A few decades ago, most cars on the road had three pedals, and the process of learning how to operate a clutch was a daunting task for some drivers. However, plenty of different varieties of gearbox arrangements can be seen today and all of them have their own pros and cons.
The functions of all these highly complex mechanical parts are pretty straightforward and most drivers can easily grasp them in a week or two. Below are a few different types of car transmission systems that car manufacturers usually use.
The oldest and simplest type of car transmission that is still in use is the manual transmission. In this case, the gearbox implements the use of a friction clutch, which is modulated by the foot of the driver to connect the rotational energy of the engine to the input shaft of the transmission. A synchro and gear selector fork, which is connected to the shifter, engages the fixed set of gears of your vehicle. The right or left hand of the driver usually operates the shifter.
The most common transmission system that you can see these days is the automatic transmission. The highly complex torque converter in the transmission system transmits the rotational energy of the engine. The computer in the vehicle controls the gearshifts and it is accomplished with the help of a series of clutches and brakes and a planetary gear set.
One of the major advantages of an automatic transmission is that it offers a simplified driving experience to the driver. However, the mechanical complexity makes automatic transmission a lot more prone to issues and the repair costs are also higher.
Continuously Variable Transmission
The continuously variable transmission (CVT) system offers a similar driving experience as that of an automatic transmission but it operates through an entirely different mechanism. CVT doesn’t have any gears; it uses a system of belts and pulleys instead to create an infinite range of ratios. The car’s computer system adjusts the pulleys in order to produce the ratio that is needed for the particular driving situation.