This Is How An Automatic Transmission Works

Ever wonder how your transmission knows to shift gears? Why is it that when you stop, the engine doesn't die? We're here to show you how cars work. We recently looked at manual transmissions. This week it's regular ol' slushbox time. » 7/01/13 12:30pm 7/01/13 12:30pm

Yes, It's Ethical To Drive A Stick Shift

I really shouldn't have to even be answering this question. This week in Salon David Sirota wrote an article asking "Is it ethical to drive stick?" It's great to see a mainstream, intelligent publication like Salon talking about manual transmissions, except for one thing: the article is inane, and the fundamental… » 5/16/12 12:00pm 5/16/12 12:00pm

Are You Really Able To Drive a Manual Transmission Car?

Is it really true that nobody knows how to drive a stick these days? I tend to doubt the "automatic transmission is destroying our ability to drive" gloom-and-doom crowd, but who can say? Time for a totally unscientific poll! » 9/04/10 7:00pm 9/04/10 7:00pm

Drop Everything! Long-Awaited Ate Up With Motor Hydra-Matic History Is…

Those of us who have read and re-read all the back Ate Up With Motor articles have been pacing our garages, waiting for Mr. Severson to finish his promised History Of The First Non-Terrible Automatic Transmission. Guess what? It's done! » 5/29/10 8:00pm 5/29/10 8:00pm

Automatics Closing Fuel Economy Gap On Manuals; Engines, Electronics…

In a stringer piece for the Detroit News » 8/20/08 10:20am 8/20/08 10:20am, Rex Roy makes the observation that automatic transmissions are finally beginning to catch up to stick shifts in fuel economy. While we say "it's about damn time," considering automatics make up more than 90% of the US new vehicle market, we simultaneously lament that same…

Toyopet Crown For 1963, Now With More Toyoglide!

We've always loved Toyota's name for their Powerglide-based automatic transmission, but "Toyopet" just doesn't sound like the kind of name you'd use when you're planning to dominate the automotive world a few decades hence. The Crown got a lot more luxurious later on, but even in '63 it had a certain boxy presence...… » 7/22/08 11:00am 7/22/08 11:00am


Back when each of The General's divisions designed its own hardware, Buick developed the two-speed Dynaflow automatic from the transmission it put in M18 tank destroyers during the war. Yes, the Dynaflow started out as a transmission for a tracked vehicle! Sadly, this Cool Transmission Name disappeared after the 1963… » 5/30/08 4:00pm 5/30/08 4:00pm


We aren't bothered by the fact that Toyota's first automatic transmission was based on GM's famous two-speed Powerglide, because Toyota came up with one of the best transmission names of all time: Toyoglide! You could get your late-60s/early-70s Crowns and Coronas with the Toyoglide option, and it's a shame that… » 5/29/08 2:00pm 5/29/08 2:00pm

Cool Transmission Name Of The Day: Ultramatic!

We haven't forgotten the Engine of the Day series, but all the research I've been doing for the next round of EOTD entrants keeps turning up the incredible futuristic names that manufacturers used for automatic transmissions. Back when the slushbox was the Next Big Thing, everyone had to have a catchy name, and today… » 5/28/08 4:20pm 5/28/08 4:20pm

Sometimes You Must Buy The Emblem

I violated my "No Emblem Clutter" policy last week, when I found this Malaisetastic Caddy V8-6-4 emblem at the junkyard, and now I've fallen off the wagon again. It is not possible for me to discover a junked '68 Peugeot with an "Automatique" emblem and not dredge up $2.99 for the thing. I have no idea what I'll do… » 3/25/08 3:00pm 3/25/08 3:00pm