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raj_5004

AUTOMATICS

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why are automatic transmissions so rare in a country like india where it makes more sense than abroad? i mean, our roads are packed with cars, always jammed... cars are more stationary than in motion...!!! in this start-move conditions, auto gears makes more sense, dont they? they are convenient and unlike the older breed of automatic gears, the modern ones are also fuel efficient and not a compromise in performance. we even have the option of paddle shifts and triptonic gears. but still the sales of octavia, laura, accord, santro, optra automatics are negligible when compared to their manual counterparts. why are we so shy of automatics? 

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One simple word.............longevity. Best auto trannies don't last over 100,000km and thats pushing it. They can not be serviced here in India and therefore only core exchange possible, lastly its the price factor as well.

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At one time I heard that Auto Trannies which mechanically locked the input and output shafts (this removing the fluid coupling from reckoning) above certain speeds were coming in. What happened to these?

The DSG is available on only one vehicle, so does not help much. ACI data shows that the economy loss here is minimal.

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True with DSG it may be very close' date=' but the general perception is that FE on automatics is bad and that view will take sometime to change.

?

FRG
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Considering how many pinging engines I hear from cars being lugged in top gear by our expert drivers, auto are indeed a good sense here.

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I am not sure about longevity. In the UK most taxis in towns are autos.  In fact I heard (a long time ago) that the cost savings in clutch replacements and wear and tear was the reason for this.

Economy in heavy start stop traffic is not an issue.

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I am not sure about longevity. In the UK most taxis in towns are autos.? In fact I heard (a long time ago) that the cost savings in clutch replacements and wear and tear was the reason for this. Economy in heavy start stop traffic is not an issue.

Clutches aside, autos don't last, even Honda and Mercedes ZF autos last for 100,000 miles normally.

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I feel the bigger issue is non-availability of proper service for Autos in India. Otherwise with a manual you pay for two / three clutch changes while you have one Tranny overhaul with an auto. Also, I doubt if many original owners keep the vehicles for 100,000 km/miles.

Of course our obsession with 'kitna deti hai' means that until we have trannies like the DSG  they will not take off.

Having had one auto since 1997 I think they are simply great for town driving. Remember these are low end and not sophisticated transmissions.

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170,000 km here on Jonga, original clutch, 110,000km on Gurkha, original clutch, the Accord got a Centerforce Racing clutch which has done 240,000 miles and the MB has 160,000 miles on original clutch. All these vehicles have seen city and the 4WD have seen severe off road use. The MB and Accord has been driven in NYC where the traffic conditions are not any better than our major cities here so I wonder why the clutches in India are only lasting 50,000km or so. The friction material used today in modern clutches are quite advanced, some of them use carbon fiber plates as well and others use some real exotic composites so I wonder.

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i agree with sgiitk, i think people still have that firm old belief that automatics sap more fuel and are very expensive to maintain and service. also maufacturers demand a huge premium for an auto over its manual counterpart, of course since autos are technoloically very advanced today.

maybe the high purchase price turns off buyers of small cars. big luxury cars are always chauffer driven in indis, so they dont cosider an automatic.

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@raj_5004

See most luxury cars are coming only with Auto boxes.

As I wrote the economy obsession comes in the way. If you look around after the Maruti WagonR and Santro/i10 the next auto box is the City. A huge gap. The M Auto's are prehistoric. While M charges 1L Hyundai is about 70k extra. May be because these boxes are imported, and possibly the radiators etc. required for them as well.

We need a car with a good Auto with a lock up in the box, so that the economy loss is under 10% (Laura DSG is <5%). Then sales will take off.

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Yes. My Santro Automatic gives about 10.5kpl without AC and 9.9 with AC. These are town figures, since I have not taken it out on a long run since the odo was <500km. My old Zen (Carb) used to give about 9 kpl.

sgiitk2008-01-05 19:17:40

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The trick with auto trannies is to keep the torque converter in good shape and the bands tight. After every 50,000km, its a good idea to get the bands tightened. To reduce operating temps inside the tranny during summer and reduce torque converter slippage, its best to spend money and use synthetic ATF like Mobil-1 ATF.Gurkha2008-01-06 04:16:45

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My Santro has barely covered 18k so I do not think the bands are an issue. by the way go light on the throttle as you can sense the gear you are in. Also, if you take your foor off mementarily you can force the car into a higher gear, but then you must *****foot the throttle.

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The main problem in India is the guzzling of extra fuel by AT's. Also the reduced  engine life factor is a worry. In most developed countries AT is a must. For instance the Scorpio here is being  given a six cyl engine  and AT to make it marketable in the U.S. market.

Maybe in future AT cars will pick up saleswise.But there's very little hope.

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The main problem in India is the guzzling of extra fuel by AT's. .......

Maybe in future AT cars will pick up saleswise.But there's very little hope.

Agreed, I just do not see why they cannot introduce ATs with a lock for the Fluid Coupling above a speed. Has been around for ages. I am not asking for the (expensive) DSG. Maruti is still offering only a three speed box.

Saleswise I do not think things are that bad. i hear that there are decent volumes even in Tier II cities. The point is that both MS and Hyundai have to import the boxes and charge a hefty premium 100k by MS and 75k by Hyundai. Let the Tata 1L come with the (reportedly) Auto as standard and the world may change.

Also, as you go up the chain after the WagonR or Santro/i10 the next automatic is the City. Nothing in between.

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