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Types of Vehicle Transmissions

Servicing All Transmission Types

As a top transmission shop, we service every type of automobile transmission. As such, we have a lot of experience with the different types of transmissions in the industry. So no matter what type of vehicle you have, Ken’s Automotive & Transmissions can help.

Frederick, MD Transmission Mechanic

What are the Different Types of Transmissions?

There are 4 different types of transmissions the average consumer will see. Some of which you probably have more experience with than others. Here are the different types of transmissions on the market and the pros and cons of each of them:

Automatic Transmission Services

As the name suggests, this type of transmission changes gears automatically without any input from the driver. Your transmission does this for you automatically through the use of a variety of control systems. In older systems, the switch was fairly clunky between gears; modern systems provide almost seamless gear switches.

Advantages of Automatic Transmissions:

  • Easy to Use
  • Comfortable driving for driver and passengers
  • Modern systems equal to Manual transmissions in terms of performance and fuel economy.

Disadvantage of Automatic Transmissions:

  • Complex system means many different items can fail
  • Expensive to maintain and repair (compared to manual)
  • Not as fun to drive.

Manual Transmission Services

Also known as a standard transmission, this transmission uses a clutch to manually let the driver change gears.

Advantages of Manual Transmissions:

  • Better for off-road and high torque load usage.
  • Reliable and easier to service, maintain, and repair.
  • Considered a theft deterrent as not everyone can drive one.

Disadvantages of Manual Transmissions:

  • Not everyone can drive one which means lower resale and higher learning curve.
  • More work is required during driving.

Semi-Automatic Transmission Services

You may have seen these of the newest vehicles out today. The semi-automatic transmission is a hybrid transmission which allows you to shift gears like a manual transmission but using paddles on the steering wheel. When you signal to shift up or down the transmission will automatically make this shift—so there’s no need for a foot pedal.

Advantages of Semi-Automatic Transmissions:

  • Smooth shifting compared to manuals
  • Less inefficiencies in shifting mean no lag time or slippage

Disadvantages of Semi-Automatic Transmissions:

  • Complex system means many different items can fail
  • Expensive to maintain compared to manual
  • Very expensive to repair: often it’s more cost effective to just replace.

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) Services

The continuously variable transmission (CVT) is increasingly found in smaller vehicles and hybrid. A CVT doesn’t use gears, but instead it uses belts and pulleys in a similar format. The pulleys can increase their diameter depending on the “gear” you need to be in to effectively keep your engine running at peak efficiency.

Advantages of CVTs:

  • Smoothest ride because it eliminates feeling of shifting
  • Great fuel efficiency because engine is always running efficiently
  • Faster response to a change in driving conditions

Disadvantages of CVTs:

  • Unusable in off-road conditions
  • No ability for the engine braking seen in manual transmissions

For more information on transmissions, or for help with identifying what type of transmission your vehicle has, get in touch with your Frederick, MD transmission shop, Ken’s Automotive & Transmissions, today! We can be reached by phone at 301-662-5100, or by filling out the contact us form on our website.

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