About Automatic Transmissions

Your transmission is a remarkable contraption. Somehow it can shift your car from gear to gear, knowing how fast you need to go and how quickly you need to get there. What goes on inside is a mystery to most. Unless your thirst for automotive knowledge borders on compulsive, you can leave it a mystery. The basics will be enough to have an intelligent conversation with your Transmission Technician. Both the automatic transmission (plus its torque converter) and a manual transmission (with its clutch) accomplish exactly the same thing, but they do it in totally different ways. It turns out that the way an automatic transmission does it is absolutely amazing! An automatic gearbox is one type of motor vehicle transmission that can automatically change gear ratios as the vehicle moves, freeing the driver from having to shift gears manually. Most automatic transmissions have a defined set of gear ranges, often with a parking pawl feature that locks the output shaft of the transmission.

Basic Parts of a Transmission:

While there are many, many little parts inside, your transmission is essentially made up of a few key parts of systems.

  • Bell Housing: This is the cone shaped metal case that you can see when you peek underneath your car. If you have a front-wheel-drive car it's stuck on the side of the engine under the hood. If your car is rear-wheel-drive, the transmission will be mounted underneath the car behind the engine.
  • Gears: Even though you're not shifting them, an automatic transmission has gears. They are broken into main gears and planetary gears. You need all of these to be able to drive.
  • Fluid: Transmission fluid is very important to an automatic transmission. All of the magic happens in the fluid. Most cars come with red transmission fluid, good to know if you are looking for a leak.
  • Filter: All of that fluid has to be clean for your car to shift gears at the right time. To keep things fresh, your transmission has a filter to catch any gunk.

If you're currently experiencing problems with your vehicle's transmission or if you believe there is a problem with your transmission or clutch, do not hesitate to contact us for your Free Diagnostic Analysis.