Interesting Facts You Never Knew About Your Car’s Transmission

For many drivers, you just care about getting easily and safely from one place to the next. You may not pay much attention to the inner workings of your car’s systems. However, there are a few key systems that help ensure you’re able to get from point A to point B without trouble. One of these is your car’s transmission, which is essential for transmitting power from the engine out to the wheels. Aside from its purpose, there are some interesting facts about transmissions you may not have known.

Questions about your car’s transmission? Visit your local AAMCO Boardman transmission shop and our transmission experts will help answer your questions, put your mind at ease, and keep your car’s transmission healthy.

Did You Know These Interesting Transmission Facts?

Whether or not you’re a “car person,” you may find these few transmission facts interesting. From the history of transmissions to how they work and how to keep them running well, there’s a lot to know that can be of interest to modern car owners. Read on and see if you knew any of these transmission facts before finding this article.

The Earliest Cars Had Manual Transmissions

That’s right, the first cars made came with a transmission that closely resembled modern manual transmissions – and this was the only option available. However, while modern transmissions typically come with five or more gears, these early transmissions came with just two forward-moving gears and one reverse gear. Shifting between these gears was up to the driver to do manually, using a series of pedals. You can thank many decades of developments in the engineering and technology around car manufacturing for the much more user-friendly modern manual transmissions.

The First Mass-Produced Automatic Transmission Came on the Market in 1939

Manual transmission vehicles owned the car market for the first 39 years of the 20th Century. Then, right between the two World Wars, the first automatic transmission vehicles became available to the masses in 1939. These first automatic transmission vehicles had a Hydra-Matic gearbox, which could be found in General Motors’ Cadillac and Oldsmobile cars. It worked thanks to a hydraulic-powered planetary gearbox system, which meant there was no need for a clutch pedal.

However, while this was the first mass-produced automatic transmission, it was not the first to be developed. In fact, the 1924 Vulcan prototype featured a torque converter, which is used in modern automatic transmissions.

Manual Transmissions No Longer Reliably Get the Best Fuel Economy

As transmission engineering has improved over the decades, automatic transmissions have gradually overtaken many manual transmissions when it comes to efficiency. While this still varies somewhat from car to car, it’s no longer typical for a manual transmission vehicle to get better gas mileage than an automatic transmission vehicle. This is in large part because automatic transmissions are now more precise with gear shifts, as well as offering a greater number of gears on average than manual transmissions.

Most Americans Today Can’t Drive Manual Transmission Vehicles

Even by the 1930s, many people did not like the fact that they had to manually engage or disengage the clutch and shift gears while driving. They desired a simpler driving experience, pushing car manufacturers to develop the first automatic transmissions. Over the years, these automatic transmission vehicles became increasingly popular – so much so that today, many Americans have not even learned how to drive a manual transmission vehicle.

At this point, it’s a catch-22 of some car owners switching to automatic transmissions because of the limited availability of manual transmissions, while car manufacturers continue to produce more automatics than manuals due to popularity.

Just Like Your Car’s Engine, the Transmission Relies on Healthy Fluid and Regular Maintenance

You’re used to scheduling regular engine oil change services – your car’s transmission requires a similar maintenance schedule. Transmission fluid circulates through the transmission, keeping moving parts lubricated, aiding in smooth gear shifts, and keeping a healthy operating temperature. This is true whether you drive an automatic or manual transmission. This fluid should be changed at regular intervals, according to your car manufacturer’s recommendations. You also can and should check the condition of your car’s transmission fluid using a dipstick, much like your engine oil.

The Best Transmission Mechanics are at Your Local AAMCO Transmission Repair Shop

Worried about your car’s transmission? Or just curious how it operates and how you can best keep it healthy? No matter what, the transmission experts at your local AAMCO Boardman transmission shop are here to help. We’ll handle any transmission maintenance, transmission repairs, or any other auto repair services your car may need to drive smoothly. Schedule your appointment with us online today!

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