HOW AUTOMATIC AND MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS WORK: AN INTRODUCTION
Within modern manual and automatic transmission systems you will find intricate moving parts including a number of interconnected gears, input and output shafts, and either a clutch in a manual transmission system, or a torque converter in an automatic transmission system.
In a manual transmission the driver uses a clutch and gear shifter to manually change the gears of the vehicle as the rpms of the vehicle increase. In an automatic transmission a system of planetary gears automatically shifts through gears as a vehicle accelerates and decelerates.
By shifting between taller and shorter gears as a vehicle accelerates and decelerates, the transmission keeps the right amount of power (torque) flowing back and forth between the vehicle wheels and the engine.
Inside both manual and automatic transmissions you will find transmission fluid. This transmission gear fluid is especially important in automatic transmission vehicles where pressurized transmission fluid is needed to hydraulically pressurize and shift gears automatically. A manual transmission is manually operated by the driver using a stick shift (gear selector) and clutch.