How Automatic Transmissions Work

Reverse Gear

Reverse is very similar to first gear, except that instead of the small sun gear being driven by the torque converter turbine, the bigger sun gear is driven, and the small one freewheels in the opposite direction. The planet carrier is held by the reverse band to the housing. So, according to our equations from the last page, we have:

So the ratio in reverse is a little less than first gear in this transmission.

Gear Ratios

This transmission has four forward gears and one reverse gear. Let's summarize the gear ratios, inputs and outputs:

Gear ratios table Gear ratios table
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After reading these sections, you are probably wondering how the different inputs get connected and disconnected. This is done by a series of clutches and bands inside the transmission. In the next section, we'll see how these work.