Now that the COVID-19 is going downhill with the new vaccine, economies around the world are coming back to life once again. And maybe you are thinking of selling your car and buying a new one.
But hey, you should do your homework and study each decision you make thoroughly before making any move.
One of the most crucial aspects to think about before buying a car is its transmission. Today, we are going to talk about all different kinds of automatic transmission service to help you decide what suits you best.
Before everything else, let’s define transmission. What is a car transmission?
The car transmission is one of the essential components of a car.
A car transmission is a mechanical device used to transfer the power from the engine to the wheels.
Internal combustion engines have a very specific power band between RPM ranges. And so, the transmission is designed to keep the engine in its power band while still giving the driver the ability to drive at different speeds.
Let’s pop the hood and see the different kinds of gearboxes…
- Manual Gearbox
It’s for the pros…
Manual transmission is popular in Europe, but it is also found in North America. It is a mechanical shifting mode that involves a clutch pedal and a shift stick. This means more work for the driver and more intuitive driving.
Therefore, the manual gearbox gives the driver complete control over shifting gears. Depending on his driving style, it is possible to drive with a lower or higher engine speed.
On the other hand, the cost of buying a manual car is $1000 lower on average -compared to its automatic version- and repairs in a transmission garage are also less expensive since they mainly concern mechanical parts.
Also, if you know your way around a manual clutch, it is possible to obtain better fuel economy, especially on the highway, reducing the wear-out rate of the brakes. However, it is a bit more difficult to learn to drive a manual car, especially since the car can easily stall when starting if you aren’t used to initiating the engine smoothly.
- Automatic Gearbox
As for automatic transmission cars, they are much more popular in North America. However, they are also popular in Europe, where they are seen more as high-end vehicles.
As the name suggests, shifting gears occurs automatically and more smoothly depending on the driver’s acceleration rate, which means the car has more electrical and electronic components. As a result, the automatic transmission can add to the value of your car because it is more expensive to buy, and also more expensive to maintain and repair if it breaks.
However, the lack of a clutch pedal allows the driver to concentrate more on the other aspects of his driving, as he is more relaxed. This can be an important asset in the city, where stop-and-go is very frequent.
The gearstick is replaced by a lever indicating the possible operating modes, namely the stop position, reverse gear, neutral, forward gear, and sporty driving. This makes it much easier to learn to drive with an automatic gearbox.
Sales of new cars equipped with an automatic gearbox have exploded for several years. Some manufacturers even believe that the manual gearbox is doomed to disappear within a few years. Today, it is even possible to pass your driving license on a car equipped with an automatic gearbox.
Now, let’s get to the stuff you probably don’t know…
CVT stands for Continuously Variable T. In the past, when it came to transmission on a car, the manufacturer offered us two choices: manual or automatic.
And it wasn’t that hard to understand and explain, the first required us to shift gears manually using a clutch pedal while the second changed gears on its own.
CVT is a dual-clutch, semi-automatic, and continuously variable (CVT) transmissions. The advantages of CVT are primarily related to fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions.
The CVT also eliminates the noticeable gear changes of the automatic transmission. The acceleration is constant, as long as you take it easy on the pedal. In general, the smoother engine operation provides a quieter and more soundproof cabin, which often surprises passengers who board such vehicles, most known of them: Audi A4, Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, and Chevrolet Malibu.
The only disadvantage of CVT transmission is the lack of sporty experience. Many feel like they are driving a vehicle devoid of power and sound.
- Dual-clutch Transmission
The dual-clutch gearbox is a relatively new and complex transmission. This transmission takes its name from the use of 2 clutches instead of the usual one.
Among all the transmissions, the double-clutch gearbox is one of the semi-automatic or robotic transmissions.
DCT has two manual gearboxes but is managed by an electronic control unit with an electro-hydraulic clutch. Unlike a manual gearbox, it is impossible to select any gear, for example, to shift from second to fifth gear: a sequential gearbox requires up and down, the order must be like this (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1) when shifting.
The bright side of DCT is:
- Good mechanical efficiency and optimized engine management, resulting in lower fuel consumption.
However, it has a few weak points like:
- Great mechanical complexity, resulting in a higher production cost.
- Overweight compared to a manual gearbox.
- More expensive maintenance due to the 2 clutches.
Automatic or Manual Gearbox: How to Choose?
For the choice, it ultimately depends on how you’re going to drive. The main difference will be in terms of fuel economy even if manufacturers have made great progress on the consumption of automatic gearboxes.
Manual gearbox for major highways, automatic gearbox for urban journeys or winding roads. In terms of comfort, the auto gearbox undoubtedly wins the palm with unparalleled flexibility. It would also reduce the risk of accidents by making it easier to concentrate on the road, as the driver is no longer has to monitor if he is in the right gear.
At the end of the day, hit the road with the vehicle that makes you feel happy and comfortable, but most importantly, stay safe!