One of the important decisions you have to make while buying a car is choosing the transmission type. Mostly, there are two basic types: a standard or manual transmission and an automatic one. The technological evolution has brought in various modifications to the two types resulting in a wider choice available for you to choose from.
Purpose of a Transmission
Transmission present in a car or any automotive is fundamentally a gear system that aids in transmitting the power produced by the engine to the wheels, which propels the vehicle. The transmission is usually present in the center between the wheels and the engine. It is the part which moves the car and is generally of complex makeup.
This basic and commonly used transmission is also called as stick shift or standard transmission. You need to press the clutch pedal and shift gears with your hand, using the gear shifter. There are 5 speeds in general, but some come with six too, excluding the reverse mode. The design is simple and gives more control. But the drawback is it needs skill as well as practice to change gears easily in heavy traffic.
This transmission model launched in the 1920s has made driving cars easy. You need to control only the accelerator and the gear is automatically changed, making it very convenient. Though it is easy for the driver, the system is complicated and can consume more fuel. The performance is also reduced in comparison to the manual mode. Though the earlier models had only three or four gears, now you have up to 8 gears to increase driving efficiency and also the fuel economy.
Other Types Present
There are also sub categories like:
Automatic transmission with manual control – This has a hand operated paddle present at the back of the steering or a specially devised shifting mode in the gear selector. These are smart and efficient.
Continuously variable transmission – This has two pulleys linked by a belt with the ability to change the size which changes the gear position of the vehicle. This has no fixed number of gears and it gives the ability to choose the right gear ratio from a viable continuum. This makes it easy to glide slowly and change to a faster pace too.
Dual Clutch transmission – Also called as PDK or DCT, this is a fusion of manual, automatic, and computerized modes. Two clutches are used for gear change and the transmission can be altered easily from manual to automatic with the paddles or the buttons provided. The computer controls also enable the automatic change of transmission depending on the driving style.
Electric Vehicle transmission – Also called EVs, these are an entirely different class when compared to the diesel and gasoline version, and come with their own transmission types and some also have the modified types of the general gas fueled vehicles.
At the outset, manual cars are preferred for their speed, while automatic transmission is desired for its convenience. The manual cars are less expensive too. However advanced the automatic transmission is the performance level and reliability cannot be matched as it has a complex mechanism of operation. For less strain on the engine, however, the automatic is preferred more over the rest.