The gearbox of a manual transmission vehicle differs a lot from the new age AMT or fully automatic cars. The stick on a manual gear transmission shows 5-6 levels of gears with reverse and neutral. However, with an automatic, the stick or knob will have a drive (forward), a reverse, and neutral. The gear shift transmits automatically to the engine. For today’s driver with many choices, an automatic would be a far better option than the manual stick shift operation on a manual gearbox vehicle.
Quite naturally, you may be interested to know the intricacies of transforming your existing manual transmission car to an automatic transmission. Let’s take you through the advantages and disadvantages of getting this conversion carried out for your existing manual transmission vehicle.
Advantages of Converting from Manual to Automatic Transmission:
1. Better Manoeuvrability:
Off-road driving becomes easier with an automatic vehicle. As compared to the manual transmission, the amount of effort to drive the automatic vehicle smoothly will be far less. For highway cruising too, an automatic is found to deliver a better ride experience.
2. Less Driving Effort:
With an automatic, you need not have to use a clutch pedal. Also, you can do away with changing the gear stick in urban or crowded commuting conditions. The amount of effort saved on one leg (clutch pedal) and one arm (stick shift) will be an appealing proposition to convert from manual to automatic.
Disadvantages of Converting from Manual to Automatic Transmission:
1. Fuel Consumption:
Those who have already got their engine gearbox changed have reported a slight drop in fuel efficiency. If you are clocking more than 1000 km per month, this dip can be a costly change.
The cost of procuring the parts, paying a highly experienced mechanic will be the single biggest factor in deterring car owners from going for this conversion process. Some of the crucial components that require updating, change, or reconfiguration include:-
- Electrical wiring
- Electrical Control System (ECU)
- Gearbox console
- Gear lever
- Meter reading console
- Torque converter
- Total Gearbox replacement
The level of extensive change will put a huge cost strain. The usual price for getting this conversion done would be around Rs 80,000 to 1 lakh, which is almost the same as purchasing a new Tata Nano.
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From a layman’s perspective, it would make more sense to go for a new automatic vehicle instead of converting your existing manual transmission vehicle to automatic. The factory-fitted version of a new automated car will continue to deliver its advantages without burning a hole in your pocket.
However, if you happen to be a hardcore auto enthusiast with a DIY streak, then the challenging conversion process will surely excite you. If you are looking to go ahead with the conversion, make sure that the mechanic is highly experienced. The conversion process itself is very complex and involves hundreds of parts that need to be tweaked or changed completely. It tests the expertise of even the most experienced mechanics. Hence the conversion needs to be carried out by an experienced professional who is well-versed with the complex operation.
Read more on Automatic Transmission Vs Manual Transmission.