The Difference between Synchronized and Unsynchronized Gearing in Manual Transmissions

By Mister Transmission

There’s a good reason why large commercial vehicles, motorcycles, and race cars still employ an unsynchronized gearbox

For stick-shift adherents, there is no greater joy than driving a car with a manual transmission. But what’s behind the mechanics of changing gears? And from a driver’s perspective, how does manual transmission synchronized gearing compare to manual transmission unsynchronized gearing?

Most modern urban vehicles fitted with manual transmissions likely feature a synchronized gearbox also referred to as a synchro-mesh gearbox. This device keeps the gears in mesh and rotating, or they can be locked to the shaft. In other words, when you change gears, you’re locking different gears to the transmission’s input or output shaft, thereby allowing you to increase your vehicle’s speed or slow it down. The manual transmission’s synchronized gearbox is what helps you smoothly lock gears into place.

It was a remarkable evolution in manual transmissions because the synchronizer did away with the need for motorists to perform double-clutching – releasing and re-engaging the clutch twice whenever changing gears – a requirement to operate a vehicle with a manual transmission unsynchronized gearbox.

Why the Manual Transmission Unsynchronized Gearbox Still Matters

A manual transmission unsynchronized gearbox is an older design (possibly the earliest design of a manual transmission) that required a lot of effort and skill on the driver’s part. It included a sliding-mesh gearbox, and the driver would need to carefully time when to shift gears to ensure the gears were rotating at the same speed, which was no easy feat. Do it improperly, and you’ll hear grinding and other noises.

However, the unsynchronized gearbox continues to exist. You will often find them installed in transmissions for large commercial vehicles such as heavy trucks and farming machinery, as well as in motorcycles and high-calibre race cars. Why? For two reasons: synchronized manual transmissions are more prone to breakdowns, and shifting gears on a synchro-mesh gearbox is slower than the unsynchronized version.

Are you experiencing a problem with your vehicle’s manual or automatic transmission or have questions about transmissions? Visit the Mister Transmission location nearest you and get the expert help and information you need.

image-reviews image-reviews
Customer Reviews
Frank and Mario know how...
Mario Fernando
Frank and Mario know how to treat and respect customers needs Thank you
Date: January 11, 2023
Website: Google
They did me a solid...
Donna Cain
They did me a solid by changing the oil and putting on winter tires for me. It isn't what they normally do but they helped me out nonetheless. I had previously taken my car there to get my transmission fixed as I had unwittingly purchased a lemon and they fixed the transmission so well that the car purrs on the road now. It's a dream.
Date: January 8, 2023
Website: Google
I only called to make...
Maureen Capel
I only called to make an appt. & got a diagnosis by phone on the weekend. Very helpful, and generous support! Good on you!
Date: January 8, 2023
Website: Google
Great service good quality work...
Sharra Bailey
Great service good quality work and dan was very informative the whole time dealing with him very honest guy I will recommend this shop to friends and family
Date: January 7, 2023
Website: Google
Great service and a good...
David Patterson
Great service and a good job. Had my transmission rebuilt here after other places were not able to do it and dealer wanted crazy money.These guys saved me money and it’s been a couple months and it works like when it was new. I will recommend Mister Transmission in Barrie.
Date: January 5, 2023
Website: Google
Excellent customer service and professional...
Mohamed Galal
Excellent customer service and professional team of technicians. You're given the different options rebuild vs replace whenever applicable and they work with you to get the best value for your money. Highly recommended!
Date: January 5, 2023
Website: Google
It was a wonderful experience....
Billy Taran
It was a wonderful experience. The representative Ken was helpful, explained things in a way that I understood and kept me in the loop and followed up with me. The cost of the repair was very reasonable and I'm so happy with the results.
Date: December 31, 2022
Website: Google
Fast
Brett Explorer
Fast
Date: December 31, 2022
Website: Google
Great service, friendly staff!
Zein
Great service, friendly staff!
Date: December 30, 2022
Website: Google
Great service, friendly staff!
Zein
Great service, friendly staff!
Date: December 30, 2022
Website: Google
Featured Services
Transmission Repair

The evolution of transmissions has made these machines and systems increasingly complex. When transmission repairs are required, determining the cause and cure for what ails can be tricky.

Read More
Transmission Technology

At Mister Transmission we have access to leading-edge diagnostic equipment, enabling us to offer you the fastest and most accurate findings about what’s going on inside your vehicle’s transmission.

Read More
Transmission Maintenance & Service

Just as you have other parts of your car serviced, your transmission needs maintenance to ensure a long life and avoid transmission problems.

Read More
Recent Blogs
Why It’s Better To Trust Your Tran...
Learn about the different services offered by a transmission shop and discover why
Read More
November 7, 2022
What Is An Automatic Transmission Rebuil...
Learn how an automatic transmission rebuild works, when these rebuilds are necessary,
Read More
November 3, 2022
The Big Mistake To Avoid When It Comes T...
If your vehicle needs a transmission replacement, you’re likely having a rough
Read More
October 31, 2022
What You’re Getting Wrong About Tr...
Whether you’re a first-time vehicle owner or a seasoned driver, here are some
Read More
October 27, 2022
What Mister Transmission Looks For When ...
Discover how Mister Transmission performs our diagnostic services and conducts
Read More
October 24, 2022
“What’s The Best Transmissio...
If you’ve been searching, “What’s the best transmission shop near me?” in
Read More
October 20, 2022
6 Of The Most Common Transmission Servic...
Learn about six of the more common transmission services offered by Mister
Read More
October 14, 2022
What You Should Know About Manual Transm...
Discover how manual transmission repair differs from automatic transmission repair
Read More
October 7, 2022
What Services Do High-Performance Transm...
If you demand a higher level of performance from your transmission, it needs a higher
Read More
August 12, 2022
What Is Transmission Oil, And What Do Yo...
Discover what transmission oil is, what it does, what transmissions use transmission
Read More
August 5, 2022