There are few parts of your car that are more vital than the transmission. When it comes to transmissions, there are basically two choices, the manual and the automatic. They operate slightly differently and each has their own advantages and disadvantages. Both are also capable of breaking down, so it’s good to know that they can both be serviced correctly at Trans Works Transmissions.
The Difference Between a Manual and Automatic Transmission
A transmission translates engine power to the wheels of a vehicle, making the wheels move and pushing the vehicle. Sets of gears allow you to change speeds without drastically modifying the RPM of the engine. The automatic version of the transmission adjusts those gears automatically using a torque convertor, so the only settings you really need to understand are “Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive”. A manual transmission, by contrast, requires you to manually shift gears as the vehicle’s speed increases or decreases. Depressing a clutch and using the gearshift, often with three to five forward speeds in addition to “Reverse, Neutral and Park”, accomplish this.
Advantages of a Manual Transmission
A manual transmission has the advantage of allowing precise control over shifting. This is useful for racing (or showing off), but it can also lead to better fuel economy. Vehicles with manual transmissions also save money on initial purchase, as they are usually cheaper than automatics. There are some who claim that manual transmissions force you to focus more on the road, as well, since you have to know when to shift. Perhaps the most compelling feature of a manual, however, is the fun. It is just fun to shift gears, particularly when you’re moving at a fairly good speed down the highway.
Advantages of an Automatic Transmission
The biggest advantage of automatic transmissions is that they are easy to use. You simply put the car in gear and leave it there until you need to park or reverse. You also don’t have to deal with “riding the clutch” in traffic or holding the brake down to keep from rolling when stopped at a stoplight on a hill. Since automatics are more expensive, they also have greater resale value and a bigger market, since everyone knows how to drive them.
Transmissions do break down from time to time, and manuals and automatics each have their own specific service concerns, all of which Trans Works Transmissions can deal with effectively. A manual transmission is generally easier (and cheaper) to work on, but the addition of the manual clutch gives you a few more moving parts that can and do wear out. An automatic transmission is more complicated and will more frequently require removal and overhaul or replacement. A traditional transmission overhaul or rebuild for either type involves taking the transmission apart, inspecting every piece and replacing or repairing the ones that don’t measure and perform up to factory specs.