What is a Transmission?

ShifterIf you’ve ever done research before buying a car, you may have wondered: What is a transmission? The key to understanding its definition is in the name. It’s a mechanism that transmits power from your car’s engine to the parts that make it move forward, turning energy into torque using gears and a clutch.

There are two types of transmissions: manual and automatic. Most people know that manual transmissions require you to shift the gears yourself, while automatic transmissions shift themselves. With manual transmissions, the gears are various sizes, and you speed up or slow down by manually engaging these gears using the clutch and gear shift. It’s easier to understand in terms of the gears on a bicycle, where certain gear sizes are better for different terrains, slopes, and speeds.

In an automatic transmission, the process is mostly the same, except that the transmission engages other gears automatically when you change speeds, and most automatic transmissions don’t have a clutch. Instead, they have a torque converter, which outputs the necessary amount of torque for the speed of the vehicle.

There is also Nissan’s XRONIC Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), available in many new Nissan cars, which you can learn more about here.

This is only a small look into how transmissions work, but we hope it’s useful to you!