In the old days, there was one type of transmission available in every car, the manual. It took three pedals and a bit of know-how to operate correctly, but it was the only choice. Today, there are multiple types of transmissions on the road. Let’s take a look at four of the most popular transmission types on that market!
Though they are getting increasingly rare, you can still buy cars with manual transmissions. In these transmissions, the driver must depress a clutch pedal to disengage the motor before shifting into a new gear by moving a lever connected to the transmission by a mechanical linkage.
Getting the most out of a manual transmission requires a skilled human operator. Because of this, manual transmissions are found mostly in high-performance cars, focused on delivering an enjoyable driving experience.
The best part about manual transmissions at that they are the least expensive to repair or replace.
The automatic is the most common transmission on the road today. In today’s automatic transmissions, a sophisticated computer determines when to shift gears. This requires no skill from the driver, who is completely removed from the decision-making process.
In the old days, automatic transmissions could not match the fuel economy of manual transmissions. However, today’s sophisticated models are every bit as efficient as even the best drivers.
Continuously Variable Transmission
In the continuously variable transmission or CVT, the gears are removed entirely and replaced by a system of belts and pulleys. The system is infinitely variable. The computer continually makes adjustments to keep the engine running in its optimal power range. This delivers unparalleled fuel efficiency.
Over the next several years, CVT transmissions will likely start to outnumber their automatic counterparts.
These transmissions offer a driving experience similar to manual transmissions by allowing the driver to control when the transmission shifts gears. However, the driver is connected to the transmission through an electronic system rather than a mechanical linkage. Many vehicles with semi-automatic transmissions have paddle shifters on the steering wheel, making any driver feel like a Formula One racer behind the wheel.
Unfortunately, these transmissions are quite expensive. They are typically found on high-end sports cars, and repair costs can be astronomical. Only driving enthusiasts are willing to pay the price for the performance and driving experience semi-automatic transmissions offer.
Every type of transmission has advantages and disadvantages. Which is the best choice for you? It depends on what you’re driving and how you like to drive it. If you have any questions about your transmission, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
New 2020 Innovations
A lot of new discoveries have been introduced in 2020, taking new steps forward in the automotive transmission industry! With new ideas every day and new cars on the market every year, this industry is one that constantly strives for improvement, productivity, efficiency, speed, status and power!
Here are just a few of the new technological advances in the automotive industry so far in 2020:
• Ford’s New & Improved Automatic Transmission – Ford developed a new version of their 10 speed transmission (first produced in 2017) for the Mustang. With this new transmission, the torque converter does not need to disengage between transmission shifts. The clutches are activated by integrated solenoid valves, to improve shift time! This new system increases clutch pressure accuracy and delivers faster and smoother gear changes. The new transmission will be available on the rear drive, 170ps Transit, paired with the EcoBlue engine.
• Transmission Software Updates – Tests were conducted in the South of France that showed that Allison’s FuelSense 2.0 software hit 12% of fuel savings on its collection vehicles. The key to the software’s effectiveness is the way it continuously assesses driving conditions to adjust the gear changes at the right time. The software considers different factors when switching gears, such as vehicle weight, road gradient and frequency of stops. Upgrading vehicles to FuelSense 2.0 registered between 2014-2018 in the UK could reduce carbon emissions by 27,000 tons every year!
• Volkswagen’s Single-Speed Transmission – VW’s ID.3 transmission has been designed to cope with all driving situations. When in reverse, the car’s electric drive system direction is also reversed. The gearbox has a 2-stage design with two smaller cogs instead of one big cog. The electric drive motor in VW’s ID.3 gives maximum torque of 310Nm. Noise is also a major factor that was considered in the creation of this transmission. To ensure noise-reduction, the workings of the 1-speed gearbox are very carefully made and checked!
• Hyundai and Kia Introduce Connected Transmission Shift Technology – Both of these top car companies have developed information and communication technology that works well with a transmission shift system in a vehicle. This enables the car to shift automatically to the optimal gear depending on the weather, road, and traffic conditions ahead! This new transmission smart system should deliver improved fuel efficiency and a comfortable driving experience!
It is very important to check your transmission fluid frequently. Allowing your fluid to go bad and waiting too long to get it changed can cause a lot of problems for car. Transmissions can be very expensive to fix and is even more expensive to replace. Check your transmission every 50,000 miles or so, just to be safe. One of the best times to get your transmission fluid checked by a professional is during a routine engine oil change. Our specialists are always happy to check it for you and let you know the condition of your transmission fluid.
If you want to check your transmission fluid yourself, here are some simple steps to help:
- Put your vehicle in park, set your parking brake and make sure you are on level ground.
- Locate your transmission filler tube under the car (if your car doesn’t have one, see a specialist).
- Remove the dip stick and clean it with a dry cloth.
- Reinsert the dip stick all the way and then take it back out to see the level of the fluid.
- If the color of the fluid is not clear and has a burnt odor, it is time to get it changed!
Changing Transmission Fluid
Without changing your transmission fluid on time, your transmission will be lubricated with metal shavings and other contaminants, shortening your transmission’s life. Transmissions can fail even after you already changed the fluid because the damage has already been done by waiting too long get new fluid. Without being proactive, a hefty penny is needed to get a replacement.
A transmission changes the gears of your engine. It transfers the engine’s power to the wheels allowing your car to move. Changing the transmission fluid on a regular basis will make sure the fluid stays clean and will keep your car running smooth! Changing the fluid in your transmission can be a complicated mess so if you are even a little uncomfortable doing it yourself, let the professionals do it for you!
You may not know much about transmissions, but if you’ve ever had a problem with yours, you may know it’s time to get it checked out. A delay when you try to accelerate, any difficulty changing gears, or a burning smell can all be indications that your transmission needs a little help. Sometimes your transmission woes are more obvious, such as an indicator light on your dashboard or a puddle of red fluid underneath your parked car. Let’s look at three of the main causes for a slipping transmission that go beyond the symptoms of a larger problem.
A Little Low
While modern cars may have a sealed transmission system, they can still develop leaks, resulting in not enough fluid to keep the transmission working properly. Low transmission fluid should not be ignored because it could lead to expensive repairs. Those sealed systems usually do not have a dip stick, so you may need to take your car to a transmission dealer to get it inspected.
Breaking Up the Band
Most transmissions have bands that keep the gears moving smoothly. Like any moving part, these bands can wear out or break over time, which means transmission repair or replacement may be in your future. This type of repair is best left to a professional.
Let Out the Clutch
Another reason the transmission may be slipping is broken or worn out clutch pads or a dragging clutch. If your transmission has trouble switching gears or makes a grinding noise, it could be a sign of a problem with your clutch or the gears themselves. A transmission dealer can replace your clutch kit and get you back on the road.
Of course, these three issues are not the only causes of a slipping transmission, which is why taking your car to Trans Works should be your next step. We can inspect your vehicle and replace your system if needed. Contact us to make an appointment for your newer model or vintage car.