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Old 12-03-2010, 12:05 AM   #1
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Auto vs Manual

Hi everyone. I have been on the forum for a little while trying to soak up some info as I get ready to make my next vehicle purchase but as it gets closer. I finally decided JK over TJ and will definitely go with a Rubi over an X or Sport depending on the deal. I have also decided on a hardtop over soft top but I have some questions that I have not been able to find a good answer to.

I know about gearing and tire size and all that stuff but I wanted some thoughts on transmissions. I know everyone has their opinions as do I but I want some real reasons not just opinions. Anyway, what are the benefits and drawbacks of manual vs auto trannys in the JK?

Thanks

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Old 12-03-2010, 12:10 AM   #2
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the auto overheats and catches fire in the desert while towing elephants and you'll never be able to break 50mph, and the manual only works in odd number gears and the average stock clutch has a 15,000mile life expectancy, and expect to roll off big rocks and catch fire when you randomly slip out of gear

Seriously, get whatever makes you happy, and you can't go wrong, it's personal preference

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Old 12-03-2010, 12:11 AM   #3
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How much will you be wheeling? Generally people who wheel a lot prefer an autobox.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:25 AM   #4
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I always loved a manual in my youth. It gave me a more feel of the engine. But in my older years, it is automatic all the way. It really is up to you but with the slipping out of gear possibility with the manual that would concern me. You can easily add a cooler to an automatic if you are doing a lot of towing or sand driving. It is a real cheap mod. Not everyone has either of these problem but some do.

I think it is up to you. If you really like a manual go for it but if you like the convenience of a automatic it will handle the on and off road well.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavy D
Hi everyone. I have been on the forum for a little while trying to soak up some info as I get ready to make my next vehicle purchase but as it gets closer. I finally decided JK over TJ and will definitely go with a Rubi over an X or Sport depending on the deal. I have also decided on a hardtop over soft top but I have some questions that I have not been able to find a good answer to.

I know about gearing and tire size and all that stuff but I wanted some thoughts on transmissions. I know everyone has their opinions as do I but I want some real reasons not just opinions. Anyway, what are the benefits and drawbacks of manual vs auto trannys in the JK?

Thanks
Soft tops what you want har har
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:21 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mortalis5509 View Post
How much will you be wheeling? Generally people who wheel a lot prefer an autobox.
Grrrrr...no offense meant....grrrr IMHO, this statement is loaded with BS....and it is not just me....people who love playing with their stick, I'm sure will chime in here...there is no technical reason that would make this statement true. And this choice is purely personal.

I think most peoples who say that, just haven't learned or don't want to learn how to drive a stick. Now I underlined the most important part of that statement...in other words...it may not apply to you.

Now getting to the factual part of your decision and excluding all the BS that people will inject about elephants, jeeps catching fire, and it jumping out of gear, I offer the following:

I personally think that the auto is easier to wheel but when you choose auto, some other choices will be made for you as well. For instance, if you are on a very technical run possibly on a rock climb or an incline with mud and rocks or in sand, the choice about what gear you are in for the auto is up to the little brain located somewhere in the engine compartment (little brain = computer). In a standard, the choice about what gear to be in is up to the big brain located somewhere in the cranium (big brain = gray matter). Not only will the computer choose what gear you will be in but it may decide to change its mind mid run and put you into a gear that you wouldn't have chosen at that particular time and you could be slipping backwards instead of going forwards or the engine may bog because of the gear choice but the auto will make that choice for you. Bottom line is that the standard will allow you more control.

Regarding the folks who will say...the auto is easier to hold on a hill...that is pure BS as well...learn how to drive a standard and you will never have a problem in your standard jeep holding it on a hill. Chrysler has even put in your jeep an added insurance policy that you won't stall it for instance in this situation. In 4 low and especially in 1st gear I would challenge you to stall it coming off of the clutch. This was mentioned on this forum and I have since gone out and tried it in a lot of situations so, I speak from experience. In that situation you can stand on the brake and the jeep will keep moving forwards. You could be going up a huge hill (tried that too) and stand on the brake and it won't stall. So, holding it on a hill is no issue...especially in 4low...and I don't know who wheels up very technical territory inclines without being in 4low.

I was on just such a technical run in a line of about a dozen jeeps and the only jeep having a problem holding the major hill that day happened to be an automatic.

I love my standard Rubicon and I have since the day I brought it home. I have been driving a standard all of my life and so far that includes almost 40 years of driving experience. What I would say to someone who is aspiring to be technical and wants to learn how to be comfortable driving a standard, take it a little at a time and practice practice practice. For me part of the experience that puts a smile on my face and a gulp in my throat is being on that technical run and having your adrenalin rushing and making all of those decisions about gears and such....man what a day...and this being the same reason that some prefer automatic...I WANT THAT AS PART OF MY EXPERIENCE...and that is what helps me to know that I am alive is when the little ticker is pushing all of that blood...YOU...are in control....totally...not some computer under the dash.

Now, a lot of this stuff that I mentioned is purely personal preference, except shift points. For some owners the choice of standard or automatic is an easy choice. I think is most difficult for those on the edge of indecision. Your choice will be with you for a long time and that is probably the reason it is so difficult when you are having a tough time deciding. If you are a gear head the choice is easy...standard. If you are looking for just being out in the middle of nowhere but don't like having to think about gears the choice is easy...automatic. But if you are torn....aaaaarg you will torture yourself with this decision...good luck either way. Most importantly, once you decide and get it...get out there and have fun with it because either way, the jeep is a fun machine.
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:31 AM   #7
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Go with your gut and have fun with it!!
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:43 AM   #8
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Thumbs up Well said>>>

Quote:
Originally Posted by jk'n View Post
Grrrrr...no offense meant....grrrr IMHO, this statement is loaded with BS....and it is not just me....people who love playing with their stick, I'm sure will chime in here...there is no technical reason that would make this statement true. And this choice is purely personal.

I think most peoples who say that, just haven't learned or don't want to learn how to drive a stick. Now I underlined the most important part of that statement...in other words...it may not apply to you.

Now getting to the factual part of your decision and excluding all the BS that people will inject about elephants, jeeps catching fire, and it jumping out of gear, I offer the following:

I personally think that the auto is easier to wheel but when you choose auto, some other choices will be made for you as well. For instance, if you are on a very technical run possibly on a rock climb or an incline with mud and rocks or in sand, the choice about what gear you are in for the auto is up to the little brain located somewhere in the engine compartment (little brain = computer). In a standard, the choice about what gear to be in is up to the big brain located somewhere in the cranium (big brain = gray matter). Not only will the computer choose what gear you will be in but it may decide to change its mind mid run and put you into a gear that you wouldn't have chosen at that particular time and you could be slipping backwards instead of going forwards or the engine may bog because of the gear choice but the auto will make that choice for you. Bottom line is that the standard will allow you more control.

Regarding the folks who will say...the auto is easier to hold on a hill...that is pure BS as well...learn how to drive a standard and you will never have a problem in your standard jeep holding it on a hill. Chrysler has even put in your jeep an added insurance policy that you won't stall it for instance in this situation. In 4 low and especially in 1st gear I would challenge you to stall it coming off of the clutch. This was mentioned on this forum and I have since gone out and tried it in a lot of situations so, I speak from experience. In that situation you can stand on the brake and the jeep will keep moving forwards. You could be going up a huge hill (tried that too) and stand on the brake and it won't stall. So, holding it on a hill is no issue...especially in 4low...and I don't know who wheels up very technical territory inclines without being in 4low.

I was on just such a technical run in a line of about a dozen jeeps and the only jeep having a problem holding the major hill that day happened to be an automatic.

I love my standard Rubicon and I have since the day I brought it home. I have been driving a standard all of my life and so far that includes almost 40 years of driving experience. What I would say to someone who is aspiring to be technical and wants to learn how to be comfortable driving a standard, take it a little at a time and practice practice practice. For me part of the experience that puts a smile on my face and a gulp in my throat is being on that technical run and having your adrenalin rushing and making all of those decisions about gears and such....man what a day...and this being the same reason that some prefer automatic...I WANT THAT AS PART OF MY EXPERIENCE...and that is what helps me to know that I am alive is when the little ticker is pushing all of that blood...YOU...are in control....totally...not some computer under the dash.

Now, a lot of this stuff that I mentioned is purely personal preference, except shift points. For some owners the choice of standard or automatic is an easy choice. I think is most difficult for those on the edge of indecision. Your choice will be with you for a long time and that is probably the reason it is so difficult when you are having a tough time deciding. If you are a gear head the choice is easy...standard. If you are looking for just being out in the middle of nowhere but don't like having to think about gears the choice is easy...automatic. But if you are torn....aaaaarg you will torture yourself with this decision...good luck either way. Most importantly, once you decide and get it...get out there and have fun with it because either way, the jeep is a fun machine.
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:52 AM   #9
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Personally I have an auto, wish I didn't but everyone else ( in my family) "didn't know how to drive the stick thing" and the well don't worry because it's my jeep not yours thing didn't work.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:27 AM   #10
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Personally I have an auto, wish I didn't but everyone else ( in my family) "didn't know how to drive the stick thing" and the well don't worry because it's my jeep not yours thing didn't work.
Hehe, 26 years ago when I went on a sailing trip from Rockland, Maine to Westbrook, CT over a two week period, I needed a ride from home in Massachusetts up to Maine. My then fiance didn't know how to drive stick and I had an S-10 truck. I taught her how to drive it because she was going to join me on the second week of the trip and NEEDED to drive it to the harbor in Scituate, MA. It was probably the best thing I could have done and the time was well spent teaching her how to drive a standard. Her first car after we got married was a standard. She drove both hers and mine without issues. Fast forward 20 something years and my decision to get a Rubicon Unlimited. To my amazement, she not only encouraged me to get the jeep, she was OK with the standard as well. She now drives an automatic but she isn't afraid to get into the jeep and drive.

So all of you youngsters out there who love standard...teach your significant other to drive it as well. It is time well spent. Then you won't end up like the post quoted here.

To my amazement my daughter who is now 21 drives only standard. She shocked me with her first car purchase being a standard. She is a ballet dancer type and it totally shocked me on her choice. You never know do you.
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:51 AM   #11
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I ride four wheelers all the time. Some auto and some manual. When rock climbing/trail riding with the manual... it can often be a complete pain in the rear to put it into gear while starting from a stopped position on a very steep hill. And since you never know how many tries a certain hill will take, you could end up getting very frustrated, very quickly.
That is why I picked a automatic. I wanted to enjoy my trail riding in my jeep without the chance of that kind of frustration.

I would never own a speedy sports car that was automatic though.. that would destroy the fun factor of the car. I also believe the manual tranny, based on what you plan on doing with your jeep, could ruin the fun factor there too.

Neither is better than the other (and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is full of cow droppings) as it depends on your abilities, what you plan on doing and what you feel more comfortable with.

Just remember, you are not more "cool" if you own a manual nor are you "less cool" if you own a auto. You are only a tool if you waste your time buying a 2WD Wrangler... in my opinion anyway :P
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:55 AM   #12
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It also can't hurt for you to drop by the dealership and test drive both the auto and the manual to see if you leave with any clear preference.
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:56 AM   #13
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I ride four wheelers all the time. Some auto and some manual. When rock climbing/trail riding with the manual... it can often be a complete pain in the rear to put it into gear while starting from a stopped position on a very steep hill. And since you never know how many tries a certain hill will take, you could end up getting very frustrated, very quickly.
That is why I picked a automatic. I wanted to enjoy my trail riding in my jeep without the chance of that kind of frustration.
We're talking about Jeeps here, not four wheelers. The JK will not cause that "frustration" on a steep hill. First of all there is HSA to hold you while you let out the clutch. Then there is the anti-stall to keep you going.

The answer to the OP's question is purely personal preference. Neither is "better" than the other, We had to know it was only a matter of time before this came up after the recent "waive" thread.
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:36 AM   #14
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Great advice.

I've driven standard ever since I could drive (10 years now).

I learned on a TJ Sahara w/standard, went to a Infiniti G37 w/standard, and now am back with a Mountain with standard.

My g/f really wants to learn standard, but I didn't want to teach her on my infiniti and now for the same reason on my Mountain. I remember how much "half clutching" i was doing and stalling when I first learned and don't want to have her burning through my clutch but am dying to teach her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jk'n View Post
Hehe, 26 years ago when I went on a sailing trip from Rockland, Maine to Westbrook, CT over a two week period, I needed a ride from home in Massachusetts up to Maine. My then fiance didn't know how to drive stick and I had an S-10 truck. I taught her how to drive it because she was going to join me on the second week of the trip and NEEDED to drive it to the harbor in Scituate, MA. It was probably the best thing I could have done and the time was well spent teaching her how to drive a standard. Her first car after we got married was a standard. She drove both hers and mine without issues. Fast forward 20 something years and my decision to get a Rubicon Unlimited. To my amazement, she not only encouraged me to get the jeep, she was OK with the standard as well. She now drives an automatic but she isn't afraid to get into the jeep and drive.

So all of you youngsters out there who love standard...teach your significant other to drive it as well. It is time well spent. Then you won't end up like the post quoted here.

To my amazement my daughter who is now 21 drives only standard. She shocked me with her first car purchase being a standard. She is a ballet dancer type and it totally shocked me on her choice. You never know do you.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:08 AM   #15
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I decided on an auto because of all the stop and go traffic in Austin. I love a manual, but I hate holding in a clutch to crawl 5 mph for 2 hours
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:53 AM   #16
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I have a 2010 Rubi 6 spd manual. Went wheeling this past weekend and loved it. I'd never consider getting a Jeep in an automatic. It would just detract too much from the driving experience if I weren't able to shift gears myself. If I were buying a Cadillac to cruise on the highway all day long, sure I'd consider an auto.

Putting an automatic in a vehicle takes out the soul and the connection between driver and machine, if you ask me. I'm sure others will disagree, but buy what you like.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:58 AM   #17
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It's a preference. There's no right answer. It's not like one of them doesn't work.

If you're just "polling" the group, my two cents is that getting a Jeep with an auto is like going to KFC for baked chicken. You can do it, but it's not necessarily where it's best.

Plenty will disagree with me, plenty will agree with me. But I don't begrudge anyone's choice and I hope they're happy with it.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:03 AM   #18
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With the Rubicon, the manual trans is awesome because the transfer case has a 4:1 low range. I call it the "granny gear". You put it in 4 low, put the trans in 1st, let the clutch out and just let the engine idle. It will creep forward at .5 MPH, and climb up and over ANYTHING that's in front of you. You never even have to touch the gas pedal.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:08 AM   #19
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It's the never ending story-

I've had 10+ 4wds and most were sticks, in the old days a stick would allow you to "COAST" start with a dead battery and you couldn't do that with an auto-

I found that the auto will allow you to relax in heavy traffic and is the best way to drive in DEEP SNOW (3' plus) and hill climb-

Otherwise it's as most guys are saying--your preference, but

You're spending a lot of money so you better be sure, or you'll be very dis-satisfied !!

Good luck

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Old 12-03-2010, 09:14 AM   #20
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getting a Jeep with an auto is like going to KFC for baked chicken. You can do it, but it's not necessarily where it's best.
LOL Awesome.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:18 AM   #21
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If it is going to be a dialy driver in traffic, and you are not a true Manual Tranny dude, then go with the auto. As far as the auto trannys go, if you do not pulll " the elephant trailler..lol as mentioned" or a large cargo you are good. I have my auto tranny JK for almost a year now, now issues no over heating. As mentioned by previous members , go with your gut feeling, at the end of the day, you will need to live with your decession.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:35 AM   #22
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We're talking about Jeeps here, not four wheelers. The JK will not cause that "frustration" on a steep hill.
Ummm... At what point did my statement come across as anything but an simple explanation of why I made MY choice??
And yes, I know all about the hill start assist, but that means shit to a person who is new to manual tranny in a large offroad vehicle or gets nervous or frustrated while starting on a steep hill. Which would be me, in case you were wondering. Frustration is in the eyes of the driver, no one else.

You really didnt need to waste you time quoting and commenting on me because my choice of auto still stands from the same reasons. Sorry.

Thanks for trying though.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:48 AM   #23
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Do you want to drive the jeep...or do you want the jeep to drive you??
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:53 AM   #24
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I can't help but notice when I look at other jeeps whether they are manual or auto...I also can help thinking what a puss they are if I see the auto. Maybe I need therapy!
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:09 AM   #25
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^^haha i do the same thing. that is, the first thing i look for is auto or manual.

when i had my first jeep, i used to think anyone with a auto was a puss, but now i think a lot of people are missing out if they go with auto, but don't berate them for that choice like i used to do in my younger years.

personal preference is what matters here
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:12 AM   #26
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To the OP, it's simply a matter of personal preference. There's some useful information people have posted here, but there are also strong opinions that you shouldn't allow to persuade you. Both do fine on and off road once you learn how to use it. Even with the auto, you need to learn how to use it.

I have an auto, and when I'm offroading, I'm constantly manually shifting it and turning on and off the O/D as needed. And when I'm on very technical stuff, I'm in first gear anyway, so there's no chance of the auto shifting on me.

When I was shopping for my Jeep, I was actually looking at getting a manual for more control, but the main reason I went with the auto is that it's my daily driver, and I drive in lots of LA traffic everyday on hilly streets.
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:15 AM   #27
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some of my best memories of Jeeping in my 1945 CJ2 in 1960 was learning how to use the 3 speed and clutch on a steep hill.

Later it was fun to cruise main street downtown using only the hi/low transfer case.

But that was long ago. As my own needs changed, the auto transmission improved.

So did the manual.

So did the Jeep Itself. Fortunately.

Whichever memory you build for yourself, I don't believe there is a BAD memory in any Jeep choice.

Except my J2000.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:07 PM   #28
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here's the best answer to your question....
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:09 PM   #29
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Ummm... At what point did my statement come across as anything but an simple explanation of why I made MY choice??
And yes, I know all about the hill start assist, but that means shit to a person who is new to manual tranny in a large offroad vehicle or gets nervous or frustrated while starting on a steep hill. Which would be me, in case you were wondering. Frustration is in the eyes of the driver, no one else.

You really didnt need to waste you time quoting and commenting on me because my choice of auto still stands from the same reasons. Sorry.

Thanks for trying though.
Stop being so sensitive! HSA is actually PERFECT for someone who is new to a manual. It's all the people who've driven manuals all their lives that don't like it.

I just don't agree with your analogy. A four wheeler and a JK are completely different.

The JK makes a good attempt at eliminating any of the issues that can be associated with wheeling with a manual. The only real issue is stalling in water and using the clutch. If you are aware of it, you can fix it by starting in 4L and first gear without using the clutch. However, it could be an issue if you weren't already in 4L.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:10 PM   #30
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Grrrrr...no offense meant....grrrr IMHO, this statement is loaded with BS....and it is not just me....people who love playing with their stick, I'm sure will chime in here...there is no technical reason that would make this statement true. And this choice is purely personal.

I think most peoples who say that, just haven't learned or don't want to learn how to drive a stick. Now I underlined the most important part of that statement...in other words...it may not apply to you.

Now getting to the factual part of your decision and excluding all the BS that people will inject about elephants, jeeps catching fire, and it jumping out of gear, I offer the following:

I personally think that the auto is easier to wheel but when you choose auto, some other choices will be made for you as well. For instance, if you are on a very technical run possibly on a rock climb or an incline with mud and rocks or in sand, the choice about what gear you are in for the auto is up to the little brain located somewhere in the engine compartment (little brain = computer). In a standard, the choice about what gear to be in is up to the big brain located somewhere in the cranium (big brain = gray matter). Not only will the computer choose what gear you will be in but it may decide to change its mind mid run and put you into a gear that you wouldn't have chosen at that particular time and you could be slipping backwards instead of going forwards or the engine may bog because of the gear choice but the auto will make that choice for you. Bottom line is that the standard will allow you more control.

Regarding the folks who will say...the auto is easier to hold on a hill...that is pure BS as well...learn how to drive a standard and you will never have a problem in your standard jeep holding it on a hill. Chrysler has even put in your jeep an added insurance policy that you won't stall it for instance in this situation. In 4 low and especially in 1st gear I would challenge you to stall it coming off of the clutch. This was mentioned on this forum and I have since gone out and tried it in a lot of situations so, I speak from experience. In that situation you can stand on the brake and the jeep will keep moving forwards. You could be going up a huge hill (tried that too) and stand on the brake and it won't stall. So, holding it on a hill is no issue...especially in 4low...and I don't know who wheels up very technical territory inclines without being in 4low.

I was on just such a technical run in a line of about a dozen jeeps and the only jeep having a problem holding the major hill that day happened to be an automatic.

I love my standard Rubicon and I have since the day I brought it home. I have been driving a standard all of my life and so far that includes almost 40 years of driving experience. What I would say to someone who is aspiring to be technical and wants to learn how to be comfortable driving a standard, take it a little at a time and practice practice practice. For me part of the experience that puts a smile on my face and a gulp in my throat is being on that technical run and having your adrenalin rushing and making all of those decisions about gears and such....man what a day...and this being the same reason that some prefer automatic...I WANT THAT AS PART OF MY EXPERIENCE...and that is what helps me to know that I am alive is when the little ticker is pushing all of that blood...YOU...are in control....totally...not some computer under the dash.

Now, a lot of this stuff that I mentioned is purely personal preference, except shift points. For some owners the choice of standard or automatic is an easy choice. I think is most difficult for those on the edge of indecision. Your choice will be with you for a long time and that is probably the reason it is so difficult when you are having a tough time deciding. If you are a gear head the choice is easy...standard. If you are looking for just being out in the middle of nowhere but don't like having to think about gears the choice is easy...automatic. But if you are torn....aaaaarg you will torture yourself with this decision...good luck either way. Most importantly, once you decide and get it...get out there and have fun with it because either way, the jeep is a fun machine.
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