Working principle of manual and automatic transmission system

The working principle of the transmission system on both manual and automatic systems is quite easy and interesting. In my previous article, the transmission system was explained as the mechanism that transmits the power created by an automobile engine to the driving wheels is called the TRANSMISSION SYSTEM (or POWER TRAIN). As the engine needs to convert its mechanical power to the drive wheels, the transmission has a great part to play. These include varying the torque, the direction, and the speed, and allowing the car to start at high torque.

Read: Understanding Automatic Transmission System

Most drivers prefer manual transmission systems over automatic transmission systems in their vehicles. Well, they both have their benefits and limitation which is explained in another post.

working principle of transmission system

Today we’ll be looking at how both manual and automatic transmission system work.


Working of a manual transmission system:

The working of manual transmission system contains a set of gears along with a pair of shafts which is the input and output shafts. The gear on the first shaft engages with those on the other shaft. The ratio between the selected gear on the input shaft and the gear engaged on the output shaft determines the overall gear ratio for that gear.

Gears are engaged in a manual transmission system by moving the shift lever. The engagement is done by the linkages that control the movement of the gears along the input shaft. Cars with four gears or speeds have two linkages and cars with five or six speeds has uses three linkages. This linkage changes by moving the shift lever left and right.

The clutch plays an important role in the working of the manual transmission as disconnects the engine from the input shaft of the transmission when pressed. It frees the gears on the input shaft causing it to easily move as the engine is sending torque through the input shaft. This caused the engagement.

The clutch is said to be disconnected when the clutch lever is not pressed. Once the clutch disconnects the power from the engine to the transmission, the driver easily selects the gear and releases the clutch. Releasing the clutch allowed engine power to be reengaged to the input shaft which makes the car move at the selected gear ratio.

Read: Things you need to know about manual transmission system

The video below contains how the manual transmission system works:

Working principle of an automatic transmission system:

In the working automatic transmission system, the same process occurs just as the manual transmission but it happens backdoor and automatically. The clutch is eliminated in this situation and the transmission relies on the torque converter for the desired speed gears.

When the engine is spinning slowly, very little torque is transmitted through a fluid and turbine inside the torque converter. And when the engine is spinning quickly, all of the engine’s torque is transferred to the transmission. The torque converter is the reason why cars with automatic transmissions move slowly forward when idling and in the drive. A small amount of the engine’s torque is being supplied to the transmission’s input shaft.

As the torque converter is handling the connection of the transmission’s input from the engine. the gears inside the transmission are engaged without the driver’s direct instruction. The transmission uses a single concentric shaft with a set of gears inside and around each other in a planetary arrangement including a sun gear. A planet carrier holds multiple-planet gears and ring gears.

Read: Various types of transmission systems and their advantages

The planetary gear set functions by changing the rate of input to output gear speeds through the engagement of one gear to another. The range of available ratios depends on which is engaged to which. There is a complete hydraulic system or control system that engaged the set of planetary gears at a given time. This hydraulic control system is controlled by an electronic control unit programmed.

The gear sets are connected to the engine’s input by a series of internal clutches, which are controlled by the computer and hydraulic system. It helps the engine to determine the gear ratio that will be output through the output shaft to the drive shaft of the wheel.

Watch the below video to see how the automatic transmission system work:

Read: What causes transmission fluid to leak and how to fix it

That’s it for this article, “Working principle of 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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