Are all transmissions created equal? The answer is no — and the differences go beyond most drivers’ general understanding. Yes, automatic transmissions and manual transmissions are very different, but the variations and nuances don’t end there. Here’s a basic comparison of a few of the transmission types.
Manual Transmissions Or The Stick Shift
“Transmissions exist not only to help transfer power from the engine to the wheels, but also to allow the engine to operate over a broader rev range,” a Jan. 23 Digital Trends magazine article explains. Manual transmissions are the original car and truck transmissions. They are lightweight and efficient, and many car enthusiasts prefer them for their quality performance. Of course, there also also many subcategories of manual and high performance transmissions. For instance, preselectors, popular in the 1930s, enabled drivers to choose gears and then depress the clutch.
Automatic Transmissions (About 95% Of All Cars Out There)
Although some say automatic transmissions are less efficient, they’re also the most popular sort of transmission out there. If, like 77% of all vehicles, your car needs maintenance, one of the 701,100 U.S. auto mechanics will likely use automatic transmissions and related accessories and parts (like transmission fluid) to get the job done. Auto transmissions are also generally easier to use, more precisely controlled, and enable manufacturers to work with a greater number of gears and speeds.
The Rise Of CVTs (Variable Automatic Transmissions)
Thanks to hybrids like the Toyota Prius, variable automatic transmissions are on the up and up. “CVTs can range through an almost limitless set of gear ratios,” Digital Trends continues. This ability makes them run as efficiently as possible, helping cars achieve their optimal rpm at all times. They’re lightweight, reduce emissions, and promote fuel economy, making them the perfect option for compact cars and hybrid models.
Just about anyone working at one of the 87,032 auto repair businesses in the U.S. can tell you: transmissions and transmission maintenance can vary a great deal. When in doubt, consult a professional about the best possible auto car.