Your vehicle has a very complex mechanism that adapts power produced by the engine to become the power that actually moves the tires. This mechanism is called the transmission, and we are able to assess and fix, or in some cases replace, your transmissions at RPM Automotive right here in Prairie Du Chien! If you’d like to understand a little bit more about transmissions before deciding to get yours fixed, you can get a basic overview right here!
The transmission is the component that makes a car’s gearbox work with the engine. It makes the car go. There are both manual transmission and automatic transmissions. Gears exist at different sizes to adjust the amount of engine “torque”, or pulling power. Without adjusting the gears the engine would rev, but by changing the gears, the engine can run at its optimal “power band”, which is where it runs best and smoothest.
In order to change the gears, they must be disconnected from each other through a “clutch” pedal which is a spring loaded plate. This plate is called the “pressure plate” and is bolted to the engine flywheel (a big wheel turned by the engine). The other is called the “driven plate” and sits on the input shaft to the gearbox. When you press the clutch pedal, you relax the springs’ clamping pressure, so separating the engine from the gearbox.
Semi Automatic Transmission:
This transmission makes things simpler, as it removes the need to operate the clutch pedal in order to change gears. In place of your manual operation, sensors, actuators and processors operate the clutch. They do this at the right moment, which in turn prevents gear crunching. You’re provided with paddles on the steering column which allows you to change gear.
Dual Clutch Transmission:
This transmission is a variation of semi automatic transmission. This, in addition to taking care of clutch changes, also takes care of changes in gears. This, in turn, makes it so that there is no interruption in power or progress when making a gear change.
Fully Automatic Transmission:
Instead of a mechanical clutch, an automatic gearbox uses fluid to connect the engine to the gearbox. The fluid resides in a donut shaped chamber. There are four major parts at play in this engine: The stator which amplifies the power of the spinning oil at low speeds by directing more of it to the impeller.
This helps to drive the turbine which also means the gearbox. Under pressure, this fluid acts on a series of brakes and clutches. Hydraulic valves and sensors help to monitor the demands on the engine and the speed of the vehicle.
These brakes and clutches hold some gears while allowing others to turn, producing a different gear ratio.
As a result of the gears always being engaged, the gear transition and selection is smooth.
Constantly Variable Transmission:
The main issue with fully automatic transmission is they only have a few gears, so you’re limited with what you can do in terms of performance. The alternative to this would be the Constantly Variable Transmission, or CVT, which allows for an almost infinite number of gears. For this to be achieved, it replaces gears with a belt around two pulleys. One is connected to the engine. The other is connected to the transmission system. Along with the engine’s speed, the computer decides “how to vary pulley dimensions relative to each other.”
In theory your car should always be in the right gear for the engine revolutions, however a CVT can sound like a slipping clutch, so some car designers engineer artificial pulley enlargement points to give a “stepped feeling”.
Knowing your transmission:
Transmissions are built to last a long time, but there are a number of conditions that can affect how long your transmission will last – one variable is the driving style of people who have driven your car or truck.
There are a few ways to tell if it’s the right time to come and get your transmission inspected at RPM Automotive.
One of the most common ways to tell if your transmission needs to be repaired or replaced is if you feel your transmission “slipping.” Slipping is when you can tell that your vehicle has gone from one engine speed to another when you aren’t expecting it.
Another way to assess your vehicle’s transmission is if you feel like your car jolts when switching gears. In an automatic transmission, gears usually change as you increase or decrease speed.
If you have questions about your transmission, or anything else about your vehicle, come visit us or give us a call!