Your car’s transmission system helps send power from your engine to your wheels. Gears shift to help your car maintain specific speeds, so the faster you’re going, the higher the gear setting. Here’s a little more information regarding your transmission and its components.
The gears in an automatic transmission vehicle shift according to your speed. There is a torque converter that feels the acceleration you create when stepping onto the gas pedal. When the converter senses you want to move faster, it shifts to the next gear to accommodate your speed. This conversion occurs when you slow down as well.
Manual transmission requires you to step on the clutch — the smaller pedal beside the brake pedal — while manually shifting gears with the stick shift. When you press the clutch, it disconnects the engine and transmission so you can shift gears, then when you release the clutch after shifting, it reconnects your engine to the transmission and allows you to move faster or slower.
The transmission fluid helps:
- Lubricate transmission components
- Cools hot parts
- Conditions gaskets
- Increases rotational speeds and temperatures ranges
This is why it’s so important to ensure your transmission fluid is changed every 50,000 miles and checked regularly.
Types of Transmission Fluid
Dextron and Mercon
These are the most common types of transmission fluid. They contain friction modifiers that protect the internal components of your transmission.
Highly Friction Modified
Highly Friction Modified, or HFM fluids, are basically the same as Dextron and Mercon, but the friction modifiers are more effective.
These oils are more expensive but are specifically designed to withstand dramatic temperature changes and also reduce friction, shearing and oxidation.
Hypoid Gear Oil
In some manual transmission vehicles, this oil is used to resist extreme temperatures and pressures.