Automatic or Manual

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 17:29
ThreadID: 3451 Views:1360 Replies:13 FollowUps:18
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Our family (wife & 4 kids) are planning a trip to central Australia in July this year. At this stage planning to visit Uluru, Kings Canyon, West MacDonnell Ranges & Oodnadatta Track etc. We have purchased a Jayco Outback Camper and will soon purchase a Nissan Patrol 3 litre turbo diesel. What is best for towing, off road driving etc - Automatic or Manual?
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Reply By: GOB - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 18:12

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 18:12
some people love to open cans of worms personally i like the manual so that you can do some work along with the car but you will get others love the auto my boss/friend has 100 series auto air con etc only winds window down to chat and puts it up agfain i like to smell the bush and i like to change the gears but at least you got a nissan so hear goes the start of the can of worms
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Follow Up By: Gob - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 18:13

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 18:13
ps have a great time we love it up there
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Reply By: Phil P - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 19:48

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 19:48
The die hard 4wd folks that I have asked this same question to generally prefer manual so they get a better "feel" driving, more control etc.

But when you are doing stop start (city driving) like most do for 70-80% of the time an auto is the way to go !

When it comes to selling the car in the future, I think you have a larger target market with an Auto.

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Follow Up By: Hank - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 20:09

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 20:09
Thanks for the quick response. I'll probably be driving around town 80% of the time so it sounds like an auto is the go.
Best wishes
Hank
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Reply By: Truckster - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 19:54

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 19:54
Can of worms.

Autos have better resale.
Autos are better in traffic
Autos are better towing
Autos are better up hills they do the work for you
Autos are better on the freeway set and forget!



Manuals are better on greasy downhills.
Autos are more expensive to buy!
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Follow Up By: Voxson - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 22:12

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 22:12
autos are great on steep uphill sand dunes also
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Follow Up By: Suzuki Viagra - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 15:07

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 15:07
Manuals are more fun
Manuals cost less to rebuild
Manuals don't need to be rebuilt every 200,000 k's


Auto's don't need replacement clutches
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Follow Up By: Truckster - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 16:02

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 16:02
autos need rebuilds every same as auto.... specially if you drive them for fun..

autos have less linkages
autos have no clutches
autos have no pressure plates
autos have no master cyl probs
autos have more + than - against manuals...

its what you prefer. Drive both is the simple answer......
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Follow Up By: Member - Rohan - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 17:13

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 17:13
Autos are better at everything except steep or difficult decents and minimising fuel usage, but most 4WD autos aren't any fun (no "sports" shifting). There's an old saying - you steer and auto and drive a manual. Horses for courses.
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Follow Up By: Member - Rohan - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 17:13

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 17:13
Autos are better at everything except steep or difficult decents and minimising fuel usage, but most 4WD autos aren't any fun (no "sports" shifting). There's an old saying - you steer an auto and drive a manual. Horses for courses.
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Follow Up By: Truckster - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 21:33

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 21:33
sports shifting? LMAO...

Anyway, look at 90% of rock hoppers, and serious 4b's they arent Auto for no reason....


Whats fun about changin gear 401480923184098320498230948 times in 5klms as its muddy, up, down, off camber etc...?
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Reply By: Slunnie - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 22:03

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 22:03
Driving both an auto turbo diesel and a manual NA diesel 4WD, the only place I think the manual is better is when decending using engine brakes. Thats about it though, and the the auto climbs hills 100x better.
For towing there is no clutch burning at the lights on the top of the hill, and it will give you better low speed control such as when reversing.
Slunnie
AnswerID: 13536

Reply By: desert - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 22:06

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003 at 22:06
Hank, horses for course. City driving, towing, outback touring an auto is nice. Higher servicing costs, heavier tare weight and not too good in deep water. But, if facing a very steep, wet slippery down hill decent of, say around 28 to 30 degrees, then you'll be wishing for a manual with deep reduction first and rock crawler gears to slow your decent to hades and possible Jack Brabham exit speed at the bottom with the auto. When in serious terrain, safety is the big leveller and I'll go a manual any and every time.
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Reply By: jeremy - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 10:24

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 10:24
hey Hank,just check that the AUTO Patrol has same towing capacity as the MANUAL Patrol because a mate of mine told me the auto has less due the transmission.He was looking to buy one and said he saw it in the brochure stats!Haven`t checked it myself.Also another mate who has an auto bleep s himself on steep downhills(patrol) because the auto tends to run away with only brakes to slow down with,,where the manual crawls down better in low first.But thats up in the high country and for average touring just go for personal preferance....Jeremy.
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Reply By: BoneMan - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 11:22

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 11:22
I'm new and therefor ignorant - What is the big deal about down hill, auto/manual, decents. If manuals use gears for down hill, why can't or shouldn't you use your breaks with autos??
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Follow Up By: Colin - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 12:20

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 12:20
first rule for down hill decent is dont use the brakes. If you lock up the wheels you loose allcontrol of steering and traction same as on the bithumen lock up the brakes no steering. Best vehicle for down hill control are diesal with manual gear box. Col
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Follow Up By: Truckster - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 16:04

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 16:04
Autos have no engine braking.. as someone said at the bottom of the hill you will be doing mach 1245.....

You can drive along in an Auto take the foot off the gas and nothing happens. Manuals, it slows down HEAPS...

Rockhopper gears work wonders, but $1200 + fitting.. :(
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Follow Up By: Truckster - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 16:05

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 16:05
and theres no such thing as a dumb question.. the only dumb question is one not asked..

WHERES THAT EDIT FUNCTION!!!
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Reply By: Member - Mal - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 12:32

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 12:32
Boneman,
You're not ignorant, because you bothered to ask the quesion. The difference is that using the engine compression as a brake,
the breaking force is transferred to all wheels fairly evenly. Using the brakes gives a less even didtribution of breaking power and you tend to get single wheels locking up and thus loosing traction. Dynamic friction is greater than static friction which is the reason for ABS.

Mal T.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mal - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 12:34

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 12:34
that should be "distribution" Oops!
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Reply By: colin - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 12:32

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 12:32
If you intend to do a lot of towing seriosly look at the 4.2 turbo a proven motor for many years and more suited for towing than the 3ltr which need to work in the high revs to keep going specially with an auto vehicle loaded up and trailer which will bring the weight up to about 3tonne which is asking a lot from a 4cyl 3ltr motor, my point of veiw is from experince, i drive a 4.2 super charged patrol and do a lot of off road towing a off road camper trailer and work the engine in a rev range of 1000 to 2000 revs, in coparison the 3 ltr will be working in a range above 2200 all the time . Food for thought Col
AnswerID: 13572

Follow Up By: Bmw1 - Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 at 17:25

Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 at 17:25
The difference with what ? You can still use engine braking with an auto. If I am towing I use it like a manual going down a hill and keep to the speed limit without using the brakes. People seem to think that if you have an auto it should always be in the right gear but I am afraid that is not so, you can still put it in the right gear for the situation you are in. Try it sometime.
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Follow Up By: Colin - Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 at 18:08

Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 at 18:08
i have may be you should try it, there is a big difference. I have a diesal patrol and a mate has a petrol patrol about the same year and we compare running costs and have found a difference in brake pad wear between the 2 vehicles we have the same driving tecqnice and have found the diesal is far friendlier on pads than the petrol due to the better braking power of a diesal motor and i will say to you that there is a big difference between your vehicle and a manual. A lot of people on this forum ask the difference between a diesal and petrol vehicle and part of the equation on running cost is brake wear, same goes with auto and manual we all know that you can use an auto box to slow down by changing down gears but its not till you compare the braking power between the two that you notice the difference, its preference same as the argument between tojo and patrol. I am a semi truck driver and know the power of a manual gear box to have complete control of 40 odd tonne. Col
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Follow Up By: Bmw1 - Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 at 18:22

Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 at 18:22
I am a truck driver to and know that the exhast brake is very effective on the truck. Does your mate change down in his auto like you do if he does he would not notice as much difference as you say. I can go down the Toowoomba as slow in the truck as i can in thwe landcruiser with trailer on .You put it in a lower gear.
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Follow Up By: Colin - Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 at 19:01

Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 at 19:01
sorry BM both our vehicles are manual, i also disagree about exhaust breaks being very effective if you compare it to a jake break you will know what i mean. I will take a punt here and presume you drive a jap truck and will agree that they are superior in exhaust brakes, but i will also say that i can come down the Towoomba range fully loaded ie 42 tonnes and not touch the brakes and not touch the jake brake which if the truck was an auto would be impossible to do and that also applies to a 4x4 towing, i think u have me wrong an auto will help to pull u up but if u compare it with a manual, and then a diesal there is such a big difference that you cant compare a manual and an auto. I will also say that an auto is far superior in other applications ie beach work for an example . so i am not bagging autos just saying they dont have the braking of a manual and on top a diesal .Col
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Reply By: BoneMan - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 14:56

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 14:56
Thanks - got lots to learn.
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Follow Up By: Jack - Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 21:54

Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at 21:54
You've come to the right place then .. I learn heaps from th is forum .. just the best .. have fun ..
Jack
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Reply By: bmw1 - Friday, Feb 21, 2003 at 14:14

Friday, Feb 21, 2003 at 14:14
I change down in my auto 80 Landcruiser just as I would in a manual. It has engine braking. Dont people relize you can change the gears in an auto.
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Follow Up By: Colin - Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 at 15:15

Saturday, Feb 22, 2003 at 15:15
try jumping into a manual and feel the difference. Col
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Reply By: Chris - Friday, Feb 21, 2003 at 14:38

Friday, Feb 21, 2003 at 14:38
Can't roll start an auto.
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Reply By: David - Friday, Feb 21, 2003 at 17:04

Friday, Feb 21, 2003 at 17:04
Well, no matter what anybody says....
when your battery OR starter motor OR solenoid plays up, it doesn't matter if you have a steep, straight, bitumen downhill- You will NOT be able to start an auto. Give me a manual anyday.
Plus- a good mate has done nearly 600,000 km on his Turbo GQ 4.2 Diesel and has not put a spanner to the gearbox apart from oil changes. Try that with an automatic.
BTW he has also done nearly bugger all to the donk too! (injectors plus an injector pump overhaul due low-sulphur diesel ie:new seals is all)
AnswerID: 13672

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