How does a transmission work?

 In Auto Transmission Parts, Automobile Diagnostic Service, Transmission Shop


The other  day an S-O-S customer said, as she paid for her repair, “I”m so happy you fixed my car’s transmission and I can enjoy driving again.  But I realized this morning that I don’t even know what a transmission is or what it does except shift gears.”

So here is Transmissions 101 to answer that question.

FIRST OF ALL, there are several types of transmissions.  There’s the manual transmission where the drive moves a gearshift to go from gear to gear.  Then there’s the transmission most vehicles today operate, the automatic transmission.  That didn’t even come in until the 1950’s.

The automatic transmission opened up driving to  a lot of people who could just never master driving a shift car because it involved a clutch pedal, contact points and a whole of other details many drivers caught on quickly and many other just gave up on.

Few drivers have even even looked at an automatic transmission.  It’s big and yet compact.  Inside is incredibly complex, outside it’s quite beautiful, sort of looking like a silvery spaceship in some science fiction movie.

THE TRANSMISSION ALLOWS the engine to operate within a narrow range of safe speeds that won’t ruin the engine while allowing the car to operate from the slightest acceleration up to highway speed.

The key to this magic is the Planetary Gear-set, which is about out there as the name implies.

The transmission is crammed with bands to lock parts of a gear-set; clutches to lock other parts of the gear-set; a hydraulic system to control clutches and bands; and a gear pump to spread transmission fluid.

THE PLANETARY GEAR-SET creates a range of gear ratios for the transmission to produce.  The gear-set includes two systems which work as one component.  The components can work as input, output or stationary and the two Planetarys, by engaging together, can results in more or less speed to the wheels without the vehicle being sluggish in low gear or ready to explode in high gear.  By the way, there’ anohter important part named The Sun.

Follow that?  We didn’t thin so.  Well, we tried.

“UNLESS YOU’RE A transmission expert, understanding how an automatic transmission works is very difficult,” says S-O-S Transmissions Found and President Pete Schmidt.  “That’s why a lot of the work we doe comes as referral from other repair shops where transmissions is outside of their capability”

“Automatic transmissions really are an engineering marvel and trying to explain them is difficult.  They are extremely specialized and complex, which is why repair sometime is unavoidably costly and why it’s important to always go to a transmission specialist for checkup or repair.”

“At S-O-S we are proven transmission specialists. We have the experience, we know what we are doing.  Plus we are transmission enthusiasts.  We never tire of fixing transmissions, we we’re used to repair people from other places coming in to schmooze and see what we’re working on and to explain what we are doing.”

“WE CAN’T GIVE them much time as our customers are paying for our complete attention to the job.  But it’s nice to know S-O-S is considered at the top of transmission specialists in the Chicago area.”  So that is what a transmission is and how it works.  Yes, we know.  It’s amazing!