“What transmission do I have?” It’s a question we hear a lot at Mister Transmission. The question can be fairly easy to answer or it can be somewhat complex, depending on what you mean by the question.
Many people asking us or themselves, “What transmission do I have?”, want to know what type of transmission it is, i.e., manual or automatic. This is a basic question and it might seem obvious to many of you reading, but for new drivers, the transmission is often a mysterious and confounding component of their vehicle. It’s natural to be confused about these things when you first start driving. Especially since here in Canada, the vast majority of drivers drive an automatic transmission. (Manual transmissions account for only an estimated 9% of cars.)
When you see it in practice, it’s pretty easy to discern an automatic from a manual transmission. A manual transmission vehicle requires the driver to use the gear shift stick and the clutch pedal to shift gears based on the vehicle’s speed. A vehicle with an automatic transmission does not require the driver to shift of gears in this way. Usually, when driving an automatic transmission, one only needs to shift gears from park, to reverse, to drive, and so on. Automatic transmissions are easier to drive, and they allow the driver to focus on the road, while manual transmissions allow drivers to have more control over their vehicle and they don’t use as much gasoline.
CVT stands for “continuously variable transmission”. The difference between a CVT and an automatic transmission is not as easy to identify because, in practice, there is very little difference to notice as a driver. Indeed, a CVT is actually a kind of automatic transmission. A CVT seamlessly changes through a limitless range of gear ratios while other automatic transmissions offer a fixed number of gear ratios and can have hard shifts between these ratios. In many ways, the CVT is an improvement on the traditional automatic transmission, so they’re becoming more common in newer vehicles.
To know the specific make and model of transmission you have might have to have a transmission technician look at it. If you drive a Nissan, you probably have a Nissan transmission. But which make? And it can get complicated when car companies combine on transmissions, as with the GM-Ford 6-speed automatic transmission.
Mister Transmission can help you identify the make and model of your transmission, as well as offer full transmission maintenance and repair services. To learn more, please contact us. We also have a comprehensive COVID-19 policy to keep everybody safe.