08 Dec, 2023
Car Transmission Types: A Beginner's Guide
Manual transmission and automatic transmission are the two basic types of transmissions. The gearbox and associated systems would be designed according to the car transmission types. The diverse transmission options you see around belong to any of these generic types.
Manual transmission necessitates the driver to shift the gear as per the speed and power produced by the engine. The clutch pedal and gear lever are the main components of the manual gearbox system. The driver will depress the clutch and shift the gear level to the required position. Operating a manual transmission system smoothly needs enough experience and proficiency. It is normal for the vehicle to switch off due to improper power/ gear ratio when handled by a newbie driver. The manual transmission does not have different variants or subtypes.
An automatic gearbox doesn’t need the driver’s intervention for the gearshift. The Electronic Control Unit (ECU) handles the gear control and shifts the gear as per the power available and the speed of the vehicle. Automatic transmission cars offer a smooth driving experience even to new drivers, who do not have enough driving practice. The driver can control the acceleration and concentrate on the road unbothered about the gearshift. Different types of automatic transmissions are available like AMT and CVT.
Read to know: Automatic vs Manual Transmission Cars: Which is Better?
Types of Automatic Transmissions
Automobile designers and engineering specialists have designed different automatic car transmission types. Even though designed to overcome the technical inefficiencies observed in a specific automatic transmission type, each one has its own pros and cons.
AMT or Automated Manual Transmission is the most common type of automatic transmission found in India. A majority of the affordable hatchbacks have this type of transmission integrated. A manual gearbox, controlled by a hydraulic or electric actuator, controls the gearshift in this type of transmission.
AMT is proven to offer good fuel efficiency, besides being affordable. The gear shift happens to correspond to the throttle input. A comfortable driving experience is provided by AMT cars. At the same time, you may not have the leisure compared to the other automatic transmission options.
CVT or Continuously Variable Transmission does not function depending on the torque. It has infinite gear ratios, which would transmit the power from the engine to the wheels. This type of transmission is also called stepless transmission or pulley transmission. It has a smooth and seamless gear shift process that offers a convenient and joyful driving experience.
Meticulously designed steps control the movement of axles and pullets. Thus providing proper control of the vehicle. The CVT gearbox cars nowadays come with six-step or seven-step controls.
3. Torque Converter Automatic
Torque Converter Automatic transmissions are known for their durability and reliability. Ideal for higher torque output engines having a large capacity, this type of automatic transmission may not be found commonly.
Fluid coupling is the main element of this type of automated transmission system. The stator in the torque converter renders multiplied torque output. Achieved by deflecting the fluid from the turbine stator, this system alters the drive characteristics.
4. DCT Automatic
DCT or Dual-Clutch Transmission uses two separate clutches for the two gear ratios. Designed for odd and even-numbered gears, the outer clutch drives the even-numbered gears and the inner clutch is intended for odd-numbered gears. The outer clutch drives are larger than the inner clutch drives. Two types of DCTs are available viz. wet multi-plate clutches and dry single-plate clutches.
DCT renders quick shifting of gears. Either even or odd gear ratios can be pre-decided, without disturbing the torque distribution to the wheels. A wet-clutch DCT is ideal for a bigger engine with a heavy torque output of 350 Nm or higher. On the other hand, a dry-clutch DCT is appropriate for a smaller engine compared to a wet-clutch DCT, with a torque output lower than 250 Nm.
Also Read : Cheapest Automatic Cars to Buy in India
Which Transmission Is Suitable for Your Car?
The automatic transmission had been a rare thing in the Indian automobile sector until a few years ago. It was considered only for luxury vehicles from premium car brands. The scenario has changed completely now. Affordable hatchbacks also have automatic variants available nowadays. The revolution led by Maruti Suzuki has been embraced by all the car manufacturers in India.
This has created confusion as well, among car buyers. They are in a dilemma about the automatic car transmission types to choose. The ideal transmission would depend on the type of car, your budgetary limitations, etc. It would be better to discuss this with the executives at the trusted car dealership. The executive would suggest you the best option based on your budget, and requirements.
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