Types of Car Transmissions You Need to Know

shift gearIn cars, transmission is the device that is connected back to the engine. It works by transmitting mechanical power from the engine to drive the wheels. Transmission makes use of interlocking gears to reduce the revolutions of the crankshaft. Minimizing these revolutions helps the engine to efficiently use torque thus making a car operate at high speed. There are different models of transmission used in vehicles and tow trucks today. Let us look at these transmission types;


Manual Transmission

A manual transmission is also known as a stick shift. With this kind of transmission, a driver uses a stick to change gears. To switch gears, a clutch shift is sandwiched between the transmission and engine through a third pedal that is located on the left side of the brake. All you have to do is to release the clutch, select the right gear and engage the clutch again. Be sure to engage the clutch fast as doing so slowly will wear out the disk prematurely.


Automatic Transmission

An automatic transmission is one that shifts on its own. There are two main types of automatic transmission. There is a traditional automatic that is connected to the engine through a hydraulic torque converter and a dual clutch. These two can change gears without any assistance or input from the driver. The process of shifting gears is done electronically or hydraulically by monitoring key parameters such as the speed of car and position of the throttle pedal, and also the engine’s rpm. In the other version of automatic transmission, gears can be selected manually using either shift lever or paddles that are mounted on the steering wheel.



Continuous variable transmission is the third type of transmission used in modern cars today. A CTV transmission relies on a belt and pulley system that provides as many ratios as possible. This means the transmission never shifts. A car that has a CTV transmission is smoother to drive than its equivalent model that has either an automatic or manual transmission. Some buyers find cars with a CTV transmission to be a bizarre because of lack of shifting. In the way of improving the CTV mechanism, automakers offer CTV equipped cars with shift paddles where you can select pre-programmed ratios that mimic gears in an automatic mode.


CTVAfter looking at these three basic types of transmission, you might be wondering which transmission is best for you. If driving dynamics are not very high on your list, chances are that you will be comfortable to settle on a CVT or an automatic transmission. However, if you consider yourself a driving enthusiast and want to transverse vast lands driving, then a manual transmission might be the best option for you.


Manual transmission comes with a lot of advantages. Vehicles that are equipped with manual transmission are in most cases cheaper than those with an automatic setup. Another advantage falls on fuel consumption. The manual transmission has a better fuel economy as compared to an automatic one. This is because a manual one has better and more efficient mechanical and gear train efficiency. Maintenance of manual cars is also better because they do not have complicated devices.

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