What is the difference between an automatic and manual transmission?

Difference Between Automatic and Manual Transmission

If you’ve ever driven a vehicle before, you’re probably aware there is a transmission under the hood. For some, even if they know it’s there, the transmission is a little bit of a mystery: how does it work, what exactly does it do and why is it so important to a car. When it comes to vehicles there are two different kinds of transmissions: automatic and manual. Depending on which one you have your car will drive a little differently. If you’ve never sat down to really look at the differences in kinds of transmissions, here’s some information on what you need to know.

What, exactly, does a transmission do?

In order to move, a car needs power. The transmission in any vehicle applies the power generated from the engine and moves a vehicle forward (or backward). It also controls the power that is sent to the wheels, and therefore the speed that a vehicle moves at. There are two main parts to any transmission: the shaft and the gears. The shaft is the part that gets energy from the engine and the gears are what determine the speed it can move at.

So, what is a manual transmission then?

In short, a manual is appropriately named as it requires the driver to do slightly more work than an automatic one. A manual transmission allows, or requires, you to shift your vehicle into various gears using the shift knob and clutch pedal. What this means for the driver is that they have to know which gear is appropriate for the speed they are going. For example, if you are just getting going being in 4th gear is very hard on your transmission and your car will probably stall out. You need to know when it’s time to shift and, reversely, downshift as you drive.

And an automatic transmission?

This kind of transmission requires much less work for the driver in that all the driver needs to do is push the gas or the brake to operative the vehicle. An automatic transmission automatically (hence the name) determines which gear a vehicle should be in and shifts the gears for the driver as they speed up or slow down.

Do they need to be maintained differently?

In a manual car, there will be a third pedal located to the left of the brake called a clutch. That, along with the gear shift, will be the most used components of the manual transmission vehicle. An automatic car won’t have those two parts so that kind of maintenance won’t be needed. Overall, the general wear and tear of either kind will depend on the amount of driving and kind of driver the vehicles have. Sometimes, though, people who drive manual cars report their brakes last longer because they can slow themselves down by downshifting instead of applying pressure to the brakes.

If either breaks down on the side of the road, the kind of transmission doesn’t really determine what kind of tow truck is needed. The bigger determining factor would be the size of the vehicle (car, minivan, truck, etc). An experienced tow truck company, like us, will be able to safely hook your vehicle and make sure it stays on the truck during transit so it isn’t damaged. We know how to tow all types of vehicles so you can rest easy knowing we’ll get your car where it needs to be.

Up Next – Tips for towing a trailer

Click here is you have car troubles whether automatic or manual transmission