Tag Archives: Manual Transmissions

Manual vs Automatic Transmission: Which Is Better?

Manual vs Automatic Transmission

Superman vs. Batman. Michael Jackson vs. Prince. Manual vs. automatic. The three greatest either-or choices of all time. (OK, perhaps we’re overstating things a little.) But the debate about manual vs automatic transmissions and which one has the advantage has gone on –in some cases, raged on– for decades with people taking strong stances on both sides. But really, what’s the difference? Is there a way to definitively say that manual transmissions have the advantage over automatic transmissions or vice versa?

What’s the difference?

Let us begin first by defining the difference between manual and automatic transmissions. With a manual transmission, you have to physically shift the transmission into the proper gear.

Vehicles with a manual transmission come with a clutch pedal which unlocks the gears so you can safely shift from one gear into the next.

All this means that the driver has to do the work in a vehicle with a manual transmission, whereas an automatic transmission automobile does all of this work for you once you put it into drive. Physically, the two differ in that the manual transmission has the gear located in the floor whereas in an automatic transmission vehicle, the location of gear could be at the steering or on the floor.

The advantages of manual transmission

There are a few qualities of a manual transmission vehicle that are superior to those of an automatic transmission. Fort starters, because a manual transmission vehicle requires more effort and concentration from the driver, some people who really enjoy the act of driving prefer manual transmissions because they are more in control of the experience. But there are some more objective advantages of the manual transmission as well.

For one, manual transmissions are usually cheaper to buy than automatic transmission vehicles. They are also often less costly to repair and maintain. You might also save on fuel with a manual transmission vehicle as they tend to use less than automatics.

The advantages of automatic transmission

However, the manual transmission is not superior across the board. There are several advantages that the automatic transmission has. First, and most obviously, they are a heck of a lot easier to drive. Because the the vehicle is doing more of the work for you, you need not worry about the clutch; your left foot is free and driving requires less intense concentration.

For that reason, automatic transmission vehicles are more popular, especially in North America. Therefore, if you’re looking to purchase a vehicle, you’ll have more choice among automatic transmission automobiles, so it will likely be easier to get one.

So which is better?

Does the manual transmission have the edge? Or does the advantage belong to the automatic transmission? The answer is, of course, up to you. Clearly, both have their pros and cons. If you are a focused driver who likes to feel the workings of your vehicle, perhaps you’d prefer a manual transmission. If you’re just not bothered with such things, it will be easier to opt for the automatic transmission.

Mister Transmission

Regardless, it is definitely to your advantage to get your transmission repaired at Mister Transmission, where we can fix any transmission problem. If you have a question or would like to come in for an auto repair, please contact our transmission shop today.

Back

Transmission Parts

Transmission parts knowledge for people researching how transmissions work.

A transmission is an impressive puzzle to most drivers, made up of many intricate connections among a multitude of transmission parts. The complexity of these parts and how they fit together is intimidating, especially if you’re facing transmission repairs and you don’t understand what’s happening or why.

While we need to trust our transmission mechanics to take care of the specifics, knowing a little bit about the transmission parts that might be malfunctioning can help to set your mind at ease during the transmission repair process.

The first step to a basic understanding of transmission parts is to understand the purpose of the transmission as a whole. Your automatic transmission is responsible for transferring the power of your engine to the drive shaft and wheels so that your car can move within its optimal range of revolutions per minute (RPM). The transmission maintains this optimal range by shifting transmission gears as you drive faster or slower.

 
The main transmission parts that need to work together are:
  •     Planetary Gear Sets
  •     Hydraulic System
  •     Torque Converter
  •     Computer
Planetary Gear Sets

Manual transmissions use a clutch to connect the engine and transmission. They require the driver to shift the transmission gears, which means actually moving the gears in a somewhat linear, sliding transfer to engage with the coordinating gears needed to maintain the proper RPM ratio. Automatic transmissions keep the transmission gears in one place, in a more circular structure. This is not unlike a small solar system, hence the name Planetary Gear Sets.

Using the combination of an outer ring gear, a central “sun” gear, and two or more smaller “planet” gears, which are all constantly meshed together, the transmission takes over the gear shifting from the driver. Much like the solar system, the sun gear is in the centre and remains stationary and the smaller planet gears engage with it and the ring gear to keep the car moving smoothly.

The ring gear is connected to the input shaft, which brings power from the engine. The planet gears exist within a casing or carrier that is connected to the output shaft which carries power to the drive train and wheels. The planet gears are also connected to a clutch pack. The sun gear is connected to a drum, which is connected to the other half of the clutch pack.

Transmission clutch packs are a series of disks, half with splines on the outside edge, and half with splines on the inside edge. These alternating disks are made to fit together to lock and turn together. They do this using hydraulic functionality.

Hydraulic System

All of the transmission parts are constantly submersed in transmission fluid. This fluid is manipulated to create pressure, which pushes the transmission clutch pack together at the right time. A complex system of tubes moves the fluid around the transmission and torque converter to create this pressure. The transmission hydraulic system has three main purposes: to help control transmission gear shifting, to lubricate the transmission parts to prevent friction damage, and to keep the transmission cool. The fluid pressure within the transmission must be maintained at all times to prevent damage.

The tubes that transfer the transmission fluid have two major external seals at the front and back. The seal at the front protects the connection with the torque converter and the rear seal contains the fluid where the transmission meets the output shaft. Seals are made of neoprene. Within the transmission exists another type of seal, called a gasket, which connects and protects two stationary transmission parts. Gaskets may be made of any of a variety of materials, such as rubber or silicone. Seals and gaskets can harden over time, which might cause leaks and a drop in transmission fluid pressure, both of which can lead to damage to the transmission.

Torque Converter

When driving a manual transmission, the driver must engage the clutch or shift into neutral when the vehicle comes to a stop, such as at a red light, or the engine will stall. The torque converter in an automatic transmission allows the engine to continue running when the vehicle is stopped yet still in gear. Torque is defined as a force that causes rotation. The torque converter uses the pressure of the transmission fluid to control the rotation of its parts. When you are stopped at that red light, one half of the torque converter is turning while the other is stationary. When you accelerate, the fluid pressure forces the other half to spin in conjunction with the first half so that vehicle moves forward.

Computer

In most cars today, a computer controls the transmission’s function allowing all vehicle systems to work together for optimum fuel economy and power. As many as 30 sensors read all of the various factors such as vehicle speed, engine temperature, engine speed, etc, that control transmission gear shifting to ensure the optimal shift points are used.

The many transmission parts in your vehicle may remain a puzzle, but understanding some of the basics can help you to have a more informed conversation with your transmission mechanics before leaving it in their capable hands.

As Gene Lewis at the Moncton Mister Transmission says,

“We’re the specialists, transmissions are all we do.”

 

If you are experiencing a problem with your vehicle’s transmission, please contact your local Mister Transmission and book an appointment for our FREE 21-Point Multi-Check Inspection.

For a more in-depth explanation, please visit our Transmission School

Vous aimeriez apprendre advantage?
Visitez un de nos emplacements!

Back

Trouble Changing Gears

Is your vehicle’s clutch dragging or are you experiencing gear shifting trouble? Don’t let it ride. See a transmission technician immediately

Nothing can ruin your day quite like a dragging clutch or experiencing gear shift problems while you’re driving to work.

Whether your vehicle is struggling to find the right gear, is stuck in gear, or you hear grinding or other noises when shifting, it may be a sign the clutch is not working properly.

What Causes a Dragging Clutch?

Typically, a dragging clutch on a vehicle with a manual transmission is the result of the driver “riding the clutch” or other driving-related errors. On an automatic transmission, the cause of gears slipping can be the result of a broad range of mechanical or electrical malfunctions.

A clutch that fails to disengage from the flywheel causes gear shifting problems. The clutch allows the driver to change gears manually, or in an automatic car, the gears change as the vehicle accelerates. The longer a gear shifting problem occurs, the greater the overall damage will be to your car’s transmission.

Newer vehicles with electronically monitored shifting systems should be checked for any wiring problems, as any electronic issues with the sensors can affect how the transmission operates. On older vehicles that aren’t governed by an onboard computer, shifting too early or too late sometimes requires adjustment to the throttle cable. That is rare, as cables do not go out of alignment unless the vehicle has been in an accident, or were damaged during other repair work.

Talk to Canada’s transmission maintenance and repair experts at Mister Transmission. For more than 50 years, Mister Transmission has kept Canadian motorists on the road by ensuring the transmissions in their vehicles are in tip-top shape. If you have a question about your transmission solenoids or want to book a service appointment, contact the Mister Transmission service centre nearest to you.

Back

Should I Buy a Used Transmission?

Purchasing a used transmission from the auto graveyard poses significant financial risks

It’s wise to be smart with your money, to save more than you spend, and when shopping, to look for the best deal you can find. But on the subject of buying a used transmission, an adage applies: “You get what you paid for.” In other words, purchasing a used transmission is never a good idea unless you’re doing it as a temporary measure to extend the longevity of an older vehicle.

Used Transmissions and the Risks They Pose

Used transmissions can be found at most auto wreckers. Many of these suppliers offer warranties, usually for a timeframe ranging from 30 to 90 days. But it’s important to remember you’re rummaging for a used transmission in an auto junkyard. That means you don’t truly know what condition a used transmission is in, what its history is, and there are no guarantees it will work as you expect for long if at all.

Be aware it can take up to 10 hours or more to install a used transmission in a car. In fact, It’s usually cheaper to have your vehicle’s failed or failing transmission removed and repaired. Additionally, there are so many variations of transmissions on the used parts aftermarket that there’s a real possibility you may purchase the wrong model for your vehicle.

There Are Other Options Available to You

Modern transmissions are computer-controlled marvels featuring an array of sensors that constantly monitor and relay information to the computer to ensure the transmission is performing at an optimum level. Your vehicle’s engine control unit is what governs everything from fuel efficiency and emissions to shifting gears. If repairing your current transmission isn’t a viable option, you can opt to replace it with a rebuilt model, or you can purchase a new one and have it installed.

Rebuilding a failed or failing transmission may seem questionable, but you have the benefit of knowing its history and who serviced it. Plus, there’s no worrying over whether or not the transmission gears are the perfect match for your vehicle.

Transmission rebuilds at Mister Transmission repair shops include a 12-month warranty (which can be upgraded to three or five years). It’s that extended nationwide guarantee that should give you the confidence to invest in repairing your existing transmission. Also, it strikes the right balance between being economically responsible and having the peace of mind the repair will go as planned.

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.

Back

Transmission Shifting Problems? Here’s What You Need to Know

Ignoring transmission trouble warning signs will do more harm than good to your car and your finances

Has this happened to you? You hop into your vehicle, start the engine, attempt to shift to drive (or into first gear) and quickly realize your transmission refuses to go into gear. Or it gets stuck in first, and you’re left to wonder why won’t your transmission shift out of first gear? At times like these, you can be forgiven if one of Murphy’s Laws creeps into your mind, namely: “If anything can go wrong, it will.”

Whether your vehicle is having trouble changing gears, you notice there’s a delayed engagement, or you hear disconcerting noises when shifting gears, such woes can be the result of a myriad of factors. Determining what the root of your car’s uncooperative transmission is, requires the insight and expertise of an experienced, technology-savvy technician.

Common Causes of Transmission Problems

Whether mechanical, electrical, or technological, a malfunctioning transmission can often be attributed to one of these causes:

  • Leaking, low, or oxidizing transmission fluid. If your vehicle’s transmission fluid is low (or the fluid level is in excess), leaking, or hasn’t been changed in recent memory along with the filter, it could be oxidizing (burning).
  • Failing gear synchronizers. On manual transmissions, a failing or worn out gear synchronizer may be the culprit. If your gears aren’t synchronized properly, it won’t shift gears smoothly.
  • The engine control unit (ECU) needs to be updated. Modern vehicles are as much about technology as they are about mechanics. It could be your vehicle’s ECU software is outdated and needs an upgrade.
  • A worn out clutch. Mechanical parts on any vehicle are subject to wear and tear. If your engine is revving while gears change, it’s possible you need to get the clutch replaced.

Are you experiencing problems shifting gears when you drive? Visit the Mister Transmission service centre nearest you, let our expert technicians fix what ails, and get you back on the road quickly.

Back