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Why are Automatic Cars Not Popular ?

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Hello

Considering the traffic conditions on indian roads , why are automatic transmission cars not popular on indian roads ?

Dont tell me they are less fuel efficient . No one drives their car at the right RPM in traffic anyways and Half the population rides the clutch .

Also No one keeps car that long enough nowadays as to increase maintainance cost .

So what is it against Automatic Transmission ?

Cant understand peoples mentality on simply not taking an auto box in equation when buying a car .

Am i missing somethng ?

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It is pricey, not enough knowledge about automatic(many think that it is difficult to drive automatic), missing the pleasure of manual transmission for spirited driving, and major factor is less FE(whatever the riding style is, an Auto is less FE than manual)

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Fuel Efficiency is a major cause for Autos. not selling in our Country, another cause is that for some matter autos are supposed to be for women/girls or handicapped people, this type of thinking according to me is due to uneducation & ignorance.

Loss in pick up is no issue in our country as roads do not warrant much speed.

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Fuel Efficiency is a major cause for Autos. not selling in our Country' date=' another cause is that for some matter autos are supposed to be for women/girls or handicapped people, this type of thinking according to me is due to uneducation & ignorance.

Loss in pick up is no issue in our country as roads do not warrant much speed.

[/quote']

Well said. As a very satisfied owner of automatics since 1999 (Zen and then Santro) I think I am qualified to speak with some authority. They are a boon in the stop-go of the city traffic. Driving style is not a problem whatsoever. You search out the old thread in this regard.

I feel the main issue is fuel consumption which is about 20% higher. Of late we are seeing more and more auto's on the road in the metros.  Also, by and large the auto transmissions on the lower end cars are primitive in that they do not have clutch lock up which increases consumption even on the highway,

Cost is also an issue due to auto transmissions being (almost) invariably imported. I would love to see them with clutch lockup, or even better automatically operating manuals (as in DSG). You will find that most D segnment cars often only come with auto transmissions, as often they are imports or CKDs, and consumption is not such an issue here. I hear that the new City transmission also has clutch lockup.

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As for FE the penalty with DSG type of boxes is minimal. Even a clutch lockup improves it significantly. When you cross a preset speed, say 50kph, the clutch is 'locked' i.e. the torque converter is out. Then the consumption is no different from a manual since the inefficiencies of the torque converter are no longer an issue.

sgiitk2008-11-07 04:49:25

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I'm all for autos. I drive an auto and its great. I can even change the gears by lifting my foot of the gas and then I giving it gas (sound funny but it works). Autos are great and with padle shift/tip-tronic why would you go for stick shift? 

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A clutch lock is as follows. In an automatic transmission there is a Torque Converter (essentially a device where there are two impellers coupled through a fluid which allows for slip etc. There is a set of stator vanes in between which multiply the torque hence the name). This fluid coupling is the cause of the inefficiency of the transmission, and hence higher fuel consumption. In a clutch lock a mechanical clutch is engaged (electronically) above a certain speed removing the torque converter and the accompanying losses from the equation. At lower speeds the torque converter works as normal.

Zal_D what you do is normal. When you take your foot off the throttle the engine control assumes the power requirements are low and so performs an upshift.. However, if you are at all heavy on the throttle it will downshift again. This due to the hysteresis (.e.e, dead band) between the upshift and downshift, which is necessary to avoid 'hunting'.

sgiitk2008-11-07 08:44:02

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Our BMW here has an auto transmission. I have not gone into technical details like SGIITK. It is a transmision with lovely action. It recognises the driving cycle and will change gears accordingly. If I am driving with a light foot, it will upshift even at 1500 rpm. If I need more power, all I need to do is to press the throttle and it drops a gear. I have never felt the need to change gear manually so far and I have not even tried to drive it in Sport Mode.

Driving an automatic is very enjoyable and soothing and it will be difficult for me to adjust to driving my manual car in India. Hopefully I will buy my next car with an automatic.

 

The downsides are higher purchase cost and higher fuel consumption. In UK, petrol costs around ? 1 per litre, still most of the cars are automatic.

 

 

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Automatic cars are not popular in India because in India people pay per kilo or per feet length smiley2.gif So, for the same car (meaning dimensions and brand), people will not be willing to pay for a technology that adds up cost (diesel engine being exception because of subsidized diesel price). Things are changing though.

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Higher initial cost when compared to the manual version and poor fuel efficiency. Personally, I would not even dream of owning an automatic car and this has nothing to do with the economics.

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 5u3zEr0, at bumper-bumper auto boxes are the best bet. How many times will you press clutch, shift gears and repeat the same process often. But for highways, manual rocks, but not sure about modern autos, as I've not driven it. In Civic gears can be changed manually, so you get the benefit of both but with less FE.

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@ Crazy car: You are right when in bumper to bumper traffic but I am lucky that I hardly enoc**ter it so I don't need to worry about it. About paddle shift auto's, I haven't driven any car with them so I do not know how it feels but have read good things about them.

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Fuel Efficiency is a major cause for Autos. not selling in our Country' date=' another cause is that for some matter autos are supposed to be for women/girls or handicapped people, this type of thinking according to me is due to uneducation & ignorance.

Loss in pick up is no issue in our country as roads do not warrant much speed.

[/quote']

Well said. As a very satisfied owner of automatics since 1999 (Zen and then Santro) I think I am qualified to speak with some authority. They are a boon in the stop-go of the city traffic. Driving style is not a problem whatsoever. You search out the old thread in this regard.

I feel the main issue is fuel consumption which is about 20% higher. Of late we are seeing more and more auto's on the road in the metros.  Also, by and large the auto transmissions on the lower end cars are primitive in that they do not have clutch lock up which increases consumption even on the highway,

Cost is also an issue due to auto transmissions being (almost) invariably imported. I would love to see them with clutch lockup, or even better automatically operating manuals (as in DSG). You will find that most D segnment cars often only come with auto transmissions, as often they are imports or CKDs, and consumption is not such an issue here. I hear that the new City transmission also has clutch lockup.

 The real reasons are here and I fully agree with speed and sgtiik. In the US a very large percentage of cars sold are with AT.

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one of the guys at toyota told me that the reason for the low FE of auto is that people when they a idling, stop the car and keep it in drive mode.

the clutch is active at that time hence it leads to lower FE.

he told me to keep the gear in N or P when halting the car

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one of the guys at toyota told me that the reason for the low FE of auto is that people when they a idling' date=' stop the car and keep it in drive mode.

the clutch is active at that time hence it leads to lower FE.

he told me to keep the gear in N or P when halting the car
[/quote']

 

Very true.. have seen most of the drivers doing it.. Bumper to bumper traffic actually gives u a pain by constant pressing clutch and downshifts, most people drive half clutch pressed .... that leads to a higher maintainace cost and lesser FE..

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Is low fuel efficiency the only reason? Or as SGIITK Sir said is it the not so great quality of the auto transmission in the auto cars in india. (especially towards lower segment)

Reason for my thought is that today also there are a lot of vehicles even in the mid segment which dont have very good fue efficiency and they still sell very well... Which suggests fuel efficiency is not always a amajor criteria.. So wont all those folks opt for an auto vehicle given the choice...

Another point.. auto's still seem to be much more costly than manual for the same model.. i suppose this could be a reason... Rajeevraj2009-03-10 09:40:22

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Since none of the lower end ATs have a clutch lock the torque converter is always in the circuit with its fluid coupling loss of 5-20%. Some boxes DSG, new City etc. have this clutch lock which disables the torque converter above a certain speed. At very low speeds in any case consumption is more a function of time than distance.

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I have a question to be asked. Can a manual transmission of a car be changed to AT???

In principle yes. In practice it will be totally uneconomical. You have to change the transmission, the drive shafts, the electronics, may be add a small oil cooler (new radiator) and so on.

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