How Important is Your Transmission?
The transmission is a critical part of your car. It is also an expensive one to fix. You have probably heard horror stories about how much people have paid to fix their transmission and you do not want to be one of those people.
One way you can avoid being one of those people is understanding what your transmission is, what It does, and how it works. Then you will understand why it is so important to get your transmission serviced regularly, according to the requirements of your car, and checking the fluid to ensure there are no leaks. Nothing can trash a transmission faster than insufficient fluid. Once you understand how your transmission works, you will understand that the fluid doesn’t just act like oil, making the parts easier to slide.
What Does the Transmission Do?
There are three types of transmission – automatic, manual and continuously variable transmission (CVT). Most cars have an automatic transmission, which is typically standard equipment when you purchase a car. Though manual and automatic transmissions both perform the same job they do it differently. They both do their job utilizing gears to do it, but with a manual transmission you control what gear the car is using, and it moves in a linear fashion, while an automatic transmission controls the gear the car is in and their structure is circular.
The gear that your car is in controls the revolutions per minute (RPM) which determines how fast or slow you drive. The transmission receives the engine’s power via the flywheel. Once sufficient power is transferred to the necessary parts of the drivetrain, the driveshaft starts spinning and powers the differential which in turn allows the wheels to spin and get your car in motion. The drivetrain is a series of parts that help make up the powertrain. The parts related to the wheel, like axles and CV joints, are part of the drivetrain. The only other part related to the powertrain is the engine. Put simply, the drivetrain gives power to the wheels and the engine produces the power the drivetrain needs.
What makes the CVT transmission different is doesn’t have any gears. It features a pair of pulleys of variable width, connected by a belt. One pulley is connected to the engine, the other to the wheels. Because their width is variable, it changes depending on how much power the car needs, hence the term “continuously variable transmission”.
What Are the Components of the Transmission?
The transmission is not just one big thing that gets replaced when it fails. It is made up of a series of parts and one of which can fail. For the purposes of this article, it will describe an automatic transmission since it is the most common. The automatic transmission uses what’s called Planetary Gear Sets. The gears are kept in one place in a circular structure.
The Planetary Gear Set has an outer ring gear, a central gear referred to as the “sun” gear, and two or more smaller gears are referred to as “planet” gears. The sun gear is stationary and is in the center. The planet gears engage the sun gear and the outer ring gear in a fashion that determines which gear your car is running in. The ring gear connects to the input shaft to get the engine power. The planet gears are in a casing that attaches to an output shaft to transfer power to the drivetrain and ultimately the wheels.
The sun and planet gears are both connected to a clutch pack which is alternating disks that use hydraulics to lock and turn together. Transmission fluid submerses all of the transmission parts. It helps to control the gear shifting, it lubricates the transmission parts so they aren’t damaged by the friction, and it cools the transmission. The transmission fluid is distributed by tubes that connect at the front and back. Where they meet the transmission there are gaskets and seals. Over time these can harden and cause small leaks of transmission fluid which can drop the pressure and damage the transmission. If you’re in Phoenix and want your transmission checked, stop in at Pro-Tech Transmissions. We can ensure you have sufficient fluid and if you don’t, why you don’t. We can also change your transmission fluid, which is recommended, to keep it clean and keep your parts running smoothly. Preventative maintenance is always the best.
At our shop we work on all transmissions. Our techs have many years of experience working on differentials, transfer cases, and axles. We’ve been rebuilding, repairing, and installing transmissions in all makes and models for over 25 years. We welcome vehicles from all over the valley and if you need a tow we also provide this service right to our shop. If you feel that your vehicle may be experiencing and issue with your transmission call our office to schedule an appointment. Our team will diagnose the problem and provide you with the best options possible. Call today (602) 978-9201.