How Do I Know What Transmission I Have?

By Mister Transmission

Did you know that no one component in your car has more going on inside it than your transmission?

Modern vehicle transmissions use a combination of sophisticated hydraulics and computer-controlled electronic components to transfer engine power to the driveshaft and wheels, and most modern drivers remain blissfully unaware of these complex systems until something goes awry.

Without a doubt, your vehicle’s transmission is the most complicated and least understood system in your car or truck, so it is little wonder that the majority of car questions—and repair service calls—have to do with transmission systems.

Have you ever wondered what kind of transmission your car or truck has under the hood? If so, you’re either in need of a repair due to transmission problems, such as high engine revs and transmission slipping, or you’re just curious about what goes on under the hood. In either case, Mister Transmission is here to help!

Read on to learn how to identify what type of transmission you’ve got under the hood, or call (800)-373-8432 to locate a Mister Transmission technician near you.

Transmission system basics: The different types of transmissions

Knowing your vehicle’s transmission type is essential to optimize upkeep and reduce service costs, but this is often easier said than done without the experienced eye of a transmission specialist.

Today there are over 200 transmission types on the road, and some car models may well have three or four types based on the engine size. To complicate matters further, some car manufacturers will even change the types or designs of transmissions on different car models from year to year. Even worse is if the transmission has been changed since the car was originally made—this can be a serious source of confusion for drivers and inexperienced transmission technicians.

This might sound a little overwhelming, but don’t worry—your local Mister Transmission is here to help.

Is my transmission manual or automatic?

Before you can determine your transmission specifications, you’ll need to know the basics. For starters, is your vehicle transmission manual or automatic?

Vehicles with manual transmission use a clutch to connect and disconnect the transmission to the engine, which is controlled manually through a foot pedal next to the brake pedal. Thus, identifying a manual transmission is easy: if you must shift gears yourself, and there’s a clutch pedal protruding from the floorboards, you have a manual transmission.

Conversely, if you only have to place your car into drive or reverse to make it move, and there is no clutch pedal, you know your vehicle uses an automatic transmission.

4 ways to identify your vehicle’s transmission system

At this point, you’re ready to dig deeper into your transmission systems specifications. If you’re not ready to book a free road test and multicheck with a Mister Transmission near you, you can check the following places for clues:

1.   The owner’s manual

A great place to start is to locate your vehicle’s owner’s manual. In many cases, the manual may indicate what type of transmission you have, or else it may refer to both a manual and standard transmission option.

2.   Placard on the driver’s side door

Open the driver’s side door and look for a white placard with small black lettering. This card contains specific details about the year the car was made, its transmission, engine specifications and other details.

To determine what type of transmission system you have under the hood, write down the code that appears underneath or beside the “TR” symbol. Once you have this code handy, call your local Mister Transmission and our technicians will look up your system specifications.

3.   Oil pan

Some transmission systems can be identified by the shape of the oil pan alone. If your vehicle has an irregular shape, you likely have a manual transmission.

To locate the oil pan, take a peek under your vehicle.

Get more help identifying your vehicle’s transmission system: Call Mister Transmission

If none of these options work, write down your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and contact your local Mister Transmission. Our technicians will look up your vehicle’s transmission system specifications with a few quick keystrokes.

Alternatively, you can visit your local Mister Transmission for a full inspection. A certified mechanic will identify your vehicle’s transmission system, then provide whatever repair, maintenance or part replacement services may be required, without you having to make a separate outing.

For your convenience, we offer:

To book a free road test and multi check, you can:

Is my car automatic or CVT?

Looking at buying or leasing a vehicle and want to know if you should opt for one with an automatic transmission or a CVT? Do you have a CVT and aren’t sure how to care for it?

A CVT vehicle is better than the average automatic transmission vehicle. CVTs operate more smoothly than other automatic transmissions and we can expect to see more vehicles utilise CVTs. Read More

Are automatic and manual transmissions the same?

Is there a way to definitively say that manual transmissions have the advantage over automatic transmissions or vice versa?

There are a few qualities of a manual transmission vehicle that are superior to those of an automatic transmission. For one, manual transmissions are usually cheaper to buy than automatic transmission vehicles. Read More

What is the most common transmission type?

The most common type of transmission that is available in vehicles today is the automatic transmission.

Designers spent decades perfecting the modern automatic transmission. Here we offer a brief introduction and overview of automatic transmission history. Read More

What is the most common type of transmission?

Cars are continuously evolving, improving, and becoming more efficient. That goes for the transmission as well.

From starting with manual transmissions, to the introduction of automatic transmissions in 1939 – learn about the evolution of the modern transmission. Read More

How do you know if a car is automatic or manual?

A lot of new drivers, and even some experienced ones, don’t actually know what kind of transmission they drive.

If you’re one of these people, you should know so you can take care of it better. So, let’s figure it out. What transmission do you have? Read More

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Customer Reviews
Great people -- great service!
Rob Dagenais
Great people -- great service!
Date: May 13, 2024
Website: Google
Good people got my transmission...
Isidro Thiessen
Good people got my transmission repaired quickly. It was expensive tho.
Date: May 12, 2024
Website: Google
Knowledgeable, professional and good service.
Jacobo Pineda
Knowledgeable, professional and good service.
Date: May 12, 2024
Website: Google
I had my 2007 Toyota...
Theresa F
I had my 2007 Toyota Rav 4 transmission rebuilt almost 2 years ago. Decided to bring it back for a transmission fluid change and for another check before the warranty expires. What I didn’t tell them is that there’s already a leak (my neighbour told me). I’m giving this business a 5 star review because they are honest. They told me it had a leak and they had to replace the seal, and it was still under warranty. Wow! Thank you!!!
Date: May 11, 2024
Website: Google
I have a 2015 Mazda...
Jaimin Patel
I have a 2015 Mazda 3 with automatic transmission. It is having jerking issue at 2nd gear when the car is cold. One of my known mechanic suggested Ken for transmission issues. I went there and parked my car overnight to make sure it is cold. In morning, Ken drove it and figure out instantly it was a computer mechanism trying to save fuel by engaging clutch and gear differently, which is normal and I should not spend any money on it. I liked Ken's experience and knowledge and his guidance which saved me going broke.
Date: May 11, 2024
Website: Google
Great friendly, prompt and reasonably...
Dey Muller
Great friendly, prompt and reasonably price service!
Date: May 10, 2024
Website: Google
Excellent experience. Jason is the...
Phil Wall
Excellent experience. Jason is the frontman. Super professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. Great service.
Date: May 10, 2024
Website: Google
Peter and his team did...
Peter Cadieux
Peter and his team did a great job! Very fair pricing and quick turnaround!
Date: May 10, 2024
Website: Google
Had a leak from the...
Bobros1944 Roz
Had a leak from the pan and front seal on my transmission. Despite being busy these guys were able to seal up the pan within one day. No leaks from the pan. I decided to hold off on the main seal as it is a slow leak and I'll deal with it in the winter when the cars in storage. Thanks
Date: May 9, 2024
Website: Google
Absolutely amazing service and help....
Tyrel &
Absolutely amazing service and help. Our shop was in a pickle with a customers vehicle. They got it remedied that day and gave us very valuable insight going forward. Thank you very much again! Greatly appreciated 🙏
Date: May 9, 2024
Website: Google
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