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Automotive Repair Blog: Tips, Facts, and Fixes

How Does An Automatic Transmission Work?

These days, it seems that most cars utilize some form of an automatic transmission. We say "some form" because while you may not know this, there are actually a few variations on automatic transmissions. Even if you don't know what an automatic transmission is, if you've driven a car you likely have some experience.

What is An Automatic Transmission?

Basically, automatic transmissions allow drivers to drive their vehicles without worrying about shifting gears when increasing speeds. On older cars that use manual transmissions, drivers have to manually shift into first, second, third gears, and so on every time they increase their speed by roughly ten miles per hour. In a car with an automatic transmission, your car does that for you automatically, which simplifies the driving experience and makes it much easier for the driver to concentrate on the road ahead without worrying about shifting gears every few moments.

How Do They Work?

While there are different types of automatic transmissions, we're going to be focusing on the most common type of automatic transmission. This type of transmission uses hydraulic power to shift gears for the driver, by utilizing pressurized fluids which, when triggered, powers the gears themselves in order to shift into whatever gear is required when driving at a particular speed. The fluid is pressurized by the car's oil pump, so when the car's speed changes, the fluid is pressurized accordingly, which essentially tells the engine which gear it needs to be in.

The overall explanation is a little more complicated than that, but we didn't want to dive too deeply into the particulars, as this is supposed to be a blog post. Just know that automatic transmissions are much simpler to drive, even if they aren't simpler to explain.

If you have more questions about automatic transmissions, how they differ from manual transmissions, or how to best take care of your vehicle's transmissions, we invite you to either contact us directly or bring in your vehicle! We'd love to talk to you about vehicle maintenance, servicing your vehicle, and how to be a responsible car owner in general.