Transmission Types – What Are They?

manual transmission

When it comes to transmissions, it used to be simple: automatic or manual. Now, it’s a little more complicated. Transmission developers are constantly finding new ways to improve the driving experience, gas mileage, and overall transmission reliability. Here are the three types of transmissions that you’ll find in the majority of cars on the roads.


A manual car is also known as a stick-shift or standard. This type of transmission lets the driver change gears manually through a lever while utilizing a clutch pedal. The newer cars have a 5 or 6 gears, while older vehicles had 3 or 4 gears. Manual cars are less complicated than their automatic counterparts, and therefore are less expensive and easier to fix. Car enthusiasts enjoy a manual transmission because it allows them more control over the vehicle.

auto transmission


Automatic cars use gears just like a manual transmission, however with this set up there is no clutch pedal and the car automatically changes gears. Automatic transmissions have evolved into many different forms in recent years, and can have anywhere from 4-8 gears.

Continuously Variable Transmission

A Continuously Variable Transmission or CVT is in essence an automatic transmission. The difference between this and the other types of automatic transmissions is that instead of using gears, it uses a system of belts and pulleys to increase speed.

Fully Automatic

A car with a fully automatic transmission will use its computer to shift throught the gears. Most transmissions of this type have a gear system that allows the driver to select lower gears to assist when driving.

shift transmission

Automated Manual

This type of transmission will either choose the gears for the driver, or allow the driver to use a sequential gearbox to manually switch through the gears. This is also known as manumactic, tip-tronic, or automated manual. Drivers can change gear using either paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel or using the gear lever.

paddle transmission

Dual Clutch Manual

This type of transmission is usually found in high-performance sport cars. By utilizing two automatic clutches, one for even gears and one for odd, the driver is able to use a sequential gearbox to shift through the gears very quickly using paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel. By having two clutches, the gears are able to be switched with very little down time.

Transmission Maintenance

Regardless of what kind you have in your vehicle, it’s important to keep up with your maintenance. If you feel there is a problem when you’re driving, head over to your local transmission repair expert to get it looked at immediately.

Written by Transmission Technicians

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