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Transmission is what diverts the right amount of power from your engine to your wheels depending on your speed. You literally won’t go anywhere without it.  

Types of Transmission

When it comes to driving a car, you’ve probably heard of the terms “manual” and “automatic”. Those words refer to the way you control your transmission with the gear shift.  

Most cars are automatic because it’s easier for the average person to operate. You just set the gear to “drive” and your vehicle does the rest. Some drivers like to have more control over their power output, and that’s why they prefer the manual option. If you’re not sure which vehicles are automatic or manual, call any Prieto Automotive location and one of our product specialists will give you the information you need.  

“Automatic” and “manual” are the terms you hear the most, but did you know that there are other styles of transmission? They are very uncommon, but each have their benefits:  

  • Continuously variable transmission (CVT) uses a pulley system rather than rings. Since it has a more simple design compared to the inner-workings of an automatic, the CVT is less prone to mechanical disruptions. Although it’s better for fuel economy, this transmission is not usually recommended because of its lack of feedback on the road. If you’re used to automatic or manual transmissions, you’ll notice the difference almost immediately.
  • A semi-automatic transmission functions like an automatic for the most part, but its layout is more similar to that of a manual. This characteristic is why the semi-automatic is also referred to as a clutch-less manual. If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, you might want to give this style a try.   

Some experienced drivers prefer the versatility of a dual-clutch transmission. It’s like a manual, but there are separate clutches for even and odd-numbered gears to allow for much faster shifting. This level of customization lets you be in complete control of your track.    

Lastly, Tiptronic transmission is a more innovative mix between automatic and manual. The settings can either be controlled automatically, or it can be left to the driver. The coolest thing about this transmission is the ability to swap between the two options with the flip of a switch mid-drive. This amazing feature is used by experienced drivers to fine-tune their skills.   

Need to schedule a service? Choose the location nearest you: Fresno Mazda, Sanger Chevrolet Buick GMC, Sonora Ford, Subaru of Sonora.

Taking Care of Your Transmission

Usually, your transmission will last about seven years or roughly 150,000 miles. That’s a long time, but that doesn’t mean you can neglect it for a few years. Get your vehicle inspected every now and then to detect any issues that might occur. Other than routine maintenance, a couple easy ways to take it easy on your transmission is to let your car warm up before driving and always make a complete stop before changing gears.   

So what exactly would need to be maintenanced? Like with most parts of a vehicle, your transmission uses fluid. The way you check your transmission fluid is actually similar to how you would check your motor oil. You can refer to our guide on checking motor oil to get a basic idea.   

Aside from fluid, certain parts may require attention every now and then. Faulty parts can cause your car to break down and leave you stranded. You’ll know when you need to get it checked out if you experience awful smells, grinding sounds, slipping when changing gears, or when your check engine light comes on. These symptoms sound terrifying, but it’s nothing that we can’t handle at Prieto Automotive. Make an appointment at any of our service centers and we’ll have your vehicle running like new!   

Get to Know Your Transmission

If you want to know what exactly makes up your transmission, it consists of these parts:   

  • Countershaft – Connects the input shaft to the output shaft
  • Clutch – Controls the connection of power between the engine and the gearbox
  • Computer controls – Serves as the brain of the transmission
  • Drive gears – Shows the current gear selection
    Gear shifter – Acts as a lever for switching gears
  • Hydraulic system – Distributes transmission fluid
  • Idle gear – Allows the vehicle to go in reverse
  • Input shaft – Connects the engine to the gearbox
  • Modulators – Monitors hydraulic pressure and vacuum readings
  • Oil pump – Distributes oil through the gearbox
  • Output shaft – Transmits engine power to the drive train
  • Planetary gears – Uses a system of rings to operate as a drive gear
  • Seals and gaskets – Maintains high pressure
  • Shift fork – Holds the synchronizer collars
  • Shift rod – Moves the synchronizers to the correct gear
  • Synchronizer sleeves and collars – Separates the gears and moves with the shifter
  • Torque converter – Keeps the engine running at a complete stop
  • Valve body – Directs transmission fluid through valves

Needless to say there are a lot of parts that make up your vehicle’s transmission. If you’re the kind of person who likes to work on their own car, you can order any parts you need from any Prieto Automotive location.   


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