You may be familiar with manual versus automatic transmissions but, beyond that, what do you know about the transmission of your car? Let our Orem car repair professionals give you some basics regarding the transmission system.

Your car’s engine houses the power, and the transmission is what carries the power from the engine to the wheels. Here’s how it accomplishes the task.

What a Transmission Does

When your car is in motion, the transmission moves engine power to the driveshafts, which turn the wheels. When your car is in park or idling, the transmission disconnects the engine from the drive wheels so your car can remain stationary while still being on. A properly working transmission is also responsible for allowing the car to accelerate and decelerate smoothly.

How a Manual Transmission Works

Manual transmissions require more involvement on the driver’s part. In addition to a gas and a brake pedal, a manual car also has a clutch pedal. To change gears and optimize the car’s use of fuel, the driver will push in the clutch and manually shift gears with the stick shift. 

Although a car’s transmission is meant to allow for smooth gear shifting, a manual can take some finesse. With practice, the driver will learn to push in and release the clutch efficiently to allow the car to operate properly.

Types of Manual Transmissions

All cars and trucks vary by make and model, but here are the types of manual transmissions in gas-powered vehicles:

  • Dual Clutch – One clutch for even gears, and a separate clutch for odd gears and reverse.
  • Unsynchronized or Sliding Gear – Common in older cars, shifting gears would be accompanied by an audible grinding sound.
  • Synchronized or Constant Mesh – This type of transmission keeps all the gears constantly in motion. The constant-mesh transmission uses pads to help slow the gears.
  • Automated – Large trucks use a computer system to assist with controlling the shift and clutch in a manual transmission.
  • Single Clutch – Another system that uses a computer to control shift and clutch. This can be electric, hydraulic, or an electrohydraulic hybrid. Not as popular with the introduction of dual-clutches.
  • Preselector – An outdated manual transmission that used a vacuum or hydraulic shift, with the gears shifting in sequential order.

Today, the most common types of manual transmissions found in cars today are synchronized/constant mesh and unsynchronized/sliding gear. Outside the United States, manual cars are much more popular due to their affordability, fuel economy, and size.

How an Automatic Transmission Works

Rather than relying on the driver to shift gears, an automatic transmission processes gear shifts itself. A torque converter does the work of a manual clutch pedal, allowing the engine power to be processed in the transmission itself.

Types of Automatic Transmissions

Large vehicles have different automatic transmission systems than smaller vehicles. SUVs, trucks, and even some sedans have a traditional automatic transmission system, including the following elements:

  • Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) – Contains two clutches that alternate change gears. 
  • Tiptronic – The gearbox that allows for manual shifting of gears with a shifter or steering wheel controls.
  • Hydraulic – The fluid inside the automatic transmission.

Hybrid cars, compact cars, and small recreational vehicles have a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which is pulley-based.

For Orem car repair, you can trust the experts at Orem Tunex. We service diesel, hybrid, electric, and gas-powered vehicles.