Different Types of Car Transmissions: What Transmission Is in My Car?

The automobile can be a mysterious thing for many car owners who know how to drive but don’t really understand what’s under the hood. Just like how people who can’t code know how to navigate apps and send emails, you don’t necessarily need to know how cars operate to drive one.

The more you can understand your car’s engine, the more appreciation you gain for the sophisticated machines that put their stamp on 20th-century technology and are paving the way into the 21st. The experts at

Let’s take a closer look under the hood to see what a transmission is and how they work.

What Is a Transmission?

Perhaps the best way to explain transmission systems is to compare them to the gears on a bicycle. On a bike, the cyclist powers the pedals, which turn a chain, which then spins a revolving system of gears which adjust according to the current slope.

In a car, the combustion chamber where the controlled explosion of fuel igniting takes place is akin to the cyclist’s muscle power. Their legs moving up and down are the pistons.

The system of gears on the bike is akin to the car’s transmission. Where the bicycle chain turns the wheels, in a car, the pistons move the vehicle’s crankshaft.

The raw, explosive power cars generate would be too much for stopping or starting your car or if you needed to get around slowly. The transmission channels and directs the abundant energy, so it matches how you want to drive. Basically, it converts explosive energy into mechanical energy.

How the gear sets and gear trains are arranged will determine how your vehicle drives.

What Would Happen Without a Transmission?

Knowing what would happen without a transmission is a great way to help appreciate what they do. Without your transmission, the car’s engine would turn so quickly that it’d either destroy itself or overheat.

The transmission harnesses the engine’s speed. Just like a cyclist shifts gears on hills to use power efficiently, a car’s transmission system adjusts the RPM when you put your foot to the floor so it doesn’t overheat.

Imagine trying to start pedalling a bicycle in high gear; your car’s transmission changes gears, so your vehicle doesn’t need to work too hard. A vehicle that runs smoother and more effortlessly saves fuel consumption and helps prevent wear and tear that costs money long term.  A damaged transmission system can be among the frequent car problems drivers experience. AutoOne Service has all the latest garage equipment to fully service the latest cars off the production line and vintage cars alike.

What Are The Different Types of Transmission Systems?

Two basic types of different transmissions involve manual versus automatic. Manual, colloquially known as “driving stick,” involves the driver manually changing the gears themselves as they change speeds or adjust to road conditions. A manual transmission is not very common in North America anymore, but avid manual drivers love how it makes them feel more connected to the road and saves them money at the pump.

Automatic transmissions adjust the gears without the driver having to do anything with the clutch, freeing them up to focus more on the road. There are a few different types of automatic transmissions which improve road performance.

A continually variable transmission changes seamlessly through a continuous range of gear ratios, so the engine can hum along at the same rate even as the vehicle’s speed changes. A Tiptronic transmission simulates the benefits of a manual transmission in an automatic car.

There are also semi-automatic and dual-clutch transmissions, which blend the two major approaches in ways that can appeal to drivers, depending on their preferences and temperaments. The nature of how a car or truck changes gears can improve how it performs on ice, the way it accelerates and handles, and more.

The transmission system in your car, SUV, or pickup truck is a major feature impacting how it drives.  You may not be a gearhead yourself, but you should research what specific type of transmission a vehicle has before you buy it.

People buy vehicles for many reasons that have nothing to do with a detailed understanding of the guts under the hood. If you suspect something is wrong with your transmission or want to learn more about what type you have, don’t hesitate to contact AutoOne Service.

Transmission Repairs in Our Shop

AutoOne Service is proud to offer some of the best transmission repairs in Toronto and Halifax. Our technicians are experts in all manners of transmission repair, diagnostics, and other services for any and all kinds of vehicles.

Whether you drive a 1960 Corvette with an automatic 2-speed transmission or an 8-speed Range Rover, we’re equally adept and experienced in doing repairs. Our professional transmission garage also handles everything from fluid flush to auto electronic diagnostics, differentials, and clutches.

You can schedule an appointment to get your transmission diagnosed or repaired through our website from the comfort of your own home. Just tell us what vehicle you drive, what’s the issue, and whether you’d like to wait on-site for repairs or drop your vehicle off.

For a reliable auto service solution that gives you peace of mind for less, call AutoOne Service.

Some car enthusiasts love learning about every component of a vehicle, and they don’t purchase one without making a thorough comparison of similar vehicles. Other people buy a car because it looks cool and fits their lifestyle and budget. Even if you don’t particularly care about the mechanical details of what’s going on under the hood, hopefully, you have an enlarged appreciation for how vehicles manage to productively and safely channel explosive amounts of energy.

If you still have questions about what a transmission system does, whether yours is in need of repair, or anything else related to vehicles, don’t hesitate to contact AutoOne Service!