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Heavy hauling requires a standard transmission

This maxim caught on in the days when standard transmissions were preferable to some pretty shaky early automatics.

Time and technology, however, have turned this into a car myth.

Today, some mechanics even recommend automatics for towing. The reason: Cars now have computerized drivetrain management systems that can calculate gear shifts more precisely than a driver can, thereby prolonging the transmission's life.

"Just remember to take it out of overdrive," warns Martin. "Don't pull a trailer in overdrive."

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