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How Long Should a Manual Transmission Last?

Even though manual transmissions cost less to fix than automatics, transmission repairs in general are still among the most expensive car-related work you might find yourself paying for. So, wondering how long a manual transmission will hold up is a legitimate concern.   

Overall, a manual transmission requires less maintenance than its automatic counterpart. Just like any other part of an automobile, how long a stick shift should last depends on a number of factors. Under ideal circumstances, its life should equal that of the car it’s part of. 

When people ask how long a stick shift will last, what they really want to know is how long the clutch will last. Heat, and thus, friction, is the enemy of car components. For a manual transmission, the gears of the clutch set in an oil bath inside a sealed box. The oil lubricates the gears and disperses the heat generated by increased use. But if the transmission is pushed too hard for too long the oil will break down, the heat and friction will increase, and the gears will begin to slip and eventually fail.  

How a driver treats their vehicle while on the road is also a very good indicator of how long the transmission will hold up. Things like downshifting in place of braking, or flying through gear changes too fast over short distances are sure-fire ways to wear down a stick shift faster than usual.    

As with any car, keeping up with regular transmission maintenance is another key to longevity. In the case of a manual transmission, the fluid should be changed more frequently: 30,000-60,000 miles, instead of 60,000-100,000 miles for an automatic.   

If your manual transmission is acting up, the experts at Toledo Discount can help get it under control. We are a full-service repair shop that can handle transmission issues, or any other automotive problem you might have. Contact us today to request an estimate!

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