Over 16 million new cars were sold in the United State of America in 2020.

Yet still, most of us do not understand how a car actually works. Much like computers, we are content to simply turn it on and use it.

It is important to have at least a basic understanding of how your car is put together. Otherwise, how will you understand what to say when you have to talk to a mechanic?

Let’s take a closer look at one of the more mysterious elements, the transmission of a car, and understand what it is and does.

What Does the Transmission Do?

There are three main elements to a car that make it possible to drive: the engine, the wheels, and the transmission. The first two seem obvious but what is the transmission and how does it work?

The engine is the power source. The wheels and steering, which enables you to move and control direction. The last part is the transmission which connects the other two parts and enables the engine to transmit the power to the wheels and makes them move.

One of the key transmission parts is the gearbox which controls the efficiency of the engine. Without a gearbox, the engine power and fuel consumption would be uncontrolled causing the engine to overload and likely fail.

The gearbox enables the engine to be used efficiently by lowering the number of revolutions per minute or RPMs. This way you can use the gears to provide more power when needed. When it is not needed you can use the gears to avoid overloading the engine when moving at lower speeds.

There are two different types of transmission, manual and automatic. The automatic transmission is by far the most popular kind in North America. However, in Europe, a manual transmission is the preferred choice.

Selecting the gears is either done automatically or manually depending on which kind of transmission you use.

Automatic Transmission Vs. Manual Transmission

In an automatic transmission, you do not need to think about the gears or gear rations at all. This is done for you by an automatic transmission. Simply put the car into drive and you will hear the gears change automatically as you accelerate the engine.

A manual transmission, or stick shift, is more complicated. It includes an additional pedal known as the clutch. The clutch sits between the engine and transmission and is required to be able to change the gears. Pressing the clutch will enable the driver to move the gear stick up or down through the gears.

Manual transmission drivers prefer this choice as they believe it gives much more control over the vehicle. This may be true in racing, as racing cars are all manual transmission but for the average user, it is simply an additional step.

An automatic transmission is more expensive and it increases the overall price of a car. However, they remove any concern of the drive about engine efficiency and are programmed to make the best decisions about fuel consumption and gear usage. Automatic drivers often find they have more miles to the gallon because of this.

Understanding the Transmission of a Car

Whilst it may seem like a complicated feature, understanding the transmission of a car should not be too difficult for the average layman. Knowing when to change the oil in your transmission is an important part of being a vehicle owner. Check your service manual to find out more about your car transmission.

We hope this guide has been useful for you. If you would like to know more then please read some more articles on our blog.