Originally Posted by ZTUNER
If you want to compare Auto vs manual reliability you need to look at it like this
Clutch replacement if it breaks
Potential to break rear end with slicks / abuse
Potential to break / wear out synchros
It is harder / more expensive to upgrade manuals and you have to factor in the strength of the diff / axles /driveshaft etc. An auto imposes a lot less stress on the diff / axles and driveshaft since it applies torque smoothly compared to a manual driven agressively.
Yes you can burn up an auto if you abuse it enough. If you do why replace when you can rebuild with stronger components. At this time there have been virtually no failures of the auto trans. Maybe after these cars get older there will be failures and at that point people will identify the fixes and the safe limits. Meanwhile i would suggest getting the auto oil replaced at atleast 30 - 40 m intervals even though BMW claims its a lifetime fill. You can always send the oil for analysis to show wear on the clutch packs. Highly recommended for people with higher mileages.
Absolutely right. A clutch and flywheel are not inexpensive. And I have seen a car break 3 axles in a row with the manual trans and DRs. The thousands spent there probably would have been $0.00 with the automatic trans.