Transmission Types and History of Development

By Mister Transmission

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.

Manual Transmission

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.

Synchromesh Transmission

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.

Automatic Transmission

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.

Manumatic Transmission

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.

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Customer Reviews
Took my 2012 Nissan Altima...
Jasbir Singh
Took my 2012 Nissan Altima to the dealer in Mississauga because the car wouldn't pick up speed properly. They said the transmission needed replacing and gave me an estimate that was really expensive. Another customer in the waiting area at the dealer recommended I try Mister Transmission so I called the store in Brampton because it was close to my work. I am very glad I did. They fixed my problem for a lot less and they were very professional in explaining what was wrong. I picked up my car 3 days ago and it is working great now. Thank you Mister Transmission.
Date: September 20, 2020
Website: Google
Great place. Fast delivery on...
Christine Dickson
Great place. Fast delivery on parts.
Date: September 19, 2020
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My truck transmission blew out...
J
My truck transmission blew out on a Saturday morning, I contacted them early afternoon. Mark (owner)told me best to get it towed asap to the shop,which I did.He contacted me on the Monday and informed me the damages.Was a major rebuild.On the following Friday the truck was ready and drove like new.They contacted several times informing me about prices,very professional and knowledgeable. Always answered my questions and the price was amazing compared to anyone out there.I wouldn't hesitate to send anyone to this place,top notch service and very friendly service!!
Date: September 19, 2020
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If your looking for the...
S OB
If your looking for the best service and work ethic, in Alberta, these guys are it. Transmission shops are notorious for bad reputations. I own a 2003 custom land rover and trust it with basically no one but these guys now. I waited for 3yrs to find the right people to do the work. They not only did what I asked, but way over and above. Mel is an absolute pleasure to deal with.I was referred to Excel by Family that own Popo and Sons on Lacombe. Best advice in yrs.
Date: September 19, 2020
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Excellent service
Michael Gardner
Excellent service
Date: September 18, 2020
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Was convinced I had a...
Jonathan Campbell
Was convinced I had a transmission failure and was prepared for a big bill but they spent the time to diagnose that it wasn't transmission related. Let me know where to go with no charge. Very honest.
Date: September 17, 2020
Website: Google
Called Friday afternoon and booked...
Clarence Benson
Called Friday afternoon and booked me in for 8am Monday.👍
Date: September 17, 2020
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I remember my father always...
Chris W.
I remember my father always saying go to Mr. transmission and luckily for me I didn’t need their services until 20 years later.They’re still solid, knowledgeable, professional & very helpful. Steve offered recommendations but wasn’t trying to sell or push services on me. Will return in the future.
Date: September 15, 2020
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Gary at North Bay transmission...
Colleen Whalley
Gary at North Bay transmission was amazing. My 2016 Rogue had some major issues. He was able to find a second hand one. These are common issues with the Nissans CVT transmissions. Which after speaking with Nissan doesn't seem to be a concern. Repairs all total $7600 plus rental $575. Gary ensured that i received their rate from Enterprise. It was suspected that the awd unit had leaks/issues. When I went back for the 10 day check after repair. It was confirmed the awd needed some repair. When I brought it back in for that repair. Gary did not charge me the cost of taking the unit out again. He absorbed the almost $600 i would have been charged. I was treated with respect and fairness! Their estimatex time frames for work completion were kept. Keep up the good work Mister Transmission in North Bay!
Date: September 15, 2020
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It is a rarity when...
Renee Lauzon
It is a rarity when you come across an honest mechanic who puts looking out for your vehicles safety and longevity as well as the the owners best interests firsthand. Although I was not happy with the news that I received from Kris (honest mechanic) he did help me get my lemon (my SUV) on the road again and even offered to inspect my next used vehicle prior to purchasing it FOR FREE!!! When was the last time you received a diagnostic check on your vehicle without having to pay?I thought Kris was a straight forward, no BS, and very kind mechanic that everyone wit a vehicle needs!!! Thank you Mister Transmission, You are my newest BFF!!!🤗
Date: September 13, 2020
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