The transmission is as necessary in a vehicle as the engine itself. Imagine leaving your car in first gear and trying to maintain speed on the highway, or start from a dead stop in fifth gear. Engines that are put in vehicles today are designed to run safely in a very specific range or speeds, or RPMs. If you’ve ever noticed an area where the numbers turn red on your cars tachometer, it’s an indication of the upper limits of your engines ability to safely spin. Also, automobile engines are designed to run efficiently in an even narrower window. Since we all want to be able to operate our vehicles comfortably whether we are going 5 miles per hour in a parking lot, or 70 on the highway, we need a transmission coupled to the engine to turn its relatively low range of operating speeds into the wide range of desired speeds for a car.
How does a car transmission work?
The automatic transmission in your car surprisingly shares a lot of similarities with the early transmissions in the Ford Model T. The backbone of most modern day automatics is still the planetary gear system which was used in the Model T. Similar to a manual transmission, the teeth of the gears in an automatic transmission are always meshing. In a manual transmission, when you select a different gear, what you really are doing is coupling a different set of gears to the input and output shafts in the transmission. The theory is similar for an automatic transmission, but the gears are arranged in a much different way.
The planetary gear set in an automatic transmission is named such because there is one large gear in the middle with smaller gears around it, much like a large sun with planets orbiting it. There is also a third gear around those called the ring gear. Different gear ratios are obtained by coupling the sun, the planet, or the ring gears either to the input shaft or the output shaft. The gears that aren’t coupled to the input or output shaft may be held still, or allowed to rotate freely.
Most automatic transmissions have two sets of planetary gears in them to accomplish all of the gear ratios needed to be useful in your car. The difficult part is figuring out how to allow any of the gears in the transmission to be coupled either to the input shaft or the output shaft, be held stationary and be able to spin in either direction. This is usually accomplished through a series of bands, wet clutches and springs. These bands and clutches are designed to operate in a wet environment, meaning some lubricant should be present to ensure proper operation. Also, the control of these devices is usually accomplished by fluid pressure that is controlled by your vehicle’s computer.
The fluid which creates the pressure to operate the clutches and bands as well as lubricate them is automatic transmission fluid. If your transmission is running low on transmission fluid, the first symptom is usually a hard shifting condition, meaning your car will jolt forward when it shifts. With enough fluid loss, your transmission will eventually be stuck in one gear.
How do I fix a leaking transmission?
The best solution is to add the correct amount of the manufacturer’s recommended transmission fluid along with BlueDevil’s Transmission Sealer. Rather than struggling through finding the leak and possible expensive repair bills, use BlueDevil Transmission Sealer. It is guaranteed to revitalize the seals in your transmission to stop any leaks making sure your transmission fluid stays at the proper level and your transmission continues to function properly.