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Complete Transmissions

What Is a Transmission?

The transmission is an essential part of your car. It is mounted directly on the engine and converts the engine’s combustion power to momentum, which drives the wheels. The gearbox is responsible for efficient driving. By changing gears, you ensure that the RPM (Revolutions per Minute) is kept low so that the engine is not overloaded and fuel consumption is reduced. The transmission is responsible for converting both the speed and the momentum into the power that will then move the entire car. Its main objective is to make the engine as efficient as possible by reducing fuel consumption while obtaining the best possible power. In other words, the transmission works by transferring the power from the engine to the wheels along with the driveshaft and axle, allowing you to drive the car.

When the vehicle is stopped, the transmission disconnects the engine from the driving wheels to stay idle when the wheels are not in motion. Transmissions also enable rapid acceleration from a stop and allow the engine to run more slowly to reduce wear while driving at consistent speeds.

Manual Transmission

Manual transmissions have the pedal of the clutch and the driver's shifter used to manually change gears. These types of transmissions consist of a set of transmissions along a pair of shafts called input and output shafts. With a manual transmission, the driver must select the proper gear and engage or disengage the clutch. The transmission uses a flywheel, a pressure plate and a clutch to activate and disconnect the engine from the transmission.

Automatic Transmission

The main automatic vs. manual transmission difference is that with the automatic transmission, the process that drives the manual transmission occurs within the transmission itself. Typically, automatic transmissions do not use clutches. The automatic transmission relies instead on a torque converter to change gears. 

The first automatic transmission, more like a semi-automatic transmission because it still had a clutch, has been around in some form since the early 1900s. The first true automatic transmission used in the production car was the Hydro-Matic, the 1939 Oldsmobile model year. Earl Avery Thompson was the inventor.

Continuously Variable Transmissions

Continuously variable transmissions, called CVTs, are pulley-based transmissions used primarily in small vehicles with small engines. For years, CVTs have been used in snow machines, ATVs and side-by-side machines, to name a few. More recently, they're also popular with hybrid vehicles. 

The basic set-up is a primary small drive and a secondary, large, driven clutch, with a belt or chain connecting the two. The belt or chain sits low in the primary drive and sits high in the secondary drive at a stop. As you accelerate, the primary drive will contract, causing the belt or chain to move up, while at the same time the secondary drive will expand, causing the belt or chain to walk down.

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