Car Transmissions

Car Transmission Types and How They Work

Many of us know about the phrases of transmission but few of us are aware that various types of transmission are available today. Vehicles powered by internal combustion engines need a transmission. Let’s talk about types of car transmission are:

Manual Transmission

Manual Transmission is one of the simplest and the oldest types of car transmission and is still in use. The gearbox uses a friction clutch and is controlled by the driver’s foot to connect the rotation energy to the transmission input shaft.

It has been going by various names over the many years like standard, manual, stick shift, three, four, five, or six-speed but that does not matter whatever you call it and it is an endangered species in the United States.

Fewer and fewer new car models came with a row-it-yourself gearbox as the increasing numbers of drivers appear it seems they don’t have an idea how to use one.

As it is very simple, the stick shift does not need expensive repair as compared to other transmissions and whatever problems arrive are cheaper and easy to fix.

If we talk about decades then also the standard was only the option when it comes to performance. And mostly every sports car and every race on the planet had one as it has high-end performance.   

Automatic Transmission

Automatic transmission is the modern car transmission. It is a very straightforward concept, and nowadays most current automobiles companies have launched automatic transmission which has already been in use since the 1940s.

In automatic transmission when the driver selects the “D” (drive) then the gears automatically shift the vehicle. In driving an automatic transmission vehicle, there is no clutch pedal as they have only the accelerator and the brake are used.  

Automatic transmission started with two or three-speed units but now modern automatic transmission came up with seven, eight, or even ten-speed units. Now the automatic transmission improved its shifting times and now it is far faster than the manual transmission.

Today’s Modern automatic gearboxes also contain manual mode features which allow the driver to operate the gearbox according to his desire manually.

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)

The CVT (Continuously variable transmission) is very similar to an automatic transmission in terms of driving experience. And the CVT does not have the gears at all. Instead of having gears, it uses the belts and the pulley to generate an infinite number of ratios.

The car computer determines how to modify the pulley to construct the optimal ratio for the given driving situation. The primary benefit of CVT is fuel economy, The CVT offers higher MPGs than the other transmission type yet.

They are less tricky than the other automatic transmission that’s why they are less prone to failure and costly repairs (not as much as manuals). The biggest flaw of CVTs is – the driving experience. It has smooth and seamless acceleration because there are no gearshifts.

Semi-automatic and dual-clutch transmissions

Semi-automatic is a hybrid of a fully automatic and manual transmission while Dual-clutch transmission is considered both automatic and manual transmission as well. It uses the same mechanical layout for a conventional transmission. We can start a semi-automatic with the clutch also but almost mostly gear changes are done without the input of drivers. 

Semi-automatic transmission has a lack of performance and is problematic for the response of manual and automatic gearboxes.

If we talk about Dual-clutch transmission there are two clutches one for odd and one for even gears which allows you rapid shifts. And it is fully automatic, only you can change the steering wheel paddles manually.

Both gearboxes are used in races and mainly on sports cars, which is why they are quite expensive. And the main disadvantages of this are magnified by their extreme complexity, that’s why it leads more frequently and extremely costly.


In my opinion, all are good in their own way, as time passes and new techniques are coming. So they come up with more advantages and disadvantages as transmission comes with automatic then its repair is very costly. And if we talk about manual transmission you have to all by yourself so the repair of that is cheaper. You can go with any transmission type of vehicle. I hope this article will help you to choose the transmission which you want. 

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