The Four Types of Transmissions

 There are many transmission options for you to choose from and each has its positives and negatives. In this article, we will discuss the four basic kinds of transmissions so you have a good idea of the available options when you are looking at buying either a new or used car.  

Dual-clutch transmissions 
The newest kind of transmission is a Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT). This is basically a hybrid between a manual and automatic transmission. In a DCT, there are separate clutches for both even and odd gears, which allows for super fast shifts. Like other automatic transmissions, the shifting of the gears and clutch movement is controlled by a computer and solenoids. DCT transmissions offer ultra-fast gear changes and cutting-edge performance. Currently, these gearboxes are mainly found on race and high-end sports cars but they are beginning to appear on production automobiles.

Manual transmissions 
Perhaps the most compelling case for a stick shift is the driving experience it provides. For true driving enthusiasts, nothing beats the feeling of a manual transmission. The manual is the simplest type of transmission still in use.  This is how these work: A vehicle with a manual transmission uses a friction clutch to connect the engine’s flywheel to the transmission’s input shaft. From there, a set of gears are engaged using a gear-selector connected to the gear shift. The gear shift is what is operated by the vehicle operator to change gears.  Power is then fed to the output shaft which connects to your wheels. This design is really simple.

In spite of fewer and fewer being sold every year, the manual has a lot of advantages over the more complicated transmissions.  Its simplicity means that it’s less likely to require expensive repairs than any other transmission type, and if it does have an issue, it’s likely to be cheaper to repair. Originally, all cars had manual transmissions; you either knew how to operate a clutch and gearshift or you did not drive!

Automatic transmissions 
In the early days of cars all automobiles were manual but that did not mean that every driver liked the experience of using one.  Many drivers wanted something easier to use. As a result, after plenty of research, General Motors released the first fully automatic transmission in the early 1940s. Though internally complicated, the driving experience was simplified.

Though most automatics cannot match a manual for performance or fuel economy, the ones made today are closer than previous generations. In fact, many vehicles with automatic transmissions offer the same gas mileage as the models with standard transmissions.

Continuously variable transmissions 
Many automakers offer Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT) in the present day. CVT transmissions don’t have any gears. Instead, they use a belt and pulleys to produce an infinite range of ratios. The vehicle’s main computer decides how to adjust the pulleys to create the ideal ratio for the specific driving situation. Since they’re not as complicated as automatics, CVTs are less prone to costly repairs or failure.

Thank you to the service department at Interstate Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM for their knowledge to share. Interstate can be found in West Monroe, LA and is a full-service dealership.

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