Oct 31 2015

What’s So Important about a Transmission, Anyway?

Unless you’re a car aficionado, you probably are just happy to drive something that brings you from Point A to Point B without too much hassle. But it’s important to understand what’s under the hood of your car and how it works to transport you safely every day. Certain parts must be carefully maintained to avoid costly part failures and repairs. The transmission, of course, is one of these parts! Alright, so what role does the transmission play? Your car’s transmission changes the engine’s gears, transfers the engine’s power to the wheels, and generally helps you move forward—sort of an important piece of driving! When you hear cars referred to as “automatic” or “manual”, it’s the transmission being described. Automatic Transmission: This is what you’ll find in most cars. Simply move your gear shift to Park, Neutral, Reverse, or Drive, and you’re on your merry way. You don’t need to think about it beyond pressing the brake as you shift gears. Manual Transmission: You’re much more involved in your car’s driving with manual transmission. You use a clutch to regulate the torque transferred from the engine and a gear shift to gain speed. Easily put, without a transmission your car won’t be leaving your driveway since the wheels won’t receive any power from the engine! Take Care of Your Transmission! You must remember to change transmission fluids just like you schedule (or should schedule, for the procrastinators out there) an oil change. Transmission fluid keeps the car cool and lubricated which prevents the wear and tear that leads to unwanted repairs. Fortunately, transmission fluid only needs to be changed every 60,000 miles for automatic cars and 30,000 miles for manual cars, so it isn’t as frequent of a process as an oil change. With that said, it’s never a bad idea to check on the transmission fluid every few months to ensure you don’t have any leaks. In the case of leaks or malfunctions, the sooner you head to a mechanic the better.