A transmission is a car’s gearbox- this component uses the engine’s power into helps the car move. Without the transmission, you’d just sit in your vehicle with its engine running, going nowhere.The car transmission’s job is to ensure that the correct amount of power is channeled to your wheels so that you can drive at a specific speed.
If you do not maintain the transmission well, it can affect your car’s fuel economy. Depending on what the problem is, you may not be able to drive at all. There are two basic car transmission types- manual and automatic, and here we take a look at how both of these work.
Manual Transmission – How It Works
A manual transmission is like a more powerful version of a gear shifter in a bicycle. Although your car has no chain as a bicycle does, there has to be a temporary disconnection between the car transmission and engine. This is similar to how a bicycle chain gets lifted off from the gears temporarily when you shift the gears. In a car, pushing its clutch disconnects the transmission and engine. Whenever you adjust the gear shifter, the effect is like moving the bicycle chain. It moves your vehicle into a new gear. Once you are in the next gear, you need to release the clutch and then drive on.
Automatic Transmission- How It Works
An automatic transmission is an automatic gear shifter. Rather than manually shifting gears using a clutch in a manual car or a gear shifter in a bicycle, an automatic transmission handles all actions for you. A vehicle that has automatic transmission has a component called a torque converter. This converter senses changes when you accelerate and automatically shifts you to the higher gear. This same process is followed in reverse when you are slowing down.
Regardless of whether you have a manual or automatic car transmission, you need to make sure it is operating in top condition. This also means you need to check the transmission fluid and get the system serviced regularly.
Checking the Transmission Fluid
Before you check the car transmission fluid, read your owner’s manual to find out whether you need to keep the engine running while performing the check. This would vary based on the car model; to get an accurate reading, you need to know whether you should keep the engine on or off while conducting the check.
Open the hood and locate the transmission fluid dipstick (do not confuse it with the oil dipstick). When you remove the dipstick, it should be covered in the transmission fluid. It needs to go right up to the full indicator mark on the dipstick. To verify the reading accuracy, clean the dipstick with a rag, and do the check again. If it’s okay, replace the dipstick and close the hood.
When Do You Need To Change The Transmission Fluid?
Every manufacturer will have different recommendations on when to change the transmission fluid in specific vehicles. Some recommend that it needs to be replaced every 30,000 miles, while others would mention that you need to change it only every 100,000 miles. You can find this information in the owner’s manual in the maintenance schedule section. Following that schedule is crucial to keep your warranty valid.
If you frequently push your vehicle with hard accelerations and stop-and-go traffic or other driving habits, you’d have to check the car transmission fluid more often than the recommended intervals. If the condition of the fluid isn’t right, or you are not sure if it is, its best to get a mechanic at an auto repair shop to flush the system and replace the fluid rather than just topping it off.