The 3 Types of Transmissions: Manual, Automatic, and CVT

April 8, 2019 | By Mister Transmission

The 3 Types of Transmissions: Manual, Automatic, and CVT

If you know anything about transmissions, you probably know that there are different types of transmission. You almost certainly will have heard about manual and automatic transmissions. You may not have heard of CVT transmissions, however. When buying or leasing a new or used vehicle, one of the things you should definitely consider is the transmission. But why type of transmission is better for you? Just what are the differences between a manual and automatic transmission? And what’s the deal with this mysterious third type of transmission?

The Manual Transmission

The transmission is the part of your vehicle that transfers the power generated by your engine to the axles, which turn the wheels, which makes your vehicle go. As you can see, it’s pretty important. But not all transmissions are the same. There are three basic types of transmission. The original type of transmission is the manual transmission.

The manual transmission, which is also known as a “standard transmission” or a “stick shift”, is a type of transmission that utilizes a driver-operated clutch to regulate torque transfer from the engine to the transmission. The clutch is typically engaged or disengaged by a foot pedal or hand lever. Because they are the simplest, mechanically speaking, of the three types of transmissions, they also often have the longest lives, because there is less to go wrong. They also often offer the best fuel economy and manual transmission vehicles are typically a bit cheaper. Some drivers even enjoy driving them more.

 The Automatic Transmission

Manual transmissions are mechanically simpler, but they are more complex to use. Many drivers either don’t know how to drive a manual transmission or do not like the extra work involved. For such drivers, the best type of transmission is an automatic transmission. This type of transmission can automatically change gear ratios as the vehicle moves, meaning the driver does not have to shift gears manually.

Controlling a vehicle at low speeds is typically easier with an automatic transmission rather than a manual, because of a side effect of the clutchless fluid-coupling design called “creep” that causes the car to want to move while in a driving gear, even at idle. Fun fact: the automatic transmission was invented by Alfred Horner Munro of Regina, Saskatchewan, in 1921.

 The CVT – Continuously Variable Transmission

The continuously variable transmission (CVT), also known as a shiftless transmission, is a variant of the automatic transmission that can change seamlessly through a continuous range of effective gear ratios as opposed to a fixed number of gear ratios. The CVT’s belt-driven design offers approximately 88% efficiency, which is lower than that of a manual transmission, but this can be offset by lower production cost and by enabling the engine to run at its most efficient speed for a range of output speeds.

Contact Us

If you would like to learn more about the three types of transmission and what goes into the service, maintenance, and repair of your type of transmission, please get in touch with us and we can tell you everything you need to know.

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Frank and his team did...
Laura Swanson
Frank and his team did a great job on my 2013 Journey. I noticed a difference driving the car right away. The job was done on time, cost a little more than the original quote but doesn't everything these days. Would certainly return for any work required but hoping to not have to in the near future!!
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David Bonany
These guys were amazing. Diagnosed my issue in moments and had me back on the road. So grateful for mechanics with integrity. Thanks guys!!
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Vehicle was making a weird...
Shania Mason
Vehicle was making a weird noise this morning when I started it (Saturday) & my usual mechanic is closed . I called them & was told to bring it in anytime today & they'd take a look & lemme know what it was. Brought it in & was seen immediately. Was told what the issue was & what needs to be done etc. at no charge. The gentlemen also told me that i shouldn't drive it this weekend ,which I'm thankful they did. Recommended me to a rental car company also as I had an event to get to this weekend. Thank you guys for your time & knowledge, you saved me a hefty tow bill plus some. 10/10 would recommend. Will be going back for my next oil change !
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Wonderful costumer service, very helpful...
Martina Robertson
Wonderful costumer service, very helpful and no pressure. I definitely recommend getting your transmission done here
Date: July 12, 2024
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Replace my whole transmission a...
Chris Haney
Replace my whole transmission a few days early. Did an excellent job, very kind and informative. Highly recommend.
Date: July 12, 2024
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I recently had a great...
Dave Malda
I recently had a great experience with Mr. Transmission, where Wes provided an honest and transparent assessment of my transmission issues. He was super helpful, diagnosing a strange problem with expertise. Wes went the extra mile, ultimately saving me a lot of money. Highly recommend their services! Thank you again!! Dave.
Date: July 12, 2024
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Finally got around to doing...
Carol Simon
Finally got around to doing this review and everyone seems to be saying the same thing I was going to say. They are professional. They do great work. They give great advice about what options you have and which option is best for you, and they are honest about it. No one wants to ever be in the position to get a transmission replaced/repaired, but if you are, this would be the place to do it and rest assured it will be done well -- in my experience and opinion based on the work that was done for us. In our case, Mr. Transmission actually came to the rescue. And by that I mean, we were going to be low-key scammed by another "brand name" service provider. After we escaped the trap, we found Mr. Transmission. I am not going to call out that service provider because they actually did great work for us in the past, so we forgive that 'blunder'/misdiagnosis. I think my husband eventually suspected/decided it had to be the transmission or whatever the case was [and he was obviously right], but when he called Mr. Transmission, he spoke with Luke. I don't really like to use names in reviews, but his name has already been mentioned and it is true that he is professional and reassuring and helpful and so on... It was mainly because of him we decided that this was the place we were going to receive the right help. The minute I overheard him on the phone with my husband, I thought to myself, "We are going to receive the right help." And I was right. Don't ask me how I know. I just know these things. Not sure if this Luke is a mechanic as well or even if he was the one that worked on the van, [didn't ask and not relevant for this review] but he is a perfect example of why I place 'customer service' most times even above product quality and delivery and ovi the product/service delivered was A+, but customer service is almost always number 1 in my books and this experience proves why. Thanks to Luke, we are now happy we made the choice to use Mr. Transmission. And thanks to whoever worked on our van as well. Whenever I decide to give a good review of any company it is because in my books they deserve an A or an A+ and this one gets an A+.
Date: July 12, 2024
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All the Positive reviews are...
Sai Sagar
All the Positive reviews are indeed true❤️ Kris is a gem of a Person, profoundly knowledgeable and Genuinely humble!! Kudos to him and this entire team, they are the best!!!
Date: July 11, 2024
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Friendly guys that helped look...
Dylan Higgins
Friendly guys that helped look at my car today regarding transmission issues
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