Switching Gears: How Your Manual Transmission Works
When people in Apple Valley, MN talk about transmissions (specifically, manual transmissions), the conversation usually involves a few questions: How do they work, and why do they cost so much to repair? This complex engine component consists of three main parts: a clutch, a gear selector, and various shafts. They all work together to help the car change gears and reach a certain speed. If the system fails, your car won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Getting in Gear
When the car is idle and the gearshift is in neutral, it can’t go anywhere until you press down on the clutch and apply the gas. Pressing the clutch pedal and putting the gearshift into first gear forces a shifting rod to move the selector toward first gear. The gear is mounted to a shaft on your engine called the crankshaft, which ultimately sends motion to your wheels using the driveshaft.
The car doesn’t go into gear until the synchronizer meshes with the gear, making sure the two shafts spin at the same speed. When you press down on the gas and lift your foot off the clutch, the engine receives more power and the car moves. Each gear has a specific size and only allows so much output before you must shift to the next gear up. Thus, the reason why driving stick is so difficult: You have to manually adjust the gears. In automatic cars, this whole process is automated internally, meaning less work for the driver.
As you look to speed up, you upshift into higher gears while when slowing down, you downshift to get your desired output. Your output needs change based on where you are on the road and whether you’re going uphill or downhill.
You can also double-clutch by moving the stick to neutral, then moving it into gear. The pause allows the two shafts to sync without relying on the internal synchronizer. It’s a handy shortcut, but —like the stick shift itself – it takes practice to master.
Manual Transmission Repair at Kennedy Transmission
If your transmission is slipping or failing to shift properly, we can help. Let us inspect your vehicle and find out the root cause of the problem. If the gears grind while shifting or strange whining sounds occur while driving, it’s time to take it into the shop so the experts can take a look. Our trained technicians in Apple Valley, MN will identify the problem, make the repairs quickly, and get you back on the road.