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Your transmission is the device that is connected to your vehicle’s engine and sends the power from the engine to the drive wheels.  An engine runs best at a certain RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) range and it is the transmission's job to make sure that the power is delivered to the wheels while keeping the engine within that range

On a rear wheel drive car, the transmission is usually mounted to the back of the engine and is located under the hump in the center of the floorboard alongside the gas pedal position.  A drive shaft connects the rear of the transmission to the final drive which is located in the rear axle and is used to send power to the rear wheels.  Power flow on this system is simple and straight forward going from the engine, through the torque converter, then through the transmission and drive shaft until it reaches the final drive where it is split and sent to the two rear wheels.

On a front wheel drive car, the transmission is usually combined with the final drive to form what is called a transaxle. The engine on a front wheel drive car is usually mounted sideways in the car with the transaxle tucked under it on the side of the engine facing the rear of the car.  Front axles are connected directly to the transaxle and provide power to the front wheels. In this example, power flows from the engine, through the torque converter to a large chain that sends the power through a 180 degree turn to the transmission that is along side the engine.  From there, the power is routed through the transmission to the final drive where it is split and sent to the two front wheels through the drive axles.  

The main components that make up an automatic transmission include:

  • Planetary Gear Sets which are the mechanical systems that provide the various forward gear ratios as well as reverse.
  • The Hydraulic System which uses a special transmission fluid sent under pressure by an Oil Pump through the Valve Body to control the Clutches and the Bands in order to control the planetary gear sets.
  • Seals and Gaskets are used to keep the oil where it is supposed to be and prevent it from leaking out. 
  • The Torque Converter which acts like a clutch to allow the vehicle to come to a stop in gear while the engine is still running.
  • The Governor and the Modulator or Throttle Cable that monitor speed and throttle position in order to determine when to shift.

On newer vehicles, shift points are controlled by the computer which directs electrical solenoids to shift oil flow to the appropriate component at the right instant.

If you experience any problems with your transmission such as leaks, noises, problems with shifting, etc., don't wait until the problem becomes worse and vehicle breaks down somewhere on a highway.  Transmission problems never disappear by themselves. Call or visit us to describe the problem you experience, when it happens, what it sounds like.  The more information you can give to us, the more quickly we can diagnose your problem, saving you time and money. 

Remember that not all transmission problems require a complete rebuild.  Today's transmissions have many electronic components that can fail and may need to be replaced or reprogrammed.





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