What is an automatic and how does it work?


In your car you’ll either have a manual transmission, or an automatic transmission. Each of these takes the revolution per minute of the engine, and transfers it to the wheels via the drivetrain. As your engine needs different gears to move the car at different speeds, your transmission determines at what speed the engine moves the car along.

So to move at different speeds, you need different gears. How do you select these different gears when required? Well in a manual transmission, you disengage the engine from the drivetrain with the clutch pedal, and select the next gear with the shifter.

If that sounds like a lot of admin, then you’ll love the automatic transmission.

What is an automatic transmission?

You’re not alone, nearly all modern cars use a variation of the automatic transmission.

An automatic transmission does away with the clutch, instead it has fluid.

How does fluid move a car? Well, a key part of your transmission is the torque converter. This houses a turbine which is spun by the engine. This fan forces fluid past a series of gears, spinning them. There are valves inside the transmission which when open ‘lock’ a gear in. The engine computer and fluid pressure determine what gears are required.

Once the fluid has been forced from the turbine, spun the gears, and pressurised the valves it is circulated back to the start via a return feed channel. All of this is a lot of work, all modern transmissions now have transmission coolers to aid in keeping your fluid at the right weight.

This is why you’ll get your automatic transmission fluid changed with occasional services. It has a hard job and a hard life, when it starts to lose its weight and viscosity, it’ll need replacing.

Why do I need to get my transmission serviced?

Well for the same reason as you need to get your engine serviced. You want it in perfect working order, it does an important job.

The thing with cars is, if you take good care of them – they’ll take good care of you.

Where can I get my transmission serviced?

It’s literally as simple as clicking here. We take all the hassle out of it and make sure your car is in good working order, at a good working price.