Keeping You in Gear: How Your Automatic Transmission Works

Shift from park into drive, ease down on the gas pedal, and you’re on the road. It’s so simple, and it happens thanks to a modern marvel of automotive engineering. Our mechanics here in Plymouth specialize in transmission repair, and we’d like to share our appreciation for the amazing automatic transmission.

Start with the Torque Converter

This key part of your transmission shifts the engine through different gears without the need for a manually operated clutch. The torque converter works through a hydraulic coupling process electronically managed by the car’s computer system. Gear selection is automatic depending on things like the car’s cruise control settings and engine speed.

The torque converter multiplies the engine’s turning power through the transmission shaft. As pressurized transmission fluid channels through the mechanism, its rotational energy transfers torque to the transmission. You enjoy seamless gear shifts whether you’re navigating city streets or passing other cars on the highway.

Change Gear Ratios With the Planetary Gears

Most automatic transmissions use two gearsets that mesh as one component. The mechanism gets its name from its different parts. A circular ring gear and planet carrier revolve around a central sun gear. Together, these transmission parts are called the planetary gears.

Each component can separately handle input and output or remain stationary. Planetary gears work with internal clutches and bands and engage or disengage depending on your car’s speed. There are variations on this basic configuration, but all planetary gears operate as the heart of automatic transmissions.

Relax and Enjoy the Drive

Keep it in good shape, and your car’s automatic transmission pays you back in many ways. It does all the work while you enjoy a comfortable ride. You’re focused on driving safely because you’re not distracted by constantly working a clutch and shifting gears.

Modern automatic transmissions do a great job of keeping up with manuals too. You can expect a well-maintained automatic to match a manual in both fuel economy and overall performance. Best of all, the automatic transmission is your go-to choice if you ever need to teach a teenager how to drive.

We’re at Your Service

Your car’s automatic transmission makes highway and city driving so easy, but it needs a good checkup every 60,000 miles or so. A little maintenance goes a long way to heading off transmission repair, and our shop in Plymouth is always at your service. Let Kennedy Transmission keep you safe on the road.

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