every car I've had in Australia has been an auto.

    On my last trip to Britain, my rental car was a Ford S-Max diesel with six-speed manual transmission. Peak torque (by which I mean any torque at all) was from about 2,000 to 2,001 rpm, so keeping it in the right gear really was a chore.

    Both at the same time? That sounds like an accident waiting to happen. I'd have thought you'd need two hands for the rifle and two hands for the plane. Honestly, some people.... No respect for the most basic health and safety...
     
    #11 hkmb, Jun 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
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  12. KennyGS

    KennyGS Senior Member

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    :eek: Not if you're James Bond.
     
  13. orenji

    orenji Senior Member

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    I still have a manual Jeep, I have to have at least one manual car.
     
  14. hkmb

    hkmb Active Member

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    Yeah, but he has a devil-may-care attitude so health and safety too. He's an absolute disgrace.
     
  15. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    My '97 Legacy 5MT (back when MTs still had better EPA ratings) was geared for performance, so I couldn't get decent economy from it until learning about hypermiling. My '14 Forester 6MT is geared significantly taller, getting better mpg despite a significantly larger aerodynamic cross section. But its gearing is still quite short of the CVT version.
    I got rid of a slushbox over thirty years ago, my spouse never had one. So, except for Prius, we have been all-manual-transmissions for a very long time. (Our household keeps three vehicles).

    When I bought that '14 Forester 18 months ago, the dealership had an ample supply of manual transmissions. While still only a minority (and only in the bottom two trim levels), I had no problem selecting the trim (one step up from base) and color and options I wanted.

    But a couple months later, I noticed that their MT supply was nearly wiped out. It was a good thing I shopped and bought when I did, because nothing close remained in their system. Checking again today, of 221 Foresters shown online (2 lots and in-transit), there are exactly 2 MT units, base models with no options, in colors I won't accept.
     
    #15 fuzzy1, Jun 23, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
  16. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Yes, automatics have been improving. The classic step automatic, which is what most are referring to when they say automatic, has improved in time. Going back a few decades now, think didn't have torque convertor lock up. Corollas and Prizms of the early nineties still had only 3 speeds even, with no overdrive. Electronic controls have gotten better. Then increasing CAFE targets mean automatics have gotten more 'aggressive' with DFCO, or turning the injectors off while coasting. The 2013 Sonic does it nearly right away. I had to downshift the 2006 HHR automatic to get DFCO to kick in.

    So automatics have improved their fuel efficiency over time. Whether a traditional step one, or one of the new to the US others.

    I just wouldn't use Honda as an example of how automatics have improved past manuals.;)
    "The transmission finally gets a sixth gear, but it’s the same ratio as the old fifth, and the final-drive ratio is the same, so there’s no calming of the engine on the highway. At 75 mph, it still turns about 3600 rpm. A Chevy Sonic’s fourth gear is about the same as the Fit’s new sixth; at 75 in sixth, the Sonic’s engine turns about 1300 fewer rpm." - More, but the Same
    Honda's automatics are probably spinning the engine at rpms closer to the what the Sonic does.
    And this was complaint about most(all?) of the 5 speed manuals when they arrived to the US. The new fifth gear wasn't used to lower the engine speed at highway speeds. It had the same ratio as the old fourth. Instead, they used the new gear lower down to improve acceleration.

    We are starting to see manuals for efficiency again. Even if they are just for advertising a 40mpg number, which is why I think the Sonic sedan LT with 1.4 turbo and 6 speed manual doesn't have a spare. It may take leg work, but at least they exist for those that want them.
     
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  17. ftl

    ftl Explicator

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    I drove a manual transmission right up to getting my Prius c, but I'm a regular visitor to Britain and renting an automatic there can be very expensive.
    I find that even after three years in an automatic I still have no trouble switching back to stick while also driving on the other side of the road.
     
  18. css28

    css28 Senior Member

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    When my kids were learning to drive ('97 - '00) both of our cars were manual shift and we had to log 50 hours practice before going for the license.

    I've always enjoyed shifting--but traffic has generally been light.

    Sold my last manual (a '97 BMW 328i) two years ago when I got the Volt.
     
  19. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

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    I bought my daughter a used 5-speed Nissan Maxima for college. She learned quickly and then all of her friends wanted to learn since they did not have that in Driver's Ed.
     
  20. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    At one point, I believe if you took the driving test in a manual, you're certified to drive both a manual and an automatic vehicle. If you took the test with an automatic, you're not legally allowed to drive a manual but I think this rule was relaxed by the time it was my turn to get my licence. A friend taught me how to drive a manual and being a car guy, I have an idea of how to drive one (and have driven a handful of times after my lesson including test drive events that required hard acceleration and braking). I'm just lacking practice.
     
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