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Transmission: What Does it Do, and Why is it Important?

on March 4, 2021
Gear Shifter

Transmission: What Does it Do, and Why is it Important?

on March 4, 2021

Imagine this: Your vehicle has been giving you subtle hints that something is wrong for a few months. It hesitates to switch gears sometimes, and there are some weird noises that are causing some concern.

What is wrong with your vehicle? What should you do to fix the problem? Well, if you bring it to a mechanic, you will most likely come back with the dreaded transmission issue. 

While it is well known that a transmission is one of the most important and expensive parts of your vehicle, not as many people know what it is. How can something so important to the functionality of a vehicle be such a mystery to people?

What Does a Transmission Do?

The transmission in your vehicle moves the power from the engine to the wheels. Whenever you shift your gears, the transmission determines where to put the power from the engine, depending on the gear you shifted into.

The transmission has more jobs, depending on what kind of car that you have. There are two different types of transmissions, automatic and manual. Automatic does all of the deciding for you depending on how you shift, but manual engines and transmissions are a little more complicated.

Manual Transmissions

Manual transmissions have input and output shafts that help the transmission to determine where the power should go. The driver has to select the proper gear that they want to be in and then engage/disengage the clutch. 

There are various types of manual transmissions:

  • Dual Clutch
  • Unsynchronized
  • Synchronized/Constant Mesh
  • Automated
  • Single-Clutch
  • Preselector

Each type of transmission does different things and requires you do extra steps in order to shift gears. While these are important to know about, it is more important to know whether your transmission is manual or automatic. 

If you have to manually shift gears every 5-10 miles per hour and have a clutch pedal, you more than likely have a manual transmission. 

Automatic Transmissions

Automatic transmissions are easier to keep up with, as it doesn’t need you to maneuver through extra steps. Although there isn’t much that you have to do with the transmission when you are driving an automatic car, there are some things you should know. 

The direct-shift gearbox when speaking about a transmission contains two clutches that alternate between each other when engaging and disengaging to change gears. They help with accelerating smoothly and shifting quickly.

A tiptronic gearbox allows the automatic transmissions to be shifted back and forth manually. This means that it allows the vehicle to switch between manual and automatic at the will of the driver.

If your question is “How to remove automatic transmissions” then the best answer would be to see a mechanic about this issue. It is best to go to a mechanic for transmission removal, as they would know all of the inner workings of your car, so they would know what to watch out for. 

Why is it Important?

Without your transmission, your vehicle will not be able to move. This is because the transmission of your vehicle transfers energy from the engine to the wheels. If your transmission is starting to fail, you will notice a lot of issues that pertain to the gears. 

When you notice that your transmission is starting to go, be sure to go to a mechanic as soon as possible. It is not a smart choice to wait until the transmission dies to get it fixed. 

Warning Signs

There are several ways to know if your transmission is about to break, or is on its last leg. Keeping an ear out for any and all signs could help you be prepared for the inevitable. 

Some of the most common transmission problem signs are:

  • Slipping Gears – If you have an issue where your vehicle is slipping from one gear to another when you did not manually shift, this might be an indication of an issue with your transmission. 
  • Leaking Fluid – If you have a leak in your transmission fluid, or can the transmission fluid smell is prominent outside of your vehicle, it could mean your transmission is going.
  • Grinding or Shaking – If you hear grinding, or feel your vehicle shaking when it shifts in and out of gears, it could be your transmission. 
  • Unresponsive Gears – if shifting gears gives you no response from your vehicle, you should worry about the health of your transmission.
  • Noises when in Neutral – Your vehicle should be relatively silent when in neutral. If you find that your vehicle makes noise while it is in neutral, your transmission core might be to blame.

“What does transmission fluid smell like” you ask? Transmission fluid has a distinct smell that is easy to pinpoint, so if you smell it outside of your vehicle, you will know. Good transmission fluid is bright red and has a sweet smell, but bad fluid smells burnt. 

Looking at a transmission fluid compatibility chart will help you to understand what transmission fluid to put into your vehicle, and what it should do to help your vehicle. It is also important to check the fluid often to make sure you have good fluid in your transmission.

If any of these issues arise in your vehicle, bring it to your mechanic and make sure that everything is okay. Listen to your mechanic closely for their recommendations, as the transmission is such a “hit or miss” kind of mechanism in your vehicle.

A transmission is an extremely important, and extremely expensive, part of your vehicle. When it starts to go, you need to make sure that you have the time and money to get it fixed. If only there was something out there that could help you pay for your wear and tear repairs!

DriveSmart Auto Warranty is the solution to all of your vehicle troubles. We pay the mechanic directly so that all you have to do is sit back and relax while your vehicle problems are resolved. 

With the added bonus of roadside assistance, rental assistance, tow assistance, and trip interruption services, we make sure that you are protected from anything that could happen. 

Check out DriveSmart Auto Warranty and get yourself a quote today, before you need it and get stuck paying out of pocket for your transmission repairs.

By Brooke Lazar

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