Temas Especiales

17 de Jan de 2021

Nacional

Automatic versus manual

Statistics show that vehicles equipped with a manual transmission will save you about 1-2 miles per gallon. However, the latest test run...

Statistics show that vehicles equipped with a manual transmission will save you about 1-2 miles per gallon. However, the latest test run by Consumer Reports have concluded that drivers will not get more fuel economy from a Toyota Corolla equipped with a manual transmission than the identical car equipped with an automatic. Drivers at Consumers Union say that the Corolla defies traditional logic because its automatic transmission is just as precise and smooth-shifting as the manual.

So why buy a manual in Panama? Firstly, because you will save about $500-$800 by getting a manual. You then save on the reduced taxes, and finance costs (sixty percent of buyers finance their purchase).

Secondly, there’s the safety factor: Drivers of manual transmission-equipped vehicles pay more attention to their driving because they use engine compression and their brakes to slow down and are, therefore, more alert to traffic. This is an excellent reason to buy a manual transmission-equipped vehicle (with a hill-holder feature) for a first-time driver.

Thirdly, a manual transmission-equipped car or truck will cost much less to repair or replace if the transmission needs major work. Whereas, an automatic transmission can cost over $2,000 to rebuild— manual transmission repairs seldom top $1,000.

Boy, do I get angry when I see motorists carrying Fido or Muffy in their laps while driving. Of course, the animal doesn’t stay in one place for long and if you have a fairly large dog, your view can be obstructed and driving impaired by the distraction. Also, if you brake suddenly, the animal could get seriously injured by hitting the windshield or by the airbag’s 140-mph deployment. A sharp turn, and the dog could fall over you or get entangled in the steering assembly. And, if you have an accident, the dog becomes a deadly projectile risking serious injury to itself and to the vehicle’s occupants.

Safety experts agree that dogs are safest in the back seat or cargo area (hatchbacks, SUVs, pickups, and vans) inside a specially-designed carrying crate that’s tethered to the vehicle’s seatbelts or tied down by secure anchor straps. Most retailers sell special harnesses for dogs and cats and car seats that allow the animal to see out the window, thereby, reducing your pet’s chances of being car sick (http://www.petautosafety.com/dog-car-seat-belts).

Never carry a dog unrestrained in the back of a pickup. Even slight acceleration or braking can throw the animal violently against the side of the truck bed and cause serious injury, or toss the animal out into the street. Also, the dog’s eyes can be damaged by debris flying through the air and the metal bed can heat up and burn the dog's feet. Be sure to open the side windows a crack, and never leave the animal parked in the sun. It can be a killer even with some ventilation.

Will Saturn end up in Uranus? Probably. General Motors has clearly indicated that it has to reduce its four divisions by at least half. Saab, Hummer, Saturn, Pontiac, and GMC are the most likely divisions to be axed. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Saab, Hummer, and Saturn have never made any real money and Pontiac’s models lack buyer appeal. As for GMC, it mostly duplicates Chevrolet’s pickups and doesn’t merit its own lineup.

India's Tata motors launched its $2,500 Nano subcompact car last week. The car is destined for Third World countries where airbags and emissions control are not a priority. To equip the car for North America, Tata would have to add $6,000 to its retail price— putting it in Hyundai Accent territory.