Manual or automatic - Which is your choice for towing?

Oct 10, 2019 | Same topic: Let's drive smart!
Pulling a trailer can pose serious challenges when it comes to steering. Keep reading to know which is better used when towing, automatic or manual transmission and why!

No matter how good of a driver you are or how long your experience with driving is, there will always be things about driving that you shouldn’t mess around with. One of those things is towing a trailer which is a task that shouldn’t be taken lightly no matter how much of an expert you are.

The mere act of driving a vehicle is already hard for some, but with a trailer hitched behind your vehicle, the trip can get twice as rickety. Pulling a trailer can pose serious challenges when it comes to steering, turning left and right and maneuvering the vehicle in general. Asides from that, there can also be other serious threats if you don’t hitch your trailer properly.

manual vs automatic transmission

Manual or automatic - Get the best advice for your towing vehicle

And if that doesn’t change your mind about hitting the road with a trailer attached to the back of your vehicle, just think of the toll it will cost your truck to drive it around.

1. Manual or automatic transmission: What are the differences?

Most manufacturers today provide you with a few options for an individual car model. Those options are usually variants that can include transmission choices. It's up to you whether you go for an automatic or manual transmission. But what exactly are the differences between the two and which of these differences make them better for towing?

automatic and manual transmission.

It's up to you whether you go for an automatic or manual transmission

>>> Check out: Get familiar with different manual transmission gears.

Performance in uneven road/terrain

It doesn't take an old truck driver to know that uneven roads are best traveled by vehicles with manual transmission. This is mainly because of the fact that the driver has full control over the gears and throttle.

A manual transmission will let the driver switch between the gears best for the terrain. On the other hand,  a vehicle with automatic transmission will make riding easier on smooth terrain. This is because the flat ground offers no obstruction and there's also no loss of momentum because there are no gears.

Uneven roads

Uneven roads are best traveled by vehicles with manual transmission

Life-threatening driving situations

In life-threatening situations like a sudden loss of traction due to slippery roads, a vehicle with automatic transmission will give the driver more control over the skid. This is because there are no gear changes that can cause your ride to lose more traction. Since there's no gear shift, that's also one less thing that you have to think about.

car running in the rain

An automatic transmission will give the driver more control over the skid

Weight Load

The size and weight of the cargo that you plan to attach to the back of your ride can influence which type of transmission will be best for the trip. It is usually easier for a vehicle with automatic transmission to get the job done rather than one with manual transmission.

For starters, an automatic transmission won't have gears that can interrupt the momentum. A manual transmission, on the other hand, may suffer damages to its clutch because of the heavy load.

towing vehicle

It is usually easier for a vehicle with automatic transmission to get the job done

>>> Also check: 6 key things to remember when driving a towing car.

Engine overheating

When it comes to overheating due to prolonged use and heavy towing load, a vehicle with manual transmission should have no problem at all. However, it is advisable for owners to install a transmission cooler for vehicles with automatic transmission.

This will reduce the heating effect caused by the extra weight that's being towed. Just remember that you should only have one installed if a specialist says that your vehicle's design allows it.

overheating engine

Overheating due to heavy towing load, manual transmission cars have no problem at all

Going down steep hills

Some vehicle owners love the combination of manual transmission and a steep downhill. This gives them greater control during the whole ride. Others, however, are more than happy with their automatic transmission vehicles in second-gear and let the engine brake do the work for them.

Hill-start

It goes without saying that a vehicle with automatic transmission has a better chance of going uphill with little to no problem than one with manual transmission. Asides from that, a vehicle with manual transmission also has a higher possibility to lose traction or burn out the clutch.

Staying awake and alert while driving

Drivers who maneuver manual transmission vehicles swear that just by having to shift gears, they are kept awake throughout the whole drive. Though there have been no known studies yet in relevance to the comparison of accidents that focuses on the difference between manual and automatic transmission, we can safely say that not having to shift gears may bore some drivers easily.

Manual transmission

Drivers who maneuver manual transmission vehicles swear that just by having to shift gears

Maintenance and repair

Vehicles that are equipped with an automatic transmission generally require fewer maintenance services and repair due to the lack of complicated parts. On the other hand, vehicles with manual transmission can require more maintenance and repair due to the addition of more complicated parts.

Ease of driving

Even though a lot of drivers in the Philippines know how to drive stick, there are still a few people who opt for a vehicle with automatic transmission due to the very obvious fact - which is ease of driving.

>>> You might want to know: Semi-automatic cars: How they differ from Manual and Automatic cars

2. Which transmission is better for towing?

Now that we’ve uncovered the difference between the two transmissions, we can now determine which of these two is better for towing. Truth is that there is actually no better choice when it comes to picking a vehicle for towing.

The choice will depend solely on your preferences as well as other factors that aren’t present in this list. This can include your budget, your preferred seating capacity of the vehicle and of course, its fuel efficiency and the type of fuel it requires.

The Budget

Your budget is one of the most influential factors when it comes to buying a towing vehicle. Between automatic and manual transmission types, there is no clear solid proof that vehicles with one type of transmission are generally more expensive than the other.

automatic vs manual transmission

Your budget is one of the most influential factors when it comes to buying a towing vehicle

The Seating Capacity

The seating capacity of a towing vehicle usually won’t bother you. This is unless 1) you’re a family guy and 2) you have a business that requires the transport of people. Whichever it is, the seating capacity is usually not influenced by the transmission so when choosing a towing vehicle, take this factor into consideration.

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Source: Hanna Miel Sanchez