In some of the latest cars on the market, you can change gears simply by pressing a Variable Speed Drive Motor button, turning a knob or toggling a little joystick. Yet simultaneously, plenty of different vehicles still require motorists to use one foot for the clutch pedal and another for the gas, all when using one hand to manipulate the gear-shift lever through a definite pattern of positions. And several other current cars don’t have any traditional gears at all within their transmissions.
But whether or not a vehicle includes a fancy automatic, an old-college manual or a modern-day continually variable transmitting (CVT), each unit has to do the same work: help transmit the engine’s result to the traveling wheels. It’s a complex task that we’ll make an effort to make a bit simpler today, starting with the fundamentals about why a tranny is needed to begin with.
Let’s actually begin with the typical internal combustion engine. As the fuel-air mix ignites in the cylinders, the pistons start 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 off in the cylinders and the whole 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 lower gear means optimum functionality with the tires moving slower than the engine, while with a higher gear, optimum performance includes the wheels moving faster.
With a manual transmission, gear shifting is handled by the driver via a gear selector. A lot of today’s vehicles possess five or six ahead gears, but you’ll find older models with anywhere from three to six forwards gears offered.
A clutch can be used to transmit torque from a car’s engine to its manual transmitting. The many gears in a manual transmitting allow the car to travel at different speeds. Bigger gears offer plenty of torque but lower speeds, while smaller gears deliver much less torque and allow the car travel quicker.