All You Need To Know About Gearbox Components And Parts
In this article let us have a look at what a Gearbox is, discuss the different parts and components of the various transmissions, and look at when and why you would need to replace your gearbox.
In its simplest form, a gearbox is a box or housing that contains a gear train, mechanical unit or component which consists of a series of integrated gears. A gear is a rotating part with teeth or cogs which rotate and mesh with another toothed part to transmit torque.
The gearbox in a vehicle converts engine power into the appropriate amount of rotational energy and torque (turning effort) to your car’s wheels which makes the car move. It is primarily used to increase torque output whilst reducing or changing speed. Your vehicle needs high torque when starting from a standstill and when climbing hills, but not when driving at high speed on a level road. This is where your gearbox comes in. It is able to change the car’s torque and speed by changing the gear ratio between the engine crankshaft and your car’s wheels. The gearbox also provides a means of reversing the car and allowing you to put your car in neutral.
There Are Four Main Types Of Automotive Gearboxes
Let us have a look at the different transmissions on the market
Manual Transmission – up to 6 forward gears in a car; Up to 13 forward gears in a truck. This transmission uses a clutch to manually let the driver change gears.
Fully Automatic Transmission - automatic gear selector up to 9 speed. In this type of transmission gears are automatically changed without any input from the driver.
CVT - which stands for Continuously Variable Transmission. This transmission does not use gears but uses belts and pulleys in a similar way.
AMT- which stands for Automated Manual Transmission and Dual Clutch Transmission – up to 5 speed (semi-automatic). This is a hybrid transmission whereby you can shift gears like a manual transmission but paddles on the steering wheel take the place of a foot pedal
The Main Parts And Components Of A Gearbox
The following components are needed for the gearbox to function correctly:
Clutch Shaft / Driving Shaft / Input Shaft
Counter Shaft / Layshaft
Main Shaft / Output Shaft
Gear Selector Fork
The Main Components Of A Manual Transmission
The Basic Components Of An Automatic Transmission
Planetary Gear Set
The Average Lifespan Of A Gearbox
With proper and regular servicing and maintenance, some transmissions can last 300 000 miles or more. Failure to care for your transmission could result in failure in as little as 100,000 miles so it really is important to adhere to your recommended service and maintenance programme.
Also, you should regularly check the fluid levels and make sure they are always at the correct level.
Important Indicators That You Need To Have Your Transmission Checked:
The gearbox is one of the most expensive repairs you could have in your car so be vigilant and look out for any of the following signs your gearbox could be failing.
If the Dashboard Check Engine Warning Lights come on, do not ignore them! Look out for the transmission temperature light and check your coolant and transmission levels
Strange Noises -Whirring, chattering and whining are all signs that your gearbox needs attention. Banging and clunking sounds when the car is in neutral are also an indicator your gearbox could be failing. The worse the sounds the more damage could be caused as this indicates that the parts are loose.
Whistling and Clicking noises could indicate the bearings are becoming worn
Car shaking at any speed
Smell- a burning smell is not a healthy sign. Have it checked immediately
Any signs of Leaking fluid and low levels of fluid. Check under the car for any leaks - transmission fluid is a reddish colour with a slightly sweet smell
If the transmission fluid on the dipstick is cloudy, thick or smells foul
The gearbox is stiff and it is difficult to engage a gear, or there is a delay when engaging the gear
If the transmission is slipping or the engine is revving high
Abrupt, Jarring, Grinding noises when shifting gears could indicate the clutch is worn out
Any Out of the Ordinary behaviour
If your car has no power
If the clutch pedal grabs very low or very high on a manual transmission
If you suspect you may have a transmission problem, have your vehicle checked out immediately. Don’t wait until the problem becomes critical as you will cause more damage to other parts.
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