The manual gearbox is facing imminent death

Motoring enthusiasts swear by the manual stick shift.

The manual gearbox will reach the end of its life when electric cars dominate our automotive landscape. This is because pure electric driven cars do not need gearboxes.

Love it or not, the electric driven vehicle revolution is coming to Malaysia and it is coming very soon.

Yes, there a big issue with the current electric vehicle charging infrastructure, but this can be pushed forward fast by the government when the time is right.

With the 2019 National Automotive Policy pushing hard for the assembly of electric vehicles (EV) and the production of EV batteries in Malaysia, we could see a jump in EV ownership by as much as 10,000 vehicles a year in the next four to five years.

Meanwhile, traditionalists like DSF will keep our manual petrol driven cars until further notice.

We are already seeing a huge drop in the sale of manual gearbox driven cars and this will soon be a product of the past. Relegated to history, one for the “down memory lane” archives.

Since its introduction in the 1950s, the automatic gearbox has been criticised for its worse fuel economy, less reliability and greater repair complexity than the simple and easy manual gearbox.

The clutch pedal is an alien concept to young drivers.

Many car enthusiasts consider the manual gearbox to be irreplaceable and this is true in our books.

Even supercar manufacturer Ferrari does not offer manual gearboxes anymore on their standard showroom cars. Only special edition limited models are offered with a manual shifter.

One reason for this low demand could be a growing skills gap. Ask most drivers in Malaysia and around the world to drive a manual gear car and it will be like asking them to walk a tight rope across the KLCC towers.

Driving a manual gearbox car is a more engaging driving experience. Driving enthusiasts swear by it, saying even manumatic gearboxes cannot make up for the manual shifter and clutch.

A manumatic is basically a manual gearbox with paddle-shifting, computer-controlled clutch and gear changes.

Dual-clutch gearboxes fall into this category. Remember the issues with many car brands and their infamous dual clutch gearboxes that failed over and over….and over?

The manual gearbox puts the driver firmly in charge.

Repair complexity is still a valid critique of automatics. With the right tools and parts, an experienced mechanic can rebuild a manual transmission.

Meanwhile automatic transmission repair is almost unheard of in professional auto repair shops. The automatics are too complicated and time consuming to work on, even for the professional service centre head mechanic.

It is simply easier and faster to dump the messed up auto gearbox and install a new unit.

So, if you own and drive a manual driven car, please try and hold on to it if you can.

If you own a manual driven car and have a teenager about to take their driving license, please get them to learn to drive your manual car.

Teach them the joy of a manual driven car as the driving school instructor is just a robot guiding them. He has no passion for a “stick shift”!

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