1) Introduction to Automobile Transmissions
What are Automobile Transmissions?
A transmission is a machine or a mechanism which allows the user to control the application of motor’s power. This mechanism contains gears, gear trains and other components that enable the transmission to provide speed and torque conversions from a rotating power source to another device. Transmissions are mostly used in motors of vehicles and automobiles in general and they are called automobile transmissions. Automobiles transmissions have multiple gear ratios sometimes simply referred to as gears. The switching between one gear to another will affect the speed of the car. The switching between gears can be made either manually or automatically, and it all depends on the type of automobile transmission.
Types of Automobile Transmissions
There are 4 types of Automobile Transmissions that are most commonly used:
- Manual Transmissions: Manual Transmissions are probably the most common type of automobile transmissions. As its name implies, the selecting of gears is done manually. The transmission is connected with the engine via a clutch. A clutch is a mechanical device that engages and disengages power transmission from a driving shaft to a driven shaft.
- Fully Automatic Transmission (FAT): Automatic Transmissions have an obvious difference with the manual one. The difference is that Automatic Transmissions don’t have a clutch; therefore, the driver won’t have to manually switch between gears, and all he has to do is simply shift the selector from Park or Neutral into Drive, and the shifting of gears will be done automatically and smoothly without the need for any extra input.
- Semi-Automatic Transmission: A Semi-Automatic Transmission is a hybrid between an automatic transmission and a manual one, and that’s why they are sometimes referred to as automatic-manual. Clutch-less manual transmissions rely on microprocessors in order to control the changing of mechanical gear ratios with the help of electrical components.
- Continuously Variable Transmission: also known as CVT is different from the rest of Transmissions. Instead of using gears, CVT uses a rubber or metal belt running over pulleys in order to produce various vehicle speeds.
Advantages and Disadvantages of each Type of Transmission?
- Manual Transmission: manual transmissions are known for being extremely robust and having the capability of handling high torque loads. On top of that, they are reliable and easy to maintain and cheap to repair compared to other Automobile Transmissions. However, Manual Transmissions do have few drawbacks such as their difficulty to learn how to use them, especially for beginners.
- Fully Automatic Transmission: FAT almost seems like they are the opposite of Manual ones. They are very easy to learn and very comfortable to use not to mention the fact that they have high performance and they have a low fuel consumption. But they are expensive to maintain and even more expensive to repair and the fact that they are complex makes them vulnerable to failures and errors.
- Semi-Automatic Transmission: being a hybrid of two different transmissions can bring a lot to the table such as the smoothness of driving and switching between gears and the elimination of energy loss due to slippage. However, they are still complex, thus they have a high chance of malfunction and failure. They are also expensive to maintain and repair (similar disadvantages to the fully automatic transmission).
- Continuously Variable Transmissions: CVT cars have great fuel efficiency, they have a better and faster response to changing driving conditions on top of that they provide a comfortable riding experience. However, similar to other automobile transmissions, they do have their own share of drawbacks. For example, they are not suitable for off-road environments.
2) Top 6 Best Automobile Transmissions
ZF 8HP is an automatic transmission built and designed by ZF Friedrichshafen. ZF 8HP transmission was first used in the BMW7 Series and since then this Automatic Transmission has been used in almost every new BMW car that is all-wheel-drive version.
The sports car Audi R8 is equipped with a dual-clutch transmission. The shifter is gated with a grippy lever and has a nice metal touch to it, not to mention the satisfying sound it makes when the gear is switched.
The Chevy Corvette is a popular car among people who like classy cars, some people even buy the Corvette simply because it is equipped with a manual transmission that is highly praised for its slick shifter.
The Dodge Viper car has a manual Transmission that is six-speed. Drivers that have used this car claim that the transmission harness the power of the torque.
Ford Fiesta ST
The transmission of the Ford Fiesta ST car is a manual one and the gearbox’s shift action is super short which makes this transmission and the whole car unique among many others.
Finally, we saved the best for last, the Porsche Cayman is one of the greatest cars that Porsche has ever produced. The car itself has many great things to offer; however, there is one thing that makes it extremely special and that thing is its manual transmission. In fact, it is believed that Porsche Cayman has the best Manual Transmission in any other car because it offers the purest driving thrills.
In conclusion, there are many types of Transmission from manual ones to fully automatic ones. They are all special and unique in their own way, each transmission has its own share of advantages and disadvantages, and that’s why each transmission is used for certain purposes, either racing, driving comfortably and enjoying the smooth ride or simply just driving off road for the experience of it. That is why one must choose carefully what type of transmission a car should have before buying.