In some of the latest cars out there, you can change gears by simply pressing a button, turning a knob or toggling a little joystick. Yet simultaneously, plenty of different automobiles still require drivers to make use of one foot for the clutch pedal and another for the gas, all while using one hand to manipulate the gear-change lever through a distinct design of positions. And many other current vehicles don’t have any traditional gears at all within their transmissions.
But whether or not a vehicle has a fancy automatic, an old-college manual or a modern-day constantly variable transmitting (CVT), each unit has to do the same job: help transmit the engine’s output to the driving wheels. It’s a complicated task that we’ll try to make a bit simpler today, you start with the basics about why a tranny is needed to begin with.
Let’s actually start with the normal internal combustion engine. As the fuel-air mixture ignites in the cylinders, the pistons begin upgrading and down, and that movement can be used to spin the car’s crankshaft. When the driver presses on the gas pedal, there’s more fuel to burn in the cylinders and the complete process moves quicker and faster.
What the transmission does is change the ratio between how fast the engine is spinning and how fast the driving wheels are moving. A lesser gear means optimum Variable Speed Transmission functionality with the wheels moving slower than the engine, while with a higher gear, optimum performance includes the wheels moving quicker.
With a manual transmission, gear shifting is handled by the driver via a gear selector. Many of today’s vehicles have five or six forward gears, but you’ll find older models with anywhere from three to six forwards gears offered.
A clutch is utilized to transmit torque from a car’s engine to its manual transmitting. The various gears in a manual tranny allow the car to visit at different speeds. Larger gears offer plenty of torque but lower speeds, while smaller gears deliver less torque and allow the car travel more quickly.