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Manual or Auto in Irish winter weather

  • 19-08-2021 11:58am
    Registered Users Posts: 1,332 ✭✭✭ Heighway61

    I live in the sticks up a bit of a hill. I drive a manual and in ice/snow/hail I go down the hill in second or sometimes first gear. Will be changing car soon and was thinking automatic but am wondering about this type of winter weather and gear control. Would auto be manageable or should I stick to manual? Would auto manual override give control as good as manual?


  • Registered Users Posts: 49,834 ✭✭✭✭ bazz26

    I think a vehicle with 4wd or awd might be more useful in those conditions than just the type of gearbox.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,332 ✭✭✭ Heighway61

    Was thinking that but a bit reluctant due to budget and availability in the models I'm looking at.

    Auto Trader and Parker's have good things to say about Grip Control but availability is an issue here too.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 13,437 Mod ✭✭✭✭ ednwireland

    whatever you buy just stick decent winter or all season tyres on it. once I went down that road the cars fairly irrelevant. (unless you go full 4x4)

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,958 ✭✭✭ Allinall

    Most modern automatics have a manual element to them- paddle shift etc., which will hold the car in a particular gear.

    This should be enough to replicate a manual gearbox.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,631 ✭✭✭ zilog_jones

    Nearly any automatic has a way of holding lower gears, even those with only the traditional linear selector, usually marked as "L" or "B", or sometimes multiple options like "1" and "2" (1 would only allow first gear, while 2 would allow both first and second). You don't need paddles or Tiptronic (other brands are available) to do this. CVTs usually have an equivalent of holding higher ratios too.

    With good tyres, and gentle throttle/brake control you shouldn't have any trouble in a situation like this in winter.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 751 ✭✭✭ freddieot

    Not an issue. It's long time since I've seen an automatic without the capability to select the gears manually either with the gear lever (+ and -) or with paddles on the steering column. Given the type of situation you describe you would need to take over from the auto selection or it might change gear just when you don't want.

    Tyres make a big difference

    AWD can make a big big difference but the gain over a good FWD drive set up with all season tyres may not pay you if you are watching budget.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,615 ✭✭✭ Phil.x

    I think the Toyota auto has a B option on the gearbox to give the feeling of engine braking when going downhill, but I've never used it.

    It will be a great day when salad box ryan and the crazy gang are no more.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,248 ✭✭✭✭ Esel

    Older autoboxes with a torque converter do not give much engine braking effect.

    Not your ornery onager

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,930 ✭✭✭ Gregor Samsa

    I deal with a lot of people in Minnesota, where they have horrendous winters. They all drive FWD automatics, but they all change over to winter tyres around the end of October. Appropriate tyres are the single most important element for safer driving on ice or snow. That and driving technique - appropriate speed, appropriate braking, appropriate steering.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,892 ✭✭✭ NSAman

    I live south of here, very few people drive fwd due to the amount of snow we get. AWD or 4wheel is the main type of vehicle. All weather tyres (tires) are also used by the vast majority of people. Winter tyres are only changed on select models of cars as they tend to be expensive. Automatic or manual really makes no difference in snow nowadays, my driveway is a hill, 4 wheel drive is the ONLY thing that will get me out when it snows.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,047 ✭✭✭ Stallingrad

    Chose whichever gearbox suits your preference, then get winters or all season tyres which will take care of that hill.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,332 ✭✭✭ Heighway61

    Cheers for the replies. AWD is not available in the car I'm going for. Will get winter/snow tyres.