The ins and outs of car transmissions

August 19th, 2020 by

There’s a lot going on under the hood of your car the minute you turn the key in the ignition. And here at Toyota of Clermont, we think that the best way to feel confident as a car owner AND when it comes to car maintenance and repairs is to educate yourself on the inner workings of your ride! Today we’re talking car transmissions and explaining the basic types of transmissions and how they work so you can understand why they’re so critical to performance.

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The basics of car transmissions

There are two main types of car transmissions – manual and automatic. Here are the main differences between the two:

Manual transmissions require that the driver manually shift between gears as the car accelerates and slows, using a gear shifter and a clutch. This requires a lot of focus from the driver since they’re responsible for ensuring the car speeds and slows. This type of car transmission used to be the most common, but isn’t as popular anymore since it does require the driver to maintain control.

Automatic transmissions are just what they sound like – the car automatically shifts up and down through the gears as the car accelerates and decelerates. These types of car transmissions are the most common nowadays because they make for such an easy drive time. However, while you’ll find these types of shifts smoother and less noticeable, automatic cars usually get a bit less fuel efficiency due to a lag in between shifts.

car transmissions explained

Toyota of Clermont explains the main types of car transmissions

Let’s break things down even further now. Automatic car transmissions actually come in four different configurations, and here they are:

  1. Conventional automatic: This type of transmission is fairly common. It uses a torque converter and electronically-controlled clutch pack to shift gears for you, so all you have to do is sit back and press the gas and brake pedals.
  2. Continuously variable transmission: We see this type of transmission (also called a CVT) pretty often amongst our Clermont Toyotas. Hear us out – it doesn’t actually shift. Sounds weird, but it’s true. Instead, it uses pulleys as opposed to gears to transition your car between speeds and RPMs. This reduces the “shifting” feel that you’d feel in a conventional automatic or manual, but it can be a bit noisier and also doesn’t produce as much power.
  3. Automated manual: This particular type of car transmission is a mix between a manual and an automatic. It doesn’t have a manual clutch; it actually uses a computer-automated clutch in place of that. These types of Clermont Toyotas usually have either manual sport modes or paddle shifters so you can let the car shift for your OR have a little fun and do the shifting yourself (without having to push a clutch pedal).
  4. Dual-clutch automated manual: This type of unique car transmission isn’t too common. It has two different gear shafts – one is numbered in odd numbers and the other is numbered in even numbers, ending up with a total of 7 gears. Your car’s computer will preselect the gears and automatically shift between them, disengaging them in between shifts to get you to the speed you want.

Have questions about car transmission? We’ve got answers. Call Toyota of Clermont today at (352) 404-7001!


Posted in Toyota Service