transmission system

Everything you need to know about transmission system

A transmission system is referred more specifically to the gearbox, in fact, the 5-speed transmission refers simply to the gearbox that uses gears and gear trains. They are used to provide speed and torque conversion from the rotating power source to another device.

The Transmission system plays an important role in an automobile engine as it adapts the outputs of the internal combustion engine to the drive wheels. It aids the engine to work at a high relational speed due to the fact that it is inappropriate for starting and stopping as well as slower travel. With the torque, it reduces the higher engine speed to the slower wheel speed.

transmission system

Today we’ll be looking at the definition, components, working principle, functions, types, layout, and application, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of a transmission system.


What is a transmission system?

The mechanism that transmits the power created by an automobile engine to the driving wheels is called the TRANSMISSION SYSTEM (or POWER TRAIN). In some regions, the term transmission system refers to the whole drivetrain such as clutch, gearbox, propeller shaft, differential, and final drive shafts. Apart from a vehicle, it is used in other applications to provide speed and torque conversion from a rotating power source to another device.


Automobiles find great importance in a transmission system, also some stationary applications such as wind turbines. Transmissions are also used in agricultural, industrial, mining automotive equipment etc. some transmission equipped with gears makes extensive use of the hydrostatic drive and electrical adjustable-speed drive.


The following is the function of the transmission system and gearbox on an automobile engine:

  • Provide means of connection and disconnection of an engine with the rest of the power train without shock and smoothly.
  • Provide varied leverage between the engine and the drive wheels
  • The means to transfer power in the opposite direction is provided.
  • Enable power transmission at varied angles and varied lengths.
  • Enable speed reduction between the engine and the drive wheels in a ratio of 5:1.
  • Diversion of power flow at right angles is also enabled.
  • Provide means to drive the driving wheels at different speeds when required.
  • Bear the effect of torque reaction, driving thrust and braking effort effectively.

Read more: Various types of transmission system and their advantages

Components of transmission system:

Below are the major parts of the transmission system in an automobile engine:

  • Clutch
  • Gearbox
  • Propeller shaft
  • Universal joints
  • Real axle
  • Wheel
  • Tires

There are some important terms you must understand about the gearbox parts:

Planetary Gear Sets: The planetary gear sets are tooth wheels that help to keep the proper RPM ratio and connect to the input shaft. It contains a central or sun gear and two or smaller planet gears which aid the gear engagement. They are held with an outer ring.

Gear ratio: the gear ratio is the rate at which the input and output set gears rotate altering the desired output to the wheel.

Clutch: the clutch is also known as the torque converter, it is a mechanism that helps to connect and disconnect the vehicle’s engine from its transmission system.

Shift lever: this is what the driver uses to control and manage the gear of a vehicle’s transmission.

H pattern: this transmission part is the arrangement of gears which is usually labelled on the shift lever knob.

Types of transmission system:

The following explained below represent the various types of transmission systems:

  • Manual Transmission System (MT)
  • Automatic Transmission System (AT)
  • Automated Manual Transmission System (AM)
  • Continuously Variable Transmission System (CVT)

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Manual Transmission:

In the manual transmission system, all gears are selected manually with the moveable gear selector and driver-operated clutch. This transmission is also called “stick shift” or “standard” transmission.

Automatic Transmission:

The automatic types of transmission use planetary gearset, torque converter and clutches or bands for the transmission. They are used to shift through a vehicle’s forward gears automatically. Drivers are allowed a limited amount of manual control over the vehicle aside from the forward, neutral or reverse mode. These controls are the upshifts and downshifts when enabled by the buttons or paddles on the steering wheel or the gear sector. These transmissions are called “shiftable automatic,” “Tiptronic” and “AutoStick.”

Automated Manual Transmission:

The automated manual transmission is just like manual transmission which also uses a mechanical clutch. But in the automated manual type of transmission, the clutch is not controlled by the driver making the clutch pedal eliminated. The clutch is automatically controlled using electronic, pneumatic or hydraulic. This transmission system is also known as “Direct Shift Gearbox DSG” or “Sequential Manual Gearbox SMG.” It features all the engagement methods such as automatic forward gear shifts or manual shifts through the gear selector and the button or paddles on the steering wheel.

Continuously Variable Transmission:

The continuously variable transmission has a variable drive ratio and uses pulleys, belts and sensors. Gear wheels are eliminated to keep a steady acceleration curve with no pauses for gear changes. They help to maintain the engine in its optimum power range and thereby increase the efficiency and gas mileage.

Related Article:

That’s it for this article, “Understanding Automobile Transmission System”. I hope the knowledge is attained, if so, kindly comment, share and recommend this site to other technical students. Thanks!


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