Different car transmissions all perform the same function generating power by the engine which drives the wheels in simple form.Forget CVT for a moment, a transmission is the case that has a series of gears where the original name gearbox came from. The gearbox has a ratio to ensure the wheels don’t end up spinning at the same speed as the engine is. The torque from the engine goes into the transmission the shaft then goes through each gear and comes out the output shaft. It will depend whether your car is front or mid or rear engines as to how it reaches the wheels. Most common are manual, CVT and automatic.
Manual transmission can also be called stick-shift where the driver uses the stick to change each gear. Older cars can have a dash mounted shifter or steering column, but these aren’t found in the modern cars. In the newer cars the lever is vertically mounted to the center console area and linked to the transmission through a linkage.You change gears via a clutch that is between the engine and transmission. This can only be released from the clutch pedal on the left side of the brake pedal.
You just release the clutch, put it into the gear and push the clutch again if doing this to quickly your car engine can stall.It does sound complicated but once you have the knack it is easy to deal with.
More gears have been added through the years of the engine becoming more powerful. Back in the 1950s it was only three speeds now we have 6 and sports cars like Porche have 7 gears.
Automatic transmission shifts on its own with no manual gear changing. This used to be considered a luxury.Automatic transmissions have two types of transmissions a traditional is connected to the engine through a hydraulic torque converter where as a dual-clutch automatic car uses a pair of clutches.
Both change gears without the input from the driver. It works either hydraulically or electronically by monitoring the position of the throttle pedal, the speed of the car and its engines rpm. There is still the option in some cars to change the gears manually using paddles behind the wheel or the shift level.
Using an automatic gives the advantage of not stalling the car and automatics run smoother in a lot of stop and go traffic. Manuals also tend to require more mechanic work than auto transmissions.We only used to see four speed automatics but now we are seeing six to eight speed autos. Honda came out with a 9 speed and ford even have a ten-speed available. The more gears means quieter driving and improved fuel consumption.
Finally, we have the CVT standing for Continuously Variable Transmission. A CVT relies on pulley and belt kit that can provide a countless number of ratios.This simply means the transmission never shifts.
CVTS are popular in scooters and motorcycles. It seems a CVT is smoother than an automatic and improves the gas consumption to which is why the CVT is popular with the hybrid cars. It can seem confusing driving a CVT until you are used to it as it doesn’t shift. A car equipped with CVT are not on the favorite list of motorists so go for test run before buying is recommended.
If you aren’t sure what is best suited for you have a chat to a car dealer about how you are driving the car whether it be highway driving or stop and starting through town etc. and they will match you with the best transmission.