The Three Types of Car Transmissions

by | Sep 24, 2021 | Automotive

When a vehicle owner in Madison is struck with the need to repair or replace a transmission in their vehicle, one thing that a vehicle owner should know and understand is the different types of car transmissions. This will also allow the vehicle owner to have a better understanding of the potential costs involved with repairing or replacing that vehicle transmission. For the most part, there are three major types of transmissions.


The first type of Car Transmission in Madison, which is the most common type today, is an automatic transmission. Now while this is the most common type of vehicle transmission, it is also one of the most expensive types of transmission. An automatic transmission works as the name implies. It automatically selects the proper gears to shift into based on the vehicle’s current speed and engine RPM (Revolutions Per Minute).

More advanced automatics are actually able to do even more than just shift gears at the appropriate time. They can do things like detecting towing or hauling conditions such as when a vehicle is pulling a trailer. They can then go through the gears at a different rate than standard in order to maximize the amount of power delivered. Another thing an automatic transmission can do is detect inclines, like when climbing a mountain, or parking on a steep urban street. Again the gear ratios can be adjusted automatically to provide maximum power for steep climbs, and newer vehicles come equipped with a “Hill Assist” feature, that applies the brake for a short time while the vehicle is still in gear, to prevent wear and tear on your transmission.


Manual transmissions are another type of Car Transmission in Madison. When cars were originally built, this was actually the only option available. In a car with a manual transmission, the driver has to shift the gears when needed using a factory-equipped clutch and shifter. They require constant shifting from the driver to go through the gears. For the most part, these types of transmissions are more fuel-efficient, though the gap is certainly closing when comparing them to automatic transmissions.


The third type of transmission that is commonly used in a vehicle is called the Continuously Variable Transmission or CVT. This is a newer concept in vehicles where a vehicle goes through gears continuously instead of changing from gears 1 through 5. This provides better fuel economy in the vehicle because the higher RPMs of the engine are minimized when shifting through the continuous gears. It also does not have to have a clutch which makes it more efficient.

These are the three types of transmissions that are used in vehicles today. Knowing what type of transmission is in the vehicle will give the owner a better indication of what to expect as far as costs. Trans Works Transmissions is one of the best transmission shop when it comes to repairs. You can contact them on (608) 742-5136.

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