Common Gearbox FAQ’s
The gearbox is also known as the transmission system. It is the second part of the power train in a vehicle. It is used to change the speed and torque of the auto based on the road and load conditions. The main functions of the gearbox include
- Provide the torque needed to move the vehicle under a variety of conditions by changing the gear ratio between the engine crankshaft and the vehicle drive wheels.
- To be shifted into reverse so that the vehicle can move backward.
- Be shifted into neutral for starting the engine.
The main components that make up the gearbox include the clutch shaft, main shaft, countershaft, and gears.
The countershaft connects directly with the clutch shaft and contains the gear that connects to the clutch shaft as well as to the main shaft. It may run at the engine speed or lower than the engine speed depending on the gear ratio.
The main shaft runs at the vehicle speed and carries power from the countershaft by use of the gears and in accordance with the gear ratio. It runs at a different speed and torque compared to the countershaft. One end of this shaft connects with the universal shaft.
The gears transmit the power from one shaft to another and are the most useful component of the gearbox because the variation of the torque of countershaft and main shaft depends on the gear ratio.
There are two different types of transmissions used in modern-day vehicles:
- Manual transmission or manual gearbox
- Automatic transmission or automatic gearbox
Manual transmission is used in most vehicles on the road due to its low cost. These gearboxes have limited gear or speed ratios with a max of 6-speed and 1-reverse. Shifting of the gears is a manual task performed by the driver by pushing or pulling the gear lever in predefined fashion. The manual transmission always requires the use of a clutch.
An automatic transmission is used in high-end cars due to its high cost. This type of gearbox has infinite gear ratios that can be obtained by pushing the accelerator. The driver only has to select the mode of the drive (forward, reverse, neutral, park, drive) and the required gear rotations along with the timing of the meshing are automatically achieved. Automatic gearboxes do not require a clutch pedal, so cars with an automatic transmission only come with two pedals.
If your car won’t drive, you could have a blown transmission. Some common signs that your transmission may be blown include
- Vibrations, sounds, poor performance
- Different or unexpected shifting
- Extreme heat from the transmission
Absolutely. Driving habits and driving conditions have a major impact on the health and lifespan of your vehicle. If you are in mostly stop-and-go city traffic it has a distinct difference in your automobile’s systems than highway driving with long distances and steady speeds. Rough roads, bad weather, and high speeds can all negatively impact your car’s performance. While driving habits affect your entire vehicle, they are especially hard on your transmission.
Driving on a bad transmission is never a good idea and you should not do it. Although the vehicle can technically still be driven, every time you drive it you are risking a chance that you will have a much larger and more expensive repair or replacement on your hands.
If you suspect a problem with your transmission, bring your vehicle into Automotive Hospital and have our certified technicians diagnose and offer repair options for your car.
Without service and maintenance, transmissions can fail in as little as 160,000 km. If you drive your vehicle between 16,000-24,000 km per year, you could be looking at a transmission failing in around 7 years.
Look for warning signs that your transmission is on its way out the door. A transmission fluid leak is a red flag. Check for stains where you park and check the transmission fluid dipstick for fluid levels regularly. Additionally, if your car skips gears or seems sluggish during acceleration, then the transmission may be slipping.
Repairs to your system are almost always going to be the least expensive route if they make sense at the time. For instance, a small leak is worth getting repaired if the transmission is still in good condition, but seals or bearings need to be replaced. However, a transmission with more extensive issues, such as prolonged heat exposure or low fluid levels, may end up being more costly.
If you are constantly repairing components to your transmission, it may be time to talk replacement, as it will be the most cost-effective option in the long run. There are options to have your current model rebuilt or to have the entire thing replaced.
The technicians at Automotive Hospital are experts when it comes to transmission repairs and replacements, so speak to them if you are questioning which path to follow.
You should consider replacement when your current transmission is giving you a lot of problems and is on the verge of failure. At this point, it would take too long to diagnose and fix, and the repair cost is higher than the cost to replace the transmission.
On average, costs can run from $1200 for minor repairs to upwards of $3500 for a complete rebuild. Replacement costs are similar but sometimes fall lower depending on the make and model of your vehicle. The larger the vehicle, the more expensive the transmission will be. Luxury vehicle replacement parts will also cost on the high end and can run upwards of $5000 or more.