A manual transmission has its advantages in mountainous regions

January 10th, 2015 by

For many, the decision to purchase a vehicle with a manual transmission is out of the pure love of driving a car that you can shift on your own. There is something to be said for enjoying the “full” driving experience that a manual provides. Another reason that we often hear is that it saves gas. And while both of these are valid reasons to drive a car with a stick shift, here in the Pacific Northwest, there is another reason that pops up fairly frequently. If done right, there can be advantages of driving a stick shift in mountainous regions.

Advantages of driving a stick shift in the mountains

If you are really going to do some exploring here in Washington, that often entails driving in mountainous areas. But when you go up, you must also go down. And the going down can be very harsh on your brakes. While uncommon, there have been many cases of brakes heating up to the point of failure as people are trying to use them going down large grades. A solution to this could be using the manual transmission as a buffer.

With a manual transmission, you can shift into a lower gear, which helps the vehicle slow down. This is an old truckers trick, as they constantly use the gears to slow down their vehicles. When you drive in the mountains and see the “runaway truck” runoff areas, you can understand why preserving brakes is so essential. And really, if you drive a stick and aren’t using the gears to slow the vehicle down, you aren’t taking full advantage of it and are probably needlessly stressing your brakes.

The Nissan lineup here at Nissan of Auburn has several manual transmission options, from the Nissan 370Z sports car to the more modest Nissan Sentra. Stop in today and practice your shifting skills behind the wheel of a new Nissan.

Posted in Tips and Tricks