Most of us have visions of being something of a grease monkey. Who wouldn’t want to know how to fix their own vehicle? Maybe you just bought your first car or maybe you’ve just retired and now you have the time to commit yourself to learning about automobiles. Regardless of who you are, you will find that vehicles are complicated. Like, really complicated. Forget knowing how to fix a vehicle, or even how it works, just learning the names of everything can be a real ordeal. For example, what the heck is a drivetrain? Is it the same thing as a transmission, or what?
What Is The Purpose Of The Drivetrain?
The drivetrain isn’t one single thing. It’s a group of components that deliver power to the driving wheels. The purpose of a drivetrain is to transmit power to whichever wheels drive your vehicle. The drivetrain physically links the engine to the axle(s) via a drive shaft. But this is tricky because the operating speed of the engine and the wheels are different and so they must be matched by the correct gear ratio. As the vehicle’s speed changes, the ideal engine speed must remain more or less constant for efficient operation and so this gearbox ratio has to also be changed, either manually, automatically, or by an automatic continuous variation, i.e.: via a manual, automatic, or CVT transmission.
So, is a drivetrain the same thing as a transmission? No. Well, kind of. The term “drivetrain” usually refers to all the parts that transfer power from the engine to the wheels, so the transmission is actually part of the drivetrain, along with the axles, torque converter or clutch. “Power train” usually refers to all of these and the engine.
Is your transmission overheating? Are you slipping into neutral after changing gears? Are you experiencing grinding when you shift gears? Do you hear weird noises like humming or clunking, even when in neutral? All of these are tip offs that your drivetrain has got problems.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Drivetrain?
This question really is impossible to answer in an article that could be read by thousands of different people with hundreds of different types and configurations of drivetrain. It might be as cheap as a hundred bucks or so to inspect, find a common problem, and fix it quickly. Or it could cost you thousands of dollars if your drivetrain or transmission needs to be rebuilt or replaced. One thing’s for sure: drivetrains don’t magically fix themselves and the cost of drivetrain repairs only increase over time.
To learn more about drivetrains, please contact us.
The drivetrain is an integral component of your vehicle and it is related to your transmission. You don’t need to know the inner workings of your vehicle to be able to drive it responsibly. But the more you know about your vehicle, the better care you will be able to take of it. The more you know about how your vehicle works, the better able you will be to assess and notice symptoms of problems. And the more you know about your vehicle, the better able you will be to make informed decisions when it comes to the maintenance and repair of your vehicle. With all that in mind, this article will look to impart some information relating to the drivetrain.
The drivetrain of a vehicle is not merely just one solitary component. A drivetrain is actually a group of components that deliver power to the driving wheels, whether that’s in a front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive vehicle. With the exception of that last example, many vehicles only have one set of wheels that actually power locomotion. The other pair merely coasts. But regardless of which type of wheel-drive you have in your vehicle, it’s your drivetrain that delivers power to the driving wheels. The power is generated by the engine, typically an internal combustion engine, but drivetrains are also present in hybrid and electric vehicles as well. The drivetrain just delivers the power, so the engine is not part of it. The term “powertrain” can be used to encompass both the engine (or motor) and the drivetrain.
The Function Of The Drivetrain
The drivetrain transfers power from the engine to the driving wheels. The wheels then use that mechanical power to rotate the axle. For this connection to work, the two have to be physically linked, even if they are at opposite ends of the vehicle. In such cases a long propeller shaft or drive shaft is needed. The operating speed of the engine and wheels are also different. To solve this problem you need the correct gear ratio to match the speeds. As the speed of your automobile changes, the ideal engine speed has to remain more or less constant for efficient operation. To facilitate this, the gearbox ratio must also be changed, either manually, as in a manual transmission, or automatically as in an automatic transmission or a CVT transmission.
The Drivetrain And The Transmission
Although they must work in concert, the drivetrain and the transmission are actually quite different. Think of the transmission as being akin to the chain on a bicycle: it keeps the engine turning in time with the wheels, regardless of which gear the vehicle is in. The drivetrain represents everything that is behind the transmission involved in propelling the vehicle. The drivetrain must convey power from the vehicle’s engine, through the transmission to the drive wheels.
If you have any questions about drivetrains, Mister Transmission would be happy to answer them. If you suspect that you’re experiencing a problem with your drivetrain and would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us.
Pretty much everybody has heard of manual and automatic transmissions. And most of us understand the basic differences between the two. But have you heard of CVT transmissions? Do you know what they are? Do you know how to repair a CVT transmission? Or, more to the point, do you know how transmission technicians repair CVT transmissions?
“CVT” stands for “Continuously Variable Transmission”. So, before we go any further, let us admit that “CVT transmission” is redundant; just like “ATM machine”. But it is how people often refer to CVTs. CVTs are a newer type of transmission, though the concept is old. In the name of fuel efficiency, CVTs are becoming ever more popular, so if you own or are looking at purchasing a newer vehicle, you have a higher chance of getting a CVT.
A CVT is a type of automatic transmission, but it’s different than traditional automatic transmissions. CVTs provide a smoother driving experience because they have optimized the shifting process. When driving a CVT, you might well notice that the transition between gears becomes near seamless. But there are other advantages to CVTs, too. CVTs can provide better fuel economy and more efficient power usage because they permit the engine to operate at optimum power, regardless of how fast the vehicle is traveling. This all boils down to CVTs being “continuously variable”. It means that instead of actual gear “stages”, the CVT allows for a continuous variation within the engine so that you can’t even notice the transition between gears.
Different Types Of Cvt Transmissions
There are several types of CVTs, many of which are now available from major auto manufacturers. These different types include:
Pulley-Based – The most common type of CVT. Pulley-based CVTs use a complex pulley system, as opposed to gears, in order to provide seamless gear transitions.
Toroidal CVT – This type of CVT system utilizes rotating discs and power rollers to achieve the function of the pulley system from a pulley-based CVT.
Cvt Transmission Repair
CVTs represent a general improvement on the traditional automatic transmission. CVTs generally feel smoother than other transmissions. However, CVTs will idle in any gear and, because the sounds of regulation are often similar to that of a slipping or clunking transmission, people can get confused. Sometimes CVT transmission repair consists of simply reassuring new drivers of CVT vehicles that their transmission doesn’t need to be repaired at all. Though, at Mister Transmission, we always conduct our Multi-Check Inspection, just to make sure.
At Mister Transmission, we expect to see more and more CVTs in the future, both near and far. The benefits are simply too great to prevent wider adoption of CVTs. And we are prepared for all the increasing CVT transmission repairs with which we will be tasked. CVT repair can be tricky because of the pulleys, but it’s nothing the technicians at Mister Transmission can’t handle.
From starting with manual transmissions, to the introduction of automatic transmissions in 1939 – learn about the evolution of the modern transmission.
The transmission in automobiles is a system of parts usually contained within a housing, connecting the engine to the wheels. Suitable torque, or turning force, is generated by the engine only within a narrow range of engine speeds, i.e., rates at which the crankshaft is turning. However, the wheels must turn with suitable torque over a wide range of speeds. While its speed is held roughly constant, the engine turns an input shaft on the transmission whose output shaft can be adjusted to turn the wheels at an appropriate speed.
The manual transmission is the simplest (and earliest) of transmissions, and consist of a system of interlocking gearwheels. These wheels are arranged so that by operating a lever the driver can choose one of several ratios of speed between the input shaft and the output shaft. These ratios are called gears, first gear being the arrangement that gives the lowest output speed, second gear the next lowest, and so forth. To allow smooth shifting from one gear to another, a clutch is provided to disengage the engine from the transmission. The commonly used dry single disk clutch has a steel disk with a friction lining that is sandwiched between a flywheel on the engine shaft and a pressure plate on the transmission input shaft. When the driver takes his foot off the clutch pedal, springs squeeze the friction disk into the space between the flywheel and the pressure plate, enabling the engine shaft to turn the transmission.
For many cars and for normal driving conditions a transmission with three forward gears and one reverse gear is sufficient. In cars having small engines transmissions with four or five forward speeds are used; racing cars often have as many as six forward speeds.
A synchromesh transmission is a manual transmission in which all forward gear wheels are held in mesh at all times. Used on most American cars with a manual transmission, it allows the driver to shift gears more smoothly and makes the car run more quietly.
The automatic transmission, introduced in 1939, switches to the optimum gear without driver intervention except for starting and going into reverse. The type of automatic transmission used on current American cars usually consists of a fluid device called a torque converter and a set of planetary gears. The torque converter transmits the engine’s power to the transmission using hydraulic fluid to make the connection. For more efficient operation at high speeds, a clutch plate is applied to create a direct mechanical connection between the transmission and the engine.
The introduction of microprocessor-controlled electronic sensors has enhanced the performance of automatic transmissions still more. Data about engine speed, exhaust pressure, and other performance characteristics are sent to a processor that controls the changing of gears and the clutch plate in the torque converter via electrical switches, or solenoids. New approaches to transmission design combine the best features of manual and automatic transmissions to provide more efficient ways of channeling engine power to the wheels.
A manumatic transmission is an automatic transmission with an added manual-shift mode; typically, a floor-mounted shifter offers an alternative selector path supplemented by buttons mounted on the steering wheel.
Continuously Variable Transmission
A continuously variable transmission (CVT) uses a belt that connects two variable-diameter pulleys to provide an unlimited number of ratio changes and uninterrupted power to the wheels; CVT transmissions offer better fuel efficiency than conventional automatic transmissions, which change the transmission ratio by shifting gears.
Sequential Manual Gearbox
A sequential manual gearbox (SMG), developed for Formula One cars, uses computer-controlled actuators to operate the clutch and change gears when prompted by the driver; both manual and automatic modes are possible, and there is no clutch pedal.
Dual Clutch Transmission
The dual clutch transmission (DCT), also called the direct shift gearbox (DSG), substitutes dual clutches for the conventional single-sided clutch to transfer power from the engine through two parallel paths; the gearbox features two sets of gears, identical to those in conventional manual transmissions—one set being the odd gears (1st, 3rd, 5th) and the other the even gears (2nd, 4th, 6th)—the gears must be shifted in sequence, and power to the wheels is never interrupted.
You may have already heard of CVT, or Continuously Variable Transmission systems being used in newer vehicles with automatic transmission.
The concept of the continuously variable transmission has actually been around for over 500 years, but it has been getting a lot more attention recently given the huge push towards more fuel-efficient solutions for vehicles.
A CVT is an automatic transmission system that provides a smoother driving experience by way of optimizing the shifting process. By nature of the CVT, the transition between gears becomes almost seamless, and the effect of “shift-shock” is lessened considerably.
CVTs also provide better fuel economy and power usage because it allows the engine to operate at optimum power, no matter how fast the vehicle is traveling.
The term “continuously variable” means that instead of actual gear “stages”, the CVT allows for a continuous variation within the engine so that there are no perceived transitions between gears.
Different Types of CVTs
There are several types of continuously variable transmissions, many of which are now available from major auto manufacturers.
The most common CVT uses an intricate pulley system instead of gears in order to provide seamless gear transitions.
This transmission system uses rotating discs and power rollers to accomplish the function of the pulley system from a pulley-based CVT.
A Hydrostatic CVT uses pumps to regulate fluid flow and create rotational motion.
Why Haven’t CVTs Replaced All Transmission systems?
Because of the way a CVT handles the management of power and torque, the feeling of a CVT is far different than a manual transmission.
A CVT will also idle in any gear, and because the sounds of regulation are often similar to that of a slipping or clunking transmission, people have customarily shied away from using them.
Of course, once there is a wider adoption, and people become familiar with the inherent benefits to using a CVT, as in, better fuel economy, more power, potential faster acceleration (over time), then we may just see CVTs taking on the role of the future of transmission systems in the vehicles of the future.
Mister Transmission technicians are well-versed in servicing manual, traditional automatic, as well as CVT systems for most any modern vehicle. Visit your local Mister Transmission shop today to ask about CVTs and how they are changing the face of the automotive industry.
Since 1963, Mister Transmission is the name Canadians trust to provide them with high-quality transmission repairs and expert service.
With franchises conveniently located coast-to-coast, Mister Transmission is the largest chain of transmission and driveline repair specialists in Canada. We're proud of our reputation and our history as Canada's premier transmission and technology experts...