Manual and Automatic Transmission Know the Difference

What are Manual and Automatic Car Transmissions? Car transmission functions to move the vehicle. Here is complete info about what a transmission.

Manual and Automatic Transmission know the difference

Manual and automatic transmission know the difference. What is a transmission? Transmission is a system that functions to convert torque and speed from the engine into different torque and speeds, then forwarded to the final drive. The conversion turns a high rotational speed into a lower but more powerful one or vice versa. There are two types of transmissions in cars, namely manual transmission, and automatic transmission. Here's the full explanation!

What is a car transmission?

A car transmission is a component in the engine that functions to change the rotating speed and power. There are several types of car transmission systems and their components. Here is the explanation.

Types of transmission systems

In general, there are five types of transmissions commonly used in cars, namely as follows"

1. Sliding Mesh

Sliding mesh is used in manual transmissions whose working principle is simpler. It works by moving the gears to be able to adjust the acceleration of the output. However, the sliding mesh is currently rarely used because it makes gear shifting not smooth.

2. Constant Mesh

This transmission system uses a clutch for the process of moving from the input shaft to the output. The displacement process utilizes a fixed gear linkage.

3. Synchromesh

Gear shifting in the synchromesh transmission is smoother. The way it works is similar to constant mesh, the difference is that in synchromesh there is a synchroniser ring component on the clutch hub. 

4. CVT

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is one type of automatic car transmission system with variable displacement. Two gears are required that have variable diameters and are connected using a belt. 

5. Automatic Gear Shift

The concept of automatic gear shift transmission is the integration of hydraulic actuators that operate through the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and Transmission Control Module (TCM). Both components can control the performance of the clutch and gear shift according to engine speed.

Components in the transmission system

There are six main components in a car transmission system, which are as follows:

1. Main Gear

The main gear component is on the main shaft which has an intermediate bearing. Meanwhile, the number adjusts the speed level owned by the transmission. The main gear functions to make the gear ratio and counter gear speed levels match. 

2. Counter Gear 

Counter gear is a collection of several gears put together and the number adjusts the speed level. Counter gear functions to move rotation from the main drive gear or input shaft to the main gear, and create a gear ratio. 

3. Input Shaft 

The location of the input shaft becomes one with the main drive which functions to move the rotation of the clutch towards the counter gear. 

4. Main Shaft 

Main shaft functions as a transmission output and installation of the main gear and hub set. The component can rotate freely together with the input shaft because it is connected to the bearing.  

5. Reverse Idler Gear Shaft

The reverse Idler Gear Shaft functions as a link between the main reverse gear and counter gear. It is intended that the rotation of the main reverse gear can be opposite of the input shaft. 

6. Interlock System

The interlock system functions to lock the transmission so that only one gear enters according to the speed level. Because the gear ratio of each main gear is different.

How transmission works

The way the transmission works is following the principle of moment change. When a car is traveling on a flat road, the moment of the car engine will be enough to move the car. The transmission system can change that moment by moving the gear ratio. As a result, the moment will match the load of the car engine when driving. In addition, the transmission system also transfers the moment to the wheels.

Functions of the transmission system

The transmission system has several functions, including the following:

  • Can forward the power generated by the engine from the clutch to the propeller shaft.
  • Can create a moment generated by the engine as needed, both in terms of load and road conditions. 
  • Can make the car run backward.
  • The vehicle can be in a stopped position even though the engine is still running. 

Difference between a manual transmission and automatic transmission

Manual transmission

Manual transmission is a system composed of a combination of gears to transfer rotation from the crank to the drive wheels. The manual transmission consists of several types of components that work together so that they can move vehicle engine power. The manual transmission aims to transfer power to the vehicle engine under driving conditions.

The manual transmission has several components and ways of working. Check out the following explanation.

Components of a manual car transmission

1. Transmission Input Shaft (Transmission Input Salt)

The transmission input shaft functions to rotate the teeth in the gearbox. In addition, this component also works together with the clutch component.

2. Gear Transmission

The transmission gear is a component that functions to change the input power generated by the engine so that it turns into a torque force output. The conversion process is adjusted to the needs of the vehicle.

3. Gear Adjustment (Synchronizer)

Gear adjustment functions allow the driver to shift gears safely even when the car is running.

4. Shift Fork

The shift fork can move gears on its axis. It aims to make it easier for the driver to install or shift gears.

5. Shift Linkage Lever

This component functions to connect the gear lever with the shift fork or shift fork.

6. Gear Shift Lever

This component functions as a controller for the driver to be able to move the transmission gear or gearbox according to the desired conditions. This gear shift lever is located near the position of the car driver.

7. Transmission Case

The transmission case is a storage container for transmission oil in the car. In addition, the transmission case can be a transmission bearing holder.

8. Output Shaft

The output shaft functions to transfer torque. The torque comes from the transmission system and will be moved to the last gear. 

9. Bearing

Bearings are components that function to reduce friction that occurs between the surfaces of rotating components in a car transmission system.

10. Counter Gear

Counter gear is a car transmission component whose function is to generate torque from the input gear to the speed gear.

11. Reverse Gear

The reverse gear is a component that can change the direction of the output shaft rotation. This component can make the car run backward by simply moving the gear lever in the reverse gear direction.

12. Hub Slave

The slave hub is a component that can lock the acceleration gear adjustment. In addition, the slave hub can also adjust the output shaft to rotate or stop.

13. Speedometer Gear

Speedometer gear functions to measure and see the speed of the car being driven.

How a manual transmission car works

Manual transmissions work based on gear ratios. Changing the gear ratio will make the car experience a difference in speed output. For example, when driving on an incline, more torque is needed to hold the weight of the car. Then, the car will reduce the speed through the transmission with the same power. Conversely, the speed will increase when the car requires lower torque.

How to maintain a manual transmission car

Here are some ways to maintain a car with a manual transmission:

  • Change the oil of the manual transmission system regularly.
  • Change the clutch plate regularly.
  • Drive the car according to the rules.
  • Follow the manual book recommendations for the maintenance and use of cars with manual transmission systems.

Automatic transmission

Automatic transmission is a transmission system that can shift gears automatically. The gear shift adjusts the amount of pressure on the gas pedal. In an automatic transmission, shift the transmission lever without having to step on the clutch pedal. The working principle of an automatic transmission is to convert different torque and speed based on the moment generated by the engine.

Read also important parts of a car

Automatic transmission lever code

There are several codes on the automatic transmission lever that manual cars do not have. Here is the explanation.

1. N (Neutral)

N indicates the neutral position. This position is used when the car has to stop for a long time, for example when there is a traffic jam.

2. P (Park)

The P code is used when the car is parked. Shifting the transmission lever in position P makes the car unable to be moved at all.

3. R (Reverse)

The R code on an automatic transmission car functions to make the car run backward.

4. D (Drive)

The D code is used when driving the car. If you want to drive the car faster, step on the gas pedal deeper. Then, the electronic control unit component will adjust to the engine rotation.

5. D1 or L (Low)

The D1 or L position is usually used when the car is going uphill. In some automatic cars, the D1 or L code is followed by codes 2 and 3, or the +/- code.

How to maintain an automatic transmission car

Here are some ways to maintain a car with automatic transmission:

  • Change the oil regularly at the nearest service station.
  • Shift to the N position when stopping for a long time.
  • Avoid the P position when stopping for a moment.
  • Recognize signs of transmission problems.


What is a transmission?

A transmission is a system that converts torque and speed from the engine into different torques and speeds, which are then passed on to the final drive. The conversion turns a high rotational speed into a lower but more powerful one or vice versa.

What is an AT transmission?

AT transmission is also called automatic transmission, which is a transmission system that can shift gears automatically. The gear shift adjusts the amount of pressure on the gas pedal.

What is another name for transmission?

Transmission can be known as gear. Another mechanical language is the gearbox.

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