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Transmissions & Drivetrain

Upkeep of your transmission may save you money in the long run. Learn manual and automatic transmission basics, then move on to clutches, differentials and torque converters.

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How CVTs Work

In a regular transmission the gears are literal gears -- interlocking toothed wheels. Continuously variable transmissions, on the other hand, don't have interlocking gears. The most common type operates on a pulley system. Learn all about the smooth-operating ultra-efficient CVT.


Are manual transmissions really faster than automatics?

You've proudly driven a stick shift all your life, so you already know that manual transmissions accelerate faster than automatics. End of story. Well, that was once true, but things have changed.

Manual transmission synchronizers are devices that eliminate the need for double clutching when changing gears. Learn how manual transmission synchronizers work in this article.

You find liquid leaking from your car and are at a loss about what to do. Learn about how to identify a transmission fluid leak in this article.

Transmission Pictures

Manual, automatic, sequential, dual-clutch -- these are just a sample of what you'll see in this image gallery. Check out pictures of all types of transmissions right here.

How Clutches Work

You probably know that any car with a manual transmission has a clutch -- it connects and disconnects the engine and transmission. But did you know that automatics have clutches, too?

How Dual-clutch Transmissions Work

Most people know that cars come with two basic transmission types: manuals and automatics. But there's also something in between that offers the best of both worlds -- the dual-clutch transmission. Check it out.

Traction control helps limit tire slip in acceleration on slippery surfaces. Many of today's vehicles employ electronic controls to limit power delivery for the driver, eliminating wheel slip and helping the driver accelerate under control.

How CVTs Work

In a regular transmission the gears are literal gears -- interlocking toothed wheels. Continuously variable transmissions, on the other hand, don't have interlocking gears. The most common type operates on a pulley system. Learn all about the smooth-operating ultra-efficient CVT.

How Sequential Gearboxes Work

Combine the ease of an automatic with the driver control of a manual and what you've got is a sequential manual transmission. A simple forward push advances the gear. Learn all about the sequential gearbox.

How Automatic Transmissions Work

Both automatic and manual transmissions accomplish exactly the same thing, but they do it in totally different ways. And it turns out that the way an automatic transmission does it is pretty amazing!